Facebook Has Entered The Dating Game

Panicked introverts rejoice.

It's official!

Facebook has entered the matchmaking game via a new function that allows people to select "secret crushes."

Just this week, the social networking giant announced that they would be rolling out the new feature as a part of their larger, opt-in Facebook Dating option, which is aimed at matching users who aren't necessarily connected to each other — yet.

However, the new "secret crushes" feature is aimed at connecting existing Facebook friends who may not know they're mutually interested in each other.

It works by letting you anonymously express interest in your Facebook friends and taking away the potential awkwardness of unreciprocated feelings.

According to Wired, you can choose up to nine friends to be your "secret crush." Conversely, you'll be alerted when someone else selects you as their "crush," though your secret admirer's identity will remain a secret.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a spokesperson from Facebook – whose data protection structures have been heavily criticised of late – have confirmed that none of the Facebook Dating info will be used by content or ad operations.

In so many words, "All activity that occurs in FB Dating stays in FB Dating and will not be shared externally."

Currently, the "secret crush" option is only available in countries where Facebook Dating is already live — i.e. Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Guyana, Uruguay, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, and Suriname. 

It's unsure as of yet when Ireland will make the cut, but it has been confirmed that the US will join the game sometime this year. 

The service is accessible via the bookmarks tab within the main Facebook app and requires setting up a new profile specific to dating.

Given that when FB launched the dating service last year, over 200 million of its users identified as single – it looks like the in-app service will be extremely fruitful for those not traditionally into dating apps.

Main image by @emmalouiseconnolly

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