Facebook Dating Review And Top Alternatives

Online Dating

Facebook Dating Review & 19 Top Alternatives

Amber Brooks
Amber Brooks Posted:

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood on stage at the F8 developer conference and announced he was getting into the dating game. Not for himself — he’s been happily married to Priscilla Chan since 2012 — but to help Facebook users look for dates through their favorite social network.

“If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships, then this is, perhaps, the most meaningful of all,” Mark said as he reviewed Facebook Dating for a rapt audience.

Facebook Dating became available to American singles in September 2019, and it has taken the dating world by storm. Many singles have asked us what Facebook Dating is, how it works, and if it’s any good, and we wanted to answer those questions while also providing some good alternatives if you decide Facebook Dating isn’t really your cup of tea.

Overall | Pricing | Profiles | Matching | User Base | Alternatives

Our Facebook Dating Rating: 3.3/5

Facebook Dating has the potential to change the way people date by tapping into existing social connections through secret crushes and offering new avenues of communication and connection — the only catch is that singles have to opt into the system and use it to their advantage.

Facebook Dating logo

Facebook Dating looks awesome, but online daters know that looks can be deceiving.

From a design standpoint, Facebook Dating has all the bells and whistles of a top-notch dating service, and its powerful matchmaking tools can identify common interests and lifestyles based on a truly staggering amount of personal information However, it falls short in terms of online activity and popularity.

Dating is a numbers game, and Facebook Dating doesn’t have big enough numbers right now to make it worthwhile for everyone everywhere.

Our dating experts give Facebook Dating an overall rating of 3.3 stars because it’s sleek, simple, and super intuitive. But is it the game-changing dating platform that was promised back in 2018? Hardly.

Facebook Dating is Free to Everyone

Facebook Dating is a free service with plans to offer premium memberships and perks once it has built a large enough following and proven to be effective. Until then, singles on Facebook Dating are pioneers in untested territory, and they don’t have to pay anything to see what it’s like and pick up dates.

Important note: Facebook Dating is available only through the Facebook app, and you cannot access it through a web browser. Fortunately, the Facebook app is also free in Google Play and the App Store.

Connect Your Facebook Network to a Distinctive Dating Profile

The Facebook Dating signup process is super easy. It took me less than two minutes to complete on my phone. It’s much like signing up for a standard dating profile — you fill in your gender and the gender you’re looking for, your phone provides location data (which is only visible on your dating profile), and you can pick a photo from your Facebook gallery.

Your first name, age, location, education, and photos will appear on your Facebook Dating profile, and you can also write a short bio or answer fun prompts (as in “my favorite time of day is” or “one movie I can watch over and over is”) to make yourself stand out.

Screenshots of Facebook Dating profiles

Your Facebook Dating profile is kept separate from your public Facebook account.

The app uses your data for matchmaking, but it doesn’t publish any of that information without your permission. You have the power to approve any photos or information appearing on your Facebook Dating profile.

Facebook Dating draws personal details from your Facebook profile and Instagram account to identify singles who share common interests. The app can use your event calendar, groups, and mutual friends as data points in its love algorithm.

According to Facebook Dating Product Manager Nathan Sharp, Facebook’s simple signup process “takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is.”

Search for Matches On Your Own and Receive Suggested Matches

Once you’re a member of Facebook Dating, you can start viewing profiles of people who have joined the app and live in your area. The more you swipe, the more curated your match suggestions will become because Facebook Dating uses a learning algorithm to identify compatibility.

Go to your Settings to adjust your preferences in terms of distance from you, gender identity, age range, height range, language spoken, education, religion, and other lifestyle traits.

Screenshots of Secret Crush

The Secret Crush feature is a unique benefit of dating through Facebook’s global network.

The Secret Crush section is a fun way for singles to see if the people they like are interested too. You can add crushes from your Facebook or Instagram account, and you’ll receive a notification if and when that person joins Facebook Dating and adds you to their crush list.

You can add up to nine Secret Crushes at a time on the app, and no one will be able to see who’s on your list. It’s as if Facebook Dating is passing notes between friends to see if anyone’s crushes line up.

If you want to be proactive, you can go to the Like section to view the dating profiles of people who have expressed interest in your profile. You can click “Like” or “No Thanks” with no limits on how many likes you can send. If you run out of good matches, you can go to the Second Look section in your Settings to view suggested matches you’ve passed on and give them another chance.

Only people who have liked each other can send messages and have conversations through Facebook Dating. In this way, it’s much the same as the most popular dating apps already on the scene.

Facebook Dating isn’t exactly reinventing the online dating wheel, but its sleek interface and intuitive setup can be appealing if you’re burnt out on traditional online dating and want to try something new.

Facebook Has Over 200 Million Single Users

Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide, and roughly 200 million of them are single. However, that doesn’t mean they’re automatically enrolled in Facebook Dating. As we discussed previously, Facebook Dating uses an opt-in system, so you’ll only show up in searches and matches if you create a dating profile in your account.

The company hasn’t released hard numbers for how many people have joined Facebook Dating, but some signs indicate not many people have joined so far. Users have complained about a lack of matches and active users, and the app has failed to disrupt other big names in the dating industry.

Over the last year, Facebook Dating has struggled to gain traction among singles who are used to more time-tested and familiar dating platforms. Honestly, that’s Facebook Dating’s biggest challenge right now. It hasn’t become a household name just yet, but its reputation is still growing, so don’t count Facebook out just yet.

19 Top Facebook Dating Alternatives

Facebook may dominate the social scene as a friends network, but it’s hardly the only name in the online dating scene. Other dating sites and apps have been around longer, have more members, and use more sophisticated matchmaking algorithms to connect singles. So, don’t feel like you’re handcuffed to Facebook Dating — here are some great alternatives.

Top Overall | Gay & Lesbian | Hookups | FAQs

Top Overall Facebook Dating Alternatives

Look, Facebook Dating is the flashy new thing in the dating world right now, but it can’t outshine the more tried-and-true dating sites and apps that have been there for singles for decades. We’ve picked out some of the most popular and effective dating platforms for singles who want to stick with what works and meet someone special on their terms.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Match is by far our favorite dating site and app. It just can’t be beat in terms of staying power (originally launched in 1995) and success stories (more relationships and marriages than any other service).

The Match dating site was already entering its second decade when Facebook launched as a college networking site. Match has over 30 million users around the world, and this relationship-driven platform doesn’t play games when pairing people up.

Over the last 25 years, Match has proven it can work for singles who are serious about meeting someone special. It has search tools and match suggestions to push people to get off their phones and go on promising first dates.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

As a premium dating site, EliteSingles can offer a step up from the riffraff of online dating. This site and app has catered to the cream of the online dating crop with its personalized matchmaking and detail-oriented profiles.

Over 80% of EliteSingles members have graduated from college and want to find a partner on their level.

Although it’s free to join EliteSingles, you have to pay extra to view photos and send messages to your matches. An EliteSingles subscription may cost more than Facebook Dating, but it also has more value to offer well-educated professionals.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships

Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Zoosk is integrated with social media sites, like Facebook and Google+, so it's very popular with singles on the go...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Zoosk actually launched around the same time as Facebook in 2007. This feature-rich dating platform drew inspiration from social networking sites by offering tons of interactive chat and matching options.

Today, Zoosk has over 40 million members, and it sees over 3 million messages exchanged a day. The site and app currently use behavioral matchmaking to bring compatible singles together.

You can create a Zoosk profile for free and enjoy unlimited browsing of the database immediately. The only catch is that you only get a certain number of free greetings and replies as a free Zoosk member. Learn more about how much Zoosk costs here.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Casual Dates, Deep Relationships

Match System: Personality test suggests matches

Our Experts Say: “Accounting for 2% of U.S. marriages, eharmony's compatibility-based system and commitment-minded user base are ideal for those seeking a serious relationship...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

When it comes to inspiring love and marriage, eharmony has been the biggest name in the online dating scene since 2000. This site and app created a stir by using psychology to power its matchmaking, and now it’s responsible for over 2 million relationships in the U.S.

The eharmony dating service has been around a long time, and it has honed its system to identify true compatibility both quickly and accurately. The eharmony compatibility quiz asks over 80 questions about who you are and what you want, and your answers generate match scores that could be a game-changer for singles seeking a healthy relationship.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Serious Relationships

Match System: Search by gender, age, education, more

Our Experts Say: “ChristianMingle is among the largest dating sites in the industry that only caters to single Christian men and women, and the site has some of the best search filters and safety features...” Full Review »

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ChristianMingle is a trustworthy Christian dating site where singles can follow their hearts and build relationships based on shared values.

Anyone who wants to date or marry a Christian can create a free ChristianMingle profile and start their search on a positive note. The site is open to people of all faiths, orientations, and backgrounds, but it specializes in creating God-centered connections.

According to the site, Tiara and Aaron met on ChristianMingle in 2016, and they’re now happily married. Tiara introduced Aaron to her parents on their second date, and that’s when Aaron says he knew she would be his wife one day.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

As a niche dating site and app, BlackPeopleMeet can empower singles to date someone who shares similar experiences, values, and perspectives. The site helps black and biracial people find their special person, and its diverse dating network has led to thousands of strong connections.

BlackPeopleMeet has search tools to help individuals make sense of the local dating scene, and it can also recommend matches based on your preferences and dealbreakers.

You’ll need to pick up a monthly subscription to send messages on BlackPeopleMeet, and doing so could give you access to attractive singles you’d never meet otherwise.

7. OkCupid

Since its launch in 2004, OkCupid has been on a mission to perfect a formula for love. The site and app offer a personality-driven matching system that relies on in-depth profile information and responses to fun personal questions such as “Do you like the taste of beer?” and “How important is religion in your everyday life?”

Screenshot of OkCupid

OkCupid facilitates over 91 million love connections and 2.6 million dates a year.

Both OkCupid and Facebook got started by Harvard graduates in the tech scene, but they have taken a vastly different approach to online dating. OkCupid overtly gathers personal information through dating profiles and questions, while Facebook Dating is more of a behind-the-scenes matchmaker.

The main difference is that you see OkCupid’s data points and adjust them as you like, whereas Facebook Dating isn’t transparent about how it matches people.

8. Plenty Of Fish

Plenty of Fish is another completely free dating site and app worthy of your time and profile information. Since 2003, the POF community has grown to rival some of the biggest names in the business — and it can best Facebook Dating as well.

Over 150 million people have used Plenty of Fish to meet date prospects and build relationships, and singles send over 1 billion messages a month via this platform.

Screenshot of PlentyOfFish

Every day, more than 4 million people log into Plenty of Fish seeking love and romance.

Plenty of Fish has plenty of dates available, and its search tools allow you to focus on people who are actually your type. It’s free to send messages to anyone you like on the platform, and the only restriction is that you can’t send more than 55 first messages in a single day.

9. Bumble

Bumble has created a buzz in the dating scene by putting single women first and empowering serious daters to pursue healthy relationships. When a man and a woman match on Bumble, only the woman has First Move Privileges — meaning only she can send the first message.

Since its launch in 2014, Bumble has become one of the most popular apps for meeting someone new and building a deep connection. Bumble is currently responsible for over 23 million matches a week.

Screenshot of Bumble

Bumble is a dynamic and female-friendly dating app with over 80 million users.

By letting women set the tone in their online conversations with men, Bumble has effectively cut down on the number of sleazy pickup lines and disrespectful messages sent on the app. In fact, according to the app, over 85% of Bumble members say they’re more interested in a relationship than a hookup.

10. Tinder

This list just wouldn’t be complete without Tinder — aka the most popular swipe-crazy dating app of all time. Tinder may get mixed reviews in the dating scene, but no one can deny its powerful influence in the modern dating world.

Since it launched in 2012, Tinder has been downloaded over 340 million times, and it has created over 43 billion matches in 90 countries, according to the app. Those numbers are honestly mind-boggling, and few dating services can measure up just in terms of sheer numbers.

Screenshot from Tinder's website

Tinder facilitates over 1.5 million dates per week.

If you want to meet a lot of people in a short period of time, then Tinder is one of the absolute best places you can be. The app throws singles into a vast dating pool and gives them the swiping tools to navigate to a hot date. It may take some effort and time to turn those online matches into real-life dates, but the good news is your date options are pretty much limitless on Tinder.

11. Hinge

Hinge is definitely my favorite app on this list because it’s where I met my current boyfriend. This app has reworked the traditional swiping system to inspire deep conversations and committed relationships, and it has a remarkable 72% success rate when it comes to turning first dates into second dates.

You aren’t just blindly swiping on profiles here. Hinge profiles have six photos and three prompts, and users must like or comment on something specific to generate a match.

Screenshot of Hinge's homepage

Hinge is a quality-driven app for relationship seekers who don’t want to waste time.

Hinge gives singles the space to express themselves and find common ground on their terms. It’s easy to make a good first impression and start a promising chat thanks to this personality-driven matching system.

I’m not the only one to meet my match on this serious dating app. Hinge’s power couples include lawyers, doctors, engineers, CEOs, and even presidential candidates, who built lasting relationships based on more than just looks.

12. Coffee Meets Bagel

In 2012, three single women wanted to bring authenticity back to online dating, so they came up with Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating app that encourages singles to slow down and weigh their date options carefully. The CMB app limits the number of matches any one person can view in a day, so singles won’t be overwhelmed by too many options.

Screenshot of CoffeeMeetsBagel

Coffee Meets Bagel began as the passion project of three women in Silicon Valley.

Coffee Meets Bagel gives singles a curated list of compatible profiles and empowers them to choose who they’d like to get to know better. Its smart algorithm is responsible for over 50 million matches and counting.

Top Facebook Dating Alternatives for LGBT

If you’re looking for a same-sex partner, a gay dating app is going to set you up for success far more quickly than Facebook Dating ever could. The following gay-friendly platforms have been around for decades, and they’re great options for short-term and long-term dating.

★★★
3.4/5.0

Relationships: Daters & Hookups

Match System: Search by age, zip code, more

Our Experts Say: “MenNation is a well-established gay dating and hookup brand, having been founded in 1996. It's totally free to join, view profiles, receive matches, and flirt...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

MenNation is an all-dude hookup site that’s a breath for fresh air for horny guys who want to skip the games and get right down to business. Gay singles and couples can explore this database to find willing partners in their area.

While messaging isn’t free on MenNation, the site does offer an array of flirtatious tools to get guys excited, and it can spark romantic connections that start online and grow into something real.

Many men are actively seeking dates on this hookup site, which typically sees over 77,000 visitors per day.

★★★
3.4/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “LesbianPersonals provides a fun, quick, and easy experience for gay and bisexual women looking for sex online. Join for free, and you'll be able to search and communicate immediately...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

LesbianPersonals is a great lesbian alternative to Facebook Dating. This hookup site has more lesbian and bisexual members than most mainstream sites, and its steamy atmosphere is perfect for anyone seeking some girl-on-girl action.

If you identify as a unicorn, aka a woman who wants to have a threesome, then you’ll be in your element on LesbianPersonals because this hookup site has attracted many couples, swingers, and triads. These people are up for just about anything as long as it involves a sexy woman.

15. HER

HER is a dating app created by a lesbian entrepreneur on behalf of all womxn in the LGBTQ+ community. Robyn Exton quit her day job in 2012 because she believed so passionately that lesbians deserved to have their own niche dating service where couples and men couldn’t bother them.

Thanks to her dedication and vision, HER now has over 4 million members worldwide. Everyone on the app has been verified (through Facebook, actually) as a real person who identifies as female and wants a partner who is also female.

Screenshot of HER's website

HER is a social dating app with a members-only newsfeed and queer events.

We consider HER to be one of the best places for lesbian, bisexual, and queer singles to meet like-minded people, and we applaud the app for its high-integrity approach to dating. Over the years, many couples have shared their online dating love stories using #WeMetOnHER to let others know this app really works.

16. Grindr

Grindr is the go-to gay dating guide for singles in 234 countries and territories. It’s the biggest name in the gay dating world, and we’d be remiss to leave it off a list of the best gay dating platforms.

Since it came online in 2009, Grindr has garnered over 27 million signups, and it currently sees over 3.8 million active users, all of whom are guys seeking same-sex relationships or hookups.

Screenshot of Grindr's homepage

Grindr uses location-based data to drive instant connections between single men.

Grindr was one of the first dating apps to use a smartphone’s GPS data to power match suggestions, and it has proven effective at bringing like-minded guys together. Many men whip out Grindr while clubbing and bar hopping because it allows them to see who’s single and in the area, which means they can meet up right away.

Top Facebook Dating Alternatives for Hookups

Just looking to get laid? Then Facebook Dating isn’t the way to go. Facebook Dating is geared more toward building relationships, and its PG-rated setup doesn’t exactly scream sexy. Not to worry, though — there are plenty of hookup sites and apps where sexually active daters can find romance with no muss and no fuss.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups, Chats

Match System: Search by encounter, location, and more

Our Experts Say: “BeNaughty is a premier hookup app where you can feel comfortable expressing your desires. Plus, it's free to join, browse, and flirt...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

BeNaughty tops our list of hookup sites because it’s free to join and has tens of thousands of active users. You can search for local hotties by age, location, or appearance, and you can also swipe through profile pictures in the Like Gallery to pick up fast dates.

The BeNaughty platform is part of TogetherNetworks, a global dating alliance that has over 15 years of experience connecting people in the casual sex scene. The network currently reaches 45 countries.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn't about making friends, it's about short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Since 1996, Adult Friend Finder has amassed a membership base that rivals even Facebook. The AFF community includes over 100 million singles and swingers around the world — and it’s still growing.

This hookup site stands out because it offers signup tools to singles, couples, and groups of all sexual orientations, and it doesn’t restrict people from posting naughty photos, erotic stories, and other salacious content on their profiles.

Facebook Dating and other upstanding dating platforms may censure users who talk about sex in graphic terms, but AFF welcomes adults getting frisky and making their intentions known from the get-to.

★★★
3.4/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “A hookup site specializing in casual encounters, secret affairs, live chats, and member videos, FriendFinder-X skips the awkward "dating" stage of a relationship and fast-forwards straight to the sex...”

Browse Free: View Photos Now

FriendFinder-X is a local hookup site that can offer a good alternative to Facebook Dating if all you’re really interested in is no-strings-attached sex.

Seriously, FriendFinder-X has thousands of X-rated profiles available at all hours of the day and night, and you don’t need to establish a mutual match to say hi and get the ball rolling.

Is Facebook Dating Any Good?

Facebook Dating has the structure to help singles find a match — but it doesn’t have the following quite yet. So, I’d say Facebook Dating is good-ish.

Graphic of Facebook on a tablet

Facebook Dating has a good matchmaking system in place — all that’s missing is active users.

It’s a nice way to escape the crowds on more popular dating sites and apps, and it could lead to flirty conversations with friends and new online acquaintances. However, if you want to meet a lot of single people at once, you’re better off on Tinder or Match.com.

Does Facebook Dating Notify Screenshots?

No, you’re thinking of Snapchat, which sends users notifications if someone takes a screenshot of their photos. Facebook Dating has a much simpler and more straightforward privacy policy — no screenshots at all. Users cannot take any screenshots of profiles on the app, and that keeps everyone safe.

Does Facebook Dating Show On Your Profile?

No, Facebook has become much more privacy-conscious in recent years, and the team has committed not to reveal your dating habits to your broader Facebook network. People will only be able to see your dating profile if they are in the Facebook Dating app too.

In fact, the Facebook Dating team promises, “We won’t suggest current Facebook friends within Dating. And we won’t share your activity with anyone outside of Dating.”

What is the Facebook Dating App Called?

It’s called Facebook Dating, and you can access it within the Facebook app — no need to download anything extra on Google Play or the App Store.

All you have to do is click on the menu (the three lines icon in the upper right corner of the screen) and then scroll down until you see the heart icon that signifies Facebook Dating. You can only access Facebook Dating through an iPhone or Android smartphone.

Facebook Dating Has Given Singles Even More Options

Facebook is great for sharing memes, spying on exes, tagging family members in embarrassing old photos, and wishing happy birthday to friends you never see in person anymore — but it’s not the best dating tool in the world.

Our Facebook Dating review has identified a few chinks in the armor of this new matchmaking service, most notably when it comes to user engagement and the size of the membership base. The social networking site may have a stellar reputation in the tech industry, but it’s still a newcomer in the dating industry, so it may take time for the online dating service to take off and earn the trust of mainstream singles.

Facebook Dating is an undeniably groundbreaking idea, and the execution puts it on par with some of the biggest names in the dating industry. However, so far, the app has failed to win over many singles in the U.S. and abroad. Does it look cool? Absolutely. Is it easy to join? Incredibly so. Will it work better than traditional dating sites and apps? Signs point to no. Facebook Dating just isn’t there yet.

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