Online Dating – Could A Facebook Dating App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?

Facebook-Dating-Apps

Something I’ve been wondering lately is why Facebook doesn’t get involved in online dating? One of the biggest problems with online dating is knowing whether or not a site is reputable (after all, you’d be giving them your personal information, including perhaps your credit card details), but another problem is working out how many of the users they claim to have are actually active (and REAL). Having a large and active user base is the holy grail for most dating sites.

There are a number of sites who exaggerate their numbers, but there are even worse sites who create fake profiles to seem more popular than they are (then disappoint their customers when they don’t get many replies!). This is more common with adult sites, and it’s even harder to tell on those kinds of sites, as people try to be as anonymous as possible, creating further doubt.

I’m sure someone else has already thought of this idea long before me (I know there are some apps already not sanctioned by Facebook themselves though), but with a database of users as large as Facebook’s why don’t Facebook themselves try their own dating service? Users could opt in to the service, which could be in the form of an app, and like other apps, users can choose their own privacy settings depending on whether or not they want their friends (and the general public) to know that they’re looking (you might get unwanted date invites from your friends and colleagues!). You could create a dating profile using the details from the user’s Facebook profile with the click of a few buttons… and if anyone’s used online dating before, you’ll know that writing an online profile is really tedious, and selling yourself in this respect is an art form in itself (there is a business in writing online dating profiles!).

Your Facebook page would already have quite a lot about your likes/dislikes, your interests, and maybe even more (like your religion if you have one, your political views, and so on). It would only take someone to write a smart matching algorithm to match potential mates using the wealth of information available on Facebook. Facebook users could opt in or out of the service at the click of a button. With reportedly over one billion active users, it could potentially be the biggest and most useful dating app/site in the world. Food for thought perhaps?

Imagine personalised recommendations, for a potential partner or even just a friendship, that partnered you with relevant people. For example: Matt, you and Belinda both enjoy mountain biking and hiking, watching action movies, travelling around Asia, eating at Italian restaurants, and are looking for a long-term relationship with a view to marriage. Much better than “Hey, you have 10 friends in common! How about it?”, I think.

Some existing Facebook dating apps include ZooskSpeedDate and Online People, but there’s much room for improvement (none of these are actually very good). For traditional online dating websites and smartphone apps, check out our post on Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love.

What do you think? Do you think a dating site spun off from Facebook profiles – like Facebook Dating – is a good idea?

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Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love

A few weeks ago, I posted Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love, and one of the places to start looking for love is online, otherwise known as online (or Internet) dating. There are a number of advantages to online dating: you can browse profiles without having to interact with anyone, and do so in the privacy of your own home. You can match up yourself with your preferred type of partner (and if you’re not sure of exactly what you want, see Step 2. Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner for some help).

Online Dating Websites

A number of websites now use matching algorithms – some sophisticated, some not so – to help you find your ‘perfect match’. A couple of particular sites that use decent matching algorithms are eHarmony and OkCupid, and Plenty Of Fish claims to have the “world’s most advanced matching system” and has over a million users worldwide. The best thing about Plenty Of Fish is that it is free to use, but many dating websites are either free to browse (paid membership required to contact others) or have an inexpensive trial membership. Also, with reportedly over one billion active users, Could A Facebook App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site? Badoo uses your Facebook login details and has over 180 million users for new friends, chatting and dating, and is linked with the smartphone app Blendr (see below).

Another popular, reputable (and well advertised!) dating site is Match.com, and in the UK, a number of newspapers have their own dating websites where you can meet like-minded individuals. For example, The Guardian has Soulmates and The Telegraph has Telegraph Dating.

Specialist/Alternative Online Dating Websites

There are also a number of less mainstream, more specialised dating websites to find someone of a particular type:

Smartphone/Mobile Dating Apps

And finally, with smartphones becoming more and more popular, there are now a number of phone applications that can help you meet new people, and perhaps your future partner. Skout is an example of a smartphone app that uses GPS technology to find someone near you when you’re out and about. You can chat (and flirt) with someone, and exchange photos, until you’re ready to meet in person – and Skout never reveals your exact location or phone number. You can stay relatively anonymous until you’re ready to give more information out. The Skout app is free and available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. For the gay male community, there’s Grindr. You might also like to check out Joseph Atkins’s post on the 25 Best Free Gay Dating Apps. Blendr is patterned after Grindr and is the “straight” version of this app. The online dating sites Match.com and eHarmony have also joined the smartphone revolution with their own apps: Match.com mobile and eHarmony mobile.

So with all those tools and websites at your disposal, all there is left to do now is go for it! You can also check out our post on Online Dating – Could A Facebook Dating App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site? and learn how to perfect your online dating profile in Online Dating – Creating A Successful Online Dating Profile.

Part 1: Find Love. Step 3. (Where To) Start Looking For Love.

So you’ve taken the first step to finding love and learnt to love yourself (Step 1. Love Yourself), and you’ve got a good understanding of who you are and what you want from a relationship/partner (Step 2. Know Yourself & What You Really Want From A Partner). Now you want to find love and a special person, but where do you start looking? In this post, we’ll go through a few of the common places to start looking for love, and look at some of the pros and cons of each.

Internet/Online Dating

You’ve probably all heard of internet/online dating, and many of you may have tried it at least once or twice in some form or another. With so many different websites out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are worthwhile, which are reputable, and which ones have predominately real profiles (a good handful of sites use fake profiles to seem more popular and full of “like-minded people like YOU”!). A discussion on online dating could fill several blog posts, so I’ll keep this brief for now, but there will be other posts on the ins and outs of this form of dating throughout the year. There is still some stigma attached to internet dating sites – often that if you are on an online dating site that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re ‘spoiled goods’. But almost everyone is connected to the internet now and it is fairly easy to use modern technology to your advantage to help you find love – there are a multitude of smartphone apps now, too. For the best online dating websites, including specialised/alternate ones and smartphone/mobile dating apps, check out Online Dating – The Best Dating Websites & Apps To Look For Love. Also, with reportedly over one billion active users, Could A Facebook App Become The World’s Biggest Dating Site?

Bars/Nightclubs

For those in their late teens and 20s, it is quite easy to meet potential partners at a bar or nightclub, and for this kind of age group, it isn’t socially awkward to be at such a place. Personally, although I met many prospective partners at bars and clubs, I never seemed to meet exactly the right girl for me. Alcohol can be a great social lubricant for meeting new people and is in plentiful abundance in such establishments. The good news for everyone is that it is a fallacy that you need to be young or a heavy drinker or a lover of house music – particularly in bigger cities like London and Tokyo, there are themed bars and clubs for all different tastes and ages… it isn’t just for the young’uns. There are jazz bars, cocktail lounges, salsa bars, cabaret – the list goes on and on.

Friends/Family

How many times have your friends or family offered, with their best intentions, to set you up with someone they know who is “just perfect for you”, yet it turns out to be far from the truth. This experience can range from awkward to just plain horrible. Sure, there are some success stories out there, but more often than not, the family- or friend-arranged date doesn’t work amazingly well. A lot of things need to line up in your favour for it to work. Does your family member or friend really know you and your wants/needs, as well as those of your prospective partner? Too many times they judge you on what they think you want, not what you actually want. It’s hard enough sometimes for us to know what we really want ourselves, let alone someone else making this judgement for us! Arranged relationships – or even arranged marriages – can be convenient, but I don’t think it’s a sure-fire way of finding love.

Hobby/Social Clubs

For those who are uncomfortable with online dating or going to bars or nightclubs for whatever reason, and don’t trust their family or friends to find a suitable partner, find an activity that you love – one that also involves others – and join a hobby/social club. This could be a gym class, a dance class, a training course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, or a group/organisation that has similar values/beliefs/ideas to you. Here you may meet someone as passionate about you about a particular hobby or interest. On the other hand, this may also be an opportunity to try something completely different and do a new activity you may never have considered before. There are, of course, pros and cons to dating someone similar or different to you (see Dating Someone Similar Or Different – Opposites Attract?). Again the internet has made it simpler to meet new and likeminded people – try searching Facebook groups or pages or try the website Meetup. Meet new people, make new friends, and see what happens. You can find love in the strangest of places, at the most random times!

These are just some of the many examples of places you might find love or at least start looking for it. But keep one eye open at all times, love might turn up in the strangest of places – in a supermarket aisle, on the bus or train, at work or university. You might come across the love of your life taking out your garbage even. Love is all around us, and potential partners everywhere!

If you have a partner, where did you meet them? Was it a conventional way or unconventional? If you’re single, where have you been looking and how successful have you been?