Any Company Using Facebook for User ID Is Foolish

Nick Statt, reporting for The Verge:

Facebook is adding a dating layer to its main mobile app, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today during the company’s F8 developers conference keynote in San Jose, California. The features are a long time coming for the 14-year-old social network, which has allowed users to broadcast whether they’re single or in a relationship since it first went live in February 2004.

The move will likely transform Facebook, with its more than 2.2 billion monthly active users, into a major competitor of Match Group, which owns and operates mobile dating app Tinder and popular dating platform OkCupid. Match Group’s stock plummeted by more than 17 percent as soon as the news was announced.

John Kneeland on Twitter:

Step 1: get dating apps to build themselves on your platform’s data
Step 2: cut them off from your platform’s data with no warning
Step 3: build a competitor to dating apps with the data you are now keeping to yourself

Seems kinda antitrust-ish…

It should be illegal, given Facebook’s monopoly status. But every company that has ever trusted Facebook like this should have known better all along. There was never any reason for Tinder to trust Facebook not to do this, and a bunch of reasons to suspect they would. Yet even today, when you go to sign up for Tinder, they heavily steer you toward signing up via Facebook; the option to sign up using your phone number is so faint it’s hard to read and looks disabled. It practically screams, “Don’t use this, sign in with Facebook using the bright cheery easy-to-read button above.” (And who wants to share their phone number? Why not email?)

Facebook looks like the rapacious Gates-era “I think I’ll have all the mashed potatoes” Microsoft. Tinder looks like fools.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018