Facebook officials said the company wants to bolster its platform as a user-friendly dating destination, adding that they’ve been interested in the idea for years and began building the service over the last six months.Many people were already using Facebook for dating, officials said, and they want to support that in a safe way.Many dating services, including Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and the League, enable or require people to log in with Facebook and were able to grow by mining Facebook’s social network.But they draw a line between their business — selling subscriptions or upgrades like Tinder’s “Super Like” — and Facebook’s matchmaking service, which they say will morph to appease the social giant’s advertiser clientele.After inviting developers for years to build novel products like dating apps or music services on top of its social platform, Facebook switched gears and restricted developers’ access to friends’ data in 20, a move that made it harder for many dating apps to acquire new customers.
Even as they were planning for chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to announce the new dating service onstage Tuesday, officials said they were busy thinking about how it might be abused.
The new dating feature, Zuckerberg said this week, “is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups,” and he said it could be life-changing for the more than 200 million Facebook users who list themselves as single.
“If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships, this is perhaps the most meaningful of all,” he said.
The service will allow people older than 18 to create a dating profile — separate from their main profile and invisible to their friends — that it shows to potential matches based on common interests, dating preferences, location and mutual friends, company officials said.
Using a button — not a swipe, as popularized by the dating app Tinder — people will then be able to say whether they’re “interested” or would rather “pass” on those potential partners, officials said. Or will their thirst for engagement trump these other concerns?