I firmly believe Facebook could wipe out the online dating competition (eharmony, chemistry.com, match.com, etc) by adding a single field to their database (or maybe a couple from a technical perspective).
On the profile page of all your friends (and heck, even your non friends) — add a drop down field viewable only to you labeled “I want to:” with the following options “Date/Marry/Hookup/Not Interested”.
You could go through you friends and choose your interest level in each of them. A notification would go to both parties IF both parties indicated they had the same interest in each other. For example, if only one party indicates that they want to “date” a particular friend of theirs, that info stays hidden from everyone forever unless the other friend makes the same indication back at their friend.
What better way to form romantic relationships than by facilitating a discussion between two parties who are interested in the same thing?
Sure, there is the discovery of people that aren’t your current friends who could be a good match for you. That’s essentially what eHarmoney and Match are built on. However, Facebook has enough data to make those recommendations better than Match or eHarmony can — particularly if all their users start telling Facebook what their preferences are based on the types of people they are interested in.
I realize this is another extremely niche business idea since Facebook is likely the only company that can pull it off. Maybe someone can figure out a way to do this using a Facebook login system. The challenge with that approach is then each of your friends has to authorize and app and then interact with it rather than simply changing a drop down field when looking at a friend’s profile.
Thoughts? Would you use this feature if it existed on Facebook?