Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this year that the social network giant would be adding dating features to its network. It wasn’t something that many were expecting so the company did take many by surprise. It has now launched the new Facebook Dating features as a test in Colombia. It draws on many aspects of Facebook to encourage users to meet in public and is fundamentally different from the swiping model that’s prioritized by dating apps like Tinder.
“We want to make it easier and more comfortable for people to engage in. We just thought that now was the right time,” said product manager Nathan Sharp, adding that “Dating has been a behavior that we’ve seen on Facebook for a really long time.”
The Facebook Dating features will initially be available within Facebook’s mobile app only. It will be accessible from the hamburger menu in the app and will only be available to those who are 18 or older.
Facebook users won’t automatically be a part of Facebook Dating unless they opt in and they will create a separate dating profile which will have limited information about them. Users can add up to nine photos to their profile and answer short questions like “what does your perfect day look like?” to provide potential matches more information about themselves.
It will be possible to browse matches for 100 kilometers and it will not be possible to change the virtual location to browse for matches in someplace else. All existing friends will be excluded from the pool of matches. Users will only see friends of friends or just people that they don’t have any connection to.
Facebook Dating is currently being tested in Colombia only and it’s unclear how soon it would be rolled out to other markets across the globe.