Social media giant Facebook is bringing its online dating tool to Europe after seeing success in the 20 countries where Facebook Dating is already offered, the company said in a statement on Thursday (Oct. 22).
Facebook said there have been 1.5 billion matches so far, with people connecting “through things they have in common, like interests, events and groups.”
Facebook dating is opt-in only and users create a profile separate from the one they use on Facebook. It offers familiar features like stories, events and groups as well as dating specific tools. The “Secret Crush” feature gives users the chance to “explore potential relationships” with people they already know on Facebook or Instagram. “Virtual Dates” lets a user invite a potential match to a video chat.
Dating rolled out to 32 countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.
Aside from the U.S., it’s also currently offered in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The company said it took privacy seriously and integrated safety and security measures developed with experts. Users’ dating profile, dating messages, and potential matches won’t appear on their regular Facebook News Feed.
“We’re committed to making Facebook Dating a place where people feel comfortable looking for a date and starting meaningful relationships,” Facebook said.
Facebook Dating launched in the U.S. in September 2019. It was supposed to roll out in Europe months ago but it was delayed due to concerns from Irish regulators.
The Stories function was added as a Facebook Dating feature in November 2019.
Potential matches are suggested based on users’ preferences, interests and other Facebook activities, according to Nathan Sharp, product manager of Facebook Dating.