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Facebook HQ. Photo: Facebook

Shares of Match Group fell more than 18% on Tuesday after Facebook announced it plans to expand into online dating.

Why it matters: Facebook already has a gigantic user base and knows a ton about people so it comes at this with some natural advantages. That said, it's doing so at a time where people's trust in the service has been shaken.

The details: Facebook said people will be able to opt-in to dating, create a profile separate from the one shared with friends and be matched with people who aren't their friends. Zuckerberg also stressed the goal was to build "meaningful relationships" not facilitate hookups.

While Facebook offered some information on how the service will work, it isn't yet ready. However, the effect on Match, which owns Tinder, was immediate. Shares were trading recently at $39.18, down $7.93, or more than 18%.

Match Group fired back. "We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory," said CEO Mandy Ginsberg in a statement. "We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook’s entry will only be invigorating to all of us."

The chief executive of its parent company, IAC, put it more bluntly: "Come on in," said Joey Levin. "The water’s warm.  Their product could be great for US/Russia relationships."

Go deeper: Online dating services aggressively track their users, an analysis performed for Axios revealed earlier this year.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”