Facebook announced Tuesday its plans to launch a dating feature amid the public outcry over its scandal involving the Cambridge Analytica data leak.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” the company’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said at its annual F8 developer conference, noting that about 200 million Facebook users list themselves as single. Under the new feature, users can build a dating profile not visible to their network of friends, with potential matches recommended based on dating preferences, points in common and mutual acquaintances.
The dating feature within the main Facebook app will be free of charge, and completely optional and opt-in only. In terms of the safety fears that have plagued the company since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Zuckerberg insisted that his team had “designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.” Facebook, the U.S. social network, has been grilled in recent weeks over a data scrape of 87 million users by British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential elections.