Facebook announced on Tuesday its intention to enter the market for dating sites while emphasizing efforts to protect the data of its users after the case Cambridge Analytica.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the world’s largest social network, made the announcement at the developers day of the site in San Jose, California.
He added that this new function would not aim to facilitate one-off meetings but to help people build lasting relationships through the network.
“It will be aimed at building authentic and lasting relationships, not just one-night plans,” he said, pointing out that of the nearly 2 billion social network users, about 200 million were single.
Mr. Zuckerberg did not say if this service would pay, but so far most features of the platform are free.
Facebook said at the same time that users could create a “meeting profile” separate from the profile of their Facebook page and that potential partners would be recommended based on this profile’s data.
The action of one of the major paid dating sites in the United States, Match, collapsed on Wall Street by more than 17% after this announcement.
Other innovations announced on Tuesday include the ability for site users to erase their browsing data.
“This feature will allow you to see the websites and apps that send us information when you use them, remove that information from your account, and disable our ability to store it in the future,” Facebook said in a blog. .
“If you clear your history or use the new setting, we will remove the credentials so that the history of the websites and apps you’ve used will not be associated with your account,” it said. from the same source.
“We will continue to provide apps and websites with aggregated analytics – for example, we can create reports when we receive this information so that we can tell developers if their apps are more popular with men or women in one place. certain age group, “the same source added.
This new feature is intended to address the concerns that arose after the Cambridge Analytica case, which saw this data analytics firm use those of Facebook users for political purposes.
The developer conference, called “F8”, brings together some 5000 of them while Facebook has reduced the amount of data they can glean from the site following the Cambridge Analytica case, reducing their capacity to profit economically from their presence on the site.
Mark Zuckerberg emphasized in his presentation that Facebook’s goal was “to ensure the safety of users”.
“What happened with Cambridge Analytica is a serious violation of our trust. This developer has appropriated data and sold it and we have to make sure that it will not happen again, “said Zuckerberg.
“As you all know, we have reduced the amount of data that developers can ask people,” he said, while conceding that “there are still steps to be taken.”
He also said that Facebook is devoting significant resources to identify and neutralize “bad apps” and that network users now have more flexibility to adjust their privacy settings.
Facebook Messenger will also now offer a translation function, using artificial intelligence resources to enable users speaking in different languages to communicate. As a first step, the languages that can be translated are English and Spanish and others will be added later.
Microsoft, Google and Amazon already offer translation functions for their products, Google has been offering for the past year a pair of headsets that, combined with its smartphones, are capable of translating a dozen languages.
Among other developments announced on Tuesday is a “crisis” function that will allow users of the social network to share important information about a situation in a crisis zone, such as road closures, the race of a fire or the rise of waters. In the same spirit, a blood donation function will be set up to allow volunteers to find a nearby center.
Instagram, a video and photo sharing site owned by Facebook, will also offer augmented reality features for video and its users will also be able to communicate via video.