At its annual F8 developer conference on Tuesday, Facebook announced it was playing the dating game. The company will be getting into the $3Billion online dating category to build "real long-term relationships, not hookups" as its beleaguered of late CEO said. The company's blog put it this way:

We're building a feature for dating and relationships within the Facebook app. People already use Facebook to meet new people, and we want to make that experience better. People will be able to create a dating profile that is separate from their Facebook profile -- and potential matches will be recommended based on dating preferences, things in common, and mutual friends. They'll have the option to discover others with similar interests through their Groups or Events. However, what people do within the dating feature will not be shown to their friends. We'll share more information when this begins testing later this year.

Mark Zuckerberg went back to the relationship well again as he was talking about his company's "responsibility to keep moving forward". He explained to the conference crowd why Facebook keeps building (even in the face of such recent adversity): "Because our relationships are what matter most to us. That's how we find meaning, and find our place in the world."

More on that in a minute.

The company at large has been reinforcing the renewed focus on relationships as well through new emotional ads (running in heavy rotation during the NBA playoffs among other places).

The ads start by reminding us that "We came here (to Facebook) for the friends," and it ends with a tagline, "Here together". In between are feel-good reminders about Facebook at its best and an apology for what has made Facebook at its worst of late (privacy issues, clickbait, etc.). Here's the ad:

All of this got me thinking. You can question the timing of this "relationship renewal" effort for Facebook. You can question the motive. You can even question if they might get into deeper privacy issues as they delve into online dating.

But it's hard to question the wisdom of renewing the importance of relationships.

I left the corporate world not so long ago, and while I miss none of the processes, I miss most of the people.  

When you're removed from the people alongside whom you've labored and laughed, you're reminded of something.

Life is relationships.

The daily little investments you make in others will matter in the end. Think of it as the 401(k) for a meaningful life.

So take a page from Facebook's renewal and renew and invest in your own relationships, at work, and in life.

Published on: May 1, 2018
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