Technology

Published on September 9th, 2019 | by Danielle

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Match Stocks Plunge As Facebook Unveils Dating App For the First Time In U.S.

Step aside Match: Facebook has officially launched its dating app in the United States. While this might be good news for singles throughout the country, it couldn’t be worse for Tinder’s parent company.

In fact, Match stocks shot down a whopping 4.5% following Facebook’s announcement. Facebook, on the other hand, experienced a surge of more than 2% when the dating app hit the market on Sept. 5.

While the dating app is nothing new to countries like Canada who first glimpsed the app last year, this is an entirely new ball game for singles in the United States. As long as you’re above the age of 18 and have access to the app through a smartphone, you can discreetly sign up without members of your friend’s list catching on. The only people who know that you’re using the app are your potential matches.

From there, you can upload your basic information, including your education, whether or not you’re one of the 8.4 million people working in construction, and more than a couple cute pictures of your dog. You can also choose whether or not to match with people in your current list of friends and preemptively block people with whom you don’t want to match.

So, what does Facebook Dating bring to the table that other dating apps haven’t already tried?

The most intriguing function on Facebook Dating is the “Secret Crush” feature. Users can only choose this option if they decide that matching with current friends is okay. When you opt in to the Secret Crush feature, you get to select nine people from your list who have also signed up for Facebook Dating. Then, Facebook Dating sends your crush a notification, letting them know an anonymous person on their list of friends has a crush on them.

From there, the app will prompt the crush to select nine people from their profile as well. If they select you, then you’ll get a match. But don’t buy an engagement ring just yet. If they don’t select your profile, your crush is none the wiser.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s success with its new dating feature is undercut by worries over security. Facebook’s track record with security hasn’t been the most reliable. While we can expect Facebook to vet us from any outside threats — after all, 75% of businesses test their disaster recovery programs — many fear this is just another way for Facebook to gain access to your personal data. This is especially concerning to critics who note that the app is designed to mine your data while you’re looking for people with similar interests.

Despite claims that Facebook Dating is separated from your main Facebook account, New York Mag notes the inherent issues with offering Facebook your personal information:

“[…] under the surface, it seems as if every part of the service is integrated with Facebook’s other properties, which in turn gives Facebook more personal data to potentially target users with ads,” explains writer Brian Feldman. “New tactics, same old objective.”

Such concerns over the app might make you want to throw your phone in the toilet and never look back; after all, about 57% of men and 40% of women accidentally drop their phone in the toilet anyway. But for those trying to get lucky in love, this new dating app might be a viable option from sheer pervasiveness alone.

Just this April, Facebook reached an all-time high of 2.38 billion users. When that many people are looking for love, you might just strike gold.

In the meantime, the Match Group isn’t going anywhere. Even though stocks for the company plunged, Tinder still has more than five million active users at any given time. The Match Group, which owns popular dating sites Match.com, Tinder, and OkCupid, might have to work a little harder to beat out its new competitor but its corner of the market.

“Positive intra-quarter app traffic and revenue trends for Match’s myriad brands across several geographies show sustained positive momentum quarter-to-date, causing us to raise our estimates and upgrade the stock,” explains analyst Youssef Squali. “We expect Tinder to once again print one of its best quarterly net adds ever, with further headroom to grow.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if these expectations pan out as Facebook Dating’s user base continues to grow.


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