One year after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new dating feature, the social media giant is expanding its matchmaking service.
Facebook announced Tuesday at the company’s yearly developer conference that “Facebook Dating” is coming to 14 more countries — and to the U.S. later this year.
“We are getting great feedback in the five counties we have launched in,” said Fidji Simo, who runs Facebook’s main mobile app.
Among the 14 countries are Brazil, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Ecuador.
Facebook also announced the launch of a feature within its dating service called “Secret Crush,” where users can select nine of their friends that they’d like to match with. If both users pick each other, Facebook will notify each user.
Facebook’s entry into the online dating scene was met with some surprise in 2018, with the company having been under growing scrutiny for its privacy practices. And while the social network continues to deal with a variety of investigations into its handling of user data, Zuckerberg has also said the company will focus more on private messaging — a move that could offer some assurances to users skeptical of romantic encounters on the platform.
Online dating sites and mobile apps have exploded in popularity over the past decade, with many using Facebook’s social network to quickly upload personal information and find possible mates for their users. Tinder’s growth to 1.6 billion global users was fueled in part by easy access to Facebook’s data and targeting.