(CNN Money) — Watch out, Tinder, Facebook is getting into online dating.
At its annual developers conference, F8, on Tuesday, the company announced a new dating feature.READ MORE: Safety Is Top Priority As Parents, Students Prepare For Upcoming School Year
Users can set up a dating profile with their first name, which the company said won’t be visible to friends and will not appear in News Feeds. The feature is opt-in and users will not be matched with people they are already friends with, according to Facebook.
Before dating, the social networking behemoth has expanded into numerous other features pioneered by other tech companies, ranging from job postings to payments and online food delivery. Although Facebook has positioned these endeavors as just adding utility for users, they’ve been part of a broader effort to get people spending as much time as possible on Facebook. By providing a range of services in one place, the company becomes even more indispensable in people’s lives.
And, of course, in doing so it also maintains its dominance over competitors, whether established or potential.
Before introducing dating, Facebook created Marketplace, where people can browse items for sale nearby, in a bid to compete with Craigslist and eBay. It allowed users to order takeout directly from fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle, Panera and Papa John’s, much as companies like Seamless and GrubHub do. it allowed users to send money to friends on the platform, as the social payments company Venmo does.
Facebook-owned Instagram has taken on many of Snapchat’s top features. Earlier this year, Facebook also stepped up its job postings features in an effort to take on LinkedIn.READ MORE: Donations Needed For Landfill Search To Find Zion Foster
Investors in other online dating platforms appear spooked by Facebook’s move into the space. Shares of Match Group — the parent company of dating platforms like Tinder, Match.com and OKCupid — plunged as much as 22% on Tuesday afternoon following the news. Shares of IAC/InterActiveCorp, the majority owner of Match, also fell 11%.
On Facebook’s dating service, people will be able to browse events and groups related to their interests, such as upcoming concerts or groups for runners. If a user sees an event they’d like to attend, they will be able to “unlock” that event to interact with others attending it.
From there, their dating profile will be shared with other people going to the event who are also using the dating service. They will be able to browse through those users and start a conversation in a private messaging inbox that isn’t connected to the Messenger or WhatsApp apps.
“I know a lot of you are going to have questions about this. We’ve designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning,” Zuckerberg said during a keynote speech.
Other details about the service are unclear. The dating feature is set to roll out later this year.
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