Facebook is now giving users an option to start a separate dating profile and discover potential date matches via a new tool, Secret Crush. Through Facebook Dating, the social media platform said users can start conversations with others who share the same interests in a “safe, easy and controllable way”.
Secret Crush suggests matches within users’ own Facebook communities, ranging from events and groups to friends of friends. Alternatively, users can select up to nine Facebook friends that they have a crush on. If the other party is on Facebook Dating, they will be notified and can decide whether to add the user onto their Secret Crush list to form a match. However, if the crush is not on Facebook Dating, does not create a Secret Crush list, or does not add the user on their list, the selection will be kept a secret. Facebook users can get started by simply downloading the latest version of the app.
“Currently, there are more than 200 million people who have listed themselves as single in their relationship status on Facebook. Many of them already use Facebook to start meaningful relationships. We view this as an incredible opportunity to connect people should they choose to explore meaningful romantic relationships,” said Charmaine Hung, technical program manager for Facebook Dating.
To protect privacy, users are given the controls to include or hide friends of friends in their pool of suggested matches. They can also report or block someone if at any point they feel uncomfortable. Additionally, only suggested matches can see dating profiles. Facebook friends and anyone blocked on Facebook will not be suggested to an user unless opted in.
Singapore and Malaysia are among the 14 countries in Facebook Dating’s latest round of expansion. Other countries are: Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and Suriname. Previously, it was only available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Mexico.
The release of Facebook Dating in these markets comes exactly a year after the social media company first announced it at its annual F8 conference for developers. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, “People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better.”