Tinder parent shares plummet as Facebook announces dating service

Shares of Match Group, the online dating empire that owns Match.com and Tinder, were plunging in trading on Tuesday after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media giant would launch its own dating service.

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Set to begin testing later this year, Facebook’s service will match users to other users outside their group of “friends” on the site based on common interests, dating preferences and mutual contacts, TechCrunch reported. The service will be opt-in only and will not be visible to a user’s current friends.

Match Group’s stock fell more than 15% on the news. Prior to Tuesday’s trading session, the company’s shares had been up more than 45% so far this year. Shares of IAC, the parent company of Match Group led by billionaire investor Barry Diller, were also down more than 10%.

“This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MTCHMATCH GROUP INC.90.09-1.29-1.41%
FBFACEBOOK INC.230.77+4.48+1.98%

Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users, according to its latest earnings report. The company has recently drawn scrutiny for its data privacy practices after multiple news outlets reported a data breach that affected up to 87 million users.

Ahead of the conference, Facebook unveiled a new “clear history” feature that will allow users to wipe their browsing data on the social platform on command. The update is part of the social media network’s push to address data privacy concerns.

“Once we roll out this update, you'll be able to see information about the apps and websites you've interacted with, and you'll be able to clear this information from your account,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “You'll even be able to turn off having this information stored with your account.”

Zuckerberg said the feature will give users greater control over their data, but warned it could make “parts of your experience worse” while Facebook “relearns your preferences.”

The announcement came one day after WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum left the company, as well as Facebook’s board of directors, roughly four years after Facebook spent $19 billion to acquire the messaging service. The Washington Post reported that Koum’s departure took place amid disagreements related to data privacy and Facebook’s vision for WhatsApp’s future.