||This article's lead section appears to be written like an advertisement. (August 2014)|
|Commercial?||free, but with a charge for higher prominence|
Type of site
|Social networking service|
|Available in||Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukraine, Spanish, Swedish, Slovak, Czech, Indonesian, Turkish, Hungarian, Hebrew|
|Owner||Badoo Trading Limited
332 Agiou Andreou Street, "Patrician Chambers"
|157 (April 2014[update])|
Badoo is a dating-focused social networking service, founded in 2006 and headquarters in Soho, London. The site operates in 180 countries and is most popular in Latin America, Spain, Italy and France. Badoo ranks as the 157th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa Internet as of April 2014. The site operates on a freemium model. To gain extra features, a user can pay a fee or allow Badoo to email all his/her friends.
In January 2008, the Russian investor Finam Capital paid $30 million for a 10% stake in Badoo for expansion in Russia. As of 2009, Finam now has 20% ownership of Badoo. In September 2009, Blendr, "powered by" Badoo, appeared in the iTunes app store.
In April 2011 Badoo was threatened by Facebook with an audit and potential removal if it didn't make its Facebook app less viral. According to Insidefacebook.com, during the week of January 11, Badoo was ranked 17th in growing Facebook apps. The official Badoo USA launch was on March 23, 2012, with Nick Cannon introducing the service in the United States. In April 2012, the company entered into a marketing agreement with the site Hot or Not to display its members in the companies service.
Badoo is a freemium service, where the basic service is free for everyone but users have an option to pay for premium features. As soon as members sign up they can chat, upload photos and videos. Users can see and contact people who live in their area using the "People Nearby" feature or in a different city or part of the world using the "Search" feature. Another free feature is the "Encounters" game where users click yes or no on other users' photos and if there is a match the two users are notified. For a fee, users can use the "Rise Up" feature which allows users to pay to give their profile more visibility on the site for a limited time. Badoo's communications director Lucy George said that as of late 2007 20% of Badoo's 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.
There are several premium services that users can pay to use including the "rise up" feature to promote oneself higher in the search results and so attract greater attention. Users can also pay to their your profile photo more widely visible across the site. Users can also buy "Super Powers" to see more search results, who wants to meet them, and see which of their messages have been read.
Criticisms and controversies
Badoo offers extra functionality to users who are willing to give away their contacts' information. Badoo aims to "get your friends hooked too". The website emails each of them, "promising that a message from you awaits them at the other end". However, in truth, the "message" never existed at all.
According to Google's transparency report on the requests for search removals stemming from the "right to be forgotten" ruling, Badoo had the fourth-highest number of URLs removed from Google Search.
A CNET review by Rafe Needleman described Badoo's first impression as "creepy". He said that though the site was advertised as a way to meet local friends with shared interests, it was more like a photo-based dating site. He also said the way it matches users was "obscure".
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What data will you give away to join the party? Will it be your Gmail account? Yahoo? Facebook? MSN? If you have a contact list somewhere on the web ... Badoo wants to source it ... and get your friends hooked too. The site sends messages to all email addresses it can find through your accounts, with minimal consent, promising that a message from you awaited them at the other end.(The article's author later mentions that one of Badoo's targets was his mother.)
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[S]ome dubious sites, like Badoo, Imeem and Lockerz, automatically raid the email account of anyone foolish enough to give them a password, spamming every address they can find with fake invitations.
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