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Looking to Facebook for Love

by Briana DeTuro

Dating apps are one of the most common ways of dating nowadays. People are creating profiles for Tinder, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, match.com and many other dating apps in the pursuit to find a relationship, love or maybe just “friends with benefits.” Whatever the case may be, online dating has been popular for years, and now Facebook has decided to join in. 

According to an article written in ArsTechnica, “Facebook users in the United States can officially use the social network as a dating service-complete with specialized profiles, a matching making algorithm and more.”

So how does it work? A user can log into their Facebook profile and can choose to opt into using the Facebook Dating feature by clicking a little heart at the top of their profile on their phone. From there, they can create a normal dating profile including: a bio, their height, distance for meeting people, age range, occupation, interests, religion, school, etc. You add your sexuality, express your interests by the selections: women, men, trans women, trans men, cis man, cis woman and non-binary person.  

According to Facebook Newsroom, people are suggested to choose matches based on preferences and interests that have been done on Facebook. From there, users either tap X to pass or a heart to match.  

The dating feature is offered in the following places: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, Vietnam and the United States.

Jori Ayers, a senior journalism major at The University of Tampa is not on board with the idea of Facebook have a dating app. “I feel as though the Facebook dating app can be just as dangerous or even more than any other dating platform,” said Ayers. “I feel as though Facebook would be the prime place to do it because predators know a lot of people use Facebook, especially the young crowd and it’s an easy way to lure them in.”

Facebook Dating has unique safety features. Users can turn off matching with friends of friends, block people from seeing your dating profile even if you still want them to have access to your Facebook, or Instagram accounts and share your location with friends. 

The feature will allow you to automatically open Messenger to allow a friend or family member to see your shared location, time and place. Then 15 minutes before your date, the person you shared your location with will receive a notification reminder and will be given access to your live location for up to an hour.  

This feature also has its own inbox separate from your personal Facebook account. In this inbox, you are not allowed to send links, photos or payments. 

Former UT student, Hanna Hamilla, thinks this feature is a good idea. “I think the Facebook dating is a good idea since a lot of people use Facebook,” said Hamilla. “We just need to be aware of the safety and nothing is private online, but we just have to be safe, too. I think Facebook primarily started this dating feature for market purposes is Facebook is a fading trend, and I think it was smart of them.”

This feature also includes an option to opt to see if there are any potential dates in the events you expressed interest in on Facebook. So, let’s say you clicked interested in a drive-in movie, you can click on that event and begin matching with people who also wanted to see if there were any potential dates in that event. You can also see people who have been to the same previous events as you to find a common interest.

Facebook might not be your favorite social media app, but if you are looking to find a new dating app, this just might be the way to go. 

Briana DeTuro can be reached at briana.deturo@theminaretonline.com

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