The social media company, during the 2019 F8 conference held in California, said it will soon roll out the Facebook Dating feature in the Philippines and 13 other countries.
Josh Edelson/AFP
Facebook rolls out dating feature in the Philippines
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — New dating features will soon be available for Facebook users in the Philippines. 

The social media company, during the 2019 F8 conference held in California, said it will soon roll out the Facebook Dating feature in the Philippines and 13 other countries. 

The feature – currently available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina and Mexico – allows users to discover potential matches within their own Facebook communities, including among friends of friends or those who belong in same groups. 

Announced last year, Facebook Dating enables users to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile. 

Potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common and mutual friends. 

“They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their groups or events. However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends,” said the company. 

Aside from the Philippines, the feature will also be rolled out in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname.

‘Secret crush’

Facebook also announced a new feature called “Secret Crush,” which would enable users to explore potential romantic relationships within their own extended circle of friends. 

“If you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends who you want to express interest in,” said the company. 

“If your crush has opted into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them. If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list, it’s a match,” it added. 

Facebook said no one will know a user’s activity if the “crush” is not on Dating or does not create a Secret Crush list. 

Facebook has yet to release the schedule for the rollout of the features in the Philippines. 

On the other hand, a lawmaker warned against the use of online dating sites.

“There is a dark side to chat and dating sites. The ugly truth is that human traffickers as well as sexual predators prowl these sites to stalk potential victims,” Rep. John Bertiz of party-list group ACTS-OFW said.

“These monsters deceptively use bogus profiles to start and cultivate relationships, with the intent of eventually entrapping would-be victims. It is not unusual for them to lure targets with promises of a better life, including higher-paying job prospects,” he said.

Bertiz aired the warning after a 35-year-old Army captain in Cyprus confessed to killing seven women and young girls, including three Filipinos, in the Mediterranean island-country.

The police in Cyprus said the confessed serial killer, now in custody, used a popular online dating site to lure his victims.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and our thoughts and prayers are with them,” Bertiz said.

He said online dating sites have become increasingly popular among overseas Filipinos with the advent of mobile phone applications.

“It can be lonely when you are working and living alone in a foreign country, away from your family and friends,” the lawmaker, himself a former overseas worker, said.  – With Jess Diaz

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