Review: Should Facebook get into the dating business?

One morning in early November, I was sitting in bed with my guinea pig, Elle, and a cup of coffee. I was browsing social media when a notification appeared on Facebook informing me they had launched Facebook Dating, a new feature that allows you to explore new romantic conquests.

A CBC article said the website launched the new feature to attract more Facebook users. 

I decided to try it out and see if it was anything like the other dating apps I had tried.

It was similar, only worse.

Setting up your profile is a lot like creating one on other dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble: you select some pictures from your Facebook or phone and then write your bio.

For example, mine read: “Sports editor for The Aquinian and summer cruiser girl for Up! 93.1. I have an addiction to coffee and crime shows. Pats fan. My landlord doesn’t allow dogs so I got a guinea pig instead.”

I added a few pictures of myself, one of Elle, entered in my standard bio and answered a few of the questions generated by the service.

Then I started swiping through the people that fell under my search demographics. There weren’t many.

Similar to Bumble, it asks you to answer some questions like where you went to grad school, college and high school, what your job title is and what company you work for, your hometown, if you have kids and what your height and religion is. You can answer them or leave them blank. It leaves you feeling like your identity might be stolen. Ahhh, online dating.

Unlike Bumble and Tinder, you can’t connect your Instagram profile and there are more than two gender options. And unlike Tinder, you don’t have to pay for a subscription to go through people you’ve already passed over.

After you’ve filled out your basic info, meaning everything except the name of your unborn child, you set your search demographics. You can base them on distance, age and sex.

One weird thing is anyone can message you regardless of your search demographics. Instead, you have to select something from the person’s profile and message them. That means ANYONE on Facebook Dating can message me.

This feature allowed a 35-year-old man to message me, a 22-year-old woman, in response to the photo of Elle. He asked what would happen if I’d bought a real pig. I know, I don’t get it either, but maybe it was a bad idea to have her photo on my profile.

If you respond to a message, you match and can continue messaging back and forth. There’s no swiping and waiting to see what happens or who messages first.

There are some glitches. Sometimes if it says you’ve run out of people, but if you exit and go back to it, more people will appear.

I also didn’t like the fact that the notifications showed up with my regular Facebook notifications.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend it. Just stick to Tinder or Bumble.

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