Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the social network would be launching its own dating service “soon,” without giving a date, at F8, Facebook’s annual developers conference in San Jose, California.
Zuckerberg said: “We’ve designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning” (The Guardian). He said “friends” won’t see a person’s dating profile, and that an individual will only be suggested to people who are not their Facebook friends. Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook was building a “clear history” tool to allow users to delete their browsing history. However, it’s not clear whether the dating service’s private messages will be encrypted (Huffington Post).
He noted that 200 million of Facebook’s 2.2 billion users have classified themselves as single.
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Facebook privacy concerns have increased since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, with Facebook admitting in April that up to 87 million users’ profiles might have been shared with the data mining firm.
Zuckerberg said the dating service would focus on “real long-term relationships, not just hook-ups”(The Verge) and that users will only be able to send text messages privately — no pictures or videos (Huffington Post).
Shares in the dating business Match Group, which owns dating services Tinder and OkCupid, fell by more than 22 percent after the announcement.