While Tinder, OKCupid and Bumble may come to mind when someone mentions ‘online dating’, uber-connector Facebook has been an obvious choice since the moment users started setting their profile statuses to ‘single’.
However, any of the site’s 2.2 billion users looking for love could be about to get lucky as Facebook confirms it has begun testing the Facebook Dating feature within its app.
Jane Manchun Wong – an independent app researcher who regularly uncovers new Facebook features hidden in its source code – announced the company was ‘dogfooding’ the product ast the end of last week. ‘Dogfooding’ is a term for internal testing.
Facebook is internally testing Facebook Dating.
I can’t go past the signup screen because they are not activating all non-employee Dating profiles because, well, it’s “pre-launch” 😉 pic.twitter.com/VQFHUJIkuX
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 3, 2018
The company later confirmed to The Verge that the product is in testing within the Facebook app but declined to comment further.
“This product is for US Facebook employees who have opted-in to dogfooding Facebook’s new dating product,” said the screenshot.
“The purpose for this dogfooding is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers.”
Working on a Tinder-esque format, when users match they will be able to contact each other, although it’s not yet known if it will also run on a left-right swipe function format.
Apparently there’s also a ‘conversation starter’ function and talk of dating profiles being made visible to users who are attending the same events.
Users will be able to set up a separate profile from their main account to use in Facebook Dating, although it will still be part of the Facebook flagship app.
Employees have been asked to use fake information for their profiles, which will be deleted before launch along with all their data.
On signing up for the platform users are asked to fill in several fields, including their gender, location and the genders they’re interested in matching with.
If launched it would place Facebook as a serious contender to existing sites, after stock price of Match Group – owner of popular dating apps like OKCupid and Tinder – dropping 17 per cent when Facebook Dating was announced two months ago.
However, not all products that go through dogfooding make it out to the public so it remains to be seen whether the public will get to try the feature.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just for hookups,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his announcement.