Facebook's New Dating App and the Future of Relationships

Soon you will be able to make more than friends on Facebook. Will this change dating for good?

Looking for a spouse? Facebook may be the place to find it. I don’t mean rekindling old high school flames, but an upcoming Facebook dating service. The company is testing the app with adults aged 18 and older in Colombia. Unlike Tinder and Bumble that are often used for hookups and flings, the Facebook service aims to help users find long-term relationships.

As you can imagine, it is not hard to see why Facebook would want to enter this field. The wealth of data it currently has on its users should prove invaluable for matching algorithms. With that said, those who sign up for the service will still have to fill out a separate form with personal, demographic information and icebreaker questions. The algorithm then tries to match you with someone within a 100 kilometer (60 miles) radius of your location. The users will also be able to take advantage of Facebook groups and can also limit their search to those who attend the same events.

The fact that Facebook is entering this field is significant in itself. It means the tech giant sees growth potential in solving what continues to be a daunting task for singles worldwide. It remains to be seen whether the app will truly innovate in this area or whether if will become just another way to attract even more users to the platform.

As more of our lives migrate into the cyber world, we must evaluate how these technologies are reshaping human relationships. Greater connectivity exposes us to a much larger pool of potential mates. Yet, does more necessarily mean better? It is curious to see how Facebook is capping the search to a geographical radius. Even in an age where we can virtually connect with people all over the globe, we still tend to prefer to relate with those whom we are more likely to see in person. What happens when AR/VR improves, teleconferencing becomes more common and authentic, and travel becomes more affordable? Will we still choose to relate only to those physically closer to us? These are just a few questions to keep in mind as even love becomes decided by algorithms.

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Reality Changing Observations

Q1. What is your opinion about using online apps for finding a spouse?

Q2. Can algorithms do a better job than family and friends in finding a mate? Why or why not?

Q3. Have you used a dating app? If so, how was your experience? If not, why?

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