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Facebook Is Getting Into the Dating Business

May 1, 2018, 7:03 PM UTC

If you’re looking for a new dating site, you might want to consider turning to Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday that the social networking giant would premiere a dating service at a later date. Zuckerberg announced the new dating service in San Jose, Calif. during the company’s annual F8 developer conference.

Zuckerberg revealed few details of the new dating service, but said that it would be for “long-term relationships” and not for “hookups,” or more casual flings.

Regarding the dating service, Zuckerberg said that Facebook “designed it with privacy from the beginning,” acknowledging the anxiety people may have using a Facebook-branded dating service, given the company’s recent data privacy scandals. The latest data scandal involved political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica buying Facebook user data from an academic, violating the company’s terms of service.

Zuckerberg pitched the dating service as beneficial to the “200 million people that list themselves as single on Facebook.”

Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox elaborated on the dating service and showed a sample dating profile of a woman named Jennifer Keller.

Cox said that Keller could create the new dating profile, separate from her main Facebook user profile, which will only include her first name. Additionally, everything she does on her dating profile won’t be shared on the core Facebook service or on other people’s Facebook News Feeds.

From her dating profile, she can scan Facebook for events like concerts or meet-ups related to her personal interests near where she lives in Chicago, Ill., Cox explained. By indicating she wants to go to a specific event via Facebook, other people with dating profiles interested in the same event will be notified.

From there, they can chat with each other, which will also “encourage meaningful interaction,” Cox said, referring to a Facebook metric the company uses to determine whether people are behaving in healthy ways on the social networking service.

Cox also said that people who use the dating service will use separate messaging tools from Facebook’s other messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, because “people wanted a separate space.”

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“We are excited to share more on this over the next few months,” Cox said.