Rather than sliding into someone's DMs, there is now an official way to procure a significant other via Facebook. Yes, Facebook Dating is available in the US as of Thursday, almost a year after the company started testing it in Colombia. The US is the 20th country to get the service, CNN reports. Users 18 and up will see it as a new tab in the Facebook mobile app; if they opt in, they'll create a separate dating profile that Facebook will use (along with the person's interests and Facebook activity) to suggest matches for them; users can choose to integrate the profile more closely with their Facebook and Instagram profiles if they wish, such as sharing photos on both profiles. Facebook Dating will be integrated with groups and events, so users may be matched with people in the same groups they're in or who are planning to attend the same events.
So what happens if you're interested in a Facebook friend? There's a "secret crush" feature that allows users to secretly express interest in up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers. If both parties use the feature to express interest in one another, they'll be notified they like each other. The service is free and ad-free. "We didn’t want to include anything around swiping or games," product manager Nathan Sharp tells the Verge. "Facebook Dating is about conversations." And those conversations, as long as they stay within the app, are text-only to avoid anyone sending inappropriate photos. One possible problem? A 20-year-old who has used Facebook Dating tells CNET, "I personally believe there is one type of demographic that Facebook Dating is getting and that is the older, possibly middle-aged people." (Read more Facebook stories.)