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Facebook Employees Testing Out Dating Product

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Two months after announcing its dating service, Facebook is testing it out internally with employees.

The company confirmed to The Verge that the product is in testing within the Facebook app. No other details were given.

And independent app researcher Jane Manchun Wong found evidence of the product last week.

“This product is for U.S. Facebook employees who have opted-in to dogfooding Facebook’s new dating product,” a screenshot reads (dogfooding is slang for employees testing out their own software). “The purpose for this dogfooding is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers.”

Employees will use fake data for the profiles, and Facebook plans to delete all data if it decides to officially launch the service to the public.

“Dogfooding this product is completely voluntary and has no impact on your employment,” a screenshot reads. The company also warned employees that its anti-harassment policies apply to the dating product.

Facebook Dating will allow users to create a separate profile for dating. When two people using the service like one another’s profiles, they will be allowed to make contact. The company also said the app would allow users to make their dating profile visible for people attending the same events so they could generate more offline connections.

“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just for hookups,” Mark Zuckerberg said in his announcement.

Facebook’s announcement in May that it would offer online dating on the platform sent Match’s shares trading down about 22 percent at the time. Still, Match — the brand behind Match, Tinder, OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish — seemed to be taking the news in stride, and even took some jabs at the social media giant’s data scandals.

“We’re flattered that Facebook is coming into our space — and sees the global opportunity that we do — as Tinder continues to skyrocket,” Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg said in a statement. “We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory. Regardless, we’re going to continue to delight our users through product innovation and relentless focus on relationship success. We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us.”

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