Now, Facebook is testing its own speed dating app called Sparked, The Verge first reported.
Sparked, developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, isn’t the app’s first foray into dating. The tech giant introduced Facebook Dating in 2019, and NPE itself launched Tuned, a “private space for couples,” around this time last year.
Sparked’s website claims that the app won’t have public profiles, swiping, or “endless DMs” — a direct shot at the most popular dating apps, like Tinder. You can sign up for Sparked’s waitlist there, where they ask questions such as age and gender preferences towards dating, and your location. Naturally, you sign up with your Facebook account.
Sparked will consist of a series of four-minute long speed dates, according to an explanation once waitlist signup is complete. If you enjoy your first speed date with someone, you’ll schedule a subsequent 10-minute date. Sparked encourages you to “take it from there” and meet elsewhere online, such as in DMs or Instagram (which is also owned by Facebook).
The landing page after signing up for the waitlist says there will be “date night events.”
As The Verge noted, Sparked also emphasizes kindness on the app, perhaps in an attempt to quell fears about bad faith actors. When signing up for the waitlist, both The Verge and Mashable encountered a pop-up that said, “Dating is better when you’re kind”:
“We ask everyone to commit to a positive dating experience,” the pop-up states. It encourages users to be kind, keep the app a safe space, and to show up.
Facebook may be bringing up the rear with video dates, but there’s the added element of speed dating to make it more exciting (and/or terrifying). It’s unclear when Sparked will officially launch or when these dating events will begin, but Mashable has reached out to Facebook for comment and will update if received.