Facebook seems to be coming out of the huge Cambridge Analytica scandal with just the right thing. Love.
Dipping its toes into the dating world, Facebook will be adding a dating feature into its platform as stated by CEO Mark Zuckerberg during their annual F8 developer conference at the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre in California on Tuesday.
Zuckerberg said at the conference that, “there are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here.”
He further added that, “and if we are committed to building meaningful relationships, then this is perhaps the most meaningful of all.”
And taking a slight dig at the popular notion of Tinder being only for hookups, he even said, “This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups.”
A very smart move indeed in order to once again capture the young user base and better the company image in light of all the controversy, court hearings, and general feeling of distrust that has been surrounding Facebook for some time now.
Acknowledging the current common sentiment regarding Facebook, Zuckerberg even addressed that aspect by stating, “We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends.”
What Is Dating?
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.
You can keep this profile hidden from your Facebook friends and as per sources, your ‘dating’ profile will only use your first name.
The service is also said to match you with a person who is not your Facebook friend, and instead based on dating preferences, common interests, and mutual friends a person will be matched with you.
There will also be an option to look for matches by Groups and Events wherein you can ‘unlock’ an event and see who all attending that particular event along with also seeing if their ‘Dating’ profile feature has been activated or not.
Also, the Dating inbox will only allow text messages to be sent by users which means that you cannot send videos, photos, GIFs, links and furthermore, this will not be connected to your Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
This might help in the restricting people from sending unwanted images or videos of private parts as they are prone to do so on dating sites and also prevent one from getting malicious or harmful links.
But Is It Really Gonna Do What It Says?
Although immediately after the announcement of the dating service, the shares of Match Group, a giant in the area of online dating, that owns Tinder, OkCupid and more, went down by 22%.
And it could be a bit troubling, considering how dependent most of these dating platforms are on Facebook as a way to get data of the user.
But, that did not stop the competitors from calling out the timing of this all and take some jabs at Facebook.
Mandy Ginsberg, the chief executive of Match Group was quoted saying “We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,” and added “We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us.”
Even IAC’s CEO Joey Levin, Match Group’s owner commented on this development by saying “Come on in. The water’s warm. Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships.”
This is obviously pointing at the recent news that accused Russian-linked operatives to use Facebook in order to affect the results of the 2016 Presidential elections.
However, knowing Facebook, there is a certain hesitancy in providing them even more data of our lives than they currently have control over. Who knows if there might be another data leak, or whether Facebook will keep our data secure from not only third-party services but themselves too.
Also, while the senior team of Facebook is making such tall claims about how the service is only for ‘real relationships’ you cannot guarantee that it will really be used in that way only. It is even possible someday they might take away that wall separating the public Facebook profile and the dating one.
Thus, it does make one wary of entrusting Facebook with even more data and that too intimate information here related to dating and relationships.
Image Credits: Google Images