Online dating firm Match isn’t worried about Facebook encroaching on the business for one key reason — people don’t want to mix their online dating life with the friends-and-family-first Facebook, according to Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg.
“The vast majority of singles would not want to use Facebook for dating primarily due to concerns with data and personal privacy,” Ginsberg said on the company’s first quarter earnings call. “But more importantly they don’t want to be contacted by strangers on a social network meant for connections with friends and family.”
Facebook announced earlier this month it’s prepping a separate dating feature to live inside the core Facebook app. The feature includes an event-based system for pairing that’s unique to the space. Shares of Match and its parent company IAC tanked immediately following the news.
Match sank more than 6 percent following the earnings call, after trading nearly 6 percent up premarket. IAC reports earnings later Wednesday.
But Match executives are confident the entrance won’t affect their business. Match-owned Tinder connects singles online through a mutual opt-in system. Until last year, the only option for signing onto Tinder and creating a profile was through a Facebook profile.
“Within two months of offering Tinder users an alternative to sign-up with Facebook, new users went from 100 percent Facebook sign-up, down to only 25 percent Facebook sign-up, even though Facebook sign-up with the first option on the screen and the most frictionless,” Ginsberg said. “Users quickly and decisively separated Facebook from their dating experience.”
Facebook’s dating feature will specifically match users they aren’t already friends with, and users’ separate dating profiles won’t be visible to friends on the larger platform. But the social media giant has seen its reputation for privacy tank in recent months, amid widespread reports of data leaks.
“Dating is so personal and we see people gravitate to brands they trust,” Ginsberg said.
Facebook declined to comment.