04 May Facebook Dating – this just might work

This week, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Dating. The earth immediately moved for Tinder owner, Match.com. Their share price started to tumble. Within hours, shares fell by 22%. This won’t be a surprise to many. While Match.com may be experts in dating, Facebook are somewhat experts in data & clever coding.

Taking a “swipe” at Tinder

It seems that Zuckerberg took a bit of a “swipe” at Tinder when he said, that Facebook Dating would not be “just for hookups”. It would be there to build “meaningful, long-term relationships” instead. This could explain some of the share price panic, because surely Tinder investors understand the reach and sheer wealth of Facebook.

Tinder has been in business for a few years. In terms of popularity, it has certainly been holding its own. Considering the intricacies of relationships, hookups, etc; they have somehow created something that makes the process pretty simple. According to Statisticbrain.com, there are 95 million people signed up to the Tinder app. Up to 12 million matches are made per day through the app and 55 million people use the app every month (don’t do the maths on these figures!). Another interesting figure is, that up to 1 billion swipe actions are recorded every day. These figures are excellent. Right?

Wrong. Well, kind of wrong.

200 million “single” profiles

While Facebook has not necessarily been dealing with dating, they have been building relationships for their 2.2 billion active monthly users. According to Zuckerberg when he announced Facebook Dating at the F8 developer conference, 200 million of these users have chosen “single” on their profiles. Straight away, Facebook has access to a lot more single people than Tinder. That’s a nice advantage for a start-up company in the dating sector. Then… there’s another statistic that I haven’t mentioned yet. Apparently 14% of Tinder users are currently in a relationship (according to Statisticbrain.com). I’ll move on.

Apart from a larger user base, what Facebook has on its side is its masses of data. While Tinder may already use data from Facebook to make its matches, Facebook would surely have a lot more information that other companies would not be privy to. This amount of Big Data is their key advantage for Facebook Dating. They are a proven success at building relationships and finding friends. They might now be onto what could be the biggest and best dating site in the world. Their code and data should quickly learn the right amount of “in common” features of people to make the perfect match.

It’s amazing when you think that what started out as “Facemash”, an app for rating how attractive a person in your college was, has now come so big and so far that their algorithms will be in a position to match people for dating and long-term relationship building.

Started out as a piece of code

Facebook is a phenomenon that started as a piece of code, which was probably complicated in itself. That piece of code has turned into the biggest social media site in the world. It has proven itself for offering more than just connecting with people. Facebook now lets you reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and spy on people who you might fancy. But not only that, it’s now one of the go-to sites for both real and fake news – which considering the Cambridge Analytica affair, it’s time for Facebook to clean up their act in this department.

Another feature of this social media site is their video offering. Once upon a time, YouTube was the mecca for digesting video. They are true experts at it. But Facebook put themselves in the races, and their growth in the video space was rapid. The main reasons for this? Data and excellent coding.

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook and YouTube are leaders in making sure that the right video appears in your feed. They know enough about your digital habits to understand what you like to consume. I always mention this when I talk about artificial intelligence. Think about it, the programming behind these sites is so strong that most of the time, it throws the right video in front of your eyes. The code generally knows how to put two and two together based on the information we supply to them. In my case, I would say that the videos on my feed are at least 90% accurate to what I like to watch.

This is why I think that Facebook Dating will be a winner for Zuckerberg. The premise may be the same as Tinder and other such sites, but with the big data and the excellent coders of Facebook, they will surely come out on top. However, if Google ever get into the dating game they’d probably have an even bigger advantage.

The beauty of all of this for future coders is that people like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page (Google) and Sergey Brin (Google), all, I can only assume, started with simple code first. The internet is still relatively young and while it may be finite, the possibilities for it are endless. Globally, companies are looking for smart coders to enhance their businesses and help them bring their presence to the next level.

At Code Institute, we want to teach the coding entrepreneurs of the future. Here’s a good first step, try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. From it you’ll learn more about your coding capabilities and appetite. It will also help you build your first website.