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Facebook is launching a dating feature (cnbc.com)
393 points by mendelk on May 1, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 303 comments

This is a big deal. And not just because it will obviously cause big problems for existing dating sites, but instead because the longer-term prospects of this strategy are the beginning of an amazon-like vertical strategy for facebook.

Instead of being an "infrastructure" layer like they have touted to be in the past, they are now getting into verticals. So anyone building a consumer focused business that relies on a graph should be pretty paranoid about what the future may hold, just as anyone in the retail/ecommerce world is already scared of amazon. Especially if you're using facebook auth or facebook ads to drive your business: because it tells them whether you're worth coming after or not.

Think of the forces at play here:

- (1) Facebook already has an enormous, aggressive, and well funded team ready to pounce on new consumer apps that are up and coming. See Snapchat features, and the dozens of other apps that have gotten to the first tier of success only to be out gunned by facebook.

- (2) The rapidly shrinking facebook API landscape (and related platforms), due to the Cambridge analytics stuff and other concerns. API access is shrinking, not growing, with many platforms (like WhatsApp) with no plans to ever even have one.

- (3) The prevalence of facebook ads as a "first place" to learn and iterate on your business. If you think they are ignoring the rapidly scaling consumer businesses, you're wrong.

- (4) And now finally, their willingness to go into verticals instead of stay at the infrastructure level. They have the perfect storm to come after any consumer business with network effects at the core of its functionality.

> they are now getting into verticals

This is far from their first `vertical`. Events, groups, marketplace... Eventbrite/whatever is still here, meetup is still here, and craigslist is still here too.

Well lets not just talk about North American markets.

To give an example, Facebook Marketplace has become a considerable threat for "Small Items for Sale" category in emerging markets where classified websites other than Craigslist are dominant.

With its strong user profile integration that keeps out fake sellers, Marketplace has become a huge sell in countries like India, Pakistan and UAE.

I am definitely not surprised if Facebook would be going in for a vertical approach. Messenger used to be a part of Facebook. It's a stand alone product for a while now with bots for virtually anything (sellers are using them to give out promo codes), a separate mobile app and even a web app.

However, I don't see this verticalization to necessarily happen as a non-Facebook experience though. For Instagram, it makes sense to keep it that way and not bring it inside Facebook. For Marketplace and Events, it might not be the case because it needs that strong network affect and makes Facebook work as a platform to find, do and participate in things.

You can also cite micro communities in United States. For example, college students use Facebook for anything from browsing memes to planning events to subletting their houses for the summer. It’s a pretty convenient ecosystem to tap into considering everybody’s already on Facebook (that was the original target demographic).

That's a good example and very common in Canada as well.

Yes every market is different and needs to be conquered on its own. I'm living in Austria and FB Marketplace is being used but it's not as big (or good) as the existing willhaben.at or shpock.

network affect? like in network feelings?

See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

This is particularly useful when trying to find new events per se. For example, I see a friend marking himself "interested" for a particular event on Facebook. I do the same and reach him out on Messenger to ask him / her to go together.

I have to stick to Facebook because one way or the other, it gives me an avenue to socialize because people I know are there, use it regularly and are contributor to the network effect.

We was making a joke out of your incorrect use of "affect" vs "effect"

Sorry, guilty as charged. Couldn't help myself.

Sure. But are any of those businesses really doing well these days? For the longest time facebook told businesses that advertised heavily on their platform that they had no intention of getting deep into verticals, that instead those businesses should build on top of the facebook "infrastructure". And for a while it was relatively true; now all the gloves are off. If you're growing and profitable, and working with consumers, facebook will be coming for you.

A mate of mine here in Australia recently moved apartment and wanted to flip a whole heap of her stuff (bed frame, lounges, etc.) to downsize. She was using gumtree (the traditional 'I need to sell a lounge/fridge/etc. site used here) but was getting pretty poor responses. She then tried FB Marketplace and found it to be a huge gain in both quantity of responses (~10x) and their quality (people weren't offering her like 20% of what she listed it at).

I also see many uni kids flipping their textbooks and other small belongings on it, because it's really easy and right there in the app everyone looks at all the time. It also targets location, so uni kids living on campus sell directly to other uni kids living on campus and so exchanges become trivially easy.

It may not have disrupted the US market, but it's certainly had an impact elsewhere.

> She then tried FB Marketplace and found it to be a huge gain in both quantity of responses (~10x) and their quality (people weren't offering her like 20% of what she listed it at).

I offload items I don’t want anymore via Craigslist in the US. I try to give away or sell items at a low cost to reduce the hassle and time that I have to invest (a great deal is less likely to turn into a person who cancels at the last minute after I’ve set aside time to meet). For items with a cost, the majority of emails are insulting low bids.

Glad to know this isn’t a local / regional issue.

Interesting. I've heard about FB Marketplace and the other local selling groups, so because I'm moving out and downsizing too, I decided to try it in addition to Craigslist. I've sold a bunch of stuff so far, and while I've listed almost everything on both (on the FB side, I've used Marketplace and also about 10 different local "yard sale" groups that cover my location), as far as I can tell all my sales came from Craigslist. On the FB side, I've had a bunch of communications from totally flaky people who never follow through. The only good thing I can say about FB so far is that I haven't run into any scammers there, whereas they're common on CL, but they're easy to avoid: only deal in cash with people who show up in person, and ignore people who want to send cashier's checks and that kind of crap.

Yes, Craigslist is doing really well.

"Craigslist will generate revenue of almost $700 million this year [full year 2016], with a profit margin around 80 percent — making it the most profitable classified advertising site in the world, the AIM Group reports in its Global Classified Advertising Annual."

"it managed to increase revenue by 75 percent in 2016 over the estimated 2015 total"


Story from May 2017 talking about how well they're doing:


The AIM Group's long term chart on Craiglist's estimated revenue, year by year:


Obviously we'll see how Craigslist fairs over a longer period of time vs Facebook market. However, Craigslist is a free listing service for the typical user, as such Facebook is a modest threat - people can trivially list on both services.

Vast majority of that revenue is from job postings

I know a bunch of independent sellers of various things who say that they are getting more sales from Facebook Marketplace than Craigslist

My wife has moved entirely to FB Marketplace for buying/selling, because you can get a much better sense if the person you are transacting with is sketchy or not. This is a huge upside that FB can leverage.

The fact that FB has real identities, with history and a measurable "trustworthy" index, gives it a huge advantage that almost no one else has.

imho this has always been the ace up FB's sleeve in terms of monetization and justifying their market cap.

With my recent move this was my experience. Everything listed on Craigslist and Facebook, every single sale was Facebook.

I'm in the process of a move/downsizing, near the DC area, and my experience is exactly the opposite. All the locals on Facebook waste my time with Messenger, and never follow through, whereas people on Craigslist actually show up with cash. I joined 10 local "yard sale" groups on FB plus Marketplace, posting everything in all of them plus CL, and all the sales are coming from CL. Facebook just seems to be full of flaky losers.

Interesting - I wonder if it varies by region. A few years back I had mixed luck with both in Seattle, my recent experience is in Bay area.

I do agree on Facebook there is more noise than I found on craigslist. I think this is because of the UX, Facebook makes it easy to send a false positive for interest whereas on craigslist it takes more effort and therefore reduces the signal to noise ratio for buyers who are actually interested.

I think that's quite possible. On FB, I've gotten a lot of "lookey loos" popping up and asking me questions on Messenger, usually "is this still available?". So I answer them and half the time never hear from them again.

With CL, they have to punch in a phone number, or use email to ask inane questions like that (which they do, just not as much).

Not Craigslist tho.

Marketplace did not yet take over local sites, but it's getting there for a lot of people. They hated having to move off facebook to some 'inconvenient site' (yes, indeed, many people find sites other than Facebook & Whatsapp very inconvenient to work with) to sell their stuff, while now it's an easy experience for them. I see it growing rapidly every day where I live (south of Spain). Considering many people are born into Facebook (the first (and often only) device they (will ever) own is a smartphone and that they use for Facebook and Whatsapp), it is very natural that many people just stay in that eco system and prefer never to leave because it's so convenient.

Dating might be seen as a bit too much though; many people (for whatever reasons they have for it) prefer to keep their dating life away from their normal interactions. It depends on how it works, but it seems unlikely it will be seperated from the normal experience which I think will be a big hurdle for many. Then again, maybe it's already known and fixed as this is the first time I read about it.

The reason my circle of friends never really used Tinder is Facebook. So I can not really see how this could ever take off.

Then again i never saw anyone using the shopping feature with success, so i know it's all just point of view.

Not sure where you're from, but meeting and dating people on Facebook is extremely common and normal in US

How does that work? You can't message someone you're not friends with can you?

Here it's common to ask a girl/boy for their Facebook once you have met, but meeting someone on Facebook seems difficult. Would you do it through a group?

> You can't message someone you're not friends with can you?

Yes you can. I don't have any 'friends' on Facebook but have a long list of Messenger contacts and groups.

That's probably more useful information to Facebook than some nebulous graph of people I vaguely know. Messenger contacts are those with whom I actively engage.

People just add mutual friends who look cute maybe at thw recommendation of a friend, they start messenging each other, boy asks girl out, rest you can use imagination

Safer for a girl than meeting a rando off tinder or okc in terms of online dating

My post says where I live, and for younger people that might be the case too, I wouldn't know. But then how do you meet new people and what does the new dating feature add?

It literally says it in the comment: south of Spain. As someone from the east of Spain I totally agree with tluyben2 experience

No shit sherlock, I’m pointing out that Spain, a small market, is not representative of everything

Edit: should also point out you might just be a neckbeard or fogey and may be unaware of your more socially aware fellow spaniards using Facebook to date

Events & groups were in Facebook since before it went mainstream. They're a core component, not a new vertical.

The marketplace features Facebook added to groups are a light support for how people were using groups anyway.

Dating site like features on Facebook, besides just sending messages, were always apps.

Their marketplace, groups and events have took some marketshare in the country I live in (albeit a small one). For example, for cars, I relied on Facebook as most users moved there. Many events are now running on Facebook as they can "spam" users with the invites. It is not there yet adoption wise, but also their product is not up to the standards of eventbrite for example.

I find that I use Facebook Groups and Events more than Meetup.

Facebook Marketplace is really good for niche buying and selling, since you can have a group dedicated to specific topics.

And jobs, a huge threat to job sites.

Almost certainly the next big vertical stop for Facebook. It's what I would do.

It’s the first vertical because the competition lost actual dollars off their share price because it.

they even tried Q&A for a brief period of time, and messenger of course

Don't forget they have an enormous amount of data from years of Tinder integration.

Would fb get anything other than who used the app from that?

Considering they already have relashionship data (x is in a relationship with y, x is now single, etc) - on which they might be able to predict matching data; the other missing thing is knowing who might want to date. Which I guess correlates pretty well with "installs tinder".

The biggest problem is fitting these verticals in to look and feel of Facebook. This is actually lot harder than you think because the core business requires that you still need to be sharply focused on news feed. Perhaps this is the reason lot of verticals that already exists hasn't driven competitors in to extinction. They have to figure out the design (like Yahoo did in its early days with simple but prominent tabs which Google followed up with its own simple but prominent tabs in search results) so people get used to think of FB as collection of verticals as opposed to place to go read news feed - but this would be a significant change in strategy and business bottom line.

100% agree with this - it's one of the main reasons (other than ad payouts) why they're not massively competing with YouTube just yet. News Feed is their core, but it's also what's been holding them back from really destroying other markets - the discoverability mechanics (you never know what's coming up, so keep scrolling...) of the News Feed are a blessing and a curse.

When they break themselves away from this (which they arguably have with their attempts to embed more in Messenger - I can foresee a future test being you subscribing to video channels/news brands in Messenger and having bots push the latest vids out, history repeats itself), and open up a few more interaction mechanics, things could change.

There's also the "Eugenics" angle here too. :(

If Facebook gains access to people's medical data (as Google definitely has), they could literally use this "dating feature" as a high level population breeding program.

With the level of ethics they've displayed so far - practically none - it wouldn't be super surprising to find them doing it. :/

It would actually be surprising to find them doing it. Even from a business perspective, their other breaches of ethics (and privacy) all made them money. Large-scale eugenics wouldn't make money for FB, at least not in the next 18 years.

Hmmm, I disagree.

It's not at all hard to think of at least a few countries whose leadership would happily engage them for this.

They'd be the one's paying money for Facebook to do "targeted dating influenced by specific factors". ie genetics.

Depending upon the verification/validation of results they want, it's probably not an 18 year wait. Initial data would be what... school grades entered into centralised system (guessing)? Higher year level grades, aptitude tests, uni/college (etc) would be follow on ones down the track.

Anyway, the point doesn't seem far fetched at all. And Facebook + medical data would be right there. :/

Why did they pick an S-curve? Why not log or linear? I couldn't really tell from the article.

At the time scales considered, world population/market size is more or less constant.

That means exponential growth (a reasonable guess at what the curve looks like, initially) has to plateau, eventually.

2010 called, they wanted to let you know Facebook has been going vertical for a long time.

They haven't even been secretive about it. Look at their last big vertical push: Facebook marketplace.

They're just trying to follow Google's footsteps to become a full Internet portal. That's why Zuck tried so hard to bring Facebook Zero to India and Africa, and why Zuck is kissing Jinping's feet.

They want nothing short of complete market domination.

> So anyone building a consumer focused business that relies on a graph should be pretty paranoid about what the future may hold, just as anyone in the retail/ecommerce world is already scared of amazon.

Just don't go after generic solutions, but choose a niche.

People are usually careful to not use too many services from the same provider to not give the provider too much data. This used to be true at least, and was the argument heard when Google+ launched.

The web is contracting and consolidating. Whether that is good or bad is debatable. Its the natural course of capitalism to monopolize and we're seeing it on the web. How long before we see the first attempt to break one up? Would it even matter?

I stopped using Facebook several years ago, and it was already a dating app at that time. That was more or less the point of the thing.

How is this new?

Cue the cynics on HN, but I think this is a very natural step for FB to take and I think the product will do very very well.

Even if you're on a separate dating service like Tinder, you look up your matches on FB anyway as a sanity test. FB already plays a large role in dating and the signaling involved. It just makes sense for FB to own the process from start to finish when they have the ability to do it better than any existing dating app today.

FYI: Shares of Match Group (they are a public holdings company for many of the popular dating sites out there) plunged after FB announced this.

Facebook marketplace has been a boon for buy/sell to me and my family. Kijiji and craigslist are very sketchy, but with FB marketplace, you can see who the person actually is. It makes us feel much more safe when we go to meet the person.

I see FB dating as having similar success. I can see you and your connections and validate that you aren't going to kill or rape me when we meet up for coffee (or if you're male; I can see that you are a real person and not a bot).

> Facebook marketplace has been a boon for buy/sell to me and my family

Interesting. In my area, Facebook Marketplace is almost all stolen/burgled/shoplifted goods. People even call it "Fencebook."

Want a brand new, unopened PS/4 for $25? Fencebook to the rescue!

...huh. How do you tell stolen goods from legitimate ones? Obviously the price can't be the only factor since they could just try to sell it closer to a realistic price.

If you're buying something expensive, require an original invoice and check that the serial number matches. If someone is apprehensive about that, somehow they lost the invoice for the brand new unopened PS4 they bought last week, or similar, just drop it.

If they're selling close to the original price, just get it from a shop instead, that way you'll get warranty etc too (there's generally no warranty on goods with "lost" invoices).

In general, look out for suspicious behaviour. Are they willing to meet with you at their home or office? Do they readily share their phone number? Do they have many excuses (one of the most common tells for liers are an excess of over-thought out excuses) for not doing things transparently? If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true.

Thanks! The trouble is all of these can fail for what I would consider legitimate reasons. Requiring a receipt fails if they just open it, maybe even use it a bit (or not), and wait a few months before selling it, since nowadays people seem to genuinely go through some stuff (e.g. phones) pretty quickly and not necessarily keep or have receipts, especially if they themselves bought it second-hand. Meeting at my home or office is not something I would ever feel comfortable doing, and is generally recommended against when purchasing online. Sharing phone numbers is something I'd only do when the decision to purchase has gone through and we're actively trying to meet up (obvious privacy concerns), etc.

It's not an exhaustive, binary checklist, they are signals to watch out for. They are basically surrogates for trust. If you're selling something that looks like it might have been stolen, you have to come up with a compelling reason to trust you. Meeting at your office and sharing a business card might be such a reason. If the only thing you're comfortable with is meeting in a deserted parking lot late at night, and only communicating over a throwaway anonymous email account, the counterpart is right to suspect something is fishy. On the other hand, if you have an original invoice from the Apple store, then it might be OK.

Sure, there are legitimate reasons for not getting any of these right, but if they get all of them wrong, be very careful.

It's not hard, once you know what to look for. Basic pawn shop training.

Erm... I wasn't asking if it's difficult, I was asking what do you look for? Why in the world would a set of things to look for be a subject to conceal?

Edit: never mind, just realized you're worried I or someone else is trying to sell stolen goods and will abuse such a list that way, sigh...

Because thrift store criminals spend _so_ much time reading deeply nested comment threads on hackernews...

maybe the response would take 20 minutes to write.

Then spend the 20 minutes, or don't. Writing "the answer to your question exists" isn't a meaningful contribution.

are you mad at me suggesting that they didn't write it down because they thought it would take them too long to write?

At any rate they didn't just say the information exists, they also said it was basic pawn shop training, so I googled "pawn shop detect stolen goods" the top answer was from quora https://www.quora.com/How-do-pawnbrokers-verify-that-the-ite... and there was something from a blog of somebody called the blog nerd which is a little difficult reading because of all the SEO keyword optimization he seems to have done


there seemed to be a reasonable number of other informative links.

oops, the pawn nerd not the blog nerd.

In my area, Facebook is (and was even before the Marketplace) routinely used to sell clothes very cheaply - usually because the seller is buying wholesale and then selling it without paying taxes. You can get them even cheaper if the seller is a person from a rich family who doesn't care much for a profit, but uses this as their pastime.

Some of those are not stolen, they are just scams for users to send money someone for say an iphone X and then they get the item sent to them, which of course doesn't happen.

Where do you live?

I'm curious because I've used Craigslist all across the west coast in the USA and I've never found myself worried. I've used it for bigger ($XXXX) and small purchases ($X). Brand new and very used. Most people I've met are very friendly and decently honest. Flakey is usually my biggest complaint with Craigslist people.

Toronto, Canada. A somewhat major news item recently was that a guy was killed trying to sell his truck on Craigslist. These stories have popped on and off the news for a while now.

Other than that, the pseudo anonymity makes people uncomfortable with craigslist. At least, that’s the sentiment I’ve gotten from a few people who’ve used it. Contrasting that with the feedback I’ve heard about marketplace, people just feel safer when you can creep a buyer’s profile before they show up at your house.

Agree; this comes to mind: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1486616/

Nextdoor’s new For Sale section is the best of these services imo since everyone is address-verified. I get a lot of spam from FB Marketplace but even with the spam, it’s miles better than Craigslist/OfferUp/etc.

Aren't the majority of rapes perpetrated by people the victim knew previously?

I don't think rape is the only thing people fear when meeting strangers. Unpleasant experiences or stalking creeps might be something to look out for.

Other dating services already use data from one's Facebook account. E.g. "Happn" requires you to login with Facebook credentials, and then uses photos from Facebook.

Let's not kid anyone there's a pretty sizeable difference in how much of and how well the data facebook has on individuals can be leveraged by a first-party dating app. Happn and others like are hardly better than a stranger stalking two people's public facebook profiles and trying to make guesses as to whether they could match. Facebook knows what you/I really care about outside of what we may publicly list on our profiles, whether we like that or not, and thus if executed well can use that so much more effectively towards dating optimization.

Would Facebook's dating service conceivably match me with someone who shares my moral objections to Facebook Inc's behaviour?

This seems like a joke question, of course. But consider: Ten years or fifteen years from now, supposing nearly everyone is using Facebook's dating service, could Facebook Inc adjust their matching algorithm to give shittier / less promising results to those people for whom it identifies as having a dislike for Facebook Inc's behaviour? Conceivably, what about matching them with someone who is likely to be sterile?

Could those who express objections to Facebook Inc's behaviour be gradually phased out of the population (not completely, obviously), by a motivated director, over a few generations?

Possessing objections to domineering corporate behaviour does not have to be genetic, nor does it even have to be overwhelmingly heritable -just mostly so- for Facebook Inc's incentives and capacities to align towards considering this sort of dystopian strategy.

I don't raise this because I imagine it to be true at all; I raise it because we are reluctant to spend time actually considering these kind of hypotheticals for how massively-dominent social platforms might affect our society and way of life, and often as a society we only consider them in retrospect. For example, Cambridge Analytica's unethical actions are a fairly predictable outcome of Facebook's business model and have (already) now lead to significant negative effects on a worldwide scale.

Don't worry, this will only happen if the algorithm determines there is a less than 63% chance that matching you with someone who is very pro-Facebook is likely to change your opinion regarding Facebook to be more positive.

Not spending time considering hypotheticals you don't imagine to be true at all is a pretty rational thing to do.

That seems intuitive but is surprisingly misguided; in fact, it depends on your purpose.

Consider planned destructive testing in engineering, where perhaps one component is built purposefully weakened and then the whole system stressed in order to ascertain where and how the other components fail in response. This can lead to better understanding and to superior alternative designs in future.

In a related way, we can imagine destructive testing on facets of our institutions and societies, and try to ascertain how our systems may then fail in turn.

One example is when designing constitutional separation of powers, we might find it implausible to imagine a president intentionally undermining the Justice Department and his own intelligence agencies, but yet still design the constitutional separation of powers in such a way that the system retains some amount of robustness or integrity should that ever eventuate.

We might choose to design our medical quarantine protocols in such a way that they don't overly rely on protecting against known agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, amoebae etc) but have some robustness against not yet encountered classes of threat, eg quarantine protocols that were concieved before the discovery of prion diseases.

When we do destructive testing in engineering, it's because we know for a fact that stuff fails for any or no reason, and while it might be rare, it happens all the time at scale. When the framers of the constitution designed strong separation of powers, they absolutely explicitly expected presidents to try to become kings, and so designed very strong safeguards against that happening.

The problem with your Facebook hypothetical is the absence of a mechanism by which the bad situation happens. How do we get to a point where Facebook to any practical degree has the power to prevent someone from dating at all? There has always been smaller and larger groups of misfits and outcasts, and they have generally been capable of connecting with each other beyond the majority hegemony (caveats here of course for repressive government power, but that's out of scope for this hypothetical, and belongs in constitution-related hypotheticals).

But let's then consider the hypothesis: Even if they do get to a significant position in dating, there are plenty of reason to believe they wouldn't use that power to prevent "anti-Facebookers" to date: privately owned publishers and printers happily print and sell the communist manifesto. You can sell your anti-Amazon book on Amazon, and publish it to Kindle. You can search for all the reasons Google is the worst company ever on Google. You can put "I hate Tinder" in your Tinder profile. And you can form a group about why Facebook is awful on Facebook, organise a "down with Facebook" rally using Facebook events and sell "Facebook sucks" stickers on Facebook marketplace. The logic of private markets very simply shows that it's plainly in a company's interest not to discriminate against people for the transgression of merely not liking the company.

Which, incidentally, allows you to background-check a listed person on Facebook easily, if you know how to capture traffic on your device and read out user ID from the photo's URL.

(Or at least used to allow, don't know the current state.)

It's the most stable and safest direction to go in, when you know you've reached your peak in features and user-generated data.

So at least in my experience in Tokyo, Facebook is not shared by daters until after they've met. A dating service might use facebook to sign in and gather a few pieces of data but actually letting someone look at all your photos and your posts is not something I think most Japanese women would do if they haven't met you in person already.

If fb shared more data I'm not sure how well that would go over, at least here.

Ehhh I used tinder a lot and you don’t need to look people up on facebook until after the first date, crazy people pretty much always show they’re crazy before then.

I've checked dates before for a friend. Finding out before a date that they are fb friends with an ex is really useful

I wonder if Facebook is going to end up as a dating site because Tinder is mostly hook-up site.

Based on my few months experience of Tinder, girls here only want long term stuff. I guess it depends on the country as well.

People's intended and real intentions are two different things. In many cultures, women are, unfortunately, shamed if they pursue one-time sexual encounters, so they often adjust their signalling accordingly.

Doesn't mean they're not up for hookups though.

look up matches on fb? dude that's creepy

What do you think the point of Facebook is if not to look up people socially? That's literally what a 'face book' was originally for.

Also with the number of fake profiles and lying that goes on these services it's worth checking just to make sure they're a real person. Otherwise you ask some more questions or just act cautiously until you know they're a normal person. (e.g. Not a con-artist or scammer. etc.)

You generally prefer the other person not knowing you "cared" that much, but it's a simple vetting trick.

Fear of everything you do in private being creepy is just a self-limiting belief.

Digging for bikini pics isn't part of the process here.

As a woman, it's a basic safety protocol to at least check that a man doesn't appear obviously crazy before going out with him.

Same goes for men too...

A man is not usually at risk of any physical danger, though.

I'm pretty crazy but you'd never know it by looking at me.

I specifically say I’m not crazy on my profile.

Is having a facebook account an important place to start when trying to establish the appearance of sanity? Asking for a friend...

Personally I'd mark having a Facebook account as a negative in terms of sanity.

I'm surprised you're being downvoted, I agree with you. I'm not even sure how you would do this, as Tinder Bumble et al don't show surname. Search by given name and job / university? Not everyone shows those, and even if they do, I agree it's weird to stalk someone's info on FB just by finding their dating profile.

It's like picking your nose in private. You can raise a stink in public about how you'd never do it with fake disgust, but I'm sure you do it.

I don't think it's any less weird to meet up in person with someone after just seeing 3-5 pictures of them and a vapid bio. Looking at the Facebook profile can give you a sense of how they conduct themselves and whether they're crazy. Like if their wall is dedicated to some MLM scheme and they get in fights with their friends/family. Or whether their Tinder pictures are from 5 years and 100 lbs ago.

If you think it's weird, then I'm not convinced you've used Tinder enough to escalate it into a date. If you did, you'd know that having one mutual friend in common makes it easy to hunt them down and even if you don't, Tinder gives you enough info to anyways unless they have their privacy settings jacked up.

I can't understand why people consider facebook profile something private at all. Profile is your personal web page, containing information you put there for expose to the public. Surfing web pages to see what's available there is a basic activity WWW has been built for.

> you look up your matches on FB anyway as a sanity test.

You lookup people from Tinder on Facebook? For what?

I would say its not a sanity test; you just simply a creep.

Curiosity is a virtue some places.

> you look up your matches on FB anyway as a sanity test

Worst. Sanity test. Evar!

Honestly, it depends on what you mean by 'look up' - Coffee Meets Bagel (another dating app) includes a feature that will show you mutual Facebook friends (if such a thing exists). That's a really interesting indicator how/where a match's social circle overlaps yours, which can say a lot of important things. That totally ignores, of course, the opportunity to get a second opinion from one of those mutual friends as well.

Stalking and/or looking up 13 year old college party photos is probabally, shall we say, less sane.

The elephant in the room here is that this was announced at F8 - a conference for platform developers - yet this platform application was developed internally and is one that, because of the neutering of the API, no outside developer could have built. They essentially said “hey developers, look at this neat thing we built that you can’t!”.

I’m curious what the point of F8 actually is at this stage. The platform has become so restricted that social apps can’t be built anymore. Facebook should just acknowledge that outside developers have outlived their usefulness now that they have helped the service attract 2 billion users, and scrap the conference.

Same with WWDC, I/O, or Build. Big tech's vertical integration always hits 3rd parties.

F8 is like I/O, a way for corporate advertise.

Agree completely. F8 is all smoke and mirrors. I got fooled last year when they announced Camera AR Studio. Was all excited but never granted access or 'accepted' despite having 8 years development experience in agencies. Surely their target market if there was one.

The recent breaking instagram API update without warning was a big enough FU to developers to confirm this.

When I wear my tinfoil hat it becomes clear that Cambridge Analytica was a manufactured crisis to give Facebook the public permission and mission to purge developers off its platform, which has been its plan for a while now.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

I mostly doubt Facebook would intentionally put itself through this much drama just to dump developers: The damage they took from CA was worse than they'd get for announcing they hated developers and didn't want to deal with them anymore.

That being said, it's hard to criticize them for internalizing something like this given that letting external services build on them is what landed them in this mess in the first place.

Zuckerberg's original intention was to create a dating website for colleges. It was obvious to eyeball this intent from the pre-wall days. Your page looked like this:

I am a: [man]

Interested in: [women]

Relationship status: [single]

Fave quotes, fave music, about me.

Then, all that got put on hold as FB was built out in every way except that (including adding the Wall, and then the News Feed). They must have realized that FB could be something much larger than a dating network, that would get used indefinitely by its customers, without pigeonholing their primary use case.

I'm surprised it took this long to pull the trigger on this feature, though.

I think by labeling themselves as a dating app on the side wouldn’t have garnered as many users if they had done so much earlier. They wanted to be the social networking platform for as long as they possibly can. Well, with the recent backlashes and incidents, they probably think they have just about reached the peak number of users. I say it’s a well thought out timing and execution.

Very well thought out timing, indeed. They’re cynically using sex to reel younger users, and those grossed out by the Cambridge Analytica news, back into their network.

But he promised it was only for meaningful relationships

Which only makes The Social Network an even better film.

Youtube was also originally a dating site too.

What, where'd you hear that?

"Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website Hot or Not" -- wikipedia


As a fierce Facebook critic, I admit that Facebook itself is a company with amazing teams and outstandingly built services. Too bad it's also the company with the worst possible track record on privacy, who championed scientifically engineered attention grabbing as a tech tool.

I would sincerely like to see a paid for version of Facebook. I would easily fork out as much as I fork out for Netflix for a service that would offer me the same functions without all the profiling, with more granular control on shaping the user experience (i.e. I would rearrange my FB dashboard to focus on groups, events and messaging, while having the newsfeed as a secondary page).

Sure, but would you be willing to pay $25/year? That's about how much Facebook's ARPU (average revenue per user) is in the US right now.

I would easily fork out as much as I fork out for Netflix

So 4 times as much.

So I can have me and my four friends?

Realistically, as the early adopter, I'd have to pay for myself and my 731 facebook friends, since none of them would want to pay for it. So, like, closer to $18k a year.

That ARPU is on a quarterly basis...

They could provide it as an option and let those who want to pay pay, and those who don't not?

I use adblock so my ARPU is 0. Can I get a discount? :-)

Not quite 0. If you participate in liking, sharing, or commenting on Facebook posts that were sponsored at some point further up the chain, then you are part of the value that Facebook offers to those advertisers. (Advertisers are paying for the initial exposure and the network effect.)

Hah, you'd think. Just because you're not clicking on ads on Facebook, doesn't mean you're not ratting on your friends whenever you use Facebook. By liking things and talking to friends, they can correlate what your friends would probably like to see and show them better ads which they are then more likely to click on. By talking to some friends but not others, you tell Facebook who is most likely to like your likes. By your message's contents, you tell Facebook what your friends like to talk about. The list goes on and on.

That's only $2 a month, very reasonable.

Wouldn't a paid Facebook still collect most of the same data on you? Especially w.r.t. a dating feature? How can you be confident that data would never be used in a way you wouldn't want? It's not just "how it's used today" that's the big concern, here.

You could design a paid Google that did less tracking, less personalization - how do you design a paid FB without your personal info?

Well, I would accept a partial solution. Pay 49,99€ a year, and we track only the information we really need to make the service work fine for you. We won't use that to cater ads to you, and you have the option to create your own dashboard. For me it would be better to have a composition window and then a dashboard with groups I care about, events, other apps I use.

Even if they don’t profile you directly, how do you feel about the fact that your non-paying friends would still be profiled?

> I would easily fork out as much as I fork out for Netflix

You don't understand how Facebook makes money.

They sell advertising to companies who are willing to pay because you came and spend money on their site / purchased their product.

It is NOT true that everyone clicked ad and ended up buying a product. Only minority did. Hence, if you can afford to fork out serious cash like Netflix fee, you are statistically much more worth to advertisers than someone who would only pay $1, or as majority - would click ad and left with abandoned/empty basket.

You will never see paid version of Facebook.

As somebody who doesn't use Facebook, it's going to be damned annoying if everyone disappears off the existing dating apps and into the Facebook ecosystem. It's becoming an evolutionary disadvantage to be off Facebook.

> It's becoming an evolutionary disadvantage to be off Facebook.

This is the most chilling thing I've read in a while.

The only evolutionary disadvantage is your attitude.

Time spent thumbing through selfies on a dating app on a 2.5" by 5" screen, is less effective ( from a sexually reproductive standpoint ) than going up and introducing yourself to members of the opposite sex. But then again, we can throw any biological theories of evolution out the windows, because you're more than likely using contraceptives at any rate.

Honestly though who goes up to women and asks their number in this day and age? I'm sure it happens but these kinds of interactions have moved into the phone.

Are you really serious? People who leave their homes on weekends and enjoy a nightlife? I mean, what do you think happens at clubs and bars; do you think they've emptied out because of dating apps?

I think most people who go out to those places do so with friends, not as an alternative to dating. The question is, do you think people only go out to bars and clubs to find a partner or one night stand?

That kind of interaction just doesn’t happen in Europe, for instance.

except that with a facebook account you can do both

It’s disadvantageous even if you do have Facebook based on a number of factors.

1. You gotta be pretty photogenic. This is a very strange one because I find more people more attractive in real life than in photos. The people who do look appealing in photos tend to have more angular faces and better proportions, but honestly in the end what matters most is how we look in real life.

2. You’re at an advantage if you’re extroverted and have pictures of you attending many social events. A good number of “friends” that you randomly hang out with helps too.

3. If you want to stand out, you better hope you have a close friend who is at least a hobby level photographer and goes out to most places with you.

Yea, I’m screwed. I never prepared myself to have an outstanding social presence, and it’s too late at this point.

That's what http://lifefaker.com is for!

This could be straight off an in-game GTA website, brilliant.

that one is LifeInvader i think

Amazing link, thanks!

It's never too late for anything, my friend. You can be in an even worse situation a few years from now or you can decide to start making some changes today.

If it makes you feel better, I am not on any existing dating app.

I met the love of my life last year, on email.

Well, I know people who met on World of Warcraft and Tibia.

But there are obviously more efficient ways to meet people who may be interested in you.

Don't be too sure. WoW is probably a great place to meet potential friends, because of a commonality of thought. Dates might not be common, but I am thinking of compatibility once it does happen.

If two people are out on a first date who met over WoW, they probably have better long term chances than people who met on a real dating site. (Admittedly, people who met on Tinder might have excellent chances of getting what they want; assuming that's nothing to do with the long term).

Using tinder / bumble / coffee meets bagel, you can easily and quickly cycle through lots of coffee dates until you meet someone worth moving forward with. The bandwidth is so much higher than anything we've had before, including video games.

My partner and I met via Tinder after both of us had cycled through a lot of dates, and we catch ourselves saying "god damn are we lucky" over and over and over again. They say you make your own luck by increasing your surface area, yea?

The idea of scanning the crowd for your final soulmate is very specific to our culture. I have to ask, if that's the right model, then why doesn't it seem to have been the case that the massive migrations to cities over the past century spawned a never-before-seen blossoming of more perfect love? Surely, if the number of strangers someone meets in a lifetime has been skyrocketing, the number of people who had found perfect partners would have gone up with it. We'd be living in times that'd make us look back on romantic poets as stodgy.

Sometimes, I wonder if the whole "we got lucky," thing was just that they did get lucky, but only for long enough to bootstrap them into having spent enough time around each other to get attached. My experience of human nature is that everyone is actually really, really close to the same once you get to know them.

We'd be living in times that'd make us look back on romantic poets as stodgy.

I don't think that follows, because people adjust to the improved situation[1][2]. To take a case where the gains are pretty undeniable, nobody celebrates regularly that they are much less likely to get polio or some other disease that used to be much more common. We just adjust to the new reality, and keep complaining about the diseases we do get today.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8LaT5Iiwo4

Well we've certainly come a long way from fiddler on the roof, haven't we? Or the best romantic prospect being either your cousin, or the farmer girl that lives a mile away? I think that theory holds.

>But only long enough to bootstrap into having spent enough time around each other to get attached

Yea, in my experience that's how a huge swath of relationships usually work, especially for people who haven't been in many relationships or who have big enough relationship gaps that they feel the need to cling. People getting caught in relationships that aren't all that great but "hey, wtf else are we gonna do, at least we aren't tearing each other's throats out, right? Maybe having a baby will help us love each other." We've all seen it, many of us have lived it.

I'm arguing that the proliferation of dating apps is helping that go away. Either because a highly specialized interests based site like OkCupid lets you zero in on quite nearly the perfect partner, or because you can shotgun across a zero cost app like tinder, you're far more likely to find an actual meaningful relationship.

For the record, I know there's a higher tier of relationship than "familiarity breeds love" due to personal experience.

If I ever meet someone on a decentralized open source network... I'll know that's the one. Probably.


Email? Do tell!

My real fear is that Facebook is starting to look a lot like WeChat. There are certainly advantages to such mega apps, but I think more danger.

As is Facebook's intention.

I hadn't thought about it like that, but there is truth to this. Even many third party online dating services (CMB for example) explicitly require Facebook accounts currently.

Yeah but fake accounts have always worked in that case

If we’re talking evolution, it just means other dating apps will become more and more specialized niches.

Just as there is a dozen of hyperactive “technology” subreddits and I don’t know what’s the equivalent on facebook (communities), but we’re still discussing it on HN.

I don't use a smartphone so it's not easy to use tinder et al.

I feel apps or websites which are exclusive to dating have something weird about them.

Facebook tries to become the kitchen sink of the internet, like that company from China.

It's a selection signal for sure. One I'd personally select against. If you are advertising your mating availability on Facebook, we probably aren't compatible.

But that's not to say this won't do well. It probably will.

Facebook deprecated just 4 weeks ago certain permissions from Facebook Login including relationship status, relationship details, about me, education history, work history. Tinder and Bumble for example relied heavily on those permissions in order to quickly fill the user profile with data.


...is this grounds for monopolistic suits?

I wish they finally get burned by it. But probably not.

Great tactical move. FB will get:

- another income source from the same data. (ads and dating)

- even more information about their users and in a justifiable way. Users want them to make good matches.

- another costumer lock-in. It will be even more difficult to quit FB.

Your second point is spot on. Users can't complain about FB collecting too much data. "You want to find true love, right? Well, we need better data about you to make it happen..."

But on your third point, I see an escape: Get married. Then you're free to leave FB.

“Get married to escape vendor lock-in”

Out of the frying pan, straight into the fire!

I would say that older generations are already locked-in, locking-in younger generations is the problem.

s/problem\./problem that probably need not be solved./

It's pretty surprising they didn't do this a long, long time ago.

I get a feeling this will be pretty bad for people that don't already (or start to) use facebook regularly.

And I'd hate to create yet another facebook account for this. So, yeah, as shitty as the dating scene is I'd prefer a 3rd party so that I can attempt at compartmentalize my accounts.

It’s already bad enough excluding oneself from messenger.

It's pretty much impossible to not use Messenger these days. I stopped using Facebook, but I can't just quit Messenger unfortunately.

But it's not impossible. I've never used Messenger.

Depends on how old you are and where you live. As a college student in North America, everyone uses Messenger, nothing else. How would leaving Messenger work without shrinking your social circle to 0? In other countries, like where my family lives for example, no one uses Messenger or has heard of it — everyone is on Whatsapp. So depends on your demographics.

I'm a college student in North America and I don't use Messenger.

Coincidentally, my social circle is approximately 0. It has never previously occured to me that this may not actually be a coincidence.

I assume these college students are using messenger via their cell phones, correct?

Is it no longer possible to reach people via text or phone?

Nope, cell phones are the most popular method, but there's also a web app for Messenger (messenger.com) which makes it even more convenient.

I'm not even quite sure what Messenger is.

I quit messenger, but haven't been able to quit whatsapp yet, as it's de facto the only viable IM app in my country.

I have a clean, libre LineageOS setup on my phone, except for whatsapp.

I just sent out a message to my family's WhatsApp group and my jobs WhatsApp group that I'm moving to Telegram because of the shit with Facebook. Adding to that, that they can always call / text me.

My family has entirely moved over to Telegram, though I think they also still use WhatsApp. It doesn't bother me - change starts with yourself.

I think it has been covered before that Facebook already has a hunch if two people seem to be interested in each other -- groups, events, messages they share, times they have visited each other profiles, and reaction counts proportional to posts after the friendship was started.

I think the fact that they also announced incognito mode today suggests that this dating feature could be passive. Like, if you browse Facebook normally and you are both using this feature, and Facebook sees you are both stalking each other rather much, it could break the ice for you. This is probably the better the more oblivious you are and I can see the value in this.

It will also be interesting to see how this feature will be rolled out. While there can be a mutual attraction between two people, I can see it being a challenge to programmatically figure out whether there exist any other reasons why the relationship could not work, e.g. logistics, and how well is Facebook able to identify such possible problems before initiating the icebreaker.

I'm pretty sure they've stated that they won't be showing friends to each other as "matches" though.

Disregarding all the recent privacy issues, I think FB is poised to become the best dating site out there. The personal data it's been collecting for all these years--the likes, shares, comments, events, groups, etc.--could be used to create fine-grained matches.

What does this mean for "opposites attract" and "my better half"? Many substantial, long-term, fulfilling relationships are mutual partnerships where each person grows and as a couple find things that are "theirs" while filling critical roles for each other.

Fine-grained matches might not be that great. What will one have to learn from a relationship? What new interests will be developed? I know that FB's sociologists and ML experts have been considering these aspects more than I, but I fear the continued segregation and viewpoint-reinforcement that FB and algorithmic association sites subtly (or invisibly) are forcing upon society.

One would hope that they've come up with a couple different algorithms, to find matches that fit those different scenarios. "Here's some people who compliment you well. Here are some people that are different. Here's someone who's basically you."

i dont believe they will be optimizing against "who X matches exactly with Y", but against what matches ended up successful.

Facebook has always been a dating website, this is just making it more visible/defined for the less aware.

It's like Tinder. But with the potential to influence the ads you eventually see on your cable box and web browser.

What could possibly go wrong?

A way to get young people to use FB more? I know they literally know who's best for a user based on the ton of data we feed, but I'm wondering the privacy conscious folks would be hesitant to create a dating profile on FB.

Would people who avoid facebook because of privacy concerns use any dating sites at all? I guess there must be some who recently #deletedfacebook, but somehow I perceive that more as a fashion statement than as actual privacy concerns.

What will certainly give facebook a hard time in that market is the rule of isolation that people with moderate privacy concerns instinctively apply: you can't avoid creating a data trail if you want to do online dating, you can't avoid creating a data trail if you want to do friend feed social media, but if you can keep those data trails from merging you will gladly do whatever it takes.

It's the same thing that killed google+: if I have a choice between a friend feed site that also has all my web search history and a friend feed site that doesn't, it's absolutely clear which one is the lesser evil. For similar reasons I would not want to use a social network or a search engine operated by my desktop OS supplier (quitting this argument right here, before I convince myself to defect to iphone - guess I'm a bit inconsequential after all)

> Would people who avoid facebook because of privacy concerns use any dating sites at all?

Why would they? The privacy problem with Facebook is its size and the amount of personal data it integrates. If you're privacy conscious, using a stand-alone dating site is fine because the data is more siloed. It's also more practical to setup a burner identity on a special-purpose site than on a one that tries to be your online identity and social graph.

I never used tinder, but I thought about it. Part of that plan was to create a burner FB profile for it.

> The privacy problem with Facebook is its size and the amount of personal data it integrates.

... And The business model. A dating site you might pay for while you use it - there's no way to "pay" for Facebook in way that aligns fb's priorities to coincide with yours.

This is also a big problem with Google, although they have some experiments were they appear to be breaking even.

> ...they literally know who's best for a user...

That's what I'm genuinely wondering about: Putting all the privacy issues aside, will some machine learning algorithm really be capable of predicting “functioning chemistry” between people?

I interpreted the comment as: "Facebook would have a better chance of predicting it than competitors given their information."

Remember, you don't need to outrun a bear, just the other people around you.

> will some machine learning algorithm really be capable of predicting “functioning chemistry” between people?

Unlikely, but that's not really the point. Current dating sites can't predict "chemistry" either. What people are suggesting Facebook will be able to do better is work out who you are "compatible" with, it's then up to you to decide if there is any chemistry or not.

Is no one going to point out that Facebook is still in the center of a public panic over privacy? Are you sure the public is going to want FB of all entities to host and run a dating service?

I don't get how everyone is so bullish here. I think if anything Mark should have waited a couple of months.

Not trying to be needlessly negative, I'm just surprised by the reaction here.

it's not at all clear by the data that the public is freaking out. news sites do.

Makes sense.

Birth rates declining. People getting married later, and having fewer kids.

Western Countries facing declining population in next 25 years.

Existential threat to their growth at all costs model.

If anything, Facebook is late in launching this. I'm curious why they didn't buy Tinder and get into the game earlier. Maybe they did and figured they'd much rather build it in-house than spend a fortune buying Tinder or something simiar—like they did with Snap.

> late in launching

Dating is an unsolvable problem. You can't be late to it. There will be people being born looking to find SOs so long as the human race exists. Even if Match captures 100% of the market this year, next year, another batch of kids will enter the "I'm getting older and everyone I know is settling down" panic.

Facebook knows us better than anyone else [1]

However, this means that Facebook may know better than anyone who I would be best to date.

I'm excited to see where this goes, and a little terrified.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/science/facebook-knows-yo...

Darn it, I'll have to reactivate Facebook. Almost every dating site requires a Facebook login for authentication too, they will be hit hard depending on how well Facebook makes this.

I'm very cynical about Facebook, but just like their blue collar job listings, this has serious potential if done right.

I cant wait for the facebook breakups feature next year. More seriously, it is interesting how much power facebook has in setting social norms and this will give it significantly more. They will be able to export american dating habits worldwide.

It already exists and you can 'take a break' from seeing other users' posts in your feed for up to 30 days, initially.

This is a great way for facebook to get more information about their users.

You really have to admire Zuck for his leadership. He might be a cyborg, but he's a damn good one.

I am glad I am married and in my forties so that I missed all this.


On the other hand digital dating makes it easy to meet quite a volume of people. When I feel like it, I can meet a different woman every other night.

I wouldn't even know how to do that without it.

The more women I can meet, the less I'm dependent on luck.

If I had met a new woman every night, I have no idea how I would have chosen her specifically. And I really have no idea how she would have chosen me if she had met a new man every night.

I don't understand what you're saying. If I'm talking to multiple women at a time, there's pretty much one that rises above the rest in terms of chemistry: We laugh more, she seemed particularly interested in me, she's cuter than others, we talked for hours, we had sexual chemistry. Some combo of the above.

Over time I choose to spend more time with her, it turns into a relationship, I stop talking to others. Same for women. This is how dating works.

Since women are the ones approached, they already are picking from a line of suitors in general (compared to men) yet long term relationships are still forged. How?

What I am saying is that by virtue of me not having met thousands of women in a dating/romantic context, it was pretty clear to my wife and I, early on, that we were working a lot better than any of our previous relationships.

It's like if you gave me three apples, and said "which one is the best," I'd be able to tell you pretty easily. If you gave me two thousand, the best one would probably be better, but I'd probably be very indecisive about which one was best, and probably be wondering even as I picked it whether perhaps another one was actually the best.

Well, it's not 2,000 apples at once though. That's not a realistic model of how relationships work out.

It's more like balancing spinning plates. You don't have the bandwidth to keep up more than a few, and you have a pretty good idea of which one is doing the best. Some of the plates drop off, or you stop them, or the other party does, and you can take on new ones as you please. Or you decide you're done looking. But that's exactly what you did. You settled after some samples.

But worrying about indecision because you have so many options is like worrying about exercise because you don't want to accidentally look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or not wanting to apply to too many jobs because you don't want to have too many godlike offers to choose from; Having so many women to choose from that you're indecisive is not easy and it's a quality problem to have, but I don't think that's most men's realities despite their efforts.

In the case of dating, meeting 2000 potential partners is likely past the point of usefulness, while 3 is probably too little. There's an optimal number in between there that's different for everyone. The Secretary Problem[1] comes to mind. [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretary_problem

Sure as hell won't be hungry in that second example.

I think he's saying you're overfitting for first-date success, which may not be indicative of a fulfilling long term relationship.

Literally said "over time", nothing about deciding after a first date.

Can someone explain me my it has not been done (AFAIK) by someone else?

Facebook holds all the data needed and deep style of life analytics can be performed on it to find the most suitable match. I had the idea to make an app that exploits the data, but does Facebook API access restricted this kind of usage?

Why Tinder, woking on a random principle is working so well?

Dating websites are incentivised to not help you find your perfect match and long-term partner. Perhaps FB will be different, but I doubt it, especially if there is monetisation involved.

It's one of the few industries where doing a good job means far less revenue and customers.

Good remark, I didn't thought about that.

> Why Tinder, woking on a random principle is working so well?

It's not random. Location, FB friends, swipe stats on both sides, paid, not paid info all contributes to the queue you see.

I understand, but what I mean, is that they do not do some data processing/machine learning on your profile to present you the best suitable match as other dating website would do, it's only proximity based and maybe with some basic stats.

Most dating apps have some kind of integration with Facebook and/or Instagram this seems like a no-brainer. I have seen apps use FB data about liked movies, shows, places etc to generate matches. So, this should work very well.

Though that leaves a question - What next for apps relying heavily on FB data?

I’m not a huge Facebook fan these days, but I think this is an example of market expansion that really makes sense. Instead of trying to find more creative ways to advertise to users, identify new services you can sell directly to users based off of all of the data you’ve collected on them.

While I applaud Facebook finally focusing on facilitating real world interactions, I am concerned with them getting more central control over people’s lives.

Why hasn’t anyone else built an open source competitor to Facebook, like Wordpress for social networks?

I started a company 7 years ago and put a lot of effort to build such a platform. Now we recently launched 1.0 . I really thought someone would beat us to it. But somehow we are the first complete platform to market?

Now we plan to make it easier to install, build a community, build a social activity browser, and build out apps for communities.

Feedback welcome:


People have tried. Have you looked around? It's just that building one is the easy part, and the Wordpress model (social network in the box) isn't a solution. It's just an impl detail. And people don't move away from the service their friends and fam are on just because someone had yet another crack at building a social network from scratch. It doesn't solve much beyond "isn't Facebook" which just isn't very compelling branding to most people.

So yes, many people beat you to market. But notice how you don't even know what or who they are. Nor does anybody else except some HN readers because they don't have any real traction.

If you don’t know who they are, how do you know they had a viable product?

Dating service for FB is too obvious of a feature, I am surprised they just start doing it now.

A social network is an obvious place for people to meet new people. I think this is a really good idea for FB.

I have a thought that this is the consequence of GDPR. Just like Google's NBU (Next Billion Users) division which focuses on the Indian subcontinent, I think we will see a lot of Europe centric initiatives from the large companies... primarily to service a vacuum that will be created because of the GDPR.

Dating is a very contentious issue in Europe and USA because of the GDPR,FOSTA,etc. I don't see anyone other than huge conglomerates being able to muster the legal resources to win here.

I don't know - I think plain, focused dating sites are one of the few businesses I could see getting away with "all the data because statistical modelling and research" - under the opt-in clauses of the GDPR.

Fb (and other incumbents) are at an advantage, because they have a window to a/b test illegal profiles and algorithms against gdpr compliant ones, though.

I can understand why they exclude Facebook friends. However I feel many of my dating prospects are already Facebook friends who I have largely neglected, so this feature would be a significant deterrent to me using the service. There must be some compromise here.

Meeting someone briefly and adding them as a friend should not exclude them from my dating pool! That would seem to hurt everyone involved - Facebook, me and the other person.

Based on the number of stories I have heard about people hooking up with their high school sweethearts via FB, it seemed to already be a dating app.

One big advantage that facebook will leverage is that they don't WANT you to keep coming back for more dating. They 'll have you on the platform anyway, so they might as well give you the best quality matches from the get-go (plus they do have some of the best AI, so dating might even stop existing as a thing in a few years)

> they do have some of the best AI, so dating might even stop existing as a thing in a few years

Could you expound on your reasoning behind this?

good AI will find the best match first -> people switch profiles to "married" -> average dating activity drops by a large %

I think it is a little ambitious to think that dating will disappear because FB announced a feature :)

"Dating" is predominantly an american phenomenon, but facebook has a ton of different cultures in it. There are cultures that frown upon this "trial-and-error" human algorithm.

Cambridge Analytica is going to love to get their hands on the questionnaire you'd fill out for your dating profile.

> Users can launch text-only private messages, separate from Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

Now what's that about? You can keep your history of initial messages in your messenger history after you're married/in a relationship?

Is this some poor idea of following Google in self-fracturing messenger apps into incompatible silos?

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