Facebook’s F8 2019 Developers conference honed on its privacy issues and upcoming product offerings across all of its platforms. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram will be getting a host of “more secure” and encrypted features to protect users’ privacy, along with integrated chats, updated cameras and more reasons to stay glued to the apps.
One announcement that really made my ears perk up was Facebook’s dating app. I immediately cringed at the sound of it, considering I’m fresh out of a five-year relationship and the idea of online dating makes me gag. Adding Facebook to the recipe doesn’t make me more comfortable with the idea, but I think it’s a great move by the company.
Facebook Dating will include a feature called “Secret Crush” that is set to launch in the U.S. later this year. Here’s how it works: Users make a Facebook Dating profile (which is separate from a regular profile), scroll through their list of friends and select people they think they would be compatible with. Users can choose up to nine “friends” that they think they would like to go out with. If that friend has also selected that person as a love interest, then the two are matched and they live happily ever after. Users do not get notified that someone has liked their profile unless there is a match, so it takes a lot of the embarrassment out of the process.
It’s clear that Facebook wants to be the ultimate social network. The company has taken over some of the biggest players in the industry and now it is dipping into other subsets of social media.
Tinder, Bumble and Hinge are now going to have to compete with Facebook in a way they have never considered before. Bumble has already started expanding its offerings to help women build professional relationships and friendships; however, Tinder and Hinge may need to get back to the drawing board before Facebook Dating releases in America.
It will also be interesting to see whose Facebook’s target audience will be considering the number of people who have deleted their accounts over the last few months and as its original population ages.
I don’t expect the dating app to take up too much of my time, but if Secret Crush comes to Instagram, then I might have a problem.