Facebook’s video speed-dating service shuts down January 20
Facebook The New Product Experimentation (NPE) team is often quick to drop apps that don’t find traction, and a video speed dating service he’s tested over the past nine months is next for the chopping block. The company told Sparked users that the experience will end on January 20.
“We started building Sparked in late 2020 to help people find love through an experience rooted in kindness. Since then, with regular input and feedback from you, we’ve improved where we could. , learned a ton and connected people,” Facebook wrote in the email, which Tech Crunch got. “Like many good ideas, some take off and others, like Sparked, have to come to an end.”
Users will be able to download their data before January 20. After this date, Facebook will delete its Sparked accounts.
Sparked was a mix of chatroulette, video chats that other dating apps have introduced over the past few years, and a speed dating event. At a predetermined time, users from a certain area or demographic would participate in dating events (there were also a few global events). They would have four minutes to chat with a potential match, and if they both wanted to spend more time together, they could set up a second 10-minute date and/or exchange contact details.
Although users needed a Facebook account to use Sparked, the service was separate from both Facebook and facebook dating. It didn’t have public profiles, messaging, or features to match, like swiping on Tinder.
Facebook initially described Sparked as a small beta test to learn more about video dating, so perhaps it didn’t really want the service to explode in popularity. Sparked and Facebook Dating added audio chat features last year.
Sparked joins a long list of NPE projects that Facebook has shut down, including a Pinterest-style app for hobbyists hobby, TikTok clone Lasso and selfie app MSQRD. A few NPE apps remain on the App Store in the US: the TikTok-esque app for rappers called BARS, an app for couples called Allowed and collaborative music video app Collaboration. Facebook said this week that Collab is also closing March 12.