"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." The F8 conference, often an opportunity to announce new developer tools or hardware, comes amid a broader discussion of policy and privacy for the company.
“Facebook already knows a lot about you that you tell it, and it collects a lot of information about you beyond that. Now here’s this whole other bucket of really sensitive stuff,” said Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at the advocacy group Consumers Union. But because Facebook's audience is bigger and more widespread, its ad-targeting platform is more sophisticated and its users' profiles are built on years of detailed information, experts worry the new dating service could present a huge target and amplify the potential for abuse.
"It's the first real meaningful competitor," Thill told CNBC's "Power Lunch" following the announcement. Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg echoed the confidence, saying the company was "flattered" Facebook was entering the space.
"This is a blow to the story [for Match] in the short term." IAC chief executive Joey Levin said Facebook's product "could be great for US/Russia relationships" but hinted the space had already been cornered. "We're surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory," Ginsberg said in a statement.
(Couples whose mutual friends were closely connected to each other, the researchers said, were more likely to call it quits.) But the new dating service could give Facebook an entirely new level of visibility into its users’ love lives, and privacy experts said they’re concerned users won’t understand how much information they’ll be handing over.
Facebook will log interactions on the dating site, keep a record of everyone a user likes or rejects and gather other data necessary for the service to work, officials said.
Facebook officials said the company wants to bolster its platform as a user-friendly dating destination, adding that they’ve been interested in the idea for years and began building the service over the last six months.