A new Facebook SDK will allow developers to send verification messages to users via WhatsApp on iOS and Android. The innovation provides an alternative to SMS authentication.
The move comes as users on Bumble, Hinge and other dating apps have begun seeking alternatives to Facebook for logins. The social media giant has seen criticism of this particular service in the wake of several privacy scandals.
WhatsApp verification may come in useful for individuals with a wifi connection but low cellular coverage, or those on limited messaging plans. The app is one of the most popular in the world in terms of downloads.
In January, Facebook revealed plans to integrate WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram DMs. A statement said the updates would “make it easier to reach friends and family across networks.”
Tech tipster Jane Manchun Wong revealed in the same month that Messenger is set to include safety functionality for Facebook Dating. It will enable location tracking by a close friend or family member’s location while a user is on a date.
At the F8 developer conference this week, Facebook announced that its Dating offering will be expanded into 14 new countries including Vietnam, Brazil and Singapore.
It will also introduce a ‘Secret Crush’ feature, allowing singles to highlight people on their friend’s list that they would be open to dating. The friend will receive an anonymised notification, revealing the match only if they Secret Crush the same person.
The US launch is scheduled for late 2019. Industry leader Match Group saw a significant drop in its stock price when Facebook Dating was announced in 2018, but had remained stable in the wake of the most recent updates.
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