Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Social media giant Facebook launched its long-awaited dating service in the United States on Thursday.
The new service, called simply Dating, combines dater profiles with an algorithm dedicated to matchmaking, along with more integration into companion site Instagram, the company said. Dating is already within the Facebook app, but users will need to create an exclusive profile for it. The new service is entirely free to use.
"Facebook Dating makes it easier to find love through what you like - helping you start meaningful relationships through things you have in common, like interests, events and groups," Nathan Sharp, product manager of Facebook Dating, said in a statement. "It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is.
"Today, we're launching Facebook Dating in the U.S. We're also giving people the ability to integrate their Instagram posts directly into their Facebook Dating profile and giving people the ability to add Instagram followers to their Secret Crush lists, in addition to Facebook friends."
Sharp said users will be able to link Facebook and Instagram profiles to Dating by the end of the year.
Dating users must opt in to use the service, which will suggest potential matches based on preferences, interests and other things the users do on Facebook. A "Secret Crush" feature on Instagram is also a matching tool.
"Facebook Dating isn't about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out," Sharp said. "If you are interested in someone, you can comment directly on their profile or tap on the 'Like' button to let them know. If you aren't interested, you can pass on them."
Before its launch Thursday, Facebook first announced the service more than a year ago and tested Dating in 19 other countries.
"We've been really slow, actually, with this rollout," Dating product manager Charmaine Hung told CNN Thursday. "We really wanted to make sure we got it right because dating is so personal."