Sparked, the new speed-date app by Facebook

Are you a kind dater? If you are not sure, think about it before you try to sign up on the Sparked webpage because the system will ask you. So better be ready to explain why you think that you are kind because the app will inform you that your answer will be “reviewed by a human at Sparked” before you can join a speed date. Sounds tricky? Perhaps. There are probably less complicated ways to ask someone out for an online get-together. You can do something just fun and relaxing, like grabbing a Unibet Casino Bonus and share it with your date to enjoy an entertaining online gaming session. But if Facebook has set out on this “kindness” path, they probably know what they are doing.

The first version of the home screen, accessible only in the US, announced: “Video speed dating with kind people.” Another variation says: “Video speed dating: a faster way to meet your match.” Give your clients what they ask for is a sound marketing principle. In other words, users of online dating services are troubled by unkind people and the slow development of the relationship. Facebook’s NPE Team is clearly seeking to finalize a system that can solve both problems.

How are they planning to achieve this result? Apparently, by using the formula of the four-minute first date to filter out incompatible matches straight away. Users accepted by the system can sign up for events open to a certain number of participants. They will then be rotated in four-minute encounters with other participants. The app explains that if “you both have a great time”, two daters can move on to a 10-minute second date. After that, they can exchange contact information and stay in touch through Instagram, iMessage, or email.

The whole system is in a very early stage of testing, so many details are missing. How many speed dates they will cycle through at the first pass is not yet clear. This type of system was popular in real life a few years ago. Now, this digital version promises some advantages on the privacy plan too. For example, there will be no Sparked public profiles, though a Facebook profile is a prerequisite to register. No direct messaging either and no swiping. The app is free to use. Gender preference is obviously taken into consideration. Users will have the freedom to choose whether they want to date men, women, or non-binary people. Sparked will also ask them if they are open to dating transgender people.

Facebook has not made any announcement on this new service. Actually, they are sort of private about it. News on Sparked were broken by The Verge, who initiated a signup process and viewed a landing page for a dating event in Chicago. On that occasion, 47 people signed up to attend, but it is unclear how they got there. For the time being, there is no Sparked app either in the App Store or Google Play. The whole thing is web-based so far.

A Facebook Dating already exists. It was launched in the US in 2019, with a more classic formula: public profiles that users can view, exchanges of likes, direct messaging to initiate contact. This time, the NPE Team is trying to roll out a product that will have an edge on all the other dating applications available on the market.