Popular dating app Tinder may be in danger as Facebook announces its plans to launch its very own dating feature. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc, said that there are 200-million people listed on the app who are “single”. “So clearly there’s something to do there,” he said.

The feature would be used to help connect people who are not already Facebook friends to build real connections and lasting relationships. The dating feature will be opt-in only, and users will be able to build their dating profile out of view of their Facebook friends.

Potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things they have in common and mutual friends. More information on the dating feature, which is already being referred to as “FaceDate” by many, will be shared as it goes through testing. It is expected to be launched by the end of 2018. The feature will work in the following way:

  1. Opt-in to create a profile. This profile will be hidden from view of your Facebook friends, and will also not show up in the News Feed.
  2. Browse Events in your city and Groups that match what you are interested in. An Event or Group can be unlocked, allowing you to view who else has unlocked that surface.
  3. You can browse through the profiles of those who have unlocked the surface. Profile will provide basic information on the other daters, as well as a few photos.
  4. If both of you are interested, you will be able to start a conversation with someone in a special inbox that is separate from both Messenger and WhatsApp.

For safety purposes, only text will be allowed in the dating text service. The new feature will compete with other dating apps and platforms such as Tinder, Bimble and OkCupid. Shares in Match, the parent company of Tinder, dropped by 17% since the Zuckerberg’s announcement at the F8 Conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg joked that the new feature is not intended to follow the typical line of thought for dating apps. “This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just for hookups,” he said.

Mandy Ginsberg, the CEO of Match Group, said that they were flattered that Facebook was entering the dating space. “We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,” Ginsberg said in a statement.

“Regardless, we’re going to continue to delight our users through product innovation and relentless focus on relationship success. We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us.”

Picture: Facebook

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.