More than one year after Facebook announced that it would include a dating feature in its site, it finally launched in the United States on Thursday.
Facebook said the company took time to roll out this feature because they wanted to get it right. With the numerous privacy scandal, the social network said they didn’t want mistakes because “dating is so personal.” For more than a year the social media giant has been heavily criticised for its data privacy practices, especially with its involvement in the Cambridge Analytica saga. Now, the same company is asking us to trust it with something as personal as dating!
Just recently, over 400 million users’ contact was found resting on an unsecured database online; these users are alleged to be users in the US. Even though the Facebook boss said all accounts linked to those numbers were still intact, it still proves that the security measures are not enough to secure past mistakes.
With the new feature, anyone who is 18 or older can set up a dating profile within the app. Although Facebook says both profiles will be handled as separate entities, the dating site will depend on the regular Facebook profile to pull user’s first name and age.
Facebook book is rolling out multiple options for users to integrate more closely with Facebook and Instagram. Users can choose to share photos from their Facebook or Instagram account to their dating profile. They can also add their Instagram followers to Dating’s Secret Crush feature, which allows them to indicate their crushes among their Facebook friends.
Facebook might be a late bloomer in the already crowded market place where companies like Bumble, Tinder and Hinge already dominate; yet, it appears that Facebook’s announcement is giving them a run. These companies help people to find connections and very recently, they have shifted from asking users to login with their Facebook information in a bid to be less reliant on the social media platform.
Facebook’s announcement has affected the value of other competitors in the stock market. Shares of Match group, owner of Tinder, Match and OKCupid fell by 6% on Thursday after the announcement. The company’s stock had pummelled previously by 20% when Facebook first announced its dating feature last year.
As a safety measure, users can share the location of an upcoming event with a friend, so their whereabout can be tracked in the event of an emergency situation.
Anyone above 18 with a Facebook account can sign up to the dating feature, regardless of what their relationship status says. Even though it says “married” or “in a relationship”. However, users who have previously violated Facebook community standards are barred from the service.
Users can also set their preference for matches based on factors such as age, religion and height. It also has a blocking feature. Basically, it has similar features as its competitors but not a specific target market. It says the platform is open to every adult.