Big news, social discovery/dating site Badoo is on track to hit 150 million users today. Corporate communications at Badoo told me that they attribute the 150,000 daily new users in part to mobile and US growth, specifically. Thirty-five million active users per month worldwide is incredible, to say the least.
I spent 30 days straight on Badoo a few months ago and have spoken at length with executives about the company’s past as well as its future plans. I even wrote a position paper on Badoo for a top 10 dating site, which was smart enough to see the writing on the wall in terms of social discovery and the opportunities and challenges it brings to traditional dating sites.
Looking at Badoo, I can’t help but feel the same as when I started tracking Skout, Zoosk and Are You Interested back in the day. All three have grown to be mature businesses that have come to define the mobile social dating and discovery sector. Of course there are others like MyYearbook, which has been a strong presence in to social space for years.
With social discover being such a hot topic and investor money pouring into the space, expect a whole new crop of similarly-focused sites and apps to proliferate over the next few months as everyone chases after the “We’re tired of Facebook, I want to meet and/or date new people” market.
Its been a blast watching this sector grow over the past few years, and while none of these sites are for serious daters, they certainly know how to go after the casual market. Recently, Zoosk saw the writing on the wall, and has been doing some rebranding to try to appear more social in nature. It remains to be seen how thats worked out for them.
I’m surprised that POF didn’t go after the paid exposure market. that would have been a great fit for them. Maybe POF is making big bank on their daily deals site and decided to stick with that strategy, we’ll see.
Some quotes from Tech Crunch about Badoo:
- Mobile usage has grown by 100% since November 2011
- More than doubling mobile revenues
- U.S. growth is also being powered by mobile
- Android app is now one of the top 10 most popular apps (No. 7) for social networking
- iPhone app is now a top 25 social networking app, up from No. 60 late last year
Impressive. Badoo had a fun US launch in New York City a while back, and is seeing US growth primarily centered in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston.
While 150 million users is no small feat, in order to really make an impact in the US, Badoo has to do some serious refactoring of their interface and add some features. There’s simply not much to do on the site and its easy to use it for a few weeks and they bail, although in other countries the site has proven to engage members for quite some time.
A TechCrunch commeter mentioned that the 150 million users number might have been inflated due to Badoo acquiring HotOrNot, good point.
Badoo makes around $1 per user, which is low, but with 150 million people, they are hard at work figuring out ways to further monetize users, just like Facebook. I wonder where Badoo will top out at? 200 million users? If they could get the “Tired of Facebook” people, that number could be much larger.
Yes, Tagged is at something like 300 million users, but honestly I haven’t been on the site in years and don’t pay attention to it.
Who owns the patents for this social discovery stuff? I bet they are just sitting back waiting for the marketplace to reach a certain level and then start trolling for dollars. That’s going to be fun to watch.
Here’s some backstory on Badoo from WIRED.