Facebook Dating Is Rolling Out. Here’s How It Differs From Tinder

As Facebook announced in May, users will create separate profiles just for the Dating service. The only information ported over is your age and first name; you will need to manually fill out additional required information including your verified location, gender, and the gender(s) of the people you’re interested in matching with. You can also specify your height, religion, job title, where you work, where you went to school, and whether you have children.

You can round out your profile with up to nine total photos or ice-breaker questions provided by Facebook. Currently, there are 20 questions to choose from, like “What does the perfect day look like?” For now, you can’t write your own.

Once your profile is set, Facebook will use a unique algorithm to match you with potential dates, based on factors like things you have in common and mutual friends. You won’t see anyone you’re already friends with on Facebook, nor will you see people you’ve blocked. You can also report and block users with the same tools available elsewhere on the social network.

Facebook restricts potential matches to people located less than 100 kilometers away (there will be a different metric-system equivalent when the product rolls out in the US). Like other dating apps, you can also choose only to match with people who live nearby, have children, share the same religion, or fit into a specific age or height bracket.

“We’re trying to connect people that are open to getting to know each other in the future,” says Nathan Sharp, a product manager at Facebook. “It’s all about opting-in and making sure that people are really intentional.”

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As part of that mentality, Facebook Dating doesn’t have a right-or-left swiping mechanism. To sort through potential matches, you’ll need to tap “Not Interested.” Facebook Dating users won’t be able to start a conversation by simply saying “Hey.” Just like the dating app Hinge, users will instead need to respond directly to one of a potential date’s nine photos or questions, like “Was that taken in Morocco? I’ve been there too!”

Facebook Dating messages will live in their own inbox separate from Facebook Messenger, and you won’t be able to send links, photos, or payments for security reasons. If you want to start swapping photos or news articles with a potential match, you’ll need to give them your phone number or switch to another messaging service.

But Facebook Dating will be able to hook into other features on the platform. For example, you can choose to match with people who attend the same events or who are a part of the same Facebook groups. To do so, you’ll need to “unlock” each event or group manually; by default users won’t be able to search for a missed connection unless the other person opts-in to being discovered.

All events and groups are fair game; users will have the ability to unlock that Taylor Swift concert from 2012 and the housewarming party they’re attending next week. One important note: group and event organizers have no control over whether members or attendees choose to date. For example, the organizer of an Alcoholics Anonymous group, or someone planning an event at a church, can’t turn the dating feature off. “The ethos there is that if people want to date, it shouldn’t be in the hands of another person,” says Sharp.

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