Is Facebook Dating Terrible? Setup
First, a few fundamentals. The biggest difference between Facebook Dating and its forerunners is that it is the first of its kind to be hosted by an established social media site. Naturally, this might worry people who are still haunted by dating app shame from 2014 and don’t want their Facebook mates to know they’re dating online. You must opt in to use your Facebook Dating profile, which is completely different from your Facebook profile. Your Facebook profile won’t say you’re using Facebook Dating, and your profile won’t be visible to your friends on Facebook. If you really want to keep your profile private, you can tell Facebook Dating not to reveal it to friends of friends — which, as Insider pointed out, might be an unintentionally useful method for cheaters trying to move out on a girlfriend without being spotted by single friends on other dating apps, so use it as you want.
Anyway, since Facebook believes it knows you pretty well, it offers to build a “suggested profile” for you using images and details from your regular profile when you first sign up for Facebook Dating. If you’re like me and haven’t told Facebook anything about your life in over two years, this is essentially pointless and will result in a dating profile that is either obsolete or borderline incoherent.
The platform’s first attempt to create a dating profile for me yielded the following results:
- “Works as internship”
- “Works at AbbVie Pharmaceuticals” (this is half true, I was once a nepotism intern at big pharma)
- “Studied at Connecticut College
Isn’t it true that one out of three isn’t bad? Meanwhile, it chose for my profile a blurry photo from 2017 with an ex-boyfriend and a black-and-white selfie from 2016 that I replaced it with when we broke up. Very good!
Fortunately, you have the choice of changing everything or totally disregarding Facebook’s suggested profile and starting over. Your name and age are the only things missing — sorry, catfishers. You can add/adjust the following in the edit:
Basic Information – Includes a 500-character profile, gender, height, and hometown.
Job title, business, high school, college, and graduate school are all included in your work and education.
Your Lifestyle – Oddly, it seems to only include “kids” (for which you have the choices of “doesn’t have children,” “has children,” or “prefer not to say”).
Your Beliefs – This only applies to “religious views,” for which you have the following options: Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Spiritual, Other, or don’t want to tell.
With the exception of Tinder, which has retained a steadfastly minimalist approach that largely reduces users to the number of their age and first profile photo, these is pretty typical profile details that you’ll find on most big dating apps (as well it should be).
When it comes to profile photos, Facebook Dating allows you to upload up to nine, which is fairly common for most dating apps. Is there a big flaw in Facebook’s design? You can’t change the order of your photos after they’ve been released, so make sure you upload them in the order you want them to appear. If you don’t realize this and end up with three photos in a row where you’re basically sitting in the same cross-legged pose because that was obviously a process you went through last fall, you’ll have to delete them and redownload them in the order you like. This is an annoyance from the early days of dating apps, but most have since fixed it. Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge all let you drag and drop your images to reorder them whenever you want.
Also Read: How Facebook Dating Works
You may also choose whether or not to respond to questions. This is a feature popularized by Hinge, in which the app offers a set of prompts to which you can reply and have your answers displayed on your profile to give users a more full image of who you are as a person. Answering a certain number of questions is needed on Hinge, but later adopters like Bumble and now Facebook Dating have made it optional.
Finally, as part of Facebook’s ongoing initiative to merge the two social media sites, you can link your Instagram account. Even if your Instagram account is private, Facebook Dating users will be able to see your Instagram posts and captions. This is a feature that almost all big dating apps have. Facebook is said to be planning to incorporate Instagram stories into Facebook Dating in the future, which will “help you demonstrate, rather than tell, who you are” more authentically than a “static profile,” according to reports.
It’s time to set up your preferences, or what you’d like to see in your potential matches, once you’ve finished plugging in your own details. Facebook will allow you to filter your matches based on the following criteria:
Distance from You – In New York, dating someone four miles away is considered generous. If you’re looking to join an LDR, Facebook will let you search for matches up to 124 miles away. (I settled for a score of 7.) Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge both have a 100-mile limit, so maybe Facebook is trying to get ahead of the game by giving you an additional 24 miles to find your soulmate.
Want to Date – There are women, trans women, men, trans men, and non-binary people to choose from. You can obviously choose as many as you want.
18 to 100 years old (same as Tinder)
Height Range – This can range from less than 3 feet to more than 7 feet.
Their Lifestyle – This is a section devoted exclusively to children, and it includes the same choices as your own profile. It also states that while you’re “more likely to see people who fulfill this preference,” “we’ll sometimes show you people who don’t.”
Their Values – Religious viewpoints Facebook reminds you that, while it will take your interests into account, it will also allow you to expand your horizons.
In general, the profile setup is simple and similar to that of other big dating apps, integrating many of the same features.
It’s time to start swiping after you’ve completed your profile. Just kidding! Facebook Dating, like Hinge, avoids the swiping paradigm popularized by Tinder in an effort to allow users to think more carefully about possible matches.
Finally, by clicking a heart or an X on a profile, you’re either “liking” or “passing” it. Facebook Dating, like Hinge, allows you to like and comment on a particular feature of a person’s profile, such as one of their photos or prompt responses. Unlike Hinge, however, you can simply tap the heart to like an entire profile if you’re not in the mood to think too hard about it.
Facebook promises to show you possible matches based on your likes, as well as your interests, activities, groups, and other details you’ve unintentionally shared with the social media site over time. You may like someone who appears on Facebook, and they will be notified. You’ll match if they like you back, at which stage you can message them. This obviously works both ways — Facebook Dating will inform you of who has already liked you, allowing you to match or reject them.
Again, this is a fairly typical fare that reflects many facets of popular dating apps. The “Secret Crush” feature, on the other hand, is one of the few features that genuinely separates Facebook Dating from its competitors. Although Facebook Dating will not show you any of your Facebook mates, the Secret Crush feature allows you to fire your shot with someone you presumably know in real life while staying anonymous on the internet.
You may designate up to nine Facebook friends and/or Instagram followers as “Secret Crushes” with this feature. When you do, they’ll get a message that someone likes them, but Facebook won’t reveal your identity as their secret admirer unless you’re also on their Secret Crush list. I have not tested, and will not test, this feature, mostly because my only Facebook friends are random locals from my hometown, but also because years of app-dating have broken my brain, and I can now only be drawn to strangers on the internet.
Finally, there are opportunities. When Bumble debuted as Tinder’s first major rival, it was widely assumed that the new app had a more attractive swiper pool than its predecessor. Hinge is now widely regarded as the best source for high-quality matches, according to popular opinion.
I haven’t seen this trend play out in Facebook Dating yet. Aside from my Facebook Dating matches, I’ve yet to meet a real person in person who is actually using the app. I would admit, however, that the crop of potential matches I’ve seen has pleasantly surprised me. There’s plenty of garbage to sift through on any dating app, but it’s not the absolute garbage heap of locals and Republican uncles I expected to make up the majority of Facebook Dating’s primary user base.
That’s what there is to it. Facebook Dating is okay, and that’s about all there is to say about it, in my professional opinion as a five-year dating app veteran who’s spent practically my entire adult dating life on apps. It doesn’t really offer something unique that you couldn’t get on any other big dating app, apart from improved security against running into friends/coworkers/friends of friends on the app. So there’s really no need to use Facebook Dating unless you’re either suffering from 2014 levels of dating app shame or you’re trying to cheat without going to Ashley Madison, and it’s also not the deterrence I think its designers hoped it would be against permanently deleting your account.
Do I suggest Facebook Dating in conclusion? Not in the least. Will I forbid you from using it? No, go ahead and do what you want. I’m going to delete Facebook Dating for now, mostly out of principle, but if someone needs me, I’m still on Tinder.