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Buckle up, Facebook just launched a giant new dating feature

Well, you can stop using Facebook’s ‘People You May Know’ feature as a de facto dating app. The social networking giant today officially launched a big new feature called ‘Facebook Dating’, and they’re hoping to facilitate lots and lots of love connections.

Here’s how it works, via FB:

Starting today, you can choose to opt into Facebook Dating and create a Dating profile (separate from your main profile). You will be suggested to others who have also opted in. People are suggested based on your preferences, interests and other things you do on Facebook. Facebook Dating isn’t about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out. If you are interested in someone, you can comment directly on their profile or tap on the Like button to let them know. If you aren’t interested, you can pass on them. Facebook Dating allows you to match with friends of friends and/or people not in your friend circle. Facebook Dating won’t match you with friends, unless you choose to use Secret Crush and you both add each other to your list. All of your Dating activity will stay in Facebook Dating. It won’t be shared to the rest of Facebook.

OK, so it’ll take a bit of getting used to, but the upside is there’s no need to create a profile — it’ll use what you have on Facebook and Instagram already.

And of course, there are lots of gender and sexuality variables to help match people up:

We can certainly see the potential here, though privacy concerns are valid. Here’s how the company addressed that issue:

Safety, security and privacy are at the forefront of this product. We worked with experts in these areas to build protections into Facebook Dating from the start, including the ability to report and block anyone; prohibiting people from sending photos, links, payments or videos in messages; and by providing easy access to safety tips.

In addition to the US, Facebook Dating is currently available in 19 other countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, Suriname, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam. It will be in Europe by early 2020.

Head here for more info on exactly how it all works.