Facebook announces new optional dating feature

Posted at 3:37 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 12:20:27-04

Facebook's newest feature could change the way online dating works.

At Tuesday’s F8 developer conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced the company is launching a dating feature.

The dating feature will not be forced on everyone. Users must opt-in.

Zuckerburg told the audience the new feature is “not just for hookups.” He said it’s to build meaningful, long-term relationships.

As for privacy, Zuckerberg stressed it was designed with privacy in mind. The company came under fire in March for how it handles users’ data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light.

The online dating scene is dominated by Match Group, which owns and operates, Tinder and OkCupid. When news of Facebook’s dating feature broke Tuesday, Match Group's stock plummeted by 17 percent, according to CNet.

It is unclear if Facebook will charge users for its dating feature. The main appeal of Facebook since its launch in 2004 has been free communication.

However, free communication is not always offered by online dating outlets. With Facebook’s 2.2 billion monthly users, it is hard to imagine paid dating services being able to maintain that practice if Facebook daters can chat for free.

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