The Brief:

At its annual F8 conference, Facebook announced the expansion of its dating feature which will include a component encouraging people to share who their "secret crush" is. 


This year, at Facebook’s annual F8 conference, the company announced planned changes that will be the largest they’ve made in five years. Updates include an expansion of Facebook Dating to 14 additional countries and a new feature called “Secret Crushes.” Facebook Dating will be launched in the United States later this year and the Secret Crushes function is only available to people who use Facebook Dating.

Facebook Dating

Facebook Dating is a separate feature within the Facebook app. It can be accessed through the “more” tab on Facebook mobile. This feature is currently available in five countries including Canada.

Different from other dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble, Facebook Dating compiles data based on a user’s mutual friends, interests, and social activities to pair them up with potential matches. Only a user’s age and first name are directly imported from their main Facebook profile to their separate FB Dating profile. Like other dating apps, this one uses location data to find matches that are near each other. There is no swiping mechanism. Rather, users can tap “not interested” on matches that they aren’t interested in.

Secret Crushes

On Tuesday, Facebook announced an addition to its dating feature that will allow users to make romantic connections with people they’re already friends with. Anyone who has a Facebook Dating profile can choose nine Facebook friends who also use Facebook Dating to be their “secret crushes.” If someone has a secret crush on you, you’ll get a notification saying that someone has a secret crush on you, but not who it is. If two people both select each other as their secret crush, then Facebook will reveal who it is. It’s unclear how widespread or successful this feature will be, but many people are intrigued.

Reactions & Privacy Concerns

There have been mixed reactions to these announcements, especially in the wake of the many privacy breaches and violations at Facebook recently. While Facebook executives claim to be prioritizing privacy and ensure that these dating features will remain private, many people are still skeptical. There is something counter-intuitive about voluntarily telling a corporation who your “secret” crush is…