- Facebook Plans a Dating Feature, Sending Match, IAC Plunging
Facebook Inc. announced it’s rolling out a new dating feature, sending shares in matchmaking app company Match Group Inc. and its owner IAC/InterActiveCorp. plunging.
The feature would help connect people who aren’t Facebook friends and be for “building real, long-term relationships — not just for hookups,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said during a presentation at the company’s F8 developer conference. Match, which owns apps like Tinder and OkCupid, fell 22 percent, the worst single-day drop in its history, while IAC fell 19 percent, the most since 2001.
“If we’re focused on helping people build meaningful relationships this is perhaps the most meaningful of all,” Zuckerberg said.
The announcement shows how Facebook is pushing forward with new products and initiatives for engagement, even as it tries to win back public trust after an outcry over how much data it collects from people online and what it does with it. Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook needs “to do more to keep people safe but we will also keep building.”
The dating feature would be opt-in only and users would be able to build their profile out of the view of their Facebook friends.
The news was one of several new initiatives announced, including a feature that lets people post to Instagram from other, non-Facebook apps like Spotify, and the ability to “clear history,” to remove data sent to the social network via outside websites and apps.
With a new dating app, Facebook could potentially leverage its extensive web of connections among people and data on relationships — users are able to publicize their relationship status on their profile pages — as well as its massive financial resources, to compete with the incumbents.
And such a service could give Facebook a whole new avenue for growing its advertising business, said Ali Mogharabi, an analyst with Morningstar Investment Service. If Facebook steps into dating in a big way it could have an impact on Match’s ability to acquire new users, Mogharabi said.
Most dating apps make money by charging users for premium services, something Facebook might not have to do if it uses data from the apps to improve its advertising business.
Match, which has acquired its way to becoming the clear leader in the dating field, uses Facebook to authenticate users on some of its apps, making the social media network a key part of its business. Facebook had already been changing what information it makes available to other companies like Match as part of its efforts to improve its privacy reputation.
“We’re flattered that Facebook is coming into our space – and sees the global opportunity that we do,” Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re surprised at the timing given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory.”
Match was partially spun out from IAC in 2015, but many analysts say a majority of IAC’s value still derives from the unit. Tinder, one of Match’s most valuable properties, has been rapidly adding new features to get users to pay for its services.
The fortune of IAC Chairman Barry Diller fell about $250 million to around $3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
IAC CEO Joey Levin used the chance to take a swipe at Facebook for how Russian-linked actors used the platform to try and sow division during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“Come on in. The water’s warm,” Levin said. “Their product could be great for U.S./Russia relationships.”
Jumia Nigeria Appoints Sunil Natraj as CEO, Outlines Ambitious Expansion Plans
Former Jumia Ghana CEO to Lead E-Commerce Giant as Massimiliano Spalazzi Steps Down
Jumia Nigeria, a prominent player in the e-commerce sector, has announced the appointment of Sunil Natraj as its new CEO.
Natraj, the former CEO of Jumia Ghana, will take the helm of the e-commerce business in January 2024, succeeding Massimiliano Spalazzi, who has been with Jumia Group for 11 years and will be stepping down in December 2023.
The announcement came during a media parley held in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria, with Francis Dufay, the CEO of Jumia Group, unveiling Natraj as the new leader.
Natraj expressed Jumia’s commitment to becoming a truly Nigerian company and continuing the initiatives started by Spalazzi.
“We want to continue what Spalazzi started,” Natraj stated, emphasizing Jumia’s vision to expand its presence beyond Lagos.
He disclosed plans to extend operations to additional Nigerian cities, with Akure and Ilorin on the radar and a focus on cities en route to Ibadan, Warri, and Benin in the first quarter of 2024.
The overarching strategy is to create a comprehensive network covering the entire country.
Dufay outlined the ambitious goal of targeting cities with populations exceeding 20,000 people, citing successful precedents in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
He acknowledged the challenges faced by Jumia, including a workforce reduction in Q4 2022 and a 73% cut in advertising budgets in Q3 2023.
Despite the hurdles, Dufay highlighted Nigeria as Jumia’s largest market and affirmed the company’s determination to navigate and thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.
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Flutterwave Expands Financial Frontier: Acquires Money Transfer Licenses for 13 U.S. States
Africa’s Leading Payments Tech Firm Facilitates Faster, Affordable, and Secure Transfers between the U.S. and Africa
In a significant move towards advancing financial connectivity between Africa and the United States, Flutterwave, Africa’s premier payments technology company, has proudly announced its acquisition of money transfer licenses for 13 key U.S. states.
This strategic expansion aims to expedite, streamline, and secure the transfer of money from the U.S. to Africa and back.
The states covered by the newly acquired licenses include Arizona, Arkansas, Maryland, Michigan, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
These additions, combined with Flutterwave’s existing partnerships and licenses, now empower the company to serve customers seamlessly across 29 states in the U.S.
Money transfer licenses, issued by state regulators, play a pivotal role in enabling financial technology companies like Flutterwave to engage in the transmission of money.
The acquisition of these licenses fortifies Flutterwave’s commitment to regulatory compliance, safety, and the soundness of its services.
Stephen Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Expansion and Partnerships at Flutterwave, emphasized the significance of this milestone.
“Getting these licenses expands our regulatory footprint, demonstrates our ability to deliver services with safety and soundness, and fosters trust among regulators, partners, and customers,” stated Cheng.
“We’re growing and are committed to servicing customer needs in as many geographies as possible, particularly with a significant African diaspora.”
Flutterwave’s popular solutions, such as the Send App, are set to benefit greatly from this expansion.
The Send App facilitates easy and secure money transfers between the U.S. and Africa, catering to both individual users and enterprises that rely on Flutterwave for global last-mile payouts.
“Sending money between the U.S. and Africa has been challenging for the African diaspora. These licenses pave the way for Flutterwave to make the Send App available to the African diaspora in the U.S., offering a super user-friendly money remittance experience,” explained Olugbenga Agboola, Founder and CEO at Flutterwave.
“Our mission is to connect Africa to the world and the world to Africa by simplifying payments for endless possibilities. These licenses move us one step closer to our vision, and we will continue to expand this feat to ensure coverage for all states in the U.S. and beyond.”
Flutterwave remains steadfast in its commitment to providing accessible remittance services across the U.S. and has outlined plans for further expansion of licensing coverage in the near future.
This ambitious endeavor reflects the company’s dedication to fostering financial inclusion and creating a seamless financial bridge between continents.
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