Facebook announced it was getting into the dating game in 2018 and launched its dating app worldwide in 2019, so it’s about time for a Facebook Dating review to see how things are going so far.
I signed up for Facebook Dating as soon as it became available in the U.S. (that was September 2019, for anyone keeping score). I’ve activated and deactivated my account several times since then. The truth is that, as sleek as the app is and as abundant as the matches seem at first glance, it just doesn’t quite reach the standards of the most popular dating sites of the day.
Listen, I like Facebook Dating. I’m rooting for Facebook Dating. But I’m not sure it’s the game-changing, love-life-altering solution the tech gods intended it to be. I will say Facebook’s dating app is extremely user-friendly and completely free, so it’s worth trying if you’re looking for alternatives to the usual swiping suspects. Just be aware that its swiping capacity is still somewhat limited.
Our Facebook Dating Rating: 3.6/5
Facebook Dating is a perfectly good dating app. It’s not bad. It’s not great. I’d give it a solid 3.6 stars to reflect my lukewarm feelings about it. The biggest plus in the Facebook Dating app’s favor is the completely free matching and messaging features. It doesn’t have any hidden fees or membership subscriptions. The dating service is 100% free from start to finish.
Facebook Dating matches come in a familiar swiping setup where you can look at the dating profile, photos, and even Instagram stories before saying yes or no.
The downside is not many singles use Facebook Dating — yet. We don’t have hard data on how many users are active on Facebook Dating, but from a user perspective, the social media giant just hasn’t translated into the online dating market.
I’ll be honest, as a young single woman, I don’t usually have trouble making matches and sparking conversations on an online dating app. If anything, I end up juggling too many online dates and chats. But that wasn’t the case on Facebook Dating. The app left me waiting on replies and wondering if the match was authentic. I had a flood of new match notifications blowing up my phone, but few active conversations resulted.
I tried logging into FB Dating at different times of day and on different days of the week to see if online activity varied. Maybe a Facebook user is more likely to swipe during the daytime? Late at night? The results were never promising. At least, not as promising as I’ve seen on apps with more active users.
I’m also not convinced that the Facebook marketplace really took my dating preference seriously. I think the match formula prioritized local singles over those with similar interests, and as a result it took some effort to find a genuine potential match.
Other Facebook Dating reviews have pointed out that the online dating app is still new and could gain momentum as time goes by. We have already given Facebook Dating time and, if anything, only seen a drop-off in interest among the mainstream dating public.
I’m perfectly comfortable saying that Facebook Dating is helpful and easy to use. I’m sure it’s sparked loads of first dates, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Is it the absolute best dating app I’ve ever seen or used? Spoiler alert: No, I’ve had better. I actually met my perfect match on Hinge a couple years ago.
Facebook Dating is Free for Everyone
As I’ve already mentioned, Facebook Dating is totally and completely free at all times for all users. So that’s a major plus in its favor. You don’t need to bother with Gold Membership or Tinder Plus to get access to premium features and match anywhere you go. Everything is already at your fingertips, no upgrades necessary.
It costs $0 to chat with matches on Facebook Dating. You can also see who has liked your profile and view matches you’ve swiped left on. All without a paid membership.
Your Dating Profile is Not Visible on Your Facebook Profile
Facebook Dating is available exclusively on the Facebook dating app. Once you’ve downloaded the app, creating a dating profile is super easy. You’ll need to opt in to the Facebook Dating app and manually complete a profile. You can pull photos from your smartphone’s camera roll or your Facebook albums. It automatically adds your first name, location, and age based on your regular Facebook profile. Plus, the app can auto-fill some additional demographic details if you choose.
The dating profile is rich with information. You can complete optional sections for education, occupation, religion, height, smoking habits, and other personal factors. It also offers personal prompts about interests, hobbies, and opinions. Instagram users can choose to share their photos or Instagram story in their profile as well. The app doesn’t inquire about ethnicity or politics.
Singles can use the About Me section to talk about who they are in more specific details. Some people write paragraphs of fun facts about themselves. Others leave it blank and lose precious space to win over a new love interest. Or at least tell a joke!
The only Facebook Dating profile requirement is that you must upload at least three photos of yourself. We’re talking clear pictures that show your face and do not have any graphic or violent content. Once the app’s algorithm approves your photos, your Facebook Dating profile goes live.
The Facebook Dating application works in conjunction with the Facebook app without airing your dating laundry on your Facebook profile or newsfeed, so that’s nice for online privacy. Singles who use Facebook Dating can do so with the knowledge that their swiping activity is completely separate from their public Facebook lives. They can choose to share their Facebook profile with a match by pressing a button in the chat; otherwise, the match will not know their last name or have access to their profile.
Your Facebook friends will not know you are on the Facebook Dating app — unless they are on the app too and mark you as a Secret Crush!
Facebook Dating Creates Romance Via Secret Crushes
If you’ve swiped on one dating app, you’ve swiped on them all. The basic formula for swipe-based mutual matching has become a well-established norm in online dating. And, as much as it claims to be original, Facebook Dating maintains a familiar swipe-right and swipe-left interface to inspire matches.
The app’s matchmaking process is straightforward. When you arrive on the app’s homepage, you will see a Facebook Dating profile and can click the heart to show your interest, click the star to favorite the profile, or click the X to see another profile. Clicking the X does not remove that person from your online dating life forever. Facebook Dating offers online daters another chance to make a match in the Second Look section, which features your most recently Xed profiles.
Only mutual matches can send messages on Facebook Dating, but the app does not place character limits or time limits on chatting.
Facebook Dating does not allow online dating users to swipe endlessly. The app will eventually cut you off with a gentle reminder to “take a break” from the app. You can come back 24 hours later to get new matches — or run through recycled matches if you’ve exhausted all options in your area.
Facebook Dating can recommend matches based on similar interests (dogs, cooking, pop music, etc.), and the dating service can use Facebook data to find commonalities. For instance, the app will let you know if you and another Facebook Dating user have a mutual friend or have RSVPed to the same event. It also has a groups section where it highlights Facebook users who are in the same social network group.
The Secret Crush list is the most unique dating feature on the app. Facebook Dating allows its users to identify up to nine secret crushes among their Facebook friends or Instagram followers. That Facebook friend or Instagram follower will not know you’ve added him/her/them to your Secret Crush list unless that person has added the Facebook Dating app AND identified you as a Secret Crush.
How likely are those circumstances to arise? Maybe not very, but you can always add and subtract Facebook friends to your Secret Crush list just in case a mutual match is hidden among your existing Facebook friends.
Facebook Dating Has Made More Than 1.5 Billion Matches
After less than two years online, Facebook Dating claimed that it has created over 1.5 billion matches in 20 countries. To put that in perspective, Tinder has created 55 billion matches within eight years, and it is responsible for sparking about 1.5 million first dates every week. Oh, and Tinder is available in 190 countries.
Facebook Dating is very much the new kid on the online dating block, and it has a lot of ground to make up if it wants to compete with the major players.
Facebook Dating has not published information about how many daily active users or total signups it has seen since its launch in 2019. That’s not a very encouraging sign. If the numbers were impressive, you can bet Facebook would have blasted them all over the internet and put up billboards proclaiming itself a matchmaking genius.
I did some research into Facebook Dating statistics, polling data, and user estimates to get an idea about how big (or how small) the user base is. The numbers show a flagging interest in this fledgling app. As of now, Facebook Dating has not become a mainstream dating tool, and it is far from a household name.
A recent survey of 21,000 Americans found that not a lot of people have even heard of Facebook Dating. According to the polling data, only 33% of respondents knew about Facebook Dating, and only 9% said they had used it. Another 10% said they would consider trying it.
My swiping experience on Facebook Dating has convinced me that the app has more inactive profiles than active profiles. Despite getting pinged constantly about new matches, I didn’t engage in many real conversations, and the guys I talked to also agreed the app isn’t very active. It seems more like a good backup option for single people — not something that’s going to yield fast results.
Contact Facebook Dating via the Help Center
Facebook Dating does not have a contact form or customer service phone number that’s easily accessible. I went digging for any possible way to reach the Facebook team through the app, and I can’t say I found much.
First of all, the Facebook Dating Help Center strives to answer every conceivable question without person-to-person contact. It has detailed how-to guides to FAQs like “How do I edit my Facebook Dating profile?” and “How do I turn off notifications for Facebook Dating?” Honestly, the app was sending me match notifications six or seven times an hour, so that last article was actually very helpful.
If you need to air grievances with an actual person who works for or represents Facebook Dating, well, good luck. I scrolled through the Help Center and marked the answers as “not helpful” hoping to get a contact option of some sort. I wrote in the text box that I wanted to speak to a customer service rep. So far, no response from that automated system.
Facebook has too many users to respond to individual requests speedily or consistently. The global company has over 50,000 employees, but it serves over 3 billion users. So, yeah, you can see why it doesn’t have a contact page or much of a customer service presence.
You can try to @Facebook on Twitter to see if it catches the eye of the social media person. You may as well try connecting through Instagram posts as well. The odds of getting a response through social media platforms are slim, but at least it’s something.
5 Alternatives to Facebook Dating
Facebook is the biggest name in social media with enormous power to influence and connect people. But in the dating industry, it’s still a beginner. The online dating app has yet to rival some of the top players. That’s why we’ve included a list of alternatives in our Facebook Dating review.
Many top dating apps have more active users and get faster results than Facebook Dating. Here are five of our favorites:
- Match is the world's longest running dating site
- The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
- Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages
Match.com has been the top name in online dating since 1995, and it’s going to take more than a plucky startup or even a social media giant to dethrone this premium dating service. By focusing on supporting and connecting serious daters, Match.com has earned its good reputation as one of the most trustworthy dating sites for relationships.
It’s free to join Match.com, and all members enjoy some free communication options. Singles who score high compatibility ratings appear in each other’s Top Picks list and can chat for free for as long as they like. Match does not require members to form a mutual match to send messages. But it does limit free communication and encourages serious daters to pick up a paid subscription to unlock the site’s full dating potential.
The Match Group boasts creating more matches and leading to more marriages than any of its competitors. Plus, Match.com is the longest-running dating site with proven matchmaking and chat features.
- Over 2 million monthly users
- Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
- Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits
Elite Singles offers an upper-class dating service for single professionals who are seriously looking for love. Over 80% of Elite Singles members have graduated from college, and over 90% are at least 30 years old. This upscale network makes doctors, lawyers, and other successful singles feel right at home.
How did Elite Singles manage to attract a high-quality membership base? Simple. It charged a cover fee at the door. Creating a dating profile is free, but all the good stuff is for VIPs only. Elite Singles members can’t even view photos unless they upgrade to a paid monthly plan. Free members have limited communication options, so the online dating atmospheres favors singles who have a high income and high standards.
- Over 2 million people have found love here
- Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
- Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals
The eharmony dating platform uses psychological principles to identify long-term compatibility. Daters have to invest in the process to get something out of it.
All eharmony members must complete a lengthy dating profile and add at least one picture just to mingle in the dating network. The dating website and app has a Compatibility Quiz and icebreaker quizzes to help daters find a potential partner, and the match algorithm provides match ratings based on an assessment of personality traits, communication habits, and lifestyles.
Unlike Facebook Dating, eharmony is not a 100% free dating service. Members have to upgrade to premium membership (for at least six months) to unlock conversation windows and send unlimited messages online.
- One of the largest Black singles networks in existence
- Straightforward search and matching features
- Use Tokens to appear higher in search results
BlackPeopleMeet launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2002, so the niche dating platform has had a 17-year head start on Facebook Dating. The BPM network plays an important role in the online dating world because it allows people of color to come together through similar interests and backgrounds.
BlackPeopleMeet supports Black dating as well as interracial dating, and it’s one of the most diverse online dating sites and apps on the web.
- Supports active daters in 190+ countries
- The swiping system creates over 12 million matches per day
- Tinder Plus members have unlimited likes and 5 Super Likes
Finally, we have to give Tinder props for absolutely crushing the online dating scene for nearly a decade. This dating app went viral in 2012 when it invented swipe-based matching, and it has been inspiring casual hookups and serious relationships ever since. The Tinder app has been downloaded over 400 million times, making it one of the most popular apps ever created.
Tinder can pull photos and demographic details from your Facebook account or Instagram account. But it does not require new users to link to any particular social network. Tinder users have a lot of freedom to explore matches and showcase their personality, and the app works overtime to deliver local date options.
Tinder’s biggest pro is the incredibly high volume of attractive dating profiles. Over half of Tinder users are under 25, so swiping on this app feels sort of like mingling at a local bar or nightclub. Pretty much everyone is chatty, friendly, and down to party, if you know what I mean.
What Exactly is Facebook Dating?
Facebook Dating is a mobile-only application that is accessible through the Facebook Dating app, which you can download on Google Play or the App Store. All users must opt into the Facebook Dating application and create a unique online dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile.
Joining Facebook Dating will not impact your public Facebook life. It will not appear in your Facebook activity, it will not change your relationship status, and it will not send notifications to your existing Facebook friends. The only reason a Facebook friend would even see your dating profile is if the Secret Crush feature identifies you as a mutual match.
Why Was Facebook Dating Created?
Facebook Dating was created to disrupt the dating industry, make online dating history, and create a more effective way to match single people around the world. It’s not a profit-generating venture. It’s a social media experiment.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when he announced the upcoming launch of Facebook Dating in 2018. “If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships, then this is, perhaps, the most meaningful of all.”
Facebook is a business, so its nonprofit work in the love scene can seem sketchy at first glance. It has been accused of grubbing after data or trying to stay relevant among younger people. Truthfully, I think Facebook Dating was created with relatively noble intentions to help singles connect based on shared interests and values. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg also had dreams of expanding his social media empire into an online dating empire.
So far, our online dating experts don’t see signs of Facebook Dating going viral or rivaling the already respected and trusted names in the industry. Sorry, Mark!
Is Facebook Dating Safe?
Yes, Facebook Dating is about as safe as it gets in the online dating world. The dating app verifies a person’s identity through Facebook, and it has block and reporting tools to help in cases of online harassment or scam attempts.
If you fail to live up to the community standards, your time on Facebook Dating will be very brief indeed. Facebook Dating has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to rude, deceptive, or threatening behavior. The app removes fake profiles and bans unsavory characters to protect the larger user base.
Facebook Dating has published safety guidelines to help Facebook users make the best possible start in this new dating terrain.
Do I Have to Download the Facebook App?
If you want to use Facebook Dating, you have to download the Facebook app to access it. The application is not available through Facebook.com. This setup makes Facebook Dating more secure and allows it to effectively block screenshots, which are not allowed on the dating app.
The Facebook app is available for free on Google Play and the App Store. You don’t have to download a separate app for Facebook Dating — it’s an app within the app. And yes, you will need to maintain an active and verified Facebook profile to keep your Facebook Dating profile active.
Is FB Dating Really Free? Are There Any Paid Features?
Facebook Dating is one of the few completely free dating apps that does not have any paid features or premium upgrades. I know, it seems like there must be a catch, but there isn’t one. Facebook users do not need to pay a cent to view profiles, create matches, send messages, and use every dating feature on the app.
A cost breakdown of Facebook Dating is pretty simple:
- The basic membership: free and never expires
- The premium membership: doesn’t exist
As long as you have a Facebook account, you may as well give Facebook Dating a shot because it’s not going to cost you anything but time. And maybe some emotional energy. The dating app won’t break your budget though.
Right now, Facebook Dating is trying to attract as many online daters as possible. So everything is free with no strings attached. But that’s not to say it will remain free forever. FB Dating may monetize certain features if it gets large and successful (and greedy) enough. That’s not going to happen any time soon though!
How Do I Hide or Delete My Facebook Dating Profile?
Facebook Dating is an opt-in app that Facebook users can opt out of at any time and for any reason. Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the app to go to the Settings. Then select the General tab where you’ll see your Facebook Dating account options.
Listed under Account, you’ll see two options that can remove your Facebook Dating profile from the app. The first is labeled “Take a break,” and it is just that — a way to pause your account without deleting it. Facebook Dating users who choose this option can still see their existing matches and conversations, and they can still send messages to them. But they will not see any new matches nor will their dating profile appear in match lists.
Taking a break from Facebook Dating can be a good mental health exercise. It could give you time to focus on a particular conversation or polish your dating profile. And, when you return, you’ll have a new batch of potential matches ready and waiting.
Users can also choose to delete their profile. This action erases the dating profile permanently. You can always create a new Facebook Dating account, but you’ll be starting from scratch.
Important tip: Deleting the Facebook app will not cause your Facebook Dating profile to disappear. Being inactive on the app will not cause it to disappear. You have to take action to hide or delete it. Otherwise your Facebook Dating profile will stay online in perpetuity.
Facebook Dating is Helpful — But It’s Not Very Popular Yet
This Facebook Dating review has been a long time coming. It wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement in 2018, the app’s launch in the U.S. in 2019, or its expansion to Europe in 2020. Here at DatingNews, we waited for Facebook Dating to grow and build momentum in the online dating world. Now we’ve waited long enough.
All in all, Facebook Dating shows a lot of promise, but not a lot of results. I spent quite a bit of time swiping (and much less time chatting) on Facebook Dating to make sure I got a good idea of its limits and possibilities. Yes, it’s possible to find a local date or a potential partner on the Facebook Dating app. But users are limited to a small-ish dating pool.
I do recommend trying Facebook Dating if you want to put yourself out there and create a meaningful relationship. I just wouldn’t recommend using it as your one and only dating app. Because it doesn’t exactly keep you very busy. The best strategy is to maintain profiles on three or four dating sites or apps at a time, so you can explore the online dating scene and give yourself the best odds of making a smart match. Good luck!