Facebook’s dating app isn’t the friendly nudge into love it should be

Facebook’s dating app isn’t the friendly nudge into love it should be

This man wants to help you find a date. In this file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is arriving in Washington to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the use of Facebook data. Facebook recently announced its making its dating service available in the U.S. J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Facebook – you know, the company that’s ruined your attention span, warped national geopolitics and hawked your personal information to the highest bidder – wants to help you find a date.

On Sept. 5, Facebook launched its dating app in the U.S. Promising to help you “start meaningful relationships through things you have in common, like interests, events, and groups,” Facebook Dating will “suggest” potential matches to those who opt into the service.

The service is similar to other dating apps. The algorithm picks profiles for you based on where you live, your interests and your Facebook groups. You either “like” the profiles the algorithm picks for you, or you take a pass on them.

Its most unusual new feature is both sweet and invasive, like a traditional matchmaker. If you and a mutual friend both add each other to a “Secret Crush” list, Facebook will let you know.

The least interesting features are the ones that make it clear Facebook is interested in you not as a person but as a data-mining opportunity.

It’s encouraging users to add Instagram posts and stories to their profiles, and to see if other people on the app will be attending the same events.

Of course, the entire enterprise feels a little suspicious, mostly because it’s Facebook. (more…)

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