Hot on the heels of Facebook announcing the addition of dating app features, business social network LinkedIn unveiled its own plans to connect people in newer ways, branded “LinkedIn Connections with Benefits”.

The introduction of this new functionality is not a stretch for LinkedIn, with many male users already soliciting unprofessional connections with female users.

A spokesperson for the company, Jerry Blomfeld, said it aims to differentiate from traditional dating sites and apps by focusing on work-based connections.

“Instead of users finding matches based on personal tastes such as music and movies as well as proximity, LinkedIn Connections with Benefits will allow users to find like-minded professionals by allowing them to filter based on terms such as serial entrepreneur, thought leader, digital transformation, influencer, passionate about, executive, and other terms people use in their profiles.”

When asked about the potential issue of users mis-representing themselves in order to get dates, Blomfeld responded: “Our users display a public persona that is not exactly accurate anyway. When is the last time you saw a sales person refer to themselves as a sales person on our platform? And do you think everyone looks as good as they do in their profile photos? No, the profiles of our users are just as realistic as their Facebook personas.”

It is expected the new functionality will be introduced in the 2019 fiscal year.