Looking for new and fresh ways to seek out that special someone? Too lazy to switch 2 tabs over into Tinder or Okcupid? Facebook has heard your cries and at their annual developer conference, F8, introduced their new opt-in dating service…with privacy and safety as their top concern of course. The social networking magma has added an online matching feature as part of their fleet of services, such as the buy and sell marketplace, ownership of Instagram and the ability to search for jobs (move over WaterlooWorks, amirite?).
With the recent news in Facebook selling its client data to firms in the UK to meddle with the U.S. election coming up, we must start to ask the question: how much does Facebook really know about us? The answer? Pretty damn much. According to the New York Times, a new algorithm developed by the University of Cambridge and Stanford University is able to integrate your data based on the likes you gave on Facebook and establish links to certain personality traits better than your friends or family ever could. It takes the data for 10 likes to beat a work colleague’s knowledge of you, 70 likes to beat a roommate, 150 likes to beat a parent or a sibling, and 300 to beat a spouse. All this new tech arises with the spike in R&D for companies looking to get into a more AI-centric mindset and push the limits of data science. In fact, Facebook data scientists have already looked into the research using all of Facebook stats on its consumers and crunched the numbers to determine just how long relationships between Facebook users could last. If you’re nothing like me and are a number fanatic or data science enthusiast, you can check out their charts and graphs post on the Facebook Data Science facebook page, in the blog titled Flings or Lifetimes? The Duration of Facebook Relationships.
However, that isn’t to say the rise of this news should be regarded at all badly so let’s hear some more information on how it will actually work. It is set to be the most accurate matching service out there, since Facebook contains more information about us than any other social network as of today. The dating service will act as an opt-in feature where you can create an online dating portfolio that will be hidden from your public profile, a.k.a none of your friends can see if you have a profile and you can’t see if they do. Sounds good so far. What’s more is Facebook has guaranteed there is no possibility for you to be matched with someone you are already friends with. It also won’t show up in your News Feed and will ask only for your first name. Mark Zuckerberg himself has stated that this service is “for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups…”. The algorithm used will be looking at common friends, events attended, and posts liked to match up you as best as possible. In groups and events, you’ll have the option to share your dating profile with others who have opted-in to do so as well. The announcement alone caused its hookup app competitor Tinder’s parent company shares to drop 17 percent. However, that does not mean the end of Tinder as we know it. Studies have shown that the average online dater uses 2.4 dating sites or apps, so it doesn’t look like they will be switching from ol’ reliable anytime soon.