Mike Herrick, senior vice president of product and engineering at the market analytics company Urban Airship, said the dating service will allow Facebook to know not just its users’ current paramours also but who they’re interested in, what they like and how active they are in seeking a match.
That data, he said, will more than make up for any information Facebook might have surrendered after recently severing some ties to third-party data brokers.
Matches will be shown the other person’s first name, age, current city and photo, though users will also have the option of sharing their work, education and other biographical information. Privacy watchdogs, advertising experts and industry rivals worry the service could expose users more acutely to the worst of the Web — scams, malicious strangers and other problems Facebook already has its hands full with. ” The apps and sites of the billion online-dating industry — which will now need to contend with Facebook as a rival — gather personality and courtship data on their users for matching and marketing purposes.
Using a button — not a swipe, as popularized by the dating app Tinder — people will then be able to say whether they’re “interested” or would rather “pass” on those potential partners, officials said. Or will their thirst for engagement trump these other concerns?Sift’s research, Lee said, has found that about 70 percent of the victims of these frauds are women — often older women in developed countries seen by fraudsters as wealthy and more vulnerable because of a divorce, desire to have children or other life situation.Felicia Cravens, a Texan who runs a Facebook page called Unfakery that helps track down fraud accounts, said catfishing and romance scams are a huge problem on the service — and one that the dating feature could easily make worse.For instance, people will be allowed to send only a single message as a conversation starter, and they won’t be able to send anything but text, as a way of preventing potentially inappropriate photos and links.Facebook has long fought with the fake profiles — touting photos of beautiful women and hunky men — that scammers use to spark relationships with users, snatch money and disappear.(Couples whose mutual friends were closely connected to each other, the researchers said, were more likely to call it quits.) But the new dating service could give Facebook an entirely new level of visibility into its users’ love lives, and privacy experts said they’re concerned users won’t understand how much information they’ll be handing over.