Yes, yesterday at the F8 developer conference in California, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company would be rolling out a way for people to hookup start relationships on Facebook. It’s a bold move, for sure.
"There are 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single," Zuckerberg said. "And if we are committed to building meaningful relationships, then this is perhaps the most meaningful of all."
He was keen to stress that this was “not just for hook-ups,” but would be instead a way to build “real, long-term relationships.” While it’s unclear when the service will become available, Facebook said they were going to begin testing it later this year.
Of course, given the scandals currently engulfing Facebook, the response has been… predictable. Handing over more of your data to Facebook does not exactly seem like the perfect solution to everything that’s going on.
Given the popularity of services like Tinder, Bumble, and so on though, Facebook has probably noticed it has a pretty advantageous position over its competitors with its number of existing users. On the back of the news, shares in the Match Group, which owns Tinder, dropped 22 percent.
The opt-in service will be available to people who already use Facebook. Clicking an icon at the top of your profile, you’ll be able to create a dating profile and find matches that have been recommended based on your dating preferences. This will be separate from your regular profile, so don’t worry, your friends won’t be able to see it.
“They’ll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events,” the company noted in a blog post. “However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends.”
To boost safety, users will only be able to send written messages to each other, and no images. Other aspects of how the service will work have yet to be revealed.
“There was a clear defiant message – yes, Facebook was acting to make users safer, but it would continue to launch new services like dating that expanded its reach,” Rory Cellan-Jones noted for BBC News.
Just don’t forget to show up for your summons in the UK, Mark.