Updated Jun 12, 2018

Survey finds wide interest in Facebook dating service

When Facebook announced it will be diving into the online dating business, it seemed like an untimely move for a company facing criticism for not respecting users' privacy. But according to data collected by user research firm Alpha, the majority of Facebook users who already use a paid or free dating app would be interested in an online dating service from the company.

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Data: Alpha; Note: Survey conducted May 22, 2018 amongst 606 people who had used Facebook in the past 3 months and a dating app in the past 12; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: Given Facebook’s beginnings — as an online student directory after a “Hot or Not” variant was shut down by Harvard — it’s not a surprise the social network giant wants to help users pair up.

The data:

  • Facebook users who use a paid dating app: 43% said they’d be “extremely interested” (or a rating of 5) in a Facebook dating service, and 32% said they’d be interested (or a rating of 4).
  • Facebook users who use a free dating app: 31% said they’d be “extremely interested” (or a rating of 5) in a Facebook dating service, and 28% said they’d be interested (or a rating of 4).

Survey respondents, who were shown a mockup of the Facebook dating feature, also said that they expect Facebook to be roughly as good (35%), somewhat better (28%) and better (21%) than other apps at helping them find a romantic match.

  • Most also said they were likely to let Facebook use its facial recognition tech to help them avoid bots and fraudsters on the dating service.

But, but, but: There's often a gap between what people say they would use (and pay for) and their actual behavior, so this survey's findings are theoretical.

Methodology: Alpha collected data from 606 people in the U.S. on May 22 who have used Facebook in the past 3 months and a dating app in the past 12 months.

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