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Tinder owner says it’s not afraid of Facebook dating app

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Match Group, the owner of dating apps including Tinder and Match.com, says it is not worried by the dating tool which Facebook unveiled last week.

The social media giant’s move could help de-stigmatise the online dating scene, Match’s chief executive said.

The comments came as the firm released better-than-expected quarterly profits.

Match said the average user of online dating services was active on three apps at a time and that it was “not a winner-take-all market”.

“We don’t think Facebook will have any impact on Tinder, which is our growth engine,” Match chief executive Mandy Ginsberg said.

Facebook’s entry into the marketplace may boost user numbers overall as more people got comfortable with the idea of dating sites and apps, she added.

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Earlier this month, Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new dating service at his firm’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California.

Following the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal, Mr Zuckerberg said the new match-making feature would take privacy issues seriously and would launch “soon”.

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Match Group’s namesake dating service Match.com is one of the most popular online dating sites globally

His announcement sent Match Group’s shares down more than 22% below their opening price.

But following Tuesday’s strong earnings report, the stock rallied and was up almost 5% in after-hours trading.

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Match’s profit for the first three months of 2018 more than trebled from a year earlier, to $99.7m (£73.6m), while revenue grew 36% to $407m.

Tinder, the company’s most popular product, now has 3.5 million users – with 368,000 of those added in the first three months of 2018.

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In addition to the Tinder and Match.com dating apps, Match Group also owns OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, OurTime, Meetic and Pairs.

Tinder launched in 2012, gaining traction as users could swipe left or right on people’s pictures to indicate interest. If both people swipe right, Tinder presents them with a match.

Users originally needed a Facebook profile to be able to use the app, with Tinder profiles built using Facebook information.

But in July 2017, an alternate sign-up was made available.

Match Group stressed that Tinder profiles were now largely user-generated and that matching algorithms did not rely on Facebook or any other third-party data.