Facebook’s video speed-dating service closes on January 20

Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team often quickly abandons apps that don’t find success, and a video speed-dating service it has been testing in the past nine months is the next to cut. the breath. The company told Sparked users that the experiment will end on January 20.

“We started building Sparked at the end of 2020 to help people find love through an experience rooted in kindness. Since then, thanks to your regular feedback and feedback, we have improved where we could, have a lot learned and made connections between people, ”Facebook wrote in the email, which TechCrunch got. “Like many great ideas, some take off and others, like Sparked, must end.”

Users will be able to upload their data before January 20. After this date, Facebook will delete their Sparked accounts.

Sparked was a mix of Chatroulette, video chats that other dating apps have introduced in recent years, and a speed dating event. At a predetermined time, users from a certain area or demographic were participating in dating events (there were also a few global events). They would have four minutes to chat with a potential partner, and if they both wanted to spend more time with each other, they could set up a second 10-minute date and / or swap their contact details.

Although users needed a Facebook account to use Sparked, the service was different from Facebook and Facebook Dating. There were no public profiles, messaging, or matching features, like swiping on Tinder.

Facebook first described Sparked as a little beta test to learn more about video dating. Sparked and Facebook Dating both added audio chat functionality last year.

Sparked joins a long list of NPE projects that Facebook has closed, including the Hobbi hobbyist Pinterest-style app, TikTok clone Lasso, and the MSQRD selfie app. 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 Tuned, and the Collab collaborative music video app. Facebook said this week that Collab is also closing March 12.

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