INTERNATIONAL - Facebook Inc is entering the dating game, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday, planning a dating service to matchmake millions of people on the world’s largest online social network and nudge them into spending more time there.The service, which Facebook had considered offering for over a decade and will launch soon, could help rebuild its popularity among younger consumers and make people visit the site more often, two key challenges for the business.“There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg told software developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.
However, “I’m sure it will make good use of the data Facebook has been able to collect about its users,” she added.
A dating service could increase the time people spend on Facebook and be a “big problem” for competitors such as Match Group Inc, said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities.
Match, the owner of popular mobile dating app Tinder and Ok Cupid, calls itself the “global leader in dating” on its website.
Zuckerberg also said on Tuesday that Facebook was building a “clear history” privacy control to delete browsing history, similar to the option of clearing cookies in a browser.
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