Facebook is trying to play cupid as it launches its dating feature for the first time in the US.
It is already available in 19 other countries including Canada and Brazil, and is coming to Europe early next year.
But with the privacy issues the world’s biggest social network has suffered in recent years, will people trust it when it comes to their love life – and how does the app work?
Those who use Facebook Dating will have to be over 18 and will have a profile separate from their main one.
The service, which is free, will suggest possible romantic partners based on their preferences, interests and Facebook activity.
The app allows people to send a “like” and a corresponding message to any profile they encounter on the service.
Unlike other online dating services such as Tinder, Facebook said its offering “isn’t about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out”.
The company said: “If you are 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. Facebook Dating allows you to match with friends of friends and/or people not in your friend circle.”
Facebook Dating has said it will not match users with their friends, unless they choose the “Secret Crush” feature which lets them express interest in up to nine Facebook friends (or Instagram followers).
Addressing possible concerns, the tech giant said safety, security and privacy are “at the forefront of this product”.
The company insisted all users’ dating activity will stay in Facebook Dating and won’t be shared to the rest of the company.
One safety feature allows users to tap a shield icon to share details of an upcoming date with a friend or relative using Facebook Messenger, as well as temporarily sharing their live location with them before meeting someone new.
Other protections include the ability to block and report inappropriate users.
Instagram, also owned by the tech giant, is also being integrated into Facebook Dating.
Users will be able to add Instagram posts to their dating profile – and by the end of the year, they can add Facebook and Instagram stories to it.
The company has said its research shows 40% of people are unsatisfied with their current dating app.
Commentators have pointed out the fact Facebook has brought the product to 20 countries in under a year suggests early users have liked it.
It is already available in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
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