Some love birds are stood up

The Citizen (KZN) - - City -

All’s fair in elec­tronic love and dat­ing. Or is it? The bat­tle for the hearts and minds of cou­ples seek­ing their per­fect match on­line has taken a new turn.

If you’re a flirty mo­bile war­rior Tin­der­ing on the brink or Bum­bling from one swipe to the next, be aware there’s an­other game in town, as Face­book mus­cles in.

As on­line dat­ing be­comes the vir­tual norm, Face­book’s grad­ual ar­rival on the dat­ing scene, launched pro­gres­sively in the Amer­i­cas and South­east Asia, looks set to shake up the mar­ket.

Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg said last month he saw the com­pany mov­ing to­wards the fore­front of on­line dat­ing, hav­ing promised at the out­set a ser­vice “for build­ing real long-term re­la­tion­ships, not just hook-ups”.

But ri­vals are not quak­ing in their boots just yet, de­spite the size of the so­cial me­dia gi­ant’s global foot­print.

“Face­book Dat­ing has been going in cer­tain coun­tries for more than a year now and for the mo­ment, we’ve seen noth­ing change in terms of mar­ket share,” said Di­dier Rap­pa­port, founder and manag­ing di­rec­tor of pop­u­lar French dat­ing app Happn, with a motto: “Crushes don’t fall from the sky.”

Face­book was not able to say exactly when it would launch its dat­ing vari­ant in Europe. Early 2020 had been mooted.

“From so­cial net­works to dat­ing sites is just a step which does not re­quire enor­mous tech­no­log­i­cal in­vest­ment,” ob­served Julien Pil­lot, a re­searcher and lec­turer at French business school Inseec.

Rap­pa­port said a fun­da­men­tal is­sue is whether so­cial net­works are a good fit for dat­ing, ask­ing: “Are so­cial net­works and meet­ing up a match? In my view, no, as what marks out a so­cial net­work is the shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion, whereas dat­ing moves into the in­ti­mate sphere.” –

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