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— Mark Zuckerberg may have laughed off questions that Facebook is too powerful when he appeared in front of Congress last month.But for the companies in the online dating business, there was nothing amusing about the news that the social network was about to bring its heft into their arena.More than 200 million people on Facebook identify themselves as single, he said, and the new service will let these people connect with each other from within the company’s primary app.“This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Mr.Zuckerberg said, in an apparent jab at dating apps like Tinder that have a reputation for stoking casual romantic behavior.
"We've designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning." Dating profiles, in fact, won't be visible to friends or appear in News Feeds.
"It's the first real meaningful competitor," Thill told CNBC's "Power Lunch" following the announcement. Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg echoed the confidence, saying the company was "flattered" Facebook was entering the space.
"This is a blow to the story [for Match] in the short term." IAC chief executive Joey Levin said Facebook's product "could be great for US/Russia relationships" but hinted the space had already been cornered. "We're surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory," Ginsberg said in a statement.
The reaction to Facebook’s dating app was immediate.
Shares of Match Group, the company that runs Tinder and other popular dating apps such as OKCupid, plummeted more than 22 percent — the largest one-day drop in its history — after Mr. Shares of Match Group’s owner, Inter Active Corp, or IAC, dropped by almost 18 percent. Zuckerberg painted the new dating service as a natural extension of Facebook, saying that he is frequently approached by couples on the street who say they first met on the social network.“If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships, this is perhaps the most meaningful of all,” he said.
"This will be a good test of whether Facebook can truly create a positive, privacy-aware service for its users," she said.