Let the Badoo cloning begin. Just as 25+ companies attempted to ride the coattails of Chatroulette (every single one failed), requests for Badoo clones are starting to appear on freelance developer sites.
While I doubt that a $5,000 eLance site is going to achieve anywhere near the success Badoo has enjoyed, interest in Badoo signifies that perhaps the dating industry is moving on from copying HowAboutWe.
Somewhere (Evernote, Google Docs, local hard drive, somewhere in the iCloud?) I have an email from someone who supposedly has a patent for “paid exposure”, the general term used to describe the primary pay feature on Badoo, this year’s breakout connect/hookup/make friends/dating site.
Paid placement is a brilliant idea that has been discussed in the dating industry for years but few companies were willing to risk adding the functionality.
In terms of branding, Badoo has a bit of a problem. Look at this email from Badoo, all empty photos and they use the phrase “Start playing now.” Is this the kind of email you would click? Badoo is mostly a hookup app, and the marketing team has a long road ahead if its going to entice American users to warm to the service.
Prediction: Badoo will closely follow the trajectory of Groupon. Lots of hype, investor interest, inflated numbers and then a recalibration of valuation. Earning $100 million in revenue from people topping up their account balance to chat with mostly fake profiles and cam girls is an amazing feat, but its unsustainable.