Badoo is a dating-focused social network, founded in 2006, with offices in London, Malta, Moscow and the United States. It operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages, making it the world’s most widely used dating network to date. The app is available on iOS, Android and web. Badoo operates on a freemium model, whereby the core services can be used without payment.
Badoo has several features that enable users to meet people. When they first sign up, individuals select whether they want to meet new people to date, chat or to make new friends. Users can chat, match with others, upload photos and videos, as well as share their interests and see any friends in common.
People Nearby: Users can see and contact people who live in their area, as well as those they ‘Bumped Into’ with this feature.
Search: Users can also see who is on the app in a different city or another part of the world.
Encounters: Another free feature, where users swipe right (yes) or left (no) on other users’ profiles. If there is a match the two users are notified.
Video Chat: In August 2017, Badoo launched its video chat function that allows users to connect real-time, once they’ve exchanged messages.
Badoo has developed numerous safety features to ensure users are real and verified. Such features include the ‘selfie request’ button, through which women can request a man they’re speaking to send a ‘selfie’ to prove they are the same person as in the pictures.
The company has also developed a photo verification process, where users upload a photo of themselves mimicking a specific pose. This photo is then verified in a minute by one of Badoo’s 5,000 moderators.
Badoo is a freemium service, where the basic service is free for everyone but users have an option to pay for premium features. Such features include, ‘Rise Up’, which allows users to pay to give their profile more visibility on the site for a limited time. In late 2007, 20% of Badoo’s then 22 million users were paying for heightened visibility at least once a month. However, according to The Economist, by 2011 only 5% of members were paying for the premium services.
Users can also pay to have their profile photo more widely visible across the site. “Super Powers” enables users to see more search results, as well as who wants to meet them and which of their messages have been read.