Some love birds are stood up
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.” –