On day 1 of their annual F8 conference, Facebook announced a serious overhaul to their platform alongside several imminent features, including Secret Crush, an innovative concept designed to complement the growing Facebook Dating platform.
Facebook Dating takes on Tinder
Facebook Dating was previously seen as Facebook testing the waters with the popular dating apps, expanding into new territory for the tech giant.
At the F8 conference, Facebook threw down the gauntlet in what surely poses the most significant threat to Tinder yet. A growing expansion plan to Facebook Dating means the platform will now stretch its borders into 14 new countries, including the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Laos, Peru, Vietnam, Guyana, and Suriname. Previously, the Facebook Dating platform was only available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina and Mexico.
What this proves is that with massive amounts of personal data, Facebook is able to pivot and rapidly enter new markets and pose a serious threat to any potential competitor. Whether the platform possesses the usability of Tinder, Bumble and co. remain to be seen. Given Facebook’s advanced resources and confidence, it’s likely they will.
The Secret Crush Feature
In order to differentiate itself from already established dating apps, Facebook announced the release of its USP with Facebook Dating, a feature called “Secret Crush”.
Secret Crush ties nicely into Facebook’s growing message of “connecting people around the world” and allows users to choose up to nine of their Facebook friends to express an interest in. If that individual has also opted into Facebook Dating, they will be notified saying somebody has a crush on them. If they then proceed to add you to their Secret Crush list, volar, it’s a match.
If the crush isn’t active on Facebook Dating or doesn’t create a Secret Crush list with your name on it, nobody will know that you’ve entered their name. Again, this pushes Facebook’s narrative of respecting - and protecting - the user's privacy, while still giving them the opportunity to connect more deeply with others in their networks.
Putting the User Experience First
Among the many updates and releases at the F8 conference, the imminent changes to Facebook Dating and its Secret Crush feature prove that if you own data, you can enter markets and pose a serious threat to your competitors.
With Facebook’s core message focused on connecting us to new friends, passions and interests, Facebook Dating is a logical move for the social network giant and sees a similar challenge raised to Tinder the same way Instagram & Messenger took on Snapchat recently.