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Facebook’s dating service wants to steal your heart, not your data

Hoe ... but then make it data protected

You’d think if Mark Zuckerberg were to announce anything, it’d be a plan to stop sinister forces from mining our data and potentially distorting democracy. But no, he wants to make sweet, beautiful, encrypted love.

At yesterday’s F8 developers conference, he revealed that Facebook will launch a new dating feature which he says will deliver strong privacy and safety protections for its users. “This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships – not just for hookups,” Mr Zuckerberg said. Although we can confirm its completely out of his control if you want to just use it for hookups.

The news comes after he realised that so many people on the site seem to be single – more than 200 million people to be exact – and that the new platform would let them connect with people outside of their friends list.

You will be able to opt-in through the Facebook app and “discover others with similar interests” through their Groups or Events tabs. “People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better,” Facebook explained in a public statement. ”People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile – and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends.

And for everyone feeling apprehensive about the fact Facebook has just been embroiled in one of the biggest data breaches in history, Mark says he’s already got you in mind. “We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. Your friends aren’t going to see your profile, and you’re only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends.”

That didn’t stop the announcement from drawing in a few jokes from competitors. Joey Levin CEO of IAC whose holdings include Tinder and OKCupid said: “Come on in. The water’s warm. Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships”, a little nod to the Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.