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The social network has long served as a place to flirt by letting users advertise their relationship statuses, stalk one another's updates and Poke people they might be interested in.Indeed, one study last year from Stanford found that about 10% of couples who met online knew each other first in some other context and re-connected through a social network like Facebook."There is no way for the third party to signal that 'yes, I want a date to approach me.'" More fundamentally, Fishman says that his company found Facebook's Like data was often not fresh or comprehensive enough to serve as a match-making tool."If I asked you what your favorite movies are and went to your movies section on Facebook, I don't think they would match up."I had to go to Kinko's and scan in a picture of myself for my profile." Soon after that, she was on a date.

"Cold friending or cold messaging someone on Facebook is uncomfortable because you don't know if the other person wants to be approached.

Then, at one point, a Facebook employee stood on stage and searched for "friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco." With that simple line, Facebook asserted itself as a potentially big player in the future of online dating.

who share similar interests, whereas Facebook's focus was on helping you find the people you do know.

Meanwhile, he says some dating websites are starting to re-brand a bit by taking the "pink hearts" off their homepage with the goal of being a little more welcoming to those who might previously have been put off by the idea of online dating.

Facebook could fit nicely in this trend by serving as a more general social venue where casual users occasionally browse for dates without necessarily branding themselves as online daters.

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