Facebook’s Dating App? Yes, Facebook has created a dating app despite all of the recent dodgy transactions and history regarding users privacy. For example, this past Wednesday, TechCrunch discovered a security researcher found an easily accessible database online containing hundreds of millions of phone numbers associated with Facebook accounts. Regardless, last week Facebook went live with their Facebook Dating App that any 18 years or older Facebook user can access from their desktop or app.
How Does it Work? From your main Facebook profile you can opt into the new Facebook Dating app which creates a totally separate account from your original profile. The only information carried over is your name and age. The app will present you with potential matches based on your location, preferences, likes, interests and other factors. You can choose to match with people who attend the same Facebook events or are part of the same Facebook groups. There is also a “Secret Crush” feature, which allows you to pick up to 9 people from your Facebook Friends or Instagram followers and if one of those people has also selected you, a notification is sent to both users revealing the “Secret Crush”.
Pros: Facebook has an extensive cache of data on pretty much everyone. Meaning, their potential matchmaking and overall dating app experience for the consumer should be enhanced by using this personalized data. They will allow users to share Instagram or Facebook stories, turn off matchmaking with friends of friends allowing people to date outside of their friend group, and have included some unique safety features. The most impressive feature is Facebook will allow you to automatically open Messenger from Dating and tell a friend the name of the person you’re going on a date with, as well as the time and place where you plan to hang out. Facebook will send a notification to this friend of your whereabouts before your date, making everybody feel safe when going on a first or blind date via a dating app.
Cons: According to the Washington Post, dating apps and sites have built a $3 billion industry using personality data for matching and marketing purposes. Facebook has an enormous audience of 1.2 daily billion users, along with a very sophisticated ad-targeting platform. The amount of users Facebook has amplifies the opportunity for malicious purposes by a lot. The dating app industry already has lots of issues with fake accounts and hoaxes that prey on individuals who are perhaps more susceptible or vulnerable. If targeting agencies or hackers get their hands on these consumers sensitive information, it can only further the existing problem.