Social media users on Tuesday expressed their displeasure at Facebook’s decision to launch Secret Crush, pointing out that a lot could go wrong as the website encourages friends to take things one step further in perhaps the most awkward way.
The network claimed the move came after people told them they believe there’s an opportunity to explore potential romantic relationships within their own extended circle of friends and those using Secret Crush will be able to select up to nine existing connections to express interest in.
If two Facebook users appear on each other’s Secret Crush list, it’s a match. Although the concept is much like dating app Tinder, that and other brands present accounts from outside of the participants’ online networks.
The infiltration of online dating to Facebook appeared to prove too much for social media enthusiasts following the announcement and many pointed out it wasn’t in keeping with Mark Zuckerberg’s simultaneous comment at the F8 Conference in San Jose, California, that he believes ‘the future is private’.
Facebook’s Secret Crush feature got some negative responses on Tuesday following a keynote opened by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California
Friends on the site can match if they both secretly register interest via the platform
Users can opt in to discover potential matches within Facebook communities via events, groups, friends of friends and more – a crush will go undetected
Facebook said the data obtained from the feature will not be used externally
‘Facebook reveals new Secret Crush feature, so now you can use Facebook to find out that the guy you knew in high school has become a gun nut who thinks Democrats want to eat babies AND he thinks you’re very pretty,’ one Twitter user posted.
‘I was really hoping to pull this up and see it was posted April 1, because how many of us have creeped our secret crush’s FB and didn’t want to be detected. Who me no of course not,’ one tweet read.
Another joked: ‘Adding my grandma on secret crush as a bit and then finding out she added me back… f**ked up.’
Others hinted that aside from being unwanted and unnecessary, it has potential to make the website a less enjoyable experience for those unlucky in love via other mediums.
One even alluded to the feature being a starting point for potential predators to target victims, predicting it’s ‘where Forensic Files episodes will start for the next generation’.
‘I assure you none of my crushes are secret, and even less of them are my Facebook pals lol,’ Marissa Mendez tweeted.
Social media users shared their negative responses to the news of the dating feature
Another wrote: ‘Fantastic, another public platform of embarrassment for me (since I will be clearly no one’s secret crush ever).’
Facebook has insisted the feature won’t result in unwanted attention. They said if your crush isn’t on Facebook Dating – where users can opt in to discover potential matches within Facebook communities via events, groups, friends of friends and more – a crush will go undetected.
If a person on a crush list opts into Facebook Dating, they will get a notification saying that someone has a crush on them.
However if they don’t create a Secret Crush list or don’t put a person on their list, no one will know their name has been entered.
Users can include up to nine people as a Secret Crush and once nine are on the list, one must be removed to make space for a new crush. Only one additional name can be added per day.
While it reduces the likelihood of mass matching, it doesn’t stop trolls purposely targeting people they know to register false interest and potentially use it as a tool for bullying however.
Many expressed how they merge of dating and online friendships was unwanted
The idea of Facebook Dating’s Secret Crush feature was downright creepy for some people
Facebook told DailyMail.com that users are able to block or report from inside Dating messages or from their Dating Profile if they don’t want to interact any longer.
A representative shared that messages are also limited to text only to prevent someone from sending inappropriate photos and links.
They said anything in Facebook Dating will not be used outside of the feature at all and it will not affect ads or what users see in News Feed algorithm.
Only those 18 and over can use Facebook Dating.
It was only available in Colombia, Thailand, Canada, Argentina, and Mexico until Tuesday when it expanded to 14 new countries: Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and Suriname.
The Facebook rep told DailyMail.com they are looking forward to rolling out in other countries and plan to launch in the US the by the end of the year.
Zuckerberg had said that he believed the future was private during the event this week
A tweeter pointed out that the announcement wasn’t in line with Zuckerberg’s vision of privacy
Facebook’s Fidji Simo speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference in San Jose