In July last year, Meetic, the European division of Match.com, launched a chatbot called Lara (and Tom) in France, which offered singles dating advice and help.
The bot asked people what they were looking for, suggesting possible dates and offering advice on things like how to create a profile.
Now, Match.com has decided to extended the bot into a new European market, bringing the service to singles in the UK.
Still called Lara, the bot can be found by searching “Lara from Match” within the Facebook Messenger app.
Once a chat with Lara is opened, the bot will ask singles what gender they’re looking for, their birthday and where they live, before either linking to their Match.com account or helping them set up a free profile, all without leaving Messenger.
Next, Lara will ask singles to explain their perfect match by detailing some general information and characteristics – tall, lives nearby, non-smoker etc – then start to send over potential matches to the user.
Lara then shows potential matches’ profile pictures and some basic information about them, and singles can either choose to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to let Lara know if they’re interested.
Abbie Oguntade, VP UK and Northern Region at Match, said: “As European leader, we’re always looking to find new and convenient ways for people to meet; whether that’s through the mobile app, our events programme or now, Lara.
“With Messenger being used by over one billion users worldwide and now a big part of people’s everyday lives, developing the first dating bot has been a priority for us to make finding a date easier for singles wherever they are.”
It will be interesting to see how Match.com’s bot will fare in the UK, following its success during the initial trial in France last year with Meetic.
At GDI’s Audience With Facebook in Barcelona, Facebook’s Enno Jönsson revealed that 70% of people who signed up to Meetic via its Messenger bot opted in to receive a weekly message with new profiles.
During the Facebook F8 conference earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg gave a 90 minute keynote, where he explained some of the future technology the platform will introduce.
Amongst the announcements were new additions to Facebook’s bots, including a new Discover tab for bots, which will be displayed on the home screen of the platform and QR codes for bots.
Zuckerberg also introduced a number of AR and VR capabilities and changes to the Facebook Workplace.
Find out more about Facebook’s updates here.