Last week, at Facebook’s annual F8 developer summit, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s plans to launch dating features. While this new rollout was largely welcomed by some of the biggest dating apps, such as Tinder, Bumble, and OKCupid, Wall Street was a bit more skeptical: shares of the Match Group (which owns Tinder, OKCupid, and Match.com) cratered by more than 20% immediately following Zuckerberg’s announcement. The new dating features aren’t scheduled to roll out until later in the year, but industry analysts are already weighing in on how Facebook’s entry into the dating app scene may impact the landscape.
How do today’s biggest dating apps stack up to Facebook?
We looked at user numbers from some of the most popular dating apps, many already profiled in our Valentine’s Day rundown of the most addictive dating apps. According to Verto Watch, Facebook had more than 201 million monthly unique visitors (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above) in March 2018. In comparison, even some of the most popular dating apps (based on user numbers) have tiny monthly audiences: Tinder reported 9.2 million monthly users over the same time period, while Match.com only racked up 4 million monthly users. What’s more, nearly all dating app users also used Facebook at least once during the month of March 2018 – and that includes just Facebook’s flagship site or app, without including Instagram, WhatsApp, or any other Facebook-owned properties. OKCupid, which reported 3.8 million monthly users, has the lowest crossover with Facebook: 96% of their users also used Facebook at least once during March 2018.
Clearly, Facebook has a huge addressable user base and has years worth of data on each of its users likes, dislikes, and social graphs. As it enters the dating space, this presents a formidable edge against its competitors. But can Zuckerberg and co leverage this massive amount of data in a better or more efficient way than existing dating apps?