So, you want to date but don’t want to pay for a dating app? Well, there’s an alternative to getting stuck in the free trial world where you might be denied access to your potential soulmate without an upgrade. That’s because Facebook Dating has arrived.
FB Dating is a relatively new feature on the social media platform allowing users to find potential romantic partners through a second profile, but without leaving the site.
With nearly 2 billion active users, Facebook undoubtedly has the quantity, but what about the rest? Are singles using Facebook Dating? Will all your FB friends have access to your private life? How does it compare to other paid apps? And is it really free? Our Facebook dating review is answering those questions and many more!
Facebook Dating App at a Glance
Overall Rating – 2.8/5.0
|Userbase||1.93 billion on Facebook|
|Sign-Up Time||5 minutes|
|Avg. User Rating||2.9/5.0|
|Avg. User Age||30 to 65 years old|
|Gender Ratio||58% men | 42% women|
|Support Options||FAQs only|
|Launch Year||2018 (2019 in the US)|
Is Facebook Dating Right for Me?
We know you’re looking for an honest answer about this dating app alternative, and we’re going to give you one. Like many, we have reservations about Facebook Dating. After all, the company has been having quite a few PR challenges over the past few years, many stemming from security issues with the Facebook app itself.
Yes, the dating service is free and relatively separate from your main FB account. It’s undoubtedly convenient as you’ll end up with a twofer social media and singles community. And, Facebook Dating does have some blocking controls. But, the app is still accessing more personal information than other apps would be privy to under the same circumstances. Plus, you’re not going to have the stringent profile verification that you get with reputable, dedicated dating sites.
On the flip side, FB provides a few features that you won’t find on other matchmaking apps. So, if you’ve been eyeing one of your FB friends as something more, think it would be fun to explore some of your friends’ friends in the dating pool, or the “free” service is the selling point, then give it a shot.
What’s in our FB Dating Review? – Jump Ahead
- What is Facebook Dating?
- How Does Facebook Dating Work?
- How Much Does Facebook Dating Cost?
- What Kind of Relationships is FB Dating For?
- Is Facebook Dating Worth It?
- User Reviews of Facebook Dating
- FB Dating vs. The Other Guys
- Facebook Dating FAQ
What is Facebook Dating?
Facebook Dating is the social media giant’s attempt to expand its reach with a separate but not so separate service for singles worldwide. It’s exclusively for Facebook users but requires an opt-in and a second profile.
While Facebook promotes that your friends won’t know what’s happening in your quest to find love, there’s crossover. Users can have secret crushes on Facebook friends and receive suggested matches from common FB groups and events.
Facebook Dating History
Everyone knows Facebook has become a global phenomenon, with a quarter of the planet reviewing their feeds and accepting friend requests. However, its foray into matchmaking hasn’t been quite as eventful. Mark Zuckerberg envisioned FB Dating as a way for singles in the massive global community to go beyond “friends.”
So, Facebook (now Meta) began its experiment in Colombia in 2018, expanding to 14 other countries that year. It didn’t hit the US until the following year, with the UK and Europe close behind.
Even COVID isolation wasn’t enough to turn FB Dating into an instant hit, though. An estimated 9% of Facebook users are reportedly part of the Facebook Dating community. But we’re not standing behind that stat. If you currently asked singles with a FB account what they think about Facebook Dating, more than half would reply with “What’s that?”.
What Makes Facebook Dating Different?
FB Dating is one of the most all-inclusive dating apps you’ll find. Not only is it free for everyone, but there are only two requirements to join the community.
- Users are over 18
- Must have a Facebook Account
Instead of taking online dating to a new level, Facebook relies on strength in numbers. It has a massive user base, appealing to singles looking to meet as many potential partners as possible. Facebook Dating allows users to connect with people they already know, introduces them to a whole new network, or a little of both.
Pros and Cons of Facebook Dating
- One of the most significant potential user bases with nearly two billion FB members
- Free service across the board – no upsells or add-ons
- Secret crushes on current Facebook friends
- Dating profile and communication is separate from FB profile
- Connects to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger
- Suggested matches from FB groups and events
- Option for the algorithm to suggest “friends of friends”
- User-friendly app
- No customer service (FAQs only)
- Mobile-only – no desktop version
- Facebook account required
- Lack of an effective vetting process
- Not enough FB users are aware of the service
How Does Facebook Dating Work? – Features Overview
Although an exclusive and private one, FB Dating is an extension of Facebook. It’s an opt-in service designed to connect single members based on location and similar lifestyles and preferences.
We listed the user-friendly app as one of the benefits of Facebook Dating, and you’ll see what we mean if you just click the hamburger menu when you’re logged into your FB app. The Dating option requires registration, but it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.
You’re going to share your height, preferences on children, where you live, and the type of person you’re hoping to date. But that’s pretty much it. FB Dating isn’t like eHarmony or Elite Singles, where you undertake an extensive personality test to jumpstart the algorithm.
Before you jump right in, though, we want to bring your attention to a few settings. One of the best benefits of Facebook Dating is the convenience because you already have a FB profile. But, like most users, you probably don’t want the two worlds to converge. So, go through your settings carefully. You’re looking for things like an on/off toggle next to “suggest friends of friends.”
How you approach Facebook Dating is up to you. The app will provide you with potential matches based on your profile, location, and things like the groups you’re a part of within the community.
But you don’t have to sit back and wait for potential partners to come to you. There are a few tools that’ll expand the reach. We mentioned the “friends of friends” option that might give you the golden opportunity to connect with someone you’ve seen on other feeds.
Even though it’s a smaller community, we like the idea of staying within a few degrees of our friends. It’s a bit like LinkedIn and connecting with business professionals who are part of our extended network. But with FB Dating, it’s even more essential because you know you’re bound to come across some fake profiles of pictures of that gorgeous 35 year old who’s really 67!
No matter how someone catches your eye, you’ve got two options:
A Like is simply clicking on the heart to let that person know you’re interested. But, you can go all-in with a message by clicking on a profile image.
From there, Facebook takes the wheel, and we think it’s a good thing. If someone messages you and you don’t respond, they can’t do it again (and again, and again). You get one shot. If that person isn’t interested, you have to move on.
Meta has an ideal situation with Facebook Dating as it takes advantage of an established community. Instead of starting with single #1 and working up to thousands (or millions), potential users are already within the virtual walls of the social media app.
Because of the structure, FB Dating features are unique.
- Secret Crushes
- Friends of Friends
- Common Groups and Events
- Second Look
Is there someone on your Facebook friends list that you’d like to call “more than a friend?” Then you can use the secret crush tool. Don’t worry about putting yourself out there, as you’ll only connect if they have a crush on you, too!
Friends of Friends
This feature expands your potential matches by putting your FB friends’ friends in the mix. It’s an optional tool, so make sure you use the on/off toggle in settings to take advantage of it (or not).
Common Groups and Events
Like Friends of Friends, this feature expands the matchmaking reach to other people in your FB groups. It’s also optional, but at least you know you have a few things in common, right?
Have you ever started swiping on your email list only to discover you got rid of something important? The Second Look option is a bit like that, as you can rewind through your list of potential matches.
How Much Does Facebook Dating Cost?
Well, this will be short and sweet, as Facebook Dating is free. And, no, it’s not free like a free trial where you have to pay to message or see profile pics. There’s no charge for the service across the board.
Facebook Dating Membership Benefits:
- A dating profile independent of your FB profile
- Blocking options to ensure your dating activities are separate
- Suggested matches based on profile traits
- Secret crushes
- Second looks
- Pause your membership anytime
- Add Instagram posts to your dating profile
- Connect with friends of your friends
- Likes and messages
- Match suggestions from your Facebook groups and events
Best Free Feature: Secret crush
Best Paid Feature: n/a
What Kind of Relationships is Facebook Dating For?
Facebook is for any kind of relationship, extending its matchmaking service to everyone over 18 who’s a Facebook user. Nothing is off-limits within the expansive international community. You’ll find singles with different sexual preferences, educational backgrounds, personality traits, careers, lifestyle choices, etc. Some are looking for a hookup, and others want to walk down the aisle. While it’s not a niche site for older or younger users, we found that about a third are over 45
The Bottom Line – Is Facebook Dating Worth It?
It’s not going to cost you anything to give FB Dating a try because it’s a free service for Facebook members. But the jury’s out on whether it’s worth your time or not.
We’re not as enthused about Facebook’s matchmaking capabilities. But we like the idea for FB members who need a little nudge to connect with some people they already know (or know of).
User Reviews of Facebook Dating
It’s not so much what people are saying about Facebook Dating; it’s what they’re doing. And, the answer is – not enough.
With Facebook profiles from a quarter of the global population, you’d think that the dating app would be blowing up, but it’s not. Users and potential users have some privacy concerns and aren’t confident in the accuracy of other dating profiles within the community.
While some users have shared that they found “the one,” others find they’re not benefiting enough from the suggestions. It’s more like a singles marketplace than a matchmaking service.
FB Dating vs. The Other Guys
Facebook Dating is a one-of-a-kind dating app with the advantage of a built-in community. If that’s not enticing enough, the entire service is free. But even with no credit card required, does it stack up to some of the other big names?
Facebook Dating vs. Tinder
Mark Zuckerberg might have designed FB Dating “not for hookups,” but members don’t necessarily share his vision. The app is all over the place, with some looking for a casual encounter and others intent on something long-term. Compared to Tinder, though, FB Dating takes the win for serious potential, and casual goes to the app made famous for swiping right or left.
FB Dating vs. Match.com
Match.com might be the closest dating app comparison, as the industry giant provides catalog-style dating with a massive membership similar to Facebook Dating. So, if you’re determined to pay nothing for a service, Facebook might give you a slight edge over Match.com’s free trial. However, Match.com takes things to the next level with 25 years of industry expertise, offline events, and a Tinder-style carousel of singles near you.
Facebook Dating vs. eHarmony
There’s no comparison if you’re looking for a real commitment, as eHarmony corners the market with its highly-effective behavioral matching. But if you just want to expand your horizon by meeting new people and going on some casual dates, then you’ll save quite a bit with FB Dating compared to eHarmony’s premium service.
Facebook Dating FAQ
If I Try Facebook Dating, Will My FB Friends Know?
No. Facebook Dating is an add-on service but remains independent of your FB page. The only way your friends will know is if you tell them.
How Much Does It Cost to Use Facebook Dating?
Facebook Dating is an all-inclusive free service for Facebook members. It’s different than other dating apps that might offer a free trial that limits access to other users.
How Many Singles Use FB Dating?
While the numbers are somewhat fuzzy, an estimated 9% of Facebook users have set up a separate dating profile.
What’s the Best Feature of the Facebook Dating App?
FB Dating offers something called a “secret crush.” It’s an opportunity to turn the relationship with one of your Facebook friends into something more. Plus, they won’t know unless they have a secret crush on you, too!
Is Facebook Dating More for Hookups or Long-Term Relationships?
Mark Zuckerberg’s initial vision was to provide a matchmaking service that steered clear of casual hookups. Despite that, FB Dating has turned into an “anything goes” dating app where users seek everything from one-night-stands to lifelong commitments.