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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.
It will allow the social network to learn “people’s wants and desires around dating directly in a much cleaner way than how they were getting that type of data previously,” he said.
Company officials said they won’t use dating-service data to inform ad targeting at the outset.
But marketing experts said they’re skeptical that Facebook’s promise will last.
The company’s business model depends on the sharing of often sensitive personal information, and dating data may prove too valuable to ignore.
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.
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?
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.
“Facebook already knows a lot about you that you tell it, and it collects a lot of information about you beyond that. Now here’s this whole other bucket of really sensitive stuff,” said Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at the advocacy group Consumers Union. But because Facebook's audience is bigger and more widespread, its ad-targeting platform is more sophisticated and its users' profiles are built on years of detailed information, experts worry the new dating service could present a huge target and amplify the potential for abuse.
Many dating services, including Tinder, Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, and the League, enable or require people to log in with Facebook and were able to grow by mining Facebook’s social network.