Facebook announced a dating app at the company’s developer’s conference, called F8.
After the news broke of the dating app, shares of the online dating company Match – which owns apps like Tinder and OkCupid – dropped as much as 21 percent while shares of its parent company, IAC, dropped as much as 14 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Bloomberg tech reporter Sarah Frier (via fellow tech reporter Gerrit De Vynck) received statements from Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg and IAC CEO Joey Levin.
Here is Ginsberg’s response:
“We’re flattered that Facebook is coming into our space – and sees the global opportunity that we do – as Tinder continues to skyrocket. We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory. Regardless, we’re going to continue to delight our users through product innovation and relentless focus on relationship success. We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us.”
And here is Levin’s response:
“Come on in. The water’s warm. Their product could be great for US/Russia relationships.”
The Facebook dating app will be optional, according to the F8 presentation. Profiles use just the user’s first name and are only visible to people using the dating app and not visible to friends. You’ll be able to browse events within your location and groups related to your interests. You can unlock events to share your dating profile with others going to the event. You can then start a conversation with other users and then respond to the other user via private messaging (which isn’t connected to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp). The company will share more information about the app over the next few months.
“This will be focused on long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. He also said that they’ve designed the feature with “privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.”
Zuckerberg said that 200 million people on Facebook are single.
According to a 2013 study by market research firm IBISWorld, more than a third of marriages in the USA started online. The study also found that relationships that began online are slightly happier and less likely to split than those starting offline.
Back in September 2017, Facebook tested a feature where it asked users if they’d like to meet up with certain friends and if both users respond positively the social media site would encourage them to talk to each other via Messenger, according to Motherboard. The feature drew comparisons with dating apps like Tinder.
Many others have taken to social media to share their reactions to the news of Facebook’s dating app. Many people were quick to share their discomfort with the idea of giving Facebook even more of their personal data.
Here is just a selection of the responses we found:
The news comes after consulting firm Cambridge Analytica extracted the data of over 50 million Facebook users without their permission last March, allowing the company to develop techniques to influence the 2016 election, according to The New York Times.
In the same month, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a series of Russian organizations and individuals on Thursday in retaliation for interference in the 2016 presidential election, which included a troll factory known as the Internet Research Agency which has been accused of creating fake online personas and posting thousands of ads and even organizing political rallies on social media, the publication reported.
Zuckerberg testified before the United States Congress in April as senators attacked the company for failing to protect users’ data and stop Russian election interference, according to the publication.
Before F8, Zuckerberg announced a new feature known as “Clear History.” The upcoming feature allows you to clear your browsing history on Facebook which includes what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and more. You’ll also be able to see the information about the apps and websites you interacted with and clear this information from your account. You’ll even be able to block this information from being stored in your account.
Zuckerberg compared this feature to flushing your history and cookies from web browsers. He warned that just like how clearing cookies will force you to sign back into every website, Facebook will have to relearn your preferences which could adversely affect your experience.
Zuckerberg said that this feature has been something privacy advocates have been asking for and the company will work with them to improve the feature.
“One thing I learned from my experience testifying in Congress is that I didn’t have clear enough answers to some of the questions about data,” he said. “We’re working to make sure these controls are clear, and we will have more to come soon.”
In other news, the social media site also announced a major overhaul of Messenger, according to The Verge. Messenger VP David Marcus said that the app will come very soon and the team has been working on the redesign since the beginning of the year. The redesign will include a dark mode, a simplified bottom navigation with three central tabs, and more changes to make the app more streamlined.
Instagram will also get a feature allowing users to post information from apps directly to their Instagram Stories which last for 24 hours, according to Bloomberg. So people can, for example, tell friends on Instagram what song they’re listening to on Spotify or share action shots from GoPro apps.
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