The new Secret Crush function allows people to choose friends they are romantically interested in, and the object of their attraction will only be notified if they return the feeling.
The new feature is available in countries where Facebook already rolled out its dating service, including Argentina, Canada, Thailand and Mexico, as well as in 14 new countries including Brazil, Singapore and Malaysia.
The updated app is meant to make it easier for users to engage more in order to boost overall engagement, Facebook said.
News of the new dating feature was met with mockery and pointed remarks on social media, given Facebook’s history of handling users’ data. Some Twitter users remarked that the social network could even end up like Ashley Madison, the dating website which suffered a huge user data breach, sparking a deluge of ruined relationships and class action lawsuits.
Many felt it was just a bad idea, pointing out that people don’t necessarily want others contacting them via private message looking for romance.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg inspired a similar reaction when he introduced Facebook’s privacy overhaul strategy at the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday. Many feel that Facebook has let users down too many times and don’t trust it to prioritise user privacy over profits.
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