Facebook dating app: Grindr says tech giant doesn’t understand needs of LGBT people

During Facebook’s developers conference in San Jose, California, Zuckerberg announced the new opt-in option. “These are some of the moments when I’m very proud of what we’re doing,” the CEO said of the couples who had met on the network since its 2006 launch. I’m confident that we’re having a positive impact on people’s lives.” Since the conference took place so soon after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, which revealed that millions of Facebook users’ data had been compromised, Zuckerberg told attendees that the dating app was created “with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.” Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, clarified that users’ dating profiles would be different from their regular profiles, and that personal details would be available only to other app users, not to regular users who don’t use the dating feature.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during the F8 Facebook Developers conference on May 1, 2018 in San Jose. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Grindr, a gay dating app with over three million regular users, said in a statement to PinkNews that they “applaud Facebook’s step into the dating space.” However, there is a catch. The social media giant, according to Grindr, may fail to meet the needs of an LGBT audience. Grindr executive vice chairman Wei Zhou said, “We are unsure if the platform genuinely understands the needs of the LGBTQ community, especially in areas of the world where LGBTQ people face tremendous amounts of abuse.” Grindr promised to be “a resource for Facebook as they join a room we’ve been in for nearly a decade,” according to Zhou. Grindr is the most popular gay dating app in the world, having launched in 2009. When launching Facebook’s own app, Zuckerberg stated that it will concentrate on long-term relationships rather than hook-ups, as Grindr is known for.

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Other dating behemoths like Match Group – the parent company of Tinder and OKCupid – and Bumble had mixed reactions to the news. Both were pleased with the news, but Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg was shocked by the timing “given the amount of personal and confidential data that comes with this territory.” Match Group’s stock fell 22% in one day after Zuckerberg’s announcement on Tuesday, the biggest one-day drop in the company’s history. The app could “join forces to make the connecting space even more safe and empowering,” according to a Bumble spokesperson.
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