Yesterday, during its annual developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will soon be adding a new dating feature, simply called "Dating." Great news for all the people who already spend most of their time on Facebook flirting with old high school crushes, but are there really still enough people who trust the social media platform to make it work?
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At first glance, Facebook Dating seems like a plain ol' Tinder ripoff, but it does have some weird personal tweaks. In order to get the most matches, the feature seems to encourage an active social lifestyle. When you're going to an event, you can unlock your Dating profile for all other Dating members also going there to see. Anyone who then likes the look of your basic profile can send you a text message. Not a picture, though, because Facebook doesn't want its wholesome reputation sullied by a bunch of dick pics. (After all, that's what the paid white supremacist advertisements are for.)
And while Facebook Dating will definitely use all your personal data it's been harvesting to find you a perfect match, it actually wants to keep the feature as far away from your regular usage of the site as it can. Besides your Friends being unable to see your Dating and your dates being unable to see your Facebook (at first), you'll also never be matched with any of your connected friends, no matter the eligibility. So unlike in every rom-com story in the world, your true love will always have to be a stranger on Facebook. A stranger on Facebook you've shown your name and face to. A stranger on Facebook who knows you're alone and are going to be at a public venue tonight. Screw it, let's all just start wearing mace as cologne.
Dating has come at a bad time, as Facebook has finally become so sketchy that it's actually losing users. Despite promises to Congress to respect people's privacy, the company recently moved 1.5 billion users' data to the U.S. in order to evade new EU privacy laws like it was taking a briefcase full of hastily stuffed hundred-dollar bills on a trip the Cayman Islands. Also, despite trolling getting worse and worse, Facebook is doing its second trial run of introducing a downvote button, which now feels a lot like the company tossing a pool cue into a bar brawl and just sitting back to watch. The site has gotten so untrustworthy and uncool that it's slowly becoming the social media equivalent of that one uncle who keeps commenting "All grown up now!" under all your beach pics. And who doesn't want to get set up on a blind date by that guy?
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