All’s fair in the war over love.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday that his platform would move into the dating game, trying to create matches between its 2 billion users.
A presentation showed that the dating section would be separate from a normal profile on the site, and use only a first name.
The plan brought gasps from the audience but was also met with derision by others quick to needle the Silicon Valley giant’s recent scandals and attempts to make money off of love lives.
“We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,” said Mandy Ginsberg of Match Group, which runs dating services Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid.
“We’re flattered that Facebook is coming into our space — and sees the global opportunity that we do,” she said, though shares of her company took a hit of around 20% on the stock market after the Facebook announcement.
Joe Levin of IAC, which owns Match Group, said “Come on in. The water’s warm. Their product could be great for US/Russia relationship.”
The swipes at Facebook’s dating service came after the site was criticized for allowing alleged Russian trolls to purposefully sow division during the 2016 election, which was followed by its more recent scandal where consultancy Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest data from tens of millions of users, many of them without their consent.
Comedians also poked fun at the desire from Zuckerberg, who said that the year had been “intense,” to help users find that special face in the crowd.
“Facebook is launching an online dating feature. Which is different from their current online dating feature of showing you who your ex is dating,” Stephen Colbert posted on Twitter.
Beyond the dating app, Zuckerberg and Co. also announced other features such as “Clear History” which will allow users to clear the history of searches and browsing on the website.
Facebook trumpeted the move as a response to users’ wants, though it likely comes as a reaction to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, a sweeping law mandating stricter controls of people’s data by companies and governments.