Facebook To Launch Dating Site?

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Tom Keating
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Facebook To Launch Dating Site?

facebook-dating.jpg Is Facebook planning to launch a dating site? It certainly would make a lot of sense. Let's look at the evidence. First, did you see the recent announcement of Amazon's new social feature integrating Facebook into your Amazon recommendations? This feature enables a Amazon Facebook page showing you the most popular books, DVDs, and more that are listed in your friend's Facebook profile. So if you like Journey, you can see which one of your friends also likes them. You'll also see upcoming birthdays and be able to more easily find your Facebook friends' Amazon Wish Lists. You'll also get gift suggestions for your friends based on their Facebook profiles.

Hmmm, seeing what you have in common with your "friends"? Do you see where this is going? Well, if not, let me spell it out for you. Imagine if Facebook's knowledge about you and prospective dating partners could be used to build the most accurate compatibility profile available - anywhere!
The big question is would users trust Facebook given their privacy control issues? Well, 500 million+ users says Facebook is still doing something right even with some privacy concerns. Besides, dating sites are all about "sharing" intimate details with perfect strangers, so privacy may be less of a concern. Though, you do still want "control" over that release of information, so Facebook still would need to keep users' trust.

The Facebook Dating Advantage
Unlike dating sites which require the mundane process of filling out your bio, your sex, your religion, your politics, etc. most of this info is already in your Facebook profile.  Facebook profiles are already pre-populated with the main questions dating sites ask, like political views, religion, marital status, hetero/homo-sexual & geographic location. But are also filled with more mundane yet important areas like college attended, favorite musicians, favorite sports teams, favorite movies, etc. Thus, Facebook has more insights into your intimate details and hobbies than many dating sites have. This could enable some really granular searches for a dating partner. Hate the Boston Red Sox - eliminate all profiles that have them. Can't stand hip-hop? Bam! Those profiles gone.

Let's take that one step further. Imagine if Netflix offers a Facebook app that links your favorite Netflix movies (using your ratings) with Facebook which then links to this Facebook dating portal. You'll be able to find a soul mate that has similar TV / movie interests so you'll (almost) never have to fight over the remote control or who gets to pick the movie.

I know I hate uploading photos - too tedious. Plus, I already have my favorite photo uploading sites, so I don't want yet another site to have to upload to. Facebook users already upload their favorite profile pictures, so this too can save a step for single people looking to instantly create a dating profile on Facebook with as many or as "few" photos as they want to share.

Automatic profile builder - check
Fast profile pics - check
Millions of dating profiles available to search - check
Granular knowledge of prospective dating partners - check

Obviously, this potential Facebook dating site would have to be opt-in to participate. Most married couples or people in a current relationship would not want to participate in a dating site. Perhaps this Facebook dating site could allow singles to query the main Facebook site for singles matching your criteria (including profile pics) and then send an "evite" to join the Facebook dating site to check out who the suitor is that expressed interest. Of course, the privacy zealots wouldn't be too happy about this. But really nothing additional is being disclosed. You can see anyone's Facebook profile pic already, even if they set all the privacy controls to maximum.

Of course, you could use this Facebook dating site to filter for only "Republican" women for instance, and then gain intimate knowledge about someone's person profile that is not public unless you are a "friend" on Facebook and can see their Profile info. Still, I'm sure with some privacy controls, Facebook could have a real winner here.

Now what to call it? Facebook already offers "Friend finder", so how about "Love Finder" or "Date Finder"? 

So what say you? Great or terrible idea?

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