Facebook already helps you keep tabs on your friends from college and remember when your cousin’s birthday is, but the social media giant is now venturing into affairs of the heart.
Facebook Dating isn’t actually new—it first launched in 2018. The service used to be limited to 19 countries including Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Brazil, and the Philippines, but today, the company announced that Facebook Dating will launch in a 20th country: the United States.
Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Dating and its features.
Facebook Dating isn’t a separate app.
Unlike other Facebook apps like Messenger, you don’t need to download another app to use Facebook Dating. As Facebook Dating’s product lead Nathan Sharp explained in a phone call, you just need to opt in to the service through your regular Facebook app and create a Dating profile.
Even though they’re accessed through the same app, your main Facebook profile and your Dating profile are totally separate—your Facebook friends won’t know you’re using Dating unless you choose to tell them, and your Facebook friends will never be suggested as matches.
Matches on Facebook Dating are suggested to you, and there’s no swiping.
“Facebook Dating isn’t about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out,” according to a press release.
People are suggested to you based on your preferences, interests, and other things you do on Facebook, and if you’re interested in someone, you can comment directly on their profile or tap on the “like” button to let them know. If you aren’t interested, you can pass on them.
Additionally, you can choose whether you want friends of your Facebook friends to be suggested as your matches, or if you’d prefer to match with people outside your friends of friends.
If you do want to match with your Facebook friends, Secret Crush has your back.
Facebook Dating includes a feature called Secret Crush that lets you match with people you already know on Facebook and/or Instagram. By default, Facebook Dating won’t match you with your Facebook friends, but the Secret Crush feature gives you the option to do just that.
If you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers that you’re interested in. (To add Instagram followers, you must connect your Instagram account to Facebook Dating). If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush has added you to their Secret Crush list too, you’ll match!
But if your crush isn’t on Facebook Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list—they’ll never know that you added them to your list.
If you decide to go on a date with someone, you can share your location via Messenger.
People using Facebook Dating can share details of their upcoming date and/or live location with someone they trust on Messenger, and you can control if you want to choose this feature.
You’ll soon be able to connect your Facebook and Instagram Stories to Facebook Dating.
While the feature isn’t being rolled out just yet, Facebook Dating told MH that a new update that’s coming later this year will allow users to showcase their stories from Facebook and Instagram on Facebook Dating.
Facebook Dating is entirely free.
All of Facebook Dating’s features are always free, and unlike some other apps, Facebook Dating will always let you see who’s liked you.