Facebook said on Wednesday it was launching its dating service in 32 European countries after the rollout was delayed earlier this year due to regulatory concerns.
The social media company had postponed the rollout of Facebook Dating in Europe in February after concerns were raised by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the main regulator in the European Union for a number of the world’s biggest technology firms, including Facebook.
The DPC had said it was told about the Feb. 13 launch date on Feb. 3 and was very concerned about being given such short notice.
It also said it was not given documentation regarding data protection impact assessments or decision-making processes that had been undertaken by Facebook.
Facebook Dating, a dedicated, opt-in space within the Facebook app, was launched in the United States in September last year. It is currently available in 20 other countries.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Kate Orseth, Facebook Dating’s product manager, said users can choose to create a dating profile, and can delete it at any time without deleting their Facebook accounts.
The first names and ages of users in their dating profiles will be taken from their Facebook profiles and cannot be edited in the dating service, Orseth said, adding that users’ last names will not be displayed and that they can choose whether to share other personal information on their profiles.
Facebook Dating offers a “Secret Crush” feature that lets you explore potential relationships with people you already know on Facebook and/or Instagram.
“Facebook Dating won’t suggest your Facebook friends as potential matches, but if you choose to use Secret Crush, you can select up to nine of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers who you’re interested in,” Kate Orseth, Product Manager, Facebook Dating, said in her blog post.
If your crush adds you to their Secret Crush list too, it’s a match.
The dating service offers the same features in Europe as it does in the US, using the existing profile you’ve created on Facebook to find potential matches. Facebook tailors these matches with your preferences, Facebook activity, and, if you opt in, groups and events.
While the service still only appears as a tab in Facebook’s mobile app, it’s deeply integrated with the rest of the social giant’s products. Your profile can pull stories and photos from Instagram, you can initiate Messenger video calls from chats, and the splashy Secret Crush feature searches both your Instagram followers and Facebook friends for potential matches.
The Facebook Dating service is now offered in over 50 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.