Facebook is expanding its Dating feature to fourteen more countries, announcing Tuesday (April 30) that the service is now available in 19 countries.
According to a report, during the company’s F8 conference, Facebook also showed off a new feature dubbed Secret Crush. With the feature, users can choose up to nine friends they have a crush on and have Facebook secretly alert them. Those Facebook Dating users will get an alert that a friend has a crush. If the user added the same person as a Secret Crush he or she will also be notified. The two can then chat in Messenger.
“I have 2,000 Facebook friends. I’m not best friends with all 2,000 people, and there’s a good chance that one of that could be a really good match with me,” Charmaine Hung, Facebook Dating product manager, told reporters. “I trust them, I appreciate them and I know we’re compatible. The only thing missing is knowing if we’re both interested in being more than just friends without the fear of rejection if you were to do this in real life.”
Facebook’s Dating service was unveiled at last year’s F8 conference and went live in Colombia in September as the launching pad. Users can browse Events and Groups they are members of to find potential dates. Users can send a text-only message which lands in special Dating inbox. The service is now available in the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and Suriname, noted the report. To avoid the potential for spam, Facebook is only letting users switch one person per day after reaching the nine users. Reporters noted that as it stands, Facebook hasn’t announced ways to monetize Dating.
Dating via mobile apps has become a big business — millions of people in the U.S. use them. Reports peg the number at close to 50 million people in the U.S., which amounts to nearly half the unmarried population. Last year Tinder had about 46 million users and has seen a 100 percent increase in subscribers since 2015. Match.com reports 7 million users.