Facebook just swiped left on Tinder.
At F8, the social network’s annual developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be developing a dating service inside its main app. Almost instantly, Match Group, which owns Match.com, OKCupid, Tinder, and other dating services, saw its stock price tank. It was down over 18%, around $9, to $38.44, at the time of publishing.
Zuckerberg said many people have asked him why Facebook hasn’t already built something around dating, considering its emphasis on connecting people. He added that more than 200 million people have listed themselves as single on the Facebook (inadvertently reminding everyone that the company collects such information).
Facebook didn’t reveal a timeline for its dating tool, but said it would be a text-only messaging service that users opt into, unconnected to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Facebook’s head of product, Chris Cox, said users who RSVP for an event on Facebook would also be able to chat with others—who are also using the dating service—that plan to attend.
Arguably, Match and other dating sites—especially those that use Facebook data to log in or connect users—should have seen this coming. Much like when Amazon makes its own version of products that customers are buying en masse, it’s entirely possible that Facebook let third-party apps lay groundwork that it can now copy and monetize.