Facebook wants to help you change your relationship
social network is introducing a dating feature that will
allow users to build profiles to meet potential suitors.
new feature is "not just for hookups,"
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday at
the company’s developer conference, F8. Rather, it’s
designed to build "meaningful, long-term
news immediately triggered a sell-off in shares
associated with existing dating services. Match Group,
the parent company of Match.com, saw its stock drop more
than 22 percent. IAC, the parent of hookup app Tinder
and Match Group, fell more than 16 percent.
panic could be short-lived, analysts for PiperJaffray
said in a note to clients shortly after the
isn’t assured success in the dating game despite its
stable of over 2 billion users. That’s because the
social network is skewing older — not exactly the
prime demographic for people on the market.
faces challenges in user engagement with the same age
group that currently dominates online dating (young
adults)," the PiperJaffray analysts said.
"Given the necessity of scale to drive engagement,
the challenges to initial engagement, and the head start
Match has in user reach, we see it as unlikely that
Facebook dating will scale to a meaningful competitive
at Match Group and Tinder said they were not worried by
Facebook’s new entrance, even taking a swipe at the
social network’s trouble with foreign interference.
on in. The water’s warm. Their product could be great
for U.S./Russia relationships," Joey Levin, Tinder’s
chief executive, said in a statement.
Ginsberg, chief executive of Match Group, made a jab at
Facebook’s controversy over user privacy.
flattered that Facebook is coming into our space,"
Ginsberg said. "We’re surprised at the timing
given the amount of personal and sensitive data that
comes with this territory."
will have to opt into Facebook’s dating feature and
their profiles will be separate from their regular
will be recommended based on dating preferences, things
in common and mutual friends," Facebook said in a
statement. "They’ll have the option to discover
others with similar interests through their Groups or
Events. However, what people do within the dating
feature will not be shown to their friends."
stipulation is a nod to Facebook’s troubles over
privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal,
in which the political consulting firm was able to
harvest data from Facebook users’ friends.
a separate announcement Tuesday, Facebook said it would
allow users to delete personal information provided to
Facebook by outside sites and apps, and bar Facebook
from obtaining such data in the future. Such information
is often collected when a user signs in to an outside
site or app using their Facebook login. It can also be
collected if they like or share something on Facebook
from those sites or apps.
you clear your history or use the new setting, we’ll
remove identifying information so a history of the
websites and apps you’ve used won’t be associated
with your account," Erin Egan, vice president and
chief privacy officer for Facebook, said in a blog post.
move underscores again how much Facebook is committed to
self-regulation in lieu of any action from lawmakers in
Washington. During Zuckerberg’s testimony last month
on Capitol Hill, some members of Congress implored
Facebook to strengthen its user privacy features so that
regulators won’t have to introduce laws.
need your help here. I don’t want Congress to have to
act," Rep. E.L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.)
told Zuckerberg at the time.
F8, Zuckeberg even cracked a joke about the testimony,
which largely failed to live-up to its billing as a
reckoning for the social network.
did so while describing a new feature called Watch
Party, which allows friends to communicate while
watching a show together on Facebook.
say that your friend is testifying in Congress, for
example," the 33-year-old billionaire executive
said. "Now you’re going to be able to bring your
friends together and you can laugh together and you can
cry together. Some of my friends actually did this. Let’s
not do that again anytime soon."