Tinder boss shocked by new Facebook dating feature

'We’re surprised at the timing'

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 02 May 2018 12:45
Shares of Match.com fell on the news that Facebook will be launching its own dating service
Shares of Match.com fell on the news that Facebook will be launching its own dating service

The CEO of the dating giant Match Group has expressed surprise that Facebook is planning a new dating feature, given the social network’s invasive relationship with its users’ personal information.

Mandy Ginsberg, whose company owns Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish and Match.com, said that while she was flattered that Facebook saw the business potential of online dating, people might be cautious to trust them with such sensitive data.

“We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,” Ms Ginsberg said in a statement.

“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.”

Match Group shares have fallen by more than 20 per cent since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first announced plans for the new feature at the company’s F8 developers conference in California on Tuesday, 1 May.

Mr Zuckerberg stressed the importance of protecting users’ data, having previously spoken about the data scandal that his company is currently embroiled in.

The conference came less than a month after the Facebook founder appeared before Congress to answer questions about revelations that the UK data firm harvested user data for the purpose of political profiling during the 2016 US Presidential elections and Brexit campaign.

“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” Mr Zuckerberg said during his conference presentation. “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: “This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships - not just for hookups.”

These comments were jumped upon by another executive at Match Group’s parent company, IAC, who referenced the Russian interference of Facebook’s social network to spread political propaganda for the purpose of disrupting the US elections and the UK’s EU referendum.

“Come on in, the water’s warm,” IAC CEO Joey Levin said. “Their product could be great for US/ Russia relationships.”

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