Love in the time of Facebook


Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Singles’ Awareness Day

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to all!

Single, desperate, and addicted to Facebook? I have good news for you! Facebook now has a matchmaking service to help their single members find love.

Lovebook is actually a marketing service created by CJ James that intends to help Facebook users get dates by creating targeted Facebook ads. You select a package (First Date, Lovebug, or Casanova) based on how many responses you want to receive, submit some photos, select your interests, pay the man, and BAM! You’re on someone’s sidebar asking for a date. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly of Lovebook:

The Good

Facebook has a lot of users.

There are approximately 1.2 billion people on Facebook, which means a lot of potential partners if you’re in the dating market. It’s also a significantly higher number than the membership of other dating sites (Plenty of Fish has about 76 million members, and has about 22 million).

Facebook is cheaper to use.

Your initial Facebook account is free, and the cost of the dating feature starts at just $15. That’s half the price of a account ($30) or a Plenty of Fish account ($35).

Facebook targets interests.

Your dating ad will be seen by people who like the same things on Facebook that you do – TV shows, celebrities, sports teams – which means you’ll have something in common with the person right off the bat.

Facebook guarantees results for your money.

Each package level guarantees a certain number of “leads” (page likes or direct messages) before the ad will stop running. The cheapest package, First Date, guarantees a minimum of five leads. The next level, Lovebug, includes dating advice to “attract a wider pool of respondents” in addition to an increased lead minimum. Finally, the top Casanova package includes everything from the other two levels, plus a 10-minute prep talk before a first date.

The Bad

Facebook has a lot of users.

Sure, 1.2 billion members sounds like a plenty big enough number, but logistically that’s not the same as 1.2 billion potential dates. After you narrow the category “Facebook user” down to “single, looking to date, living within a reasonable distance from me and within an acceptable age range” Facebook user, that number has to be a lot lower.

There are other (free) dating sites.

There are a TON of dating sites, and many of them can be used just by creating a free account. There’s also newer and more up-to-date dating apps like Tinder.

You don’t need Lovebook to create your own personal ad.

Technically you could buy your own ad space and do all of the work yourself, cutting out the middleman James.

The Ugly

It’s a Facebook ad.

I repeat: IT’S A FACEBOOK AD. Do you click Facebook ads? Ever? Do you even read them? Would you be inclined to date someone you saw in an ad? Would you even think they were a real person? No, no, no, no, no. Personally, if I happened to notice a Facebook ad for someone looking for a date, I would find it kind of sad and desperate at best, and hella creepy at worst. Right now accepting a date from a Facebook ad would be my second-to-least-likely approach to dating, losing out only to receiving a personal letter from a prison inmate.

Clearly, I’m not planning on using Lovebook anytime soon, although I have to give credit where credit is due: James is really just conducting a series of strategic online marketing campaigns, all in the name of love. You pay him to create your personal brand and make it appealing to others; he finds you potential dates and teaches you a little about the dating world.

James is basically the new Hitch.


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