The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.
The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match were down 22 percent in afternoon trading.
In his keynote address at Facebook's annual developer conference — where the company brings together the programmers behind many of its third-party apps — CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the feature, which appears to integrate a Tinder-like dating platform directly into Facebook.
While Facebook dating isn't live just yet, the company says it will begin testing later this year. And Chief Product Officer Chris Cox says the company will share more information in the coming months.
The new feature will allow users to find dates using the information people share about themselves on the platform. A preview of the feature asks users to "start a conversation" by picking something interesting from another user's profile, including their photos and interests ("Cat Person" vs. "Dog Person" and "Coffee Drinker" vs. "Tea Drinker" are examples provided.) Facebook says these conversations will take place in a new text-only messenger, intentionally separated from Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chats.
Users with shared interests will be allowed to "opt in" and find dates through common groups or even in real life at events listed on Facebook.