Facebook Dating will be a feature, not an app. Here’s a peek

Facebook Dating doesn’t plan to launch a standalone dating app, which should temper expectations about how deeply it’s diving into Tinder and Match Group’s territory. The feature will be based inside of Facebook’s main app, alongside its many other utilities buried beyond the homescreen. It’s not ready for the public yet, but company employees are now internally testing it — though they’re warned that it’s not for dating their coworkers.

Facebook gave a preview of its Dating features back in May at its F8 conference. Now we’re getting an early look at its onboarding process thanks to screenshots pulled from the Facebook app’s code by mobile researcher and frequent TechCrunch tipster Jane Manchun Wong. The designs give a sense of the more mature vibe of Facebook Dating, which seems more purposefully for finding a serious partner than a one night stand.

Once you opt in to activating Facebook Dating, only other people who have also turned it on will be able to see you, and it won’t be shared to News Feed. You’ll unlock Groups or Events you’re a part of for Dating, and you’ll be able to browse potential matches based on the plethora of info Facebook knows about you. If two people express interest in each other (no swiping), they can text each other over Messenger or WhatsApp.

TechCrunch has learned some new details from Facebook as well. Facebook is considering a limit on how many people you can express interest in, which would prevent a spammy behavior of rapidly approving everyone you see. Blocking someone on Dating won’t also block them on Facebook, though that’s not finalized.

Facebook has no plan for paid subscriptions to premium Dating features. It’s currently not going to show ads in Dating though it could reconsider that later.

Dating will be 18+ only in the US and abide by local laws on who is considered an “adult”.

For now Facebook is taking carefuk steps towards Dating. It’s not blitzing into the market with a big flashy app. Instead it’s hoping the feature could create the meaningful relationships that make people appreciate Facebook and stick with it over the years. That’s more important than ever with all its recent troubles.

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