What's going on?
It’s a match! Facebook is moving into the world of e-romance. At its F8 web developer conference on Tuesday, the social network’s CEO unveiled plans to launch a new service in Facebook’s mobile app: called, creatively, “Dating”.
What does this mean?
Dating is supposedly part of Facebook’s drive to push users’ attention away from low-quality viral content and towards more “meaningful” connections. Regardless of whether $40 worth of drinks and a few awkward silences qualifies as a “meaningful connection”, the new service, which will match up users based on common interests, has the added benefit (for Facebook) of appealing to a rapidly aging user base currently spending less time on the Social Network.
Investors didn’t seem to think the prospect of Facebook matchmaking its two billion-plus users was good news for e-dating incumbents like Tinder: shares in its parent company, Match Group, wiped out gains made earlier this year to end Tuesday down a decidedly unromantic 20%. [Tweet this]
Why should I care?
For markets: In other Facebook-crushing-competitors news…
Shares of Snapchat owner Snap Inc. fell as much as 20% on Wednesday after the company reported slumping growth in daily users and warned that revenue from ad sales could continue to decline this year. Instagram and WhatsApp – both of which are owned by Facebook – are credited with gnawing into Snap’s user growth with their Stories and Statuses features, respectively.
The bigger picture: Interests include cycling, baking, profiling of user data…
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Facebook appears to be offering users an olive branch through a new service designed to, er, algorithmically analyze and categorize their profiles. Some investors aren’t sure it makes much sense either. Facebook, for its part, has said that it won’t share user data from Dating for targeted advertising. Of course, people say a lot of things when they first start dating…