Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is planning to launch a dating service. Supposedly, said dating service will be intended to help interested individuals build long-lasting relationships rather than help interested individuals hook up with one another. However, what remains to be seen is how the launch of said dating service will impact the dating sites and apps that can already be found out there.
Does Facebook’s Dating Service Spell Doom For Dating Sites and Apps?
First and foremost, Facebook’s dating service promises to have a noticeable impact in the online dating market. For proof, look no further than the fact that the Match Group share price suffered something along the lines of a 22 percent fall upon the release of the news, while the IAC share price suffered something along the lines of an 18 percent fall upon the same. Based on this, it is clear that there are a lot of investors in the dating services and apps that can already be found out there who are spooked by Facebook’s intentions, which will mean increased competition for the corporations that they have bought into. Something that will not have positive effects for said corporation’s profits and thus by extension the value of their shares.
To some extent, this makes sense. After all, Facebook is still the single biggest social media site that can be found out there, as shown by the fact that it can claim more than 2 billion active users. As a result, this means a huge potential user base for its dating service, which in turn, should increase the chances of interested individuals finding other Facebook users who are compatible with them in a romantic sense. On top of this, convenience tends to be a huge selling points for most people, meaning that if people already have a Facebook account, it is possible that they will opt for making use of Facebook’s dating service even if they believe that some other dating service might be better because of pure convenience. Based on this, it is no wonder that some investors are spooked, though it should be noted that it is still much too soon to say whether Facebook will actually be able to live up to its theoretical potential when it comes to online dating.
After all, it hasn’t been that long since Facebook was rocked by scandal because of serious data privacy issues, which were not particularly surprising but nonetheless irritating to a lot of people out there. As a result, it is not unreasonable to suspect that there are some Facebook users who will be hesitant to trust the corporation with some of their most personal information considering its track record in this regard. If enough Facebook users hesitate, that could be a huge hindrance to Facebook’s effort to break into the online dating market, which is a process that tends to make for tough going even under the best circumstances.
Of course, Facebook is aware of such issues, which is why it has been putting a fair amount of effort into assuring interested individuals that it will take better care of their personal information than it has so far. For example, there has been talk about how Facebook’s dating service won’t be linking users’ dating profiles with their main profiles, thus keeping an important line of separation between the two. Furthermore, it has been stated that the dating service won’t match interested individuals with people in their friends’ networks, which seems like the sort of thing that could prevent a fair amount of potential awkwardness for a fair number of people out there. On top of this, the listing of the Facebook dating service’s promised features have been paired with information about Facebook’s planned privacy upgrades, which might not be directly relevant but are nonetheless indirectly relevant in the sense that they are supposed to shore up user confidence in the social media site in preparation for the anticipated launch.
With that said, even if Facebook manages to overcome these issues in addition to the usual issues of entering into a new market with perfect ease, it seems improbable that it will be able to crush all of the dating sites and apps that can already be found out there. Simply put, Facebook is a social media site that appeals to the broadest slice of potential users out there, meaning that its presence will leave room for competitors that cater to more specialized niches. This can be found seen in how while Facebook remains very popular with all segments of potential users, it has been becoming less popular with some segments in recent times. Based on this, it seems reasonable that while Facebook’s dating service will have quite an impact on the online dating market, it is still premature to start claiming that its competitors are doomed.