Your next partner in life might be a Facebook friend request away. The world’s largest social network is building a product for “meaningful relationships” and “not just for hookups.” Though the experience will be included with the core service used by billions of people, no one will know you’re on Facebook looking for dates.
Mark Zuckerberg, who’s happily married with two children, made the announcement at F8 on Tuesday in San Francisco.
Online dating can be exhausting, and you only have a limited number of options unless you move locations. So there’s no reason to overlook Facebook if names like Tinder and Bumble have grown stale for you.
Facebook says there are 200 million users who have their relationship status listed as single, revealing an opening to foster relationships that are fueled by connections rather than sex alone. Users who are single can set up a dating profile through their Facebook account, and potential matches are connected by unlocking the same groups or events.
If you and a potential match start chatting, that’ll be done on the Facebook app. You won’t be forced to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. The entire dating wing for Facebook will be built-in.
The biggest concern about online dating is that friends or family might find out, but Facebook already has this solved. Your friends won’t know that you’re on Facebook searching for a long-term relationship unless they’re doing the same and both of you stumble upon each other as potential matches.
Upon the announcement, Match Group’s stock price took a hefty blow. The company behind services like Tinder, OkCupid, and PlentyOfFish dropped more than 22% by the time the market closed.
A release date for online dating on Facebook wasn’t offered. However, it did say the product will enter testing later this year. Facebook will probably welcome select users this summer before opening it up around the holidays or in early 2019.