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Facebook Reportedly Rolls Out Dating Feature in Colombia

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Facebook (FB - Free Report) has reportedly launched Facebook Dating in Colombia. Notably, the feature, which is free, will be part of its mobile platform only.

The social media giant had first announced the feature at its annual F8 conference in May this year. The company unveiled an opt-in feature for Facebook users that will pair them up with potential dating partners based on existing profile information and also allow them to build a separate dating profile that will not be visible to their other friends.

In an effort to be different from Match Group’s (MTCH - Free Report) Tinder, Facebook is trying to project its dating feature for people seeking serious long-term relationships.

Notably, online dating is catching up very fast in South America and this is probably why Facebook has rolled out the service in Colombia. With the company’s 30 million monthly active users (MAUs), the feature is expected to be adopted very quickly

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Can Facebook Stand Apart?

Facebook is trying to cash in on the growing adoption of online dating. The company, which generally allows third-party dating websites to access users’ data, will now use the data for its own good.

Facebook’s user base of 2.2 billion share massive amount of data on the platform. The company, using artificial intelligence (AI), focuses on developing a customized feed for its users.

Going a step ahead, Facebook will now use the same technology to match its users’ interest give dating recommendation. People who share similar interest will be matched, excluding friends and blocked connections.

Additionally, Facebook allows users to set a maximum distance limit of 100kms to find a match. Moreover, the company has taken a few security measures to prevent any misuse of the platform.

The social media giant, which has 200 million users categorized as Single, is trying to help them connect with people sharing similar interest. With this, the company will also increase the time spent on the platform.

Facebook, which is seeing a slowing user base growth rate, is ramping up efforts to bring in new features to enhance engagement levels.

However, Facebook will go against established players like Match while building its dating business.

Stiff Competition from Match

Match Group is considered to have pioneered the concept of online dating, which is why it enjoys a first mover’s advantage in this market., Tinder, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and OurTime (aimed at daters aged 50+) dominate the market across a wide swath of demographics and dating expectations.

Moreover, smaller Match Group brands target specific geographical areas (Europe, Asia), plus racial, ethnic and religious groups and even political affiliation.

Match group has 7 million subscribers worldwide and 3 million of them use Tinder - the most profitable segment of Match Groups business for advertising. Notably, the company’s average paid subscribers increased 27% in the second quarter, driven primarily by strength in both North America (up 4% year over year) and international (up 14% year over year).

Additional Concerns for Facebook

Facebook along with Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google are under constant scrutiny over repeated failures to secure the platform.

Given Facebook’s repeated failures to secure the platform, many users may be reluctant to share more personal information than they already have. This provides competitive leverage to Match in the online dating market.

Facebook currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Currently, Match has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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