Watch out, Tinder. Facebook is launching a dating service aimed at long-term relationships and not just hookups.
The announcement came as part of Facebook's F8, the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the dating product would "help people find partners." Who exactly would use such a service? According to the company, over 200 million users currently list their relationship status as single.
"If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships, then this is perhaps the most meaningful of all," Zuckerberg said. "This is going to be for building real long-term relationships not just for hookups."
The update would include allowing users to make a separate dating profile that their current network of friends won't be able to see. The profile will only show up to other dating service users. Users will be given matches based on their dating preferences, commonalities among other users, and mutual acquaintances. There will also be a new messaging section that allows two users who might be compatible to open a line of communication. However, Zuckerberg said it won't be connected to WhatsApp or Messenger.
Will Users Break Up With Traditional Dating Sites?
Shortly after the announcement, other dating apps (and their investors) took notice. This includes Match Group, the company that owns Tinder.
— Kurt Wagner (@KurtWagner8) May 1, 2018
The plunge ultimately took off an estimated $5 billion in market values of Match Group and its parent company IAC. The 22 percent drop is the largest one-day drop in Match's history. IAC fell 18 percent in its biggest loss in 13 years. Some financial analysts noted that a new rival might not be enough to unseat dating 'strongholds' like Tinder or other Match services.
“I think the reaction is a combination of the Facebook news along with concerns that Match was getting toppy,” or expensive, said analyst Daniel Kurnos in an interview with Reuters. “I can’t see Facebook supplanting Match any time soon – too big a moat.”
Unlike services such as Match.com or eHarmony, Facebook's dating profile might be free of charge.
New 'Clear History' Feature Coming
Given the recent safety implication and scandal surrounding the Cambridge Analytica situation, Zuckerberg addressed potential issues around data security. The CEO told the crowd at the press conference that the dating applciation was constructed from the ground up with security in mind. He also spoke to how the dating app would exemplify the company's commitment to better privacy protections.
While Facebook is creating one avenue for users to share information, they also announced a feature called "Clear History." This would allow user to see which apps and websites send information about its users. It would also let users delete data from their account which would prevent Facebook from storing that information.
"Security isn't a problem than you ever fully solve," Zuckerberg said. "This is an arms race; we are going to be working to stay ahead of our adversaries forever."