More than a year after Facebook announced its dating service, the company is finally bringing it to the US today. Nathan Sharp, product lead at Facebook, revealed the news at an event in New York City, making the US the 20th country where Facebook Dating is now live. In addition to coming to the States, Facebook Dating is available in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam. Facebook says the service will be coming to Europe, too, "by early 2020."
The company also announced two new features for Facebook Dating that are launching today, including the ability for people to add any of their Instagram posts to their dating profile and to add their Instagram followers to their Secret Crush list. Secret Crush, in case you don't recall, it lets you select from up to nine Facebook (and now Instagram) friends who you may be interested in, and if they're on the Dating service, they'll get a notification letting them know someone has a crush on them.
Another new feature coming to Facebook Dating will allow people to post their Facebook and Instagram Stories directly into the service, which the company says is going to make it easier for users to connect and see what others are like outside a dating content. There are over 1 billion Stories being shared per day, Sharp said, and Facebook wants to take full advantage of that popularity. This feature, however, won't be available on Facebook Dating until later this year.
Outside of that, Sharp added, Facebook's goal is to make its dating service safe -- especially for women, whom he said often report being wary of going out on dates with strangers. That's why Facebook Dating will give people the ability to share their location with a trusted friend, which they can do before they meet someone. Sharp also said one of the things Facebook has learned is that people want to meet others who share similar interests, which is what led it to let people unlock Facebook Groups inside Dating -- because, you know, it's not all about your money or good looks.