When Facebook announced a new dating feature at its annual developer conference this week, it depicted quick comparings to existing apps like Tinder and Bumble. But the social network’s matchmaking service, simply called Dating, most closely resembles another, lesser known dating app: Hinge.
Facebook hasn’t yet begun to test Dating, but the demo version touted on stage by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief product officer Chris Cox looks nearly identical to Hinge. This isn’t the first time Facebook has ripped off a competitor; Instagram famously lifted Stories from Snapchat in 2016. And as in previous cases, Hinge probably doesn’t have much recourse to stop them.
At first glance, they seem nearly identical.
Based on the demo shown at the F8 developer conference, Facebook Dating doesn’t have a Tinder-like “hot or not” swiping feature for rapidly sorting through potential matches. Instead, it works like Hinge, which has users scroll through detailed profiles. Both Hinge and Facebook Dating also allow users to post answers to questions on their profiles, like whether they prefer puppies or cats. And in the biggest similarity, singles on both services can start conversations not by simply saying hello but by commenting on a specific profile item. For instance, you can click on a picture of a crush’s trip to Morocco and mention that you’ve been there too. You can also simply “like” an image, video, or question response to signify your interest.