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Facebook Dating platform is launched in Europe

Facebook had postponed the launch of its dating platform in Europe after an inspection by data protectionists. Now so-called Facebook Dating service is to start.

After a month-long delay due to data protection concerns, Facebook is now launching its dating platform in Europe. They took their time to get everything right, said product manager Kate Orseth about the launch in 32 European countries announced on Thursday. In February, Facebook had postponed the launch of the dating platform indefinitely at a short notice.

Users over the age of 18 can create a separate profile. Facebook then suggests potential partners – based on the information provided by users, but also on the platform’s knowledge of their interests and activities.

Facebook Dating will hook up secret crushes

Facebook friends are excluded from this – unless you mark one of them in the dating profile as a “secret crush”. You can add up to nine people to this list. Users will only find out about this if there is a mutual agreement.

To make the dating function safe, no photos or videos can be sent during conversations between users. Everyone can block or report another user, it is said. Facebook also allows users to integrate content from the company’s photo platform Instagram. In keeping with the Coronakrise, Facebook offers meetings via video conferencing.

Data on dating activity might be used to personalize ads

Data on dating activity could also be used by Facebook to personalize advertisements elsewhere on the online network’s platform, Orseth said.

Shortly before Facebook postponed the launch of the dating platform in Europe in February, the Irish data protection authority conducted an “inspection” of the online network in Dublin and collected documents. Now the authority had been given documents in advance – although Facebook is not obliged to do so, Orseth said. Facebook Dating complies with the EU Data Protection Directive, she stressed.

No nudes allowed

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg first presented the plans for a dating function in spring 2018. Since its launch last year, Facebook Dating has been gradually introduced in 20 countries.

Users are explicitly requested to log in with their real identities and Facebook is assured that attempts at fraud will be consistently prevented. Every user complaint will be investigated. In addition, the online network proactively checks profile pictures, for example, to ensure that there are no nude photos in the Facebook Dating platform.