EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — Facebook has entered the online dating scene. The social network’s newest feature, “Facebook Dating” was released in the U.S. on Thursday and allows users to create a separate profile on their account to find romantic partners. Facebook will then suggest matches based on a user’s preferences, interests and Facebook activity.
However Facebook Dating is seeing mixed reviews from students at UW-Eau Claire.
“I feel like Facebook is kind of dying out a little bit so I feel like they are trying to keep it going but I don’t know if it is going to go very well,” says Emma Wagner.
Students at the university say Facebook is becoming less popular with their age group.
“I think it is nice for the older generations so they don’t have to use some of the newer apps such as Tinder or stuff like that. They just already know how to use Facebook so it should be easier for them,” says Leah Vosters.
Some students say the feature is too similar to other popular dating apps, but since many people already have Facebook accounts, they may be more inclined to use the feature.
“You’ve got dating apps for all kinds of things and all kinds of people and I guess it would be maybe convenient but also kind of weird,” says Mattias Allen.
“I feel like it is definitely more convenient than downloading an app because you can just go on it,” says Kade Rasmussen.
Facebook Dating does have some unique features like “secret crush” which allows users to match with someone already on their friends list.
Other students say they prefer the “old fashioned” way of meeting people.
“I wouldn’t use a dating app in general,” says Amy Blazanin. “I’d rather meet the person face to face get to know them better.”
“I like talking to people in person its safer and you get to know people better,” says Kade Rasmussen.
With yet another way to find partners online, Eau Claire Police Officer Bridget Coit says it is reminder to keep some safety tips in mind. Coit recommends meeting a date in a public place at a decent time of day, waiting to give away information like a full name or phone number.
“We really just want to encourage young people not to share too much information, be careful with what you are sharing and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” Coit says.
She says to also be mindful of anyone asking for money or contacting you from overseas. Threatening or harassment behavior can be reported to the police department.
Facebook Dating is now available in 20 total countries and will roll out in Europe in 2020.