Mark Zuckerberg surprised everyone during his keynote speech at F8, Facebook’s annual developers conference, when he announced that Facebook would be providing a dating service by the end of 2018. Focusing on ‘building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups’ the app will suggest potential partners based on interests and likes. It will also allow users to unlock special Facebook dating only events.
Stories have always been an integral aspect of Facebook’s branding but a dating app comes as unexpected. Should Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid be nervous of their new competition? After Zuckerberg’s unexpected announcement on May 1st, 2018, Business Insider shared that the Match Group, which owns popular online dating applications like Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid, promptly dropped 20% in stock market value.
Fears over Facebook’s prominence is understandable but whether or not this new dating service will be a success is unclear. With Facebook falling in popularity among Post-Millennials, or Generation Z, it is worth asking who will be the target audience for Facebook dating. This new service could be an innovative way of reviving Facebook’s popularity amongst younger users, or it could end up being used primarily by aging Millennials.
What does this mean in a post Cambridge Analytica and pre General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) world? The privacy and security of the new dating product will be under fierce scrutiny from Facebook users. Users still have concerns over security and confidentiality, despite the insistence that regular profiles will differ from Facebook dating.
Users should be concerned over what data is being used to find their ‘perfect match’. How will Facebook keep personal information confidential? Will it protect users against unsolicited pictures or aggressive repetitive advances? It’s important to ask if this is just another tactic from Facebook to collect more personal data. Facebook is free, and always has been, but this begs the question of whether or not we are paying for the service with our own personal information. It’s awkward enough to find pictures of an ex in the memories feature of your timeline. Imagine crossing paths with an ex or your boss via Facebook dating.
The Facebook dating app will launch later this year. It may be some time before Matrix Internet begins to develop dating pages for its clients, but we are still very curious to see what this change in social media could mean for the digital marketing industry. For insights on how we can help your business connect with the right customer, contact us today.
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By Angela Bruni
By Rakky Curvelo
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