Deleting Facebook wasn’t something I’d ever given much thought to. Until this week.
Since news broke about Cambridge Analytica’s “hijacking” of 50 million Facebook users’ data in a bid to influence the U.S. election, deleting Facebook is all I can think about. But the one thing holding me back from hitting that delete button is my love life. Or rather the fact that my most-used dating apps appear to be inextricably tethered to my Facebook profile.
A burgeoning movement to escape the clutches of the social network has gained momentum this week with the #DeleteFacebook hashtag trending solidly on Twitter for the past few days. Even WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton said “it is time”.
With so much drama around Facebook, one of the first things I looked into was which third-party apps have access to my Facebook account. Lo and behold, as I trawled the “Logged in with Facebook” section of my Settings, I saw a never-ending stream of dating apps that I had tied to my account by hitting “log in with Facebook.” Would deleting Facebook prevent me from accessing all these apps?
When Facebook disabled the account of Christopher Wylie—the whistleblower who told the Guardian his role in “hijacking” millions of Facebook users’ data—my fear became even more real. Wylie said he couldn’t use Tinder anymore as a direct result of having his Facebook deleted.
After some digging, I discovered that deleting Facebook will also prevent you from accessing your existing Tinder account. So, that means kissing goodbye to all your lovely matches, and convos.
But, it doesn’t mean you can’t ever use Tinder ever again. You can sign up for Tinder using your phone number. This will, however, create an entirely new profile, so you’ll be starting over completely.
“You can sign up for Tinder using either your Facebook account or your phone number. Note: these are separate methods of login; if you choose to sign up with both, you’ll create two Tinder accounts.”
With Bumble, it’s a little different. Bumble currently requires you to have a Facebook account in order to sign up for the app. But, if you deactivate your Facebook, you can still keep your Bumble profile and access it as usual. That access will end, however, if you log out of your Bumble app.
Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images All this is about to change, though. Mashable understands that Bumble is less than a couple of weeks away from releasing an update that includes a non-Facebook login. So, we could be moving closer to a world where online dating is a smidgen less reliant on having a Facebook account.
OKCupid, Grindr and Match don’t require users to log in with Facebook. But, if you’re a user of The League, you’ll need to upgrade to a membership option if you want to cut ties with Facebook. Deleting Facebook will log you out of the app, and you’ll need to upgrade to become a member in order to log back in.
A spokesperson told Mashable that The League has “a lot of users” who for various reasons don’t use Facebook, and they wouldn’t “want those people to feel that they cannot date within [their] community.” They’ll have to pay for it, though.
Image: Leon Neal/Getty ImagesHinge, however, is another one of these pesky dating apps that insists on you having a Facebook profile. According to Hinge’s help centre, they are “looking into ways to connects users” without Facebook. But, currently Facebook is “the most central platform for understanding your social connections,” which plays a central role in its algorithm. For now, however, if a Hinge user deletes their Facebook account their Hinge profile will be deleted.
Queer dating app HER is yet another app that relies on Facebook to create an account. But, it does have another option, you can sign up using Instagram (which is, of course, owned by Facebook!). Mashable contacted HER to find out about the implications of deleting Facebook for existing HER users, but did not hear back immediately.
As the Facebook mass exodus unfolds, one thing is becoming patently clear: far too many dating apps are tethered to Facebook. It’s high time they offered users another way to sign up.