Mark Zuckerberg has just announced that Facebook will be launching a dating service at the annual Facebook F8 developer conference in San Jose, California. By entering the dating market, the company will compete with giants such as Tinder and allow users to unlock the physical world by connecting with other singles looking for a partner.
“This is going to be for building real long-term relationships, not hookups,” he said while introducing the new feature during his keynote speech. "There are 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single, so clearly there's something to do here."
The company will share more detailed information about its forthcoming update later this year, when it’s set to officially launch. For now, it’s clear that the opt-in feature will find potential matches within a user’s existing connections but without making your “dating activities” visible to your friends.
"It mirrors the way people actually date, which is usually at events and institutions that they're connected to," said Chris Cox, Facebook's chief product office, at the presentation.
According to Cox’s explanation, by entering the “dating home” from your profile, you’ll be able to select events and groups of your interest and browse the profiles of attendees that are also using the dating service to start a private conversation. Following the recent data scandal and the growing security concerns around privacy protection on the site, Zuckerberg assured the audience that the match-making update will take these issues in mind separating the dating chats from Facebook messenger and WhatsApp.
"People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better," Facebook said in a statement, emphasising how the world's largest social network has been playing cupid for years and how entering the dating market is just a natural evolution of its multifaceted services.