Facebook's Tinder rival now wants to get you to date your existing friends

C Flanigan / Contributor / Getty ImagesPriscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Facebook is adding a “secret crush” feature to its Facebook Dating tool.
  • It will allow users to discover if they and their friends have mutual crushes on each other.
  • Facebook Dating is also expanding to more than a dozen new countries – but there’s still no word on when it’s coming to the US.

Facebook wants to help you hook up with your friends.

A year after the California social networking giant announced Facebook Dating, a tool for finding potential dates, it has now announced “Secret Crush” – a new feature for figuring out which of your friends might be open to romantic overtures.

Facebook Dating is also rolling out to a more than a dozen new countries, the company announced at its annual F8 conference on Tuesday, bringing the total up to 19 – including Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador, Canada, and Mexico, but notably not the United States.

The announcement comes as Facebook attempts to move past two years of scandals and crises, from Cambridge Analytica’s misappropriation of tens of millions of users’ data to the social network’s role in spreading hate speech that fuelled genocide in Myanmar.


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Facebook Dating is the company’s answer to Tinder or Bumble, and when it was announced in May 2018, Facebook – reeling from privacy scandals – emphasised that users’ dating profiles would be kept completely separate from their existing Facebook profiles.

That wall is now coming down – just slightly.

“Secret Crush” lets users of Facebook Dating select nine of their Facebook friends who they “want to express interest in.” If the admired friend also uses Facebook Dating, and has also selected that person back, then they will be notified that they’re each others’ crushes; if not, nothing happens, and they’re none the wiser.

The rationale seems to be to try and spark romantic connections between existing friends where there’s a potential connection, while avoiding any awkwardness or discomfort that could be caused by disclosing unrequited feelings.

In an emailed announcement, a Facebook spokesperson said “we don’t have news to share (yet) about the launch in the U.S.” – suggesting that it seems on the cards in the future.


Business Insider is reporting live from Facebook’s F8 conference in San Jose, California. Click here for all our latest stories.

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