Meta Shuts Down Sparked — The Video Speed-Dating Service

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Sparked didn’t exit the testing phase. 

https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/13/22381511/facebook-video-speed-dating-npe-team-sparked-feature

Meta Ended Video Speed-Dating Service Sparked 

Meta tested Sparked, a video speed-dating service, for most of 2021. However, it didn’t leave the testing phase. Recently, the company informed its beta users that it will shut down the service. 

Sparked was developed by the company’s in-house incubator known as the NPE team. The service wasn’t like the modern dating apps of today. It was supposed to bring the experience of in-person speed dating online. 

Daters could cycle through short video dates during an event with other locals in the area. Meta’s team tested it in select markets. It even hosted global date nights throughout 2021. 

Users would chat on four-minute video dates. They could follow it up with a 10-minute date. That is if everything went well. 

Sharing of contacts was allowed with their match. 


Small Beta Test

When Meta first announced it, it described Sparked as a small, external beta test to get insights about how this type of service could work. 

Last Summer, the team that worked on Sparked started experimenting with various online dating but it didn’t include video chat. Instead, it opted for audio dating. It hosted audio-only date nights and users could chat with one another. 

Sparked isn’t the only dating service that Meta worked on. Facebook Dating, a larger dating service, did see the light of day. After Sparked completed its experiment with audio-only, Facebook Dating launched Audio Dates. It allowed users to start an audio chat with their match. 

Meta told its users in an email that Sparked wasn’t one of the many good ideas that took off. It simply means that the service didn’t gain traction. 

Users could download their details from the website before it will finally shut down on January 20. After that day, all user accounts will be deleted. 

A few of the NPE projects made their way out of the testing phase. They found a permanent home at Meta. But some apps didn’t depart the experimental phase, including meme-makers, calling apps, and variations of Twitter and Clubhouse. 

The company venturing into dating hasn’t been proven to be successful. As mentioned, it has its own Facebook Dating service. Unfortunately, it struggled to convert its users to use Facebook Dating. The feature is available directly in the app. 


Dating Apps Usage Increased

Other dating apps saw an increase in usage during the pandemic. Many individuals are embracing this kind of concept to find love. But it seems like they don’t want to use Facebook’s dating service. 

Unfortunately, the social networking site doesn’t share figures for its Facebook Dating product. Because it’s a built-in feature of Facebook, there’s no way to know whether or not it’s gaining traction.

Video dating became popular only recently. Thanks to the pandemic. People are staying at home and they want to limit their in-person interactions. 

The League first tried this feature. Hinge and Tinder followed. If Sparked did launch, it would mirror how League approached video speed dating service. It was designed to get people to date as they don’t like swiping and filtering hundreds of profiles.


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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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