Despite the difficult time Facebook went through in the past few months with the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which led US Congress to call on the social media “monopoly” CEO Mark Zuckerberg to break up the company, exert stringent easy-to-understand data consent opt-in for users and many other things, Facebook continued to strive and even managed to garner half a million users every day in the first quarter of this year.
In Facebook’s developer conference, F8 had announced an array of upcoming new features and most interestingly among them, Facebook will roll out a dating platform for single users to mingle and meet online.
Remember the early days where most of us use Facebook as an alternative to court friends and possible partners and chat with them while we were in the post-SMS era, looks like Facebook will reprise its old role with an updated twist to compete with today’s online dating platforms like Tinder or Match.com. The entire “swiping” idea also originated pre-Facebook with Zuckerberg experimenting an internal platform within Harvard University, Facemash.com, to rate “better-looking” students out of their student ID photos.
However, Zuckerberg affirmed that the new dating platform is meant to build long-lasting relationships as he cited that one-third of marriages in America started from online.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just for hookups,” said Zuckerberg on the stage in San Jose.
The feature will not be in a separate app like its counterpart Messenger. It will be within the main Facebook app and only users who choose to opt-in will be able to enjoy this dating service. The CEO recognized that users dislike having to see mutual friends on dating sites, therefore these users will only see profiles who are out of their friend list. “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 differentiates Facebook’s dating service with the current players is that it has an “unlocking” feature which allows users to make their profile visible to attendees of events or members of groups. We can expect this new fangled aspect to benefit many business owners on Facebook as they prepare to make their businesses into a hot dating/meetup spot. It’s sort of like the social networking app Meetup.
According to The Verge, some speculated that Facebook would restrict its dating app features based on users’ provided relationship status, such as “in a relationship”, “engaged” or “married”. More details about its complete features will be announced later this year as it’s now still in a test phase, Facebook product chief Chris Cox said.
On many other platforms where users face uncertainties over profile authenticities and those already romantically attached users, Facebook might just single-handedly eliminate this longstanding online dating platform’s flaw. Zuckerberg said Facebook is meant to build meaningful connections with people and he claimed that this might be the most meaningful connection of them all − love. Hopefully, it’ll be a completely free service and no paid features.
Are you excited about this announcement? Facebook has changed the way we interact with the world, and it seems like it’s going to pave a new way to find more solid love. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
You may watch the full F8 conference here: