Facebook will soon enter the world of online dating with a dating app that will (ideally) match single users to other swingin’ singles they aren’t already friends with, CNET is reporting. The announcement was made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s more-or-less annual F8 event.
The largest social media platform will soon join Tindr, Bumble, Match, and multiple other dating sites and apps, large and small, in the online dating game, says Zuckerberg.
“Today, we are announcing a new set of features, coming soon, around dating.”
Chief Product Officer Chris Cox explained how the dating app works. In essence, he says, it’s the technological equivalent of old-fashioned dating, linking users via events and groups.
“It mirrors the way people actually date, which is usually at events and institutions that they’re connected to.”
Users can then use a dating-app-only chat channel, separate from Facebook Messenger, to speak to possible love interests.
In case you were worried about being inadvertently swept up into online dating against your wishes, you can take comfort in the fact that you have to opt in to the dating app, says CNBC. And even if you do opt in, your dating profile won’t be accessible to friends or the general public – just other dating users.
— WIRED Gadget Lab (@gadgetlab) May 1, 2018
There’s another catch. You may have heard that your chances of having a quick “hookup,” as the kids are calling it these days, have gotten significantly smaller lately, what with Craigslist removing its “Personals” and Backpage being shut down by the feds. If that’s your thing, Facebook is the wrong place to look, says Zuckerberg.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just hook-ups.”
The announcement of the new dating app comes at a time when Facebook has been taking heat from users and lawmakers in Washington over privacy concerns in light of the Cambridge Analytica breach. Zuckerberg promised that users’ privacy will be a top priority.
“[Facebook will] keep building, even while we focus on keeping people safe.”
One group of people not excited about the new Facebook feature are shareholders in Match and its parent company, which also owns Tindr. The competing dating site has seen its shares drop nearly 20 percent as of this writing.