Aiming to take on mobile dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, social networking giant Facebook on Thursday started testing its new dating product in Colombia.
Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg originally announced the app at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California in May 2018 and surprised the world. That’s because the world’s most popular social network has been checked over its user data collection practices and whether it can actually keep private all the data it collects about its more than 2.2 billion users.
“At first glance, ‘Facebook Dating’ closely resembles its competitor Hinge. Both depart from the swiping model popularised by Tinder in favour of asking users to answer question prompts and start conversations based on something in a person’s profile,” The Verge reported.
Facebook Dating includes integration with Groups and Events and draws on other aspects of Facebook to expand the dating pool and encourage users to meet in public.
Nathan Sharp, Product Manager at Facebook commented,
Dating has been a behaviour that we’ve seen on Facebook for a really long time. We want to make it easier and more comfortable for people to engage in. We just thought that now was the right time.
Facebook Dating would be available within the social networking company’s mobile app and won’t be available for desktop users as of now.
It is currently available to users 18 and above, free of cost, and doesn’t include any advertisements or premium features.
The company began testing the app internally in August and asked its employees to use fake data for their dating profiles and plans to delete all data before the public launch.