Crushes and social media go hand in hand. Who hasn't stalked the person who caught their eye at last weekend's party, or sleuthed around online to find out if the cute person in your Tuesday morning lecture is actually single? Detectives everywhere should breathe a sigh of relief now that Facebook Dating launched in the United States on Sept. 5. Facebook Dating's Secret Crush feature takes the app to a whole new level and could completely change the way you date.
Facebook Dating is technically housed within Facebook's app, but it's pretty separate from the social media platform. Your regular Facebook friends won't know you're on Facebook Dating or be able to see your dating profile. It's just common sense — you don't need your great-uncle seeing your thirst trap pics or accidentally sliding into your DMs. For the most part, it's probably a relief that your Facebook friends can't see that you're on Facebook Dating, right?
There's just one thing — crushes. You probably want your crush to know that you're single and ready to mingle on Facebook Dating. It's a common problem; a Facebook spokesperson told Elite Daily that according to a study commissioned by the social media platform in July, 53% of online daters currently have a crush on someone they know IRL but are too nervous to ask them out. This is where Secret Crush comes in.
To use the feature, add up to nine Facebook friends or Instagram followers to your Secret Crush list by entering their Facebook names or Instagram handles. Once a person is added to your list, they receive a notification that they were added to someone's Secret Crush list. The catch is that they won't be shown who added them unless your name is on their list, too. If you and your crush are interested in each other, congrats! The app will create a chat for the two of you to talk. (There's also an option to chat later — though if you're simply stumped about what to say, try one of these opening lines. You got this.)
There's a catch, though: While it may be tempting to constantly add and remove people from your Secret Crush list until you discover a match, once you reach a full list of nine people, Facebook will only let you swap out one person per day.
Facebook Dating's product manager Charmaine Hung explained the feature's appeal to Tech Crunch in April, saying, “I have 2,000 Facebook friends. I’m not best friends with all 2,000 people, and there’s a good chance that one of that could be a really good match with me. I trust them, I appreciate them and I know we’re compatible. The only thing missing is knowing if we’re both interested in being more than just friends without the fear of rejection if you were to do this in real life.”
Secret Crush was initially announced at the social network's annual F8 developer conference on April 30. As of Sept. 5, Facebook Dating exists in 19 countries.