Among other products and updates, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new dating service at his firm’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California.
“There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg said during the presentation.
In a turbulent time for the company following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg announced the new optional matchmaking feature that in his words would seek to achieve “real long-term relationships, not just hook-ups.”
The option will not appear in your feed nor will it be visible publicly, and it will exclude your friends from your potential matches.
When a match is made, the two individuals can chat via private messaging that only allows text interaction.
“We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” he said.
Zuckerberg also announced upgrades to some of their most popular apps. Augmented reality filters and a new video chat feature are coming to Instagram, while group video calling will be added to the WhatsApp messaging service.
Major concerns about Facebook’s handling of privacy have been raised since the company admitted in March that the personal data of millions of users was unscrupulously harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
It would seem now is far from an ideal time to launch a feature that asks the user to feed the app with yet more personal information.
In part of their response to the scandal, Facebook announced they were developing a new privacy control called “clear history” that allows users to delete their browsing history.
“We’re building a version of this for Facebook too,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his personal Facebook page just before taking the stage at F8.
“It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook—what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.”
“Once we roll out this update, you’ll be able to see information about the apps and websites you’ve interacted with, and you’ll be able to clear this information from your account.
“You’ll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account.”