Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team is often quick to abandon apps that don’t find traction, and a video speed-dating service it has tested over the last nine months is next for the chopping block. The company told Sparked users the experiment will shut down on January 20th.
“We started building Sparked in late 2020 to help people find love through an experience rooted in kindness. Since then, thanks to regular input and feedback from you, we improved where we could, learned a ton, and made connections between people,” Facebook wrote in the email, which TechCrunch obtained. “Like all good ideas, some take off, while others, such as Sparked, must come an end
Users will be able to download their data before January 20th. Facebook will delete their Sparked accounts after that date.
Sparked was a blend of Chatroulette, the video chats other dating apps have introduced over the last few years and a speed dating event. Dating events were held at a set time for users who are from a particular area or group. There were also a few international events. They’d have four minutes to chat with a potential match, and if they both wanted to spend more time with each other, 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 distinct from both Facebook and Facebook Dating. There were no public profiles, messaging, or matching features like Tinder.
Facebook originally described Sparked to be a beta test for video dating. It might not have meant for it to explode in popularity. Sparked and Facebook Dating both added audio chat features last yea.
Sparked is joining a long list of NPE projects that Facebook has shut down, including Pinterest-style app for hobbyists Hobbi, TikTok clone Lasso and selfie app MSQRD. A few NPE apps remain on the App Store in the US: TikTok-esque a