Facebook Dating: New features to be rolled out as service expands to Europe
London - Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it is launching its dating service in 32 European countries after the rollout was delayed earlier this year due to regulatory concerns.
The social media company had postponed the rollout of Facebook Dating in Europe in February after concerns were raised by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the main regulator in the European Union for a number of the world's biggest technology firms including Facebook.
The DPC had said it was told about the Feb. 13 launch date on Feb. 3 and was very concerned about being given such short notice.
It also said it was not given documentation regarding data protection impact assessments or decision-making processes that had been undertaken by Facebook.
Facebook Dating, a dedicated, opt-in space within the Facebook app, was launched in the United States in September last year. It is currently available in 20 other countries.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Kate Orseth, Facebook Dating's product manager, said users can choose to create a dating profile, and can delete it at any time without deleting their Facebook accounts.
The first names and ages of users in their dating profiles will be taken from their Facebook profiles and cannot be edited in the dating service, Orseth said, adding that users' last names will not be displayed and that they can choose whether to share other personal information on their profiles.
There are also a few new features that will make Facebook Dating stand out.
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.
Facebook Dating has also rolled 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. Your first name and Dating profile photo will be displayed when starting the call.