Facebook Dating. Yes, it’s a thing and it has made its way to Singapore.

Suffice to say, it’s about time Facebook upgraded from the good ol’ poke button. And it’s safe to say that the update is pretty substantial. Given the affordances of the platform, it makes sense for Facebook to head in the direction of online dating; especially with the amount of data it has amassed over the years. The Facebook Dating App rolled out late last year across 19 countries including Vietnam, Brazil, Chile and Malaysia with more countries playing beta to the newest dating on Facebook development.

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Not only is Facebook playing catch up to the whirlwind of online dating but it’s rolling out more features to separate itself from the swipe-swipe action of modern dating. Currently, the feature is only available on the mobile platform and users must meet a few prerequisites such as being over 18 years old and having an active Facebook account for a substantive period of time prior to signing up for the feature.

In a press release, technical programmer for Facebook Dating, Charmaine Hung said that over 200 million Facebook users are single. So, it’s no surprise that Facebook would choose to capitalise on this opportunity, especially when the social media giant is seeing a decline of active users under 30 years old.

In Singapore itself, Hung stated that over a third of our population use Internet dating apps and 55% of Singaporeans know at least one couple who met online. Can we say, the Facebook Dating site + Singapore = couple goals?

So, how does it really work?

Using the app requires you to create a separate account to your current Facebook account and you will see matches based on the likes, interests and other personality aspects you have added on to your Facebook profile.

Keeping your real Facebook account activity separate from your Dating service Facebook account serves a two-fold purpose: you can design your interests in a way to specify your matches and given the sticky upheavals of data privacy, it’s a mechanism to keep your personal account data even more secure. Once you get on the feature and you find a profile you are keen to match with, you can send him or her a message.

Safety First

Be aware, once you match, you can only send one message. This is a preventative measure from Facebook to avoid users from spamming. Additionally, you can only send text-based messages so as to avoid creepy links, photos and other unmentionables someone may send you (good on ya, Facebook).

In more attempts to provide a safe space for online dating, if you report a user for harassment, they are permanently locked out of the future. Hung said it was a one-strike-and-you’re-out policy to avoid violation as much as possible.

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Better than Tinder?

If you’re experiencing Tinder fatigue, maybe Facebook Dating will provide you with a breath of fresh air. The most (arguably) exciting aspect of Facebook Dating is the Secret Crush feature.

Albeit the nomenclature of the feature takes us back to 8th grade, it allows you to match with people you may already know. You can choose up to nine people to add to your Secret Crush list. If they’re using Facebook Dating, as well, they will get a notification. And if they like you too, it’s a match!.

Accidentally tapped ‘not interested’ in a profile? Facebook Dating also has a ‘Second Look’ option for you to reconsider someone you may have missed.

A Bigger Pool of Fish

Want to meet someone who’s not in your friends’ or friends of friends’ list? Opt to meet people who’ll attend the same events or are part of the same group as you. Chances are, they may be into the same things you are. In an effort to add more meaning to online dating, users are required to browse the profile first. Essentially, you can’t just swipe autonomously. The take-home is, it adds a little more material to an otherwise superficial dating agenda. Maybe casting the net in this sea will get us closer to our significant other.

Facebook Dating makes sense and it does add a bit more meaning to the world of online dating. Given how close-knit Singaporean social circles can get, snagging your eyes on a stranger might be a plus-plus. And with all the additions, it has the potential to make the whole experience a little bit more substantial. On the flip side, you might even see your twice-divorced Uncle Jay looking for his love on Facebook Dating, as well.