What’s in it for Facebook? The cynical observer might notice that Dating, apart from “just connecting people,” is also a clever backdoor for Facebook to do some mingling of its own. Specifically, to help merge and integrate its legacy product with Instagram, which it acquired in 2012. Unlike Facebook proper, the dating app lets users import Instagram photos and (soon) Instagram Stories into their profiles. The feature will also allow daters to add their Instagram followers to a widget called “Secret Crush,” which will notify you if your crush also adds you to his or her crush list.
Dating apps are home to some of the most sensitive personal information we choose to disclose (locations, interests, pictures, career history and all of our tastes and personal preferences). It adds up. In 2017, a French journalist used European Union privacy laws to request her Tinder data and received 800 pages of what she described as “a trip into my hopes, fears, sexual preferences and deepest secrets.” Which is another way of saying that this is information you want protected at all costs.
Plenty of legacy dating apps aren’t much better with privacy and security. But protecting your romantic secrets is a job that Facebook seems, given its history of data breachesClose X, uniquely unqualified for.