Bored of Tinder and Hinge? Facebook just launched its very own dating app

In lieu of real-life contact and late night snogs in a dive bar, dating apps are the ideal way to forge new relationships during lockdown. Whilst you might not be able to go for cocktails in your local thanks to Tier regulations (cheers, Boris), there’s no harm in lining up a few dates for when restrictions lift and if you really hit it off with someone online, you could go on a…. walk?!

Lockdown has been a weird old time for many reasons but as any singleton will attest, it’s been a major curveball for their love life.

Enter the dizzying choice of different options and boastings on offer from the best dating apps. Swiping on Tinder? Pinging a message on Bumble? Formulating a crackin’ profile on Hinge? It’s a minefield.

An endless roster of actively seeking singles (even ones with really niche preferences) are accessible on your phone, and profiles are swamped with Uber ratings, food preferences and requests that we follow these complete strangers on Instagram (like we weren’t going to stalk you anyway). Not only this, but apps themselves are now flooded with options – fancy filtering for height or asking for recommendations on your next holiday (whenever that may be)?

If the classic apps have all become a little too much or you’ve run out of singletons in your area (it’s happened to plenty of my thirsty friends), Facebook has just launched its own incarnation.

Facebook Dating today launched in Europe to help more people find meaningful relationships through things they have in common, like interests, events and groups (cat lovers, unite!). Since the launch of Facebook Dating, over 1.5 billion matches have been created in the 20 countries where the feature is available and it’s about to take the UK by storm.

So what’s it all about and how does it differ from the Tinders of the world? According to the tech giant, some key features include:
Stories: Stories in Dating enable you to share moments from your everyday life so you can find a meaningful connection with someone who is interested in what you’re into. If you choose to share Facebook or Instagram Stories on your Dating profile, you can show, rather than tell, people who you are and get to know someone better before and after you match.

Secret Crush: The Secret Crush feature lets you explore potential relationships with people you already know on Facebook and/or Instagram. Facebook Dating won’t suggest your Facebook friends as potential matches, but if you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list too, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list or doesn’t put you on their list – then your crush will not know that you’ve entered their name.

Events and Groups: You can choose to see other people who are using Facebook Dating with similar interests by opting in to add your Facebook events and groups to Dating. So if you’re looking for a fellow dog lover, you can see others using Dating who are also in the pet owner groups you’re in.

Virtual Dates: So you’ve matched with someone in Dating, and you’re ready to video chat with each other. Facebook is rolling out a feature where you can start a video chat with your match by tapping on the video icon in your chat. Starting the call will send an invitation, and once they accept , they will join your video call and you can get to know each other better.

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