In Spring 2018, Facebook announced its Tinder version—but for people interested in meaningful relationships. Now that Facebook Dating Service is available in the United States, after rolling out in 19 countries, including Colombia, Thailand, and Canada.
Facebook dating users need to tap into every profile before being able to “go over” to or express their interest by sending a message (there is no mutual interest required for someone to start a conversation, which can cause trouble for women who are already harassed and unsolicited messages in the dating applications). Instead of the quick-features in many Dating Apps like Tinder and Bumble.
In addition to your stated preferences and interests, the company algorithm selects matches for you based upon location – which you check using local services on your phone. The service is entirely optional for persons 18 years old and upwards, and your friends won’t ever match you.
The goal of the enterprise? “We want to ensure that people remember behind the profiles to talk and not swipe,” says Nathan Sharp, Facebook Dating Product Manager. “We wanted to highlight all of the best items of the meeting personally.”
Instagram is a crucial element in helping people to learn about possible matches. Facebook Dating allows you to put pictures from your Instagram feed on your dating profile when the U.S. launches. Users may add Instagram stories to Dating directly by the end of the year so that possible future matches, and people with whom they are already talking, can get a sense of your life’s slightly less filtered version. “We believe it is essential to go where people are and to allow them to get all these different networks and types of content to work with us,” says Fidji Simo, Facebook vice president and head of the app.
In corresponding to Instagram and Stories in Dating, Facebook also enables younger people, who tend to prefer Instagram, to play — i.e., to bring their dating back to the core Facebook app using a Trojan horse. “We see that [Dating] tends to skew a little younger,” says Simo. “We welcome Instagram’s addition because many younger Instagram users have made lots of profiles and followers in it.”
Facebook use is on the decline for young people in general, according to third-party sources. In a 2018 Pew Research survey, which surveys 4,594 people, 44 percent of people between 18 and 29 found Facebook was deleted in the past year. A report from eMarketer in 2018 estimated that in 2018 the number of U.S. Facebook users between 18 and 24 years of age dropped 5.8 percent, a trend that younger users start to prefer Instagram rather than Facebook; this is the trend.
While younger users have moved to Instagram, it is also clear from external reports that the Facebook app has declined more widely.
The Washington Post found that Facebook users of the entire demographic population used Facebook for approximately 10% less in any given month than in that same month of the previous year, from the 2016 to 2018 survey conducted by Nielson for Facebook.
Edison Research has also found that since the market research firm began tracking its user numbers in 2008, Facebook uses decreased for the first time in 2018. In answer, as the third-party reports show: “The Facebook app usage is indeed really good at a high level, whether Facebook Dating attempts to stop the Facebook app’s declining usage. With the trends, we’re glad.”
Decreased usage numbers help explain why DatingDating is directly integrated with the Facebook app, but not in its desktop experience. In contrast, the apps used in many primary U.S. dating services, including Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, are stand-alone.
Nevertheless, the company has tried hard to create an entirely different dating experience with a particular profile (because people want to display a difference between the different sides of their dating profiles and a regular Facebook profile) and a separate message thread.
Facebook also says none of your dating activity is for promotional purposes based on people’s privacy feedback (something Facebook has historically failed to provide). However, Facebook uses the data: information collected by the company will be used to inform future matches you will be presented.
Despite its claim that users want to trust that their data and Dating Profiles will never be incorporated into the company’s regular Facebook profile, Simo has not created a completely separate app – something Simo says is due to the lack of phone saving for global users and user feedback who say they don’t wish to download another application.
The decision to add DatingDating as a tab continues Facebook’s move to create a wider range of services, beyond the News Feed, criticized for its excessively adhesive design, which will keep you scrolling infinitely (and viewing as many ads as possible).
While Simo says that this service is based on the fact that Simo does not use the time it spends on Facebook to provide value to users and that these tabs tend to support Facebook users, I’ve checked Facebook more often when I used Marketplace to sell a rug for the first time recently — even though the service was used as a service.
Finding Love Through Instagram Stories
Instagram is an essential element of this strategy if FaceBook Dating is part of its goal to provide a service more targeted to younger users — partly because the company believes that enabling matches to get an insight into others’ Instagrams will help make online DatingDating closer to dating IRL.
If you choose to link Instagram accounts to Facebook Dating, you can add Instagram photographs, including a nine-frame grid of the Instagram profile page, to allow you to take a fit into your life. Which photos are shown there cannot be edited: The idea is that you have to show yourself a more “authentic” side (your profile will not display your Instagram handle to preserve your privacy).
Users may also add Instagram followers to the “Secret Crush” function in Facebook Dating, which lets you list up to nine different Facebook friends or followers that you’re interested in romantically; Facebook can then let you know about and start a new thread if they’re also listing you.
At the end of this year, Instagram Stories comes to DatingDating, making Facebook date distinct from any other dating app. “What stories to the platform mean is you’re not just saying your interests to people; you can show your interests to people,” says Sharp, who started her career on Facebook in 2016. “I was excited to launch [Stories] as the window in human lives was more authentic. We think it’s exactly dynamic that can also unite daters.”
For anyone presented on Facebook, stories will be presented as a potential match, whether you accepted them or not. This is another way to screen potential partners for Sharp. “Online dating often becomes a series of profiles you’re going to be – telling you yes or no,” says Sharp. “You can see people over time, the beauty of stories.”
In the real world, you could meet some people in several situations before you choose to go on a date with them. Sharp calls this idea progressive intimacy. Online replication is complicated to do. But the nearest thing could be Instagram stories yet. “To make Online Dating much, much better, we think this real snapshot is one of the big bets we make,” Sharp said.
It does not surprise the integration of Instagram. People are on the platform already and find significant others, Simo says. It is often more comfortable for younger adults to share an Instagram handle than a telephone number that feels more private. Instagram D.M.s are already taking place in the early stages of the date.
Facebook also has some other benefits than traditional dating applications: You know a lot about what you want. Users can choose Facebook Dating to receive matches based on groups they are involved in or events (or have been to in the past). Facebook helps provide ready-made dates by matching you to people who plan to participate in the same circumstances as you are in the future.
Facebook says it will use the information you share publicly, your preferences when you sign up to create matches, and what Sharp named interest signals. It will only use information you share publicly on your profile. “We still use it for a signal of mutuality if [Facebook] does not share that with the rest,” he says, for example, “if you and others were attending the same college but did not list that [on Databases].
Since DatingDating is only launching in the United States today, Americans haven’t had an opportunity to try it yet. In other countries, however, early feedback has been mixed. One Canadian writer found that she had been flooded with messages because Facebook Dating enables any match to send a message that might not be of interest to women who tend to face sexual harassment online. Facebook tried to stop harassment through its design to enable people to send an opening message so that they would not be able to contact the person again unless they responded, to limit messages to texts and Gifs only (no photos, links ni payment, or videos) and even to send a friend or close family member on a day that helps women feel safer when they meet a straw.
Facebook Dating, which has the same standards as the community’s primary platform, also offers a stricter policy for those who violate these standards: you are out and one hit. You are immediately banished from the platform if someone tells you about harassment (there is an appeals process) since the language people use when flirting can be nuanced).
Facebook has such features to attract people to DatingDating and help bring younger and more users to the Facebook applications. Maybe Instagram gets them at the door, but they need a great experience to stay.