Single? Facebook’s newest app might just find you a date

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When Facebook hit the international scene circa 2006, it wasn’t known as a fun place to meet friends but rather as a dating site. People would spy on friends of friends and add them if they thought they were cute and, well, poke them. It worked for a while and then your mom started to join and, eventually, Facebook evolved into what it is today - a social site for the older generation to share memes, pictures of rescue cats and false news.

Since then, other online dating sites and apps have taken over, using Facebook information as their base for match info. However, ol’ Zuck, is always on the lookout for expansion (read, destroying the competition and putting ads everywhere) and now he’s after your Tinder swipes too. Apparently, their shares dropped 17% after the announcement.

Zuckerberg was all smiles at the recent Facebook F8 conference. In his usual robot-like fashion, he announced the launch of Facebook Dating, with which he plans on finding love for the 200 million single people on the site. It is set to appear on your screens in the next few months. This is what we know so far:

It’s optional

Dating will run inside your existing Facebook app and will be an optional extra for those who want it. It’ll be interesting to see if the option will be made available to you, depending on your Facebook relationship status.

It will only suggest people who aren’t your friends

No more of the awkward, “Do I swipe on my friend to let them know I think they are a nice person or will they think I want to hook up with them?” decisions, you have undoubtedly struggled with on similar platforms. Your friends, apparently, will have no idea you are on the app, unless you tell them.

It lets your shared interests do the talking

After filling out your interests, from what sports you enjoy to “do you like cats or dogs”, the matchmaking service will not only pair you with people who like the same things but will suggest conversation starters based on those interests. Yes, the app is increasingly starting to sound like your great-aunt trying to hook you up with the nice boy down the street with who you have so much in common. “Plus, he’s a doctor!”

Your messages will be encrypted

Not surprisingly after the Cambridge Analytica fallout, Facebook is punting the fact that your messages will be safe and encoded.

It’s free

There are no plans as yet to monetise the app, and Zuckerberg swears there will be no ads but, if that is the case, you need to remember the social media adage: “If the service is free, the thing they’re selling is you.”

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