Good news to those single and searching as Facebook launches its dating service

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Facebook has already tried to help you find your dream job, catch up on the latest news, and even sell all that junk cluttering up your basement. Yes, all those ventures have either flopped or become mired in controversy.

But the company isn’t satisfied with just knowing that stuff about you. Now, if you live in Colombia, it hopes to help you find love.

The social giant began testing Facebook Dating on Thursday. The details sound awfully familiar.

The service was first announced at the annual F8 conference in May this year, and will likely be available in other locations in the future. For now, users aged 18 and older in Colombia will be able to create dating profiles and, once those reach a critical mass, find some matches. We got to preview an early version of the service, and it looks promising—especially for users looking for meaningful long-term relationships rather than hookups.

Any adult Facebook user in Colombia can create a Facebook Dating profile that includes up to nine photos and ice-breaker questions (a feature that borrows heavily from dating app Hinge.) Once enough people sign up, an algorithm will match them based on criteria like their mutual friends and shared interests. Users also have the option to match with people who belong to the same Facebook groups they do, or who go to the same events.

They won’t be able to send potential mates links, photos, or payments. For that, they’ll need to switch to a different messenger or go the old-fashioned route and swap digits.

It’s tough to say whether the service will catch on (especially with younger users who are moving away from the platform), and it’s not clear when it’ll spread into other countries.

One thing’s for sure: it’ll present us with some uncharted territory where human interactions are concerned. Like if you go to a friend’s poetry reading (organized on Facebook of course), will you end up chilling with a friend-of-a-friend you went on a horrible first date with two years ago? Only time will tell.

As Facebook announced in May, users will create separate profiles just for the Dating service. The only information ported over is your age and first name; you will need to manually fill out additional required information including your verified location, gender, and the gender(s) of the people you’re interested in matching with. You can also specify your height, religion, job title, where you work, where you went to school, and whether you have children.

You can round out your profile with up to nine total photos or ice-breaker questions provided by Facebook. Currently, there are 20 questions to choose from, like “What does the perfect day look like?” For now, you can’t write your own.

Once your profile is set, Facebook will use a unique algorithm to match you with potential dates, based on factors like things you have in common and mutual friends. You won’t see anyone you’re already friends with on Facebook, nor will you see people you’ve blocked. You can also report and block users with the same tools available elsewhere on the social network.

Facebook restricts potential matches to people located less than 100 kilometers away (there will be a different metric-system equivalent when the product rolls out in the US).


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