Journalist Josh Constine outlines a 9 point philosophy put forward by Sharp in the article, hinting at how Facebook Dating will look to impact the sector.
First and foremost, Facebook Dating will look to create meaningful connections in the dating space. This is likened in the TechCrunch piece to the introduction of other ‘Time Well Spent’ features on the wider platform.
The service will be opt-in, rather than automatic sign-up. Sharp says that not every single Facebook user will have an interest in the new functionality, and some may not be interested in dating at all.
The features will be accessible, however, and will not require users to download a new app before use. This is justified with reference to the overall goal of creating meaningful connections – a good number of users will need to be available on the platform for high quality matches to occur with any regularity, so barriers to entry are undesirable.
Facebook friends will not be shown someone’s dating profile, as these people have already met. The dating interface will focus on bringing together friends of friends and strangers.
Similarly, a clear separation between a user’s Facebook profile and Facebook Dating profile is integrated into the app. Singles may want to present themselves differently in the different online spaces, or may need to be secretive about their sexuality for safety reasons.
Messages will be the means of initiating communication, rather than swipes. This helps to encourage deliberation amongst singles, says Sharp, and gives the “power” to the responder as they decide whether or not to interact.
The profiles and chats that take place on Facebook Dating will be separate from the rest of Facebook, reassuring users about privacy.
Another privacy feature (albeit one which is slightly contradictory) is the verification of age and location via Facebook’s main service. This will help to prevent catfishing and help users ensure their match is portraying themselves accurately.
Helping users to connect via groups and events is another key part of the service. Facebook suggests that these areas of common ground will be key to compatibility, helping users to move beyond photos.
Sharp said: “We wanted to make a product that encouraged people to remember that there are people behind the profiles and the cards that they’re seeing. We wanted a system that emphasizes consideration over impulse. We want you to consider more than that person’s profile photo.”
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