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Facebook is now allowing users in the Philippines to find potential romantic partners within the platform, as well as send a signal of interest to any online friend with its newest offering.

Facebook’s Fidji Simo speaks about the Facebook Dating app during Facebook Inc’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. Stephen Lam / REUTERS / MANILA BULLETIN

An in-app dating platform called “Facebook Dating,” the new feature allows the search for a potential match within Facebook. It lets any user, 18 years old and above, create a separate dating profile invisible to friends, which will then be matched to recommendations based on preferences and common interests. This will not link people who are already connected as family or friends.

There’s also an option to see suggested matches going to the same events or those belonging in the same groups as the user. People can also initiate conversations, which will only be continued if the other party chooses to reply.

As a safety precaution, the platform will only show a profile with the person’s real first name and age. Disclosing location details is up to the user.

An attendee poses for a picture at the Facebook F8 Conference at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on April 30, 2019. – Got a crush on another Facebook user? The social network will help you connect, as part of a revamp unveiled Tuesday that aims to foster real-world relationships and make the platform a more intimate place for small groups of friends. Photo by Amy Osborne / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN

In a Manila Bulletin report back in September 2018, Facebook Dating product manager Nathan Sharp says the new feature roll out aims “to continue helping people build relationships in meaningful ways on Facebook.”

“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Zuckerberg adds, who at the time has just presented and introduced the platform in Colombia. He is also reassuring users that Facebook Dating “was built with privacy and safety in mind.”

Creating a Dating profile

To join the platform, one needs to create a profile. The user will be asked to provide information such as gender (with options woman, man, transwoman, transman, and non-binary), gender preferences, and location (if the user is willing to disclose).

The user will also be asked for a profile photo, which could be the current Facebook default picture or another photo of choice. The Dating profile will be up once the user confirms that they agree to the terms and conditions of the platform.

The profile is meant to be completed once confirmation is clear, like writing a short self-introduction and an option to provide more personal information like height, job position, or school.

Letting a crush know

Confessing romantic interest for someone is just a click away via the platform. Perhaps its most unique and talked-about feature, Secret Crush is a list that can contain up to nine people, the limit for any individual to express interest to.

Any Facebook friend can be added to this list, even if they don’t have a Dating profile. However, they will only be notified if they express similar interest to the individual who sent them a signal.

Unlike Tinder, the app needs no swiping action from the user. Instead, the user will answer question prompts and initiate conversations based on a photo or written answer in a person’s profile.

What are your thoughts on this new feature?

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