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Facebook to play cupid in online dating debut

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Facebook Inc is entering the dating game, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday, planning a dating service to matchmake millions of people on the world’s largest online social network and nudge them into spending more time there.

The service, which Facebook had considered offering for over a decade and will launch soon, could help rebuild its popularity among younger consumers and make people visit the site more often, two key challenges for the business.

“There are 200 million people on Facebook that list themselves as single, so clearly there’s something to do here,” Zuckerberg told software developers at Facebook’s annual F8 conference.

Facebook shares rose 1.1 per cent to close at $173.86 on the news, which sparked a sell-off of established online dating service providers.

Facebook users have been able to reveal their relationship status on the network since it first went live in February 2004.

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