Facebook Inc is entering the dating game, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday, planning a dating service to matchmake millions of people on the world’s largest online social network and nudge them into spending more time there.
The service, which Facebook had considered offering for over a decade and will launch soon, could help rebuild its popularity among younger consumers and make people visit the site more often, two key challenges for the business.
“There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg told software developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.
The New York Times reports:
“This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Mr. Zuckerberg said, in an apparent jab at dating apps like Tinder that have a reputation for stoking casual romantic behavior.
The reaction to Facebook’s dating app was immediate. Shares of Match Group, the company that runs Tinder and other popular dating apps such as OKCupid, plummeted more than 22 percent — the largest one-day drop in its history — after Mr. Zuckerberg’s announcement. Shares of Match Group’s owner, InterActiveCorp, or IAC, dropped by almost 18 percent.