Sahail Ashraf posted on 26 November 2019
Well, just in case you were ever in any doubt over the mighty Facebook and it’s plans to rule the world, it looks like Facebook dating is now a real thing. It has been tested extensively for months, and is now available in select countries.
It is, of course, expected to change the world of dating forever. But this kind of major deal only ever happens after everyone, especially Mark Zuckerberg, feels it is safe and effective. Dating online has never really had a clean and safe image.
Can Facebook be the one provider that changes the game and makes safe and secure dating a feature of online life?
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. Facebook has had numerous problems in recent months around privacy, and keeping the data of users safe and secure. When Cambridge Analytica became a major headache for the company, Mark Zuckerberg himself had to effectively testify in front of some pretty serious and important people. It was a major issue. But it’s over.
Well, kind of. Facebook is still not presenting as the most trustworthy of the big online companies. And it has been trying very hard to change that. The sceptics out there might have suggested that Facebook pick a different moment to launch a service that is going to use your data to match you up with potential romantic partners.
Maybe the sceptics are right. However, there is one thing that makes Facebook Dating seem a little more secure than you might think. It has been tested to death.
This is a key feature, and it’s what Facebook hopes will get people to start using the Facebook Dating service instead of Tinder, for example.
You have to be over 18, for starters. You can access Facebook Dating within the Facebook app, but you have to set up a Dating profile. That’s important, because the last thing Facebook needs is a dating service that simply lives inside your Facebook profile.
Another important aspect is the reassurance that Dating will not drag your existing Facebook friends into the mix. When recommendations and potential meetups start flying, they will not involve your friends. Not immediately, anyway.
Once your profile is all set up you can add nine photos to it. This is quite a generous deal, and gives some opportunity to personalise your account. The service also asks you to answer nine ‘icebreaker’ questions, which again is further proof that Facebook wants to keep what you want out of sight.
This is where Facebook pulls out it’s huge list of data algorithms to get a handle on where you are at. It will then use that same database to match you up with potential boyfriends and girlfriends.
You can only match up with people who live less than a hundred miles away. This will of course allow you to find someone and then feel safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to travel for days to meet up with.
You can’t jump into the game immediately. Other dating apps often try to reduce the amount of effort you have to go through to find a date. Facebook Dating asks that you actually like ‘as in ‘Like” the profile you’re being shown. The service will also ask for other things, like your interests and so on. Basically, it wants to make sure that you have a chance of meeting someone who is more relevant than most.
Because Facebook has done a ton of research, it knows that sending images and money causes problems. Sending photos and links is a cause for concern. So Facebook hasn’t allowed anything other than text at this moment in time.
You will also be able to bring across posts from your Instagram account. This is great news, because it allows people to see their potential match-ups in a brighter light.
Hold your horses, Facebook hasn’t made it clear on which security measures they will be taking. Obviously though, with such a chequered history behind them, we’re sure they will be trying their very best to make Facebook as safe as possible.
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