Facebook Dating is now rolling out in the UK and 31 other European markets, a little over a year after it was launched in the US. The social network first announced the dating service back in 2018, promising a platform that can “mirror the way people meet in real life — through the experiences they have in common.” Since then, the company says it has created 1.5 billion matches in the 20 countries where it’s available. Facebook has around 2.7 billion monthly active users, based on Statista’s numbers for the second quarter of 2020. The service’s European launch was supposed to happen back in Valentine’s Day this year, but Facebook had to push it back after Irish data protection officials raised concerns about its compliance with EU law.
Facebook Dating’s features include the ability to add your event and group information, so you can find like-minded individuals. It could, say, help you find another pet lover if you choose to make your groups visible on your dating profile. Speaking dating profiles, you won’t have to worry about friends seeing what you’ve added in there. The service won’t show your profile or your matches on your News Feed, and it won’t suggest people in your Friends list as matches unless you’ve added each other as Secret Crushes.
You can add up to nine Facebook friends and Instagram followers in your Secret Crush list, and you’ll match with them if they’ve added you, as well. If they haven’t, they won’t even know they’re in yours. Facebook is also rolling out Virtual Dates for the service, giving you a way to video chat with a match without having to leave the platform. To start a virtual date, you simply have to tap on the video icon in your chat, which will send your match an invite. Other dating services have added a video chat feature in the past few years, with Tinder launching its own back in July.
In addition to the UK, Facebook Dating’s European expansion includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.