At its annual F8 developer conference on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is creating a dating service. For many across the world, as well as in India, Facebook is a place to start a romantic relationship even now.
The social media giant's attempts at playing cupid will look to rival the likes of Match, which saw its shares tumble 17 per cent last night following Facebook's announcement.
However, Zuckerberg confirmed your own friends will not be suggested as dates, and that the dating app would allow events to be unlocked by would-be daters in order to speak to possible partners who are also attending.
In the dating app, you'll be able to see potential matches, as well as nearby events that match up with you personal interests.
"I know a lot of you are going to have questions about this so I want to be clear that we've designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning".
Simply named as "Dating" the service will exist within the Facebook platform only but still allow a person to keep it separated from their actual profile.
A dating service could increase the time people spend on Facebook and be a "big problem" for competitors, said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities. However, Zuckerberg warns that Facebook will not "be as good" after you clear the data. Details of your dating profile will be private and not visible to your Facebook friends, connecting you with people who are not already in your circle. That sort of anonymity is hard to achieve with a service where all users are identified by their real, full name (unlike Tinder, which uses only the first name, or OkCupid, which allows usernames) and IRL mutual friends.
"We'll work with privacy advocates, academics, policymakers and regulators to get their input on our approach, including how we plan to remove identifying information and the rare cases where we need information for security purposes." explained Egan. "This is going to be for building long-term relationships, not just hook-ups". New matchmaking service will be launched soon, most likely in a few months.
They will be able to use a new Clear History tool on the platform, which will make viewing and deleting the information stored on users by Facebook much easier.
"We're building a feature for dating and relationships within the Facebook app", the company announced.
The highly anticipated Facebook F8 finally kicked off yesterday in San Jose, California.