How Is Facebook Dating Different From Other Dating Apps? Here's What Makes It Unique

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We knew it might be coming, but now it's finally arrived — the Facebook Dating feature has finally launched in the US of A. It's been being used in other countries, but Sept. 4 marks a major rollout for the dating section of the social media platform. In a world where you might already be toggling between a handful of them, you might be wondering how Facebook Dating is different from other dating apps — and the truth is, if you opt in, there are more than a few features that make it unique.

"Facebook Dating makes it easier to find love through what you like — helping you start meaningful relationships through things you have in common, like interests, events, and groups," Nathan Sharp, Product Manager, Facebook Dating, explained in a press release. "It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is."

While some of us may shudder at the idea of another dating platform, for some hardcore Facebook users, this will be a total revelation. And, even though we've seen a thousand dating apps before, Facebook Dating is different than other dating apps in some pretty significant ways. From a Secret Crush option to linked Insta stories, here's what you need to know about Facebook Dating.

1. It's Connected To Your Facebook Profile

Courtesy of Facebook

The most obvious thing about Facebook Dating is that it's linked to your Facebook profile. It won't automatically put you in the Facebook Dating pool, but you can just opt-in to it, rather than being a separate app. This helps with vetting — making sure everyone on the dating app is who they say they are — but it also makes it easier to find you matches who you'll be a good fit with.

"People are suggested based on your preferences, interests and other things you do on Facebook," the company explains. It will match you with friends of friends and people you don't know, but it won't match you with your friends —unless you use the Secret Crush feature (more on that later).

But don't worry, this doesn't mean that your Facebook Dating activity is shared with your Facebook friends or posted anywhere — it stays right in Facebook Dating. Your Facebook friends won't even know you're using it, unless you tell them.

You can also choose what's shown on your Dating profile. Your first name and age are pulled through from Facebook, but for everything else — your gender, your photos, your interests — you can choose whether or not they show up.

2. You'll Be Able To Share Your Facebook And Instagram Stories

So this isn't in place yet, but by the end of 2020 you'll able to share your Facebook and Instagram Stories right in Facebook Dating. "To help you show, rather than tell, who you are, we're bringing Stories to Dating," the company explains. "This format lets you be authentic in a way that a typical dating profile can't, and it helps you get to know someone before and after you match."

If you're someone who updates your Stories a lot, it's easy to see why it would show more about you and seem less static than a straight profile.

3. You Can Add Instagram Posts To Your Profile

Courtesy of Facebook

OK, even though you can't add Stories yet, you can add Instagram posts to your profile from the get-go. Some dating apps can already do this, but a lot can't — and it's a great way to get to know someone. Again, this will be the most beneficial to people who already use Instagram a lot — because a lot of us show our personality on that app — and you can choose whether or not you'd like to link it.

4. You Can Connect To Groups And Events

Want to see who has similar interests — or maybe even is heading to the same event as you? That's an option.

"You can choose to see other people who are using Facebook," the company explains. "Dating that fit your preferences within the groups you are part of and the events you have attended or will be attending. When you choose to see these people, you will also be visible to them." That way, if you want to be connected to people in your social circle, you can be. Hey, maybe there's even a chance of bumping into someone at real life event, which is either the most exciting or most terrifying idea a person can imagine, depending on how they like to use dating apps.

5. There's A Secret Crush Feature

Courtesy of Facebook

Whoop whoop! Who doesn't love the idea of a Secret Crush? And, even better, a way of making that crush materialize into something? Well, now you can pull from your Facebook friends and Instagram followers and see where it goes.

You can select up to nine people from Facebook and Instagram that you mutually follow and put them on your Secret Crush list. But don't worry, they'll only know about it if they do the same with you.

"If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they’ll get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them," the company explains. "If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list too, it’s a match! If your crush isn’t on Dating, doesn’t create a Secret Crush list, or doesn’t put you on their list — then no one will know that you’ve entered their name." Phew — so you're safe from any one-sided awkwardness.

6. You Can Share Details About Your Date

If you've ever sent a dropped pin to a group chat to make sure you get back safely from a date, you'll be relieved to know that Facebook Dating makes that a lot easier. If you want to, you can share your location or details of your date with people through Messenger. It's that easy — and can make you feel safer before you head on a date.

7. You Can Comment Right On A Profile

Courtesy of Facebook

So even though you'll be presented with potential matches, Facebook Dating makes it easier to make the first move than on other dating apps. "Facebook Dating isn't about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out," the company explains. "If you are interested in someone, you can comment directly on their profile or tap on the Like button to let them know. If you aren’t interested, you can pass on them." It encourages you to be bold and go for it.

Online dating is always tricky, but a lot of us feel more comfortable once we're familiar with the platform — if Facebook is a big player in your social media life, then Facebook Dating might be just the trick. Now to start choosing your Secret Crushes.