Facebook is planning to add features focused on dating and forming “meaningful relationships,” as it plans to take on online dating titans Match.com and Tinder.
The social network will add dating tools into its main platform, allowing users to create a separate dating profile from their main account.
Potential matches will be recommended based on their dating preferences, mutual interests and shared friends.
It will focus on the creation of meaningful relationships and is “not for hookups,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced during the company’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose.
“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends,” he added.
The dating profiles draw on the users’ first names, not surnames, and conversations are triggered by responding to a fellow dater’s photo.
The pair can then exchange messages on an internal messaging service, designed to operate separately from the main Messenger app.
More information will be shared in the next few months, Zuckerberg confirmed.
Facebook has more than 2.2bn users worldwide, and would pose major competition to Match Group, which owns smartphone dating app Tinder and site OkCupid, and IAC, which owns Match.com.
Match Group’s stock dropped by 18 per cent following the announcement.
Many popular dating apps, including Tinder, Hinge and Happn, use Facebook as a means of quickly creating profiles. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Bumble said it had added the option for new users to register without a Facebook account.
The keynote speech was Zuckerberg‘s first appearance since he answered questions from Congress over the social network’s data privacy policies, following the revelation that tens of millions of Facebook users’ data was harvested by used to create personalised political adverts in a bid to reportedly sway elections.
Conservative MP Damian Collins has written to Zuckerberg asking him to give evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee (DCMS) or face an official summons the next time he enters a British territory.
“Following reports that he will be giving evidence to the European Parliament in May, we would like Mr Zuckerberg to come to London during his European trip. We would like the session here to place by 24 May,” Collins wrote.
“It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country,” he added. “We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, iNews