Facebook announces new optional dating feature

This might include data like information related to Like button, Facebook Analytics, etc. Zuckerberg is set to give a keynote speech at 1 p.m. ET in the midst of the company's ongoing privacy crisis.

Mark Zuckerberg just announced that Facebook is joining the dating game, to help users build perhaps "the most meaningful relationship of all".

"In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history". The chief exec cozied up to the elephant in the room - Facebook's capacity to trample privacy and scatter misinformation - and insisted it could be corralled and tamed.

He told a story of being stopped on the street by married couples who had met through Facebook, and said that he wanted to make a more deliberate effort to bring couples together. "We need to make sure they're used for good".

Facebook collects a lot of data about you whether you use the service or not. Or for a deluge of fake news and Russian election interference. Facebook has a higher standard of transparency, he claimed, than TV or print publications.

By leading off with Facebook's security and privacy responsibilities, then continuing to extend Facebook's ambitions to connect people in new ways, Zuckerberg successfully "walked the tightrope", said Geoff Blaber, vice president of research and market analysis firm CCS Insight.

It's unclear what those consequences might be. For Facebook, it's also meant further limiting the data developers can access and how long they can access it; several audits; and the suspension of apps suspected of violating Facebook's rules around user privacy.

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Addressing software developers at the company's annual F8 conference, Mr Zuckerberg revealed that it would be built into the existing Facebook app and would be a "natural fit" for a network already specialising in connecting people online.

Before handing the baton to underlings, he stressed that Facebook intends to continue creating tools for its platform.

Zuckerberg got big cheers when he announced that the thousands of people in attendance would get Facebook's latest virtual reality headset - the portable, $199 Oculus Go - for free.

To get to the dating feature, you'll simply tap the heart icon in the top right corner of your Facebook profile.

Facebook separately announced Tuesday that its popular Messenger app would soon be able to translate missives in real time, deploying artificial intelligence to enable text conversations between people using different languages. It won't be shown to friends, but will still informed by dating preferences, mutual friends, and common interests.

Facebook also made the surprise announcement that its portable VR headset - Oculus Go - would go on sale in the United States on Tuesday, priced $199 (£146).

Instagram is getting a few updates as well.

  • Douglas Reid