Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

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jserraglio
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Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

Post by jserraglio » Wed May 23, 2018 2:29 pm

WAPO — “There are 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” the Facebook chief executive noted in his F8 keynote today. The crowd laughed. But once Zuckerberg explained more about Facebook’s plan to launch a dating app, those laughs blended into cheers.
“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships — not just hookups,” he added, which sounded like a dig at Tinder, Facebook’s big competition in this area.
Getting into the online dating game isn’t much of a leap for Facebook. The company is making explicit something that’s already happening implicitly. As Zuckerberg noted in introducing the new feature, couples already meet through Facebook — and go on to marry and have children. Sometimes these happy couples, he said, will point to their kids and say, “Thank you.”
Couples also frequently meet through Instagram, which Facebook owns. “It’s basically a portfolio for your dating life,” Halen Yau, a public relationships manager from Toronto, told the New York Times when discussing Instagram’s role as an accidental matchmaker.
Another way Facebook is already in the online-dating game: Many existing dating apps — such as Tinder, Hinge and Bumble — require users to link their dating profiles to their Facebook profiles. So when a user is browsing profiles on a dating app, they can see whether a prospective date is friends with any of their Facebook friends. It’s a function that makes meeting a stranger online feel less scary and more like meeting a friend’s friend at a party. If you can say: “Hey, how do you know Billy? We went to college together,” it’s almost as if you’re meeting through friends rather than through a context-less dating app.
All dating apps are essentially social networking apps. For years now, they’ve been entering the business of fostering friendships — much like Facebook. So it was only a matter of time before the behemoth social network tried its hand at matchmaking. After Zuckerberg’s announcement, the share price of Match Group, which owns properties such as Tinder, OkCupid and Match.com, fell 22 percent.
Some people listening to the announcement worried that dating via Facebook would require revealing too much personal information too soon.
We haven’t seen a prototype for the dating app yet, but Zuckerberg explained that a Facebook dating profile would be separate from a user’s main profile. The feature would be optional — you’ll have to opt in. And don’t worry — your friends won’t see your profile. “You’re only going to be suggested people who are not your friends, who have opted into dating, who fit your preferences,” he added. But unless you have your privacy settings set real tight, we imagine that branching into dating will make Facebook-stalking a prospective date that much easier.
Which brings up a big concern: Facebook users already deal with bullying and harassment on the platform, as do dating app users. Explicitly introducing dating into the social network could encourage more harassment for the platform to police. For instance, will users’ Facebook Messenger apps suddenly get clogged full with unsolicited nude photos? If someone rejects a prospective date, will they have to deal with additional pestering via their regular Facebook account?
There are lots of questions about how a Facebook dating app will work — and how it will respond to privacy and safety issues. Hopefully Zuckerberg is up for the challenge.
Lisa Bonos is a writer and editor for Solo-ish. She joined The Post in 2005 and previously worked on the Financial, Editorial, and Outlook sections.
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jbuck919
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Re: Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

Post by jbuck919 » Wed May 23, 2018 6:54 pm

Several years ago a researcher tried to determine how many potential (in this case exclusively heterosexual) matches were available to any student from, say, MIT, in the Boston area. The answer came so close to zero that in statistics it would be considered zero. Not everyone is Elvis. There are millions of people, gay and straight, who have to rely on the wildest stroke of luck to encounter a potential partner (and I don't mean that in the narrow sexual sense). What in the old days would be called "personal ads" are a perfectly legitimate way of meeting others. Prior to the general recognition of gay equality in these matters, personals were frequently employed in some countries other than the US to meet a heterosexual partner, with no stigma being attached. It was not intended that man (or woman) should be alone, but short of a god who can make a partner out of someone's rib, we must take advantage of the recourse presented by modern society.

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jserraglio
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Re: Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

Post by jserraglio » Wed May 23, 2018 7:16 pm

I think dating apps could be of use for Adams in search of helpmeets. But now that ad-crazy FB has weighed in, I have to wonder whether an unguarded remark to a potential Eve about how much I would like an apple is going to get me plastered with Marie Callender's pies.

Past being prologue, I suspect that Mark Zuckerberg is much more inclined to broker big data than he is big dates.

RebLem
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Re: Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

Post by RebLem » Thu May 31, 2018 2:10 pm

Now, about half of Americans live alone or with pets only as companions. Instead of deciding that somehow this is wrong and they need to social engineer their audience so they will feel more comfortable, maybe they should accept us as we are and help us be more comfortable with our situation.

They can do this by letting their advertisers know what kind of audience they are addressing. Perhaps they could encourage grocery retailers, for example, to offer things in singles friendly portions. Instead of huge heads of lettuce half of which goes to waste, maybe they could sell us Boston bib lettuce, a smaller head which can be consumed over a period of a few days by a one person household. That's just an example. What Zukerberg is proposing reminds me of what Lenin & Stalin did in the Soviet Union. Instead of accepting human nature as it is and designing a state around the needs of its people, they decided to re-engineer human nature and create "a new Socialist Man" to meet the needs of the state.
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jserraglio
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Re: Facebook takes 'friending' to a new level

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:18 am

I agree there is a problem with FB that Zuckerberg did not, maybe could not be expected to, foresee—that if you create a virtual 'state of nature' for largely unregulated activity, viciousness will come to the fore and counterbalance desirable social interaction.

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