News that Facebook plans to enter the online dating market on Tuesday sent stocks of dating sites Tinder, OKCupid and Match.com tumbling up to 22 percent, according to CNN.
The social media giant’s new foray into online dating was announced at its annual developers conference, F8, with Mark Zuckerberg telling the audience one third of all marriages in the United States start out with meeting online.
Naturally the move has brought about questions of online privacy, particularly following Facebook’s recent fallout over the Cambridge Analytics data sharing scandal. However, Zuckerberg assured conference attendees, “I know a lot of you are going to have questions about this. We’ve designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.”
According to CNN, the dating side of Facebook will allow users to opt-in and set up a profile using their first name only, which will not be visible to their Facebook friends and will not appear in news feeds. Neither will users be matched up with people they are already friends with. The service will allow users to browse events and groups related to their interests, unlock that event and then begin corresponding with others attending it through a private messaging inbox not linked to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Facebook revealed they plan to roll out their new dating service later this year.