Modern dating is a bit of a minefield. Swiping left and right on strangers’ faces can get tiresome, but approaching people in real life is nerve-wracking.
Social media giant Facebook is now looking to offer a service somewhere between the two, although it is not currently available in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Introducing ‘Secret Crush’
The newest service to rival the likes of Tinder, Facebook’s ‘Secret Crush’ feature will let you romance not one person, but up to nine people from your friends list.
At the annual F8 developers conference, which took place on 30 April and 1 May this year, Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to discuss all things Facebook.
Covering topics from data privacy and the new redesign for the social media platform, Zuckerberg also discussed the new dating feature.
It has been esigned to create “real, long term relationships” according to Zuckerberg, rather than just brief affairs.
“People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better,” Facebook said in a post last year, when the feature was first announced.
How does it work?
If you decide to let Facebook have a shot at matchmaking for you, the feature will see you create a new dating profile for yourself, which has a more limited amount of personal information which is shown to your potential matches.
You’ll then be able to select up to nine friends to be your secret crushes, regardless of whether they’re using the feature or not. They’ll then receive a notification saying they have a secret admirer.
If two people choose each other, then that counts as a match and both users will be notified.
If someone is not signed up to the feature, hasn’t created a secret crush list, or hasn’t added you to their list, it will never reveal that you’re interested in them, so you won’t have to suffer any awkward rejections on that front.
Taking matchmaking into its own hands, Facebook will recommend you potential matches based on a variety of factors, including things in common, mutual friends and similar interests through groups and events.
For example, if you’re interested in an event, you can unlock it on your dating profile, and doing so will open up your profile to other users who have unlocked the same event.
Your dating activities will be kept separate from your regular Facebook profile, so there’s no need to worry about anything getting posted to your newsfeed.
What does it look like?
Unlike Tinder, you won’t be swiping left and right on your potential matches.
More closely resembling alternative dating app, Hinge, you’ll be prompted to answer questions for your profile to give others looking for love a sense of who you are.
Conversations are then based off a photo or an answer to a question in a person’s profile - so no more empty bios with nothing to talk about like those notorious on Tinder.
Messages are text-only and are sent to a special dating inbox.
Who can use it?
All Facebook users can access the service as long as they’re over 18. For now the feature is only available on the mobile app.
‘Secret Crush’ is free and doesn’t include any adverts or paid features, so there’s nothing standing in the way of finding ‘the one’.
Which countries currently have it?
‘Secret Crush’ is currently only available in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and Thailand.
The F8 conference revealed that the dating feature will be expanding to 14 other countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Loas, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Suriname.
Facebook said it would be coming to the US by the end of 2019.
While not available in the UK yet, there is hope that British users will be able to start romancing their friends before the year has ended.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Edinburgh Evening News