Facebook Inc., now called Meta, announcements his dating app, Facebook Dating, in May 2018. There was real excitement as people awaited a revolutionary dating app that will soon beat Tinder.

And no wonder when you consider the size of the company, its technical capabilities and, most importantly, the large amount of data that Facebook has collected for its users. Ultimately, research shows that Facebook she knows us better than our mothersso why not fulfill your goal of creating “meaningful relationships”?

But four years later, it did not take over the market – most people simply forgot about it. Numerous reports claim that the dating app practically does not work. Facebook’s own data offer not many people use the service – about 300,000 in New York, compare with asked for 3 million Bumble users in New York.

Like researcher in online dating technology, I’ve been eyeing Facebook Dating since its announcement. But since I’ve never heard of its market success, it took me a while to look at it. Now I think I have a good idea why the app failed.

My experiment

When I activated my Facebook dating profile (purely outside academic curiosity), I was struck by the number of very attractive profiles to which I was exposed during the first few hours. I started pressing “like”, I soon received notifications of “matching”, which means that people also “liked” me.

My own research shows that receiving a positive signal in a dating app for a male heterosexual user is quite a rare event. However, my phone kept buzzing for hours. But I started checking the profiles and soon realized that this was too good to be true – the matches looked out of my league.

To see what was happening, I started chatting. I didn’t have ethical permission from my university for comprehensive research, so I made it clear in my profile that I was only there to chat.

But when I wrote several messages to one person, I received a phone number and an invitation to take things to WhatsApp. My past work has shown this usually occurs after at least 20 messages and within three to four days. It was an acquaintance with the speed of light, according to science.

Within a few hours I had a long list of attractive matches that everyone wanted to talk to me about “interesting things” – not in the application, but in WhatsApp. Interestingly, no one sent me an Irish number (often British or Polish), although they all lived in Ireland, presumably.