Facebook has launched its Dating service in Ireland, enabling users to meet other people looking to be more than just friends.

From today, Facebook users will see a Dating option in the menu bar.

They must choose to opt in and create a profile, but can only do so if they are over 18. 

Profiles only contain the first name and age of the user's Facebook profile and cannot be edited - additional information can also be shared if the user opts to.

Users will then be offered potential matches based around their preferences and other information they put into their profile.

They can comment directly on the person's photo or tap a heart button to let them know they are interested in connecting.

The service will let users connect with friends of friends if they want to, but it will not suggest the user's own friends to them.

If someone decides they do not want to use the Dating service any longer, they can delete it without deleting their entire Facebook profile.

It is the second time that Facebook has attempted to launch the service here, after plans were pulled back in February when the Data Protection Commission (DPC) voiced privacy concerns.

The DPC only became aware of that launch plan just days before it was due to take place.

It subsequently carried out an on-site inspection at Facebook's Dublin offices and lodged a number of queries with the social network because adequate paperwork had not been provided.

In a statement, the DPC said the company has since provided detailed clarifications on the processing of personal data in the context of the Dating feature.

"Facebook has also provided details of changes that they have made to the product to take account of the issues raised by the DPC," Deputy Commissioner Graham Doyle said.

"We will continue to monitor the product as it launches across the EU this week."

Facebook said it had postponed the launch earlier this year to take time to make sure the product was ready for the European market. 

"We're now delighted to be launching Facebook Dating in Europe," the company said.

Facebook says activity in Dating is used to personalise user experience across the social media company's other services, including the provision of ads.

In total, 32 additional countries across Europe will be getting the service as part of the rollout.

Dating is already available in 20 other countries around the world.