In the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytical Scandal, Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feature that will be available soon on the social media platform: a dating service. This may come as a shock to some considering that Facebook was just under fire for a huge privacy scandal. But there is no dwelling on the past and according to Zuckerberg,
“This is about building real long-term relationships, not just hookups!”
How Will it Work?
The service will be called “Dating” and will already exist within the social network’s app. Users can create profiles from their main Facebook profile but they will be completely separate from your main profile so that your friends and family won’t know that you are using the dating service. This won’t show up in the newsfeed at all and yes, that means that your current Facebook friends won’t show up as potential matches either.
You can browse through other user’s profiles, showcasing a few photos and basic information. These users will be shown based on a unique algorithm that will match you with compatible users based on mutual interests, friends and other data that Facebook has on you. You will also be able to find matches based on shared groups and events; if you are going to an event you can find potential matches who are also going to that event.
If you are interested in each other, there will be a separate messaging aspect for Dating which does not allow sharing links or photos; only text-based messages which is meant to be a safety measure.
Yes, this dating feature will be free to users. With that being said, Facebook has also confirmed that it has no plan to monetize the free dating service with ads, or use information gathered from user’s dating profiles for ad targeting. While this makes sense considering the huge privacy scandal that they’re trying to recover from, keep in mind that Facebook Marketplace also was not an ad placement until recently!
In an attempt to recover from the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook’s newest dating feature is focused on building meaningful relationships. Considering the amount of data that Facebook has access to in comparison to the already-existing dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc.) these apps should be worried. Facebook’s active user base of 2.2 billion would most likely be trying this new service, especially since it will be offered at no additional cost.