Facebook to Introduce Dating

Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook will soon roll out new dating app features.

Speaking at Facebook’s F8 developer conference on Tuesday, he said the features are designed to help users find long term relationships, “not just hook ups”.

Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said the idea was developed after he heard about couples meeting through Facebook.

He wanted to create a dating service that worked “in a way that was opt-in, in a way that was safe, and in a way that took advantage of the unique properties of the platform and didn’t get in the way of everyone who wasn’t interested in dating.”

The dating interface ‘Dating Home’ will be accessible via a heart-shaped button in the top right of the Facebook app.

In Dating Home, users can make a profile using a first name. It will be hidden from friends and wont show up on the newsfeed.

Matches are to be suggested “based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends.”

When browsing other profiles, users have the option to click ‘interested’ or ‘pass’. To initiate communication, people choose a picture from their crush’s profile to comment on.

Messages will be sent via a new platform, neither part of WhatsApp nor Facebook Messenger.

Facebook events will also integrate with the new service – singles can ‘unlock’ an event to see and be seen by those attending. Groups are another feature to be added, and will work in a similar way.

The announcement comes amid the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal – Zuckerberg said “I want to be clear that we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.”

Over 200 million people list themselves as single on Facebook. Match Group stock has fallen 17% since the announcement.

Facebook hasn’t specified when the new dating features will launch. Cox says the release date will be announced following a testing phase.

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