Facebook begins internal testing of dating feature

BY LEAH WILLIAMS
Posted on AUG 10, 2019

Unlike stand-alone apps, Tinder or Bumble, the new feature will be based within the main Facebook application, providing users with five gender options.

Subsequent to announcing the new dating feature at the F8 Developer conference, Facebook is testing its dating product internally with employees.

Jane Manchun Wong, an independent app researcher who regularly uncovers new Facebook features by scouring the source code, found evidence of the product Friday and revealed the evidence on Twitter.
Accompanying the findings, Facebook confirmed to The Verge that the product is in testing within the Facebook app but declined to comment further.

"This product is for US Facebook employees who have opted-in to dogfooding Facebook's new dating product," a screenshot reads, using slang for employees testing out their own software. "The purpose for this dogfooding is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers."

Employees were required to use fake data for their dating profiles. The social media giant has plans to delete all data before the public launch.

"Dogfooding this product is completely voluntary and has no impact on your employment," a screenshot reads, adding that the product is confidential. It also warns employees that its anti-harassment policies apply to the dating product.

Additional images display the sign-up flow for Facebook dating, including options to specify your gender, your location, and which genders you're interested in matching with. Wong was able to fill in her own information but prevented from actually creating the dating profile.

Notably, the stock price of Match Group, which owns popular dating apps including OKCupid and Tinder, plunged 17 percent the day Facebook Dating was announced.

During the F8 Developer conference, the company revealed how Facebook Dating will allow users to create a separate profile for dating. When a user and another person using the service like one another's profiles, each entity will be allowed to contact each other.

The company also described a feature that would let users create dating profiles visible for people attending the same social event, in hopes of generating more offline connections. "This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships not just for hookups," Mark Zuckerberg said in his announcement