Travel & Leisure

Is The Future of Online Dating…Facebook?

Facebook says it’s adding a dating service to its features


By Katrina Caruso

At Facebook’s annual F8 conference in California this month, the company’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the audience that the social media site will soon launch a dating service.

Facebook has over 200 million users who list themselves as single, according to Zuckerberg. As a website in the business of connecting people, the company will now offer an option for those looking for long-term love (and not a casual fling). The dating feature would require users to opt in and to create a separate dating profile to be accessed through their regular profile.

It would work by connecting potential love interests through events in which users have expressed mutual interest. Users would be able to let other singles know that they plan to attend the event. Interested parties could connect, send private text-only messages (no photos), and make plans to meet at the event.

This format sets the dating service apart from currently popular dating sites and apps such as Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge—which focus mostly on users’ photos; the latter two also offer the option to write more complete profiles. The plans for Facebook’s service do not seem to be using the “card” style that Bumble and Tinder follow, in which users can swipe another user’s profile card to indicate interest.

Market shares for fell after the announcement that Facebook was planning to enter the online dating scene.

With privacy in mind (especially after Facebook’s recent Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal), the feature is being designed so that Facebook friends wouldn’t be able to see one another’s dating profiles. According to a spokesperson, users’ information on the dating service would not be able to be used for ad marketing.

No specific launch date was given at the conference, but Zuckerberg said it would be available within months and free for all.



Photo: iStock/pseudopixels.