The revenue from dating sites worldwide is estimated at over $500 million so far in 2018. (iStock)

Facebook launches dating feature in Canada

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Online dating sites have fetched over $5 million so far in 2018 and Facebook is getting in on the action. It has just launched its dating service in Columbia and in Canada and will refine it before launching it elsewhere.

Canadians are big internet users and are particularly fond of Facebook. There are about 24 million monthly active users out of a population of 37 million.

Canada a good testing ground

Also, because Canadian and U.S. societies are so similar, Canada may be seen as good place to test out the dating service and work out any glitches before rolling it out in the U.S.

It’s estimated that in North America, close to one-third of young marriages are a result of people meeting online. (iStock)

Dating apps can generate more user traffic

“They’re looking for new ways to get people engaged on Facebook,” says Avery Swartz, a tech expert and consultant. “I tend to think that this Facebook dating is another avenue for engagement on Facebook because that’s really what they care about is getting people to keep checking in, keep going on the platform. And you know if you have the potential to find love, you probably are going to check in a few extra times a day.”

Privacy is a concern

The dating option is offered when Canadians open their Facebook pages on their smartphones. Users are invited to set up a special page separate from their Facebook account. Information from their Facebook account will be used on the new dating page they set up, but information from the dating page or even its existence will not show up of the original account.

Some privacy protection has been added but Swartz finds it interesting that people are being asked to share their most personal data at the same times as there have been so many headlines about data breaches of Facebook accounts.

(photo by Donna Santos)

Avery Swartz explains why Canada was chosen for the dating service and how it works. 

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