Here’s how Facebook’s new dating app works

If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, there’s a new way to search for your soulmate online: Facebook Dating is now available for Facebook’s U.S. users ages 18 and up. To use the feature, Facebook Dating will generate a new profile that is separate from your Facebook current profile.

Your first name and age are the only pieces of information shared initially for the Facebook Dating profile. There’s space on your Dating profile (which you choose whether other users see) to describe yourself in three sentences.

You may also choose to include details such as your gender identity, hometown, occupation and religion — just like on other dating apps.

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This may come as a bit of relief: The Facebook Dating feature won’t show your dating profile to your current Facebook friends, and none of your Facebook Dating activity will be shared on your regular Facebook page. (However, if you become Facebook friends with someone you meet through Facebook Dating, they will, of course, be able to see both profiles.)

One of the neat features within Facebook Dating is the Secret Crush option. This allows users to compile a list of existing Facebook friends whom they be interested in. If one of those friends adds your profile on their own Secret Crush list, it notifies each party that there is interest on both sides.

That’s pretty cool … you never know who might be crushing on you! Facebook will help bring you together.

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Since Instagram and Facebook are part of the same company, you can choose to have the two products integrated in order to add Instagram followers to your Secret Crush list. That may give you a wider net! You can express interest in up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers.

If those on your list haven’t added you, don’t worry: Secret Crush does not notify someone that he or she is on your list unless they have also added you.

Facebook Dating is one of many ways Facebook is working to keep millennials interested in its platform. They are a key demographic in the dating world, but tend to be more active on Instagram.

“By the end of the year, we’ll make it possible to add Facebook [posts] and Instagram Stories to your Dating profile too,” Facebook said when it announced the launch of the dating feature Sept. 5.

Here’s how it works, according to the tech giant:

• People are suggested based on your preferences, interests and other things you do on Facebook. (However, your current Facebook friends will never be suggested as potential matches — awkward! — nor will anyone you’ve ever blocked.)

• If you are interested in someone, you can comment directly on their Facebook Dating profile or tap on the Like button to let them know.

• If you aren’t interested, you can pass on them.

Seems simple enough, and it’s free!

Safety Precautions

Facebook Dating also includes several safety precautions.

When you go on a date, you can temporarily share your live location with a friend or family member via Messenger. You can also choose “share your plans” and inform a friend or family member the details about who you are meeting and where.

You can prevent anyone from sending pictures, videos, links or payments within messages. You can also report and block any user, as well as delete your Facebook Dating profile at any time.

Facebook Dating has been available in other countries for more than a year and the U.S. is the 20th country to join. We hope Facebook Dating it will bring lots of couples together!