Will Facebook Dating Hurt Tinder? History Says Match Stock Will Be Fine. | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof

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Photograph by Giang Vu

Shares of
Match Group
have fallen since
dating product arrived in the U.S. earlier this month. But there is “no evidence” the social media giant’s product hurt Tinder in countries where it had already launched, according to Guggenheim.

Match stock (ticker: MTCH) was recently down 2.5% to $76.02 as the
S&P 500
lost 0.45%. The company operates Tinder and several other dating websites, including Match.com.

Facebook’s announcement “revived investor concern around the potential for it to be a threat to Tinder,” wrote Guggenheim analyst Jake Fuller, who has a Neutral rating on Match stock. “We understand the concern, but our review of Tinder daily active users and download data in countries where Facebook Dating has launched does not yield any evidence that it has had an impact.”

Match stock has risen 82% in 2019 through Monday’s close, but the shares have stumbled so far in September. The Facebook dating launch in the U.S. overshadowed some analyst optimism and extended the losses seen since Match’s majority owner, IAC (IAC), said it might distribute its stake.

Citing third-party data, Fuller wrote that in Canada, Tinder’s daily active users rose since Facebook Dating’s November launch in that country, while Tinder downloads rose this summer.

Read: The Dating Business Is IAC’s Best Asset—and Its Greatest Challenge

“Looking across eight other Facebook Dating markets we cannot see any clear evidence that it has had an impact,” Fuller wrote. “That does not mean that Facebook Dating couldn’t be a relevant risk here, but it does support Match’s arguments around why Tinder should be fine (big market with room for multiple platforms, not reliant on Facebook for sign-ups, usage of alternative sign-up paths suggestive of desire to keep dating separate).”

There does appear, at least, to be some early interest in Facebook’s offering. Oppenheimer Research said Tuesday it surveyed 440 singles, finding 40% who were “aware” of Facebook Dating within 48 hours of its launch, with 15% using it.

“Facebook Dating may be able to see market share gains that have not been previously realized in other countries,” analyst Jason Helfstein wrote. “However, historical third-party download data maintains that Facebook Dating has not had a meaningful impact on Tinder.”

Facebook’s stock (FB) was recently down 0.8% to $187.29.

Email David Marino-Nachison at david.marino-nachison@barrons.com. Follow him at @marinonachison and follow Barron’s Next at @barronsnext.

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