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Outside of Secret Crush, Facebook removes your Facebook friends from the profiles you’ll see — a real leg up over Hinge, which regularly shows me my coworkers and my close friends’ ex-boyfriends.Facebook is also emphasizing its real-world relevance by integrating groups and events into its dating feature — hoping that people will opt in to displaying their profile to users that they are likely to come across in real life already. Then came the one-woman crush empire Tessa Thompson and Lorde acolyte Conan Gray’s first hit single “Crush Culture.” These were all, in my view, predicted by Tiana Reid’s viral essay on crushes for the New Inquiry: “The teen crush transforms into an adulthood of endless crushes, the possibility of intense attachments to many people at once.” It’s been so fun! At its annual developer conference on Tuesday, the company provided more details about its nascent dating feature Facebook Dating, which is built directly into the main mobile app.The most interesting development is that Facebook Dating has a “Secret Crush” feature, which lets users list nine of their Facebook friends on whom they are secretly crushing.If I were pressed to select nine people from my Facebook friends whom I would consider making out with, it would be a real challenge. A former fellow unpaid intern at some horrible magazine? The feature has already been compared to the weird, failed dating app Bang With Friends (which relaunched as Down in 2013) but is more structurally similar to the also-doomed Slack integration built by the polyamory-centric dating app Feeld in 2017, which was supposed to pair up work crushes and was publicly shot down as an HR nightmare.
Having been integrated with Firebase Auth & Firestore, the React Native Dating App can literally be published today.The profiles are distinct from Facebook profiles, though, and only carry over your first name, age, and GPS-verified location.The rest you fill in just as you would do for any other dating app.The idea of anyone having nine secret crushes at the same time is, of course, very funny and also an impossible emotional tangle to imagine.Facebook also seems to be operating under the assumption that most users still regularly update their social circle by adding new friends on the main site and haven’t offloaded their professional, personal, and romantic lives to, say, Instagram. But if you have one of those weird years-long things with someone from high school or college, I guess having Facebook tell them you’d like to smooch now would be an interesting development in your narrative.