New Delhi, May 2: Facebook is set to launch a dating app that would be focusing on long-term relationships and not just “hook-ups”, said FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Addressing a packed hall at an annual developer conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday, Zuckerberg said, “We want Facebook to be somewhere where you can start meaningful relationships…we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning.”

It’s going to be within the main Facebook app, but it will be completely optional and opt-in only, reports ANI.  The feature will not suggest users’ friends to date, which is what other dating apps dependent on Facebook data do. The opt-in feature will match users with people they aren’t already friends with. Users will be able to build a dating profile that won’t be visible to friends.

The Guardian quotes chief product officer Chris Cox as saying that the dating feature would be “opt-in” and “safe” and that the company “took advantage of the unique properties of the platform”. He showed a hypothetical profile, which he said would be separate from an individual’s regular profile, accessed in a different section. The dating feature would be visible to only those using the service, and not one’s Facebook friends. The feature would not show up in the news feed, he added.

Cox said two people would connect via a text messaging feature that was not connected to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. “We like this by the way because it mirrors the way people actually date, which is usually at events and institutions they’re connected to,” Cox said. “We hope this will help more folks meet and hopefully find partners.”

The announcement came after Zuckerberg acknowledged that it had been an “intense” year for the company, following revelations that personal data was harvested from Facebook and improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.