Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is betting that its new dating app — an alternative to hookup apps like Tinder — will prove appealing to its billions of users.
As Recode the app, which just launched in Colombia, is indeed pitted as something quite different from what’s out there now:
“This is about building real, longterm relationships, not just hookups!” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said when the product was announced back in May — an obvious jab at Tinder and its reputation as a hookup app. “We don’t want this to feel like a speed-dating session,” said Nathan Sharp, the Facebook product manager building the service, in an interview with Recode this week.
But while Facebook doesn’t want its new dating product — which rolled out in its first market, Colombia, today — to emulate Tinder’s user experience, it might be in Facebook’s best interest to emulate Tinder’s business model.
That’s because Tinder’s premium subscription tier is slated to rake in $800 million in revenues this year alone. However, Facebook Dating isn’t launching with a premium tier — and the company says it doesn’t plan to ever introduce one. That might prove to be a mistake, since consumers have proven very willing to pay for better dating app features.
Facebook Inc shares closed at $162.93 on Friday, down $3.09 (-1.86%). Year-to-date, FB has declined -7.67%, versus a 10.35% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.