Facebook is taking on Tinder and getting into the dating game

Image Credit Shutterstock  Pe3k

"We have real challenges to address but we have to keep that sense of optimism too".

With a smile that suggested the hard part of an "intense year" may be behind him, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed developers Tuesday and pledged the company will build its way out of its worst-ever privacy debacle.

By leading off with Facebook's security and privacy responsibilities, then continuing to extend Facebook's ambitions to connect people in new ways, Zuckerberg successfully "walked the tightrope", said Geoff Blaber, vice president of research and market analysis firm CCS Insight.

He also reiterated that Facebook is investing a lot in security and in strengthening its systems so they can't be exploited to meddle with elections.

He told a story of being stopped on the street by married couples who had met through Facebook, and said that he wanted to make a more deliberate effort to bring couples together. For first time in several weeks, Zuckerberg went before a public audience and didn't apologize for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a political data-mining firm accessed data from as many as 87 million Facebook accounts for the goal of influencing elections.

For Zuckerberg, that's meant repeated apologies to users and lawmakers, two days of congressional questioning about whether and how the company protects its users' privacy.

Dating apps already use Facebook data to function, so this would essentially eliminate the middleman.

In a related move, Facebook Tuesday announced an upcoming feature called "Clear History" that will allow users to see which apps and websites send the network information, delete the data from their account, and prevent Facebook from storing it.

He was also clearly more at ease than his recent appearances in Congress.

So many people are single, Zuckerberg said, "so clearly there's something to do here!" "Let's not do that again anytime soon", Zuckerberg said.

The event will be used as a stage to share more information on the firm's plans to improve the service in the wake of criticism over its data privacy policies.

At F8, Zuckerberg said he's focused on making sure that Facebook's app makers are first and foremost crafting tools that are good for the world, especially ones that help people make new connections.

Facebook also made the surprise announcement that its portable VR headset - Oculus Go - would go on sale in the USA on Tuesday, priced $199 (£146).

Oculus Go is different from other virtual reality devices that require smartphones or a cord tethered to a personal computer to cast people into artificial worlds or show three-dimensional videos. The Oculus Go, which will come pre-loaded with an application and game store, is created to do what the iPhone did for smartphone apps a decade ago.

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