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Type of site
Social networking service
Available in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, Swedish, Slovenian, Slovak, Czech, Indonesian, Turkish, Hungarian, Hebrew, Chinese, Catalan
Owner Badoo Trading Limited
332 Agiou Andreou Street, "Patrician Chambers"
3035 Limassol
Created by Andrey Andreev
Alexa rank Decrease 274 (Global As of 8 May 2015)
Commercial Free, but with a charge for higher prominence
Registration Required
Launched November 2006; 10 years ago (2006-11)[2]
Current status Active

Badoo is a dating-focused[3] social networking service, founded in 2006[4] and headquarters in Soho, London. The site operates in 180 countries[5] and is most popular in Latin America, Spain, Italy and France.[6] Badoo ranks as the 281st 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.


Badoo was founded by the Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev and launched in London in November 2006.[7] In 2007 it raised $30 million in funding.[8]

In January 2008, the Russian investor Finam Capital paid $30 million for a 10% stake in Badoo for expansion in Russia.[9] As of 2009, Finam now has 20% ownership of Badoo.[7] In September 2009, Blendr, "powered by" Badoo, appeared in the iTunes app store.[citation needed]

In April 2011 Badoo was threatened by Facebook with an audit and potential removal if it didn't make its Facebook app less viral.[10] According to, during the week of January 11, Badoo was ranked 17th in growing Facebook apps.[11] The official Badoo USA launch was on March 23, 2012, with Nick Cannon introducing the service in the United States.[12] In April 2012, the company entered into a marketing agreement with the site Hot or Not to display its members in the companies service.[13]

In February 2016, Badoo acquired LuLu, a mobile app that lets women anonymously review and rate men.[14]


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,[15] upload photos and videos. Users can see and contact people who live in their area using the "People Nearby" feature[16] or in a different city or part of the world using the "Search" feature.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] However, according to The Economist, by 2011 only 5% of members were paying for the premium services.[19] It has ranked among the most popular dating websites.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

There's also the "Secret comments" feature described as "anonymous, girls only"[23] that allows women to leave comments on men they've talked to.

According to CNET, the website is intended to introduce users to people nearby that share similar interests.[8]

Criticisms and controversies[edit]

In a peer-reviewed study by Cambridge University in 2009,[24] it was given the lowest score for privacy among the 45 social networking sites examined.[25]

Badoo offers extra functionality to users who are willing to give away their contacts' information.[8] Badoo aims to "get your friends hooked too".[26] The website emails each of them, "promising that a message from you awaits them at the other end".[26] However, in truth, the "message" never existed at all.[27][28]

Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported that numerous Badoo profiles were created without people's consent, and that people have reported Badoo's actions to the police.[29]

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.[30]

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".[8]


  1. ^ Badoo – Terms of Use Accessed August 2009.
  2. ^ "Badoo FAQ". Badoo. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Badabing Badaboom – Badoo Hits 150 Million Users, Boosted By Mobile". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  4. ^ "Hey Tagged, Badoo Has Been Around As Long And Has Bigger Revenues". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  5. ^ Rooney, Ben (2012-01-24). "A Very Social Network". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  7. ^ a b "Project Portfolio – Badoo". Finam Capital. 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  8. ^ a b c d Needleman, Rafe (February 23, 2012). "Badoo: Social experiment or hookup site?". CNET. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ Butcher, Mike (21 January 2008). "UK's Badoo pulls $30m for Russian launch, ahead of a home push". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Calderon Inés, Sara January 11, 2012. “Spotify, Yahoo, Bing, Badoo and more on this week’s top 20 growing Facebook apps by DAU.”
  12. ^ "Social Network Badoo Officially Launches in U.S. With Nick Cannon [PICS]". Mashable. 23 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Updated: Has Dating Site Badoo Found A Love Match In The Form Of Hot or Not?". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  14. ^ "Lulu, The App That Lets Women Rate Men, Acquired By Badoo". TechCrunch. February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2016. 
  15. ^ Frommer, Dan. "The Biggest Startup You've Never Heard Of Is About To Hit 108 Million Members". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Fromer, Dan. "The Biggest Startup You've Never Heard Of Is About To Hit 108 Million Members". Business Insider. 
  17. ^ Frommer, Dan. "The Biggest Startup You've Never Heard Of Is About To Hit 108 Million Members". 
  18. ^ Sweney, Mark (24 December 2007). "Elevator Pitch: Why Badoo wants to be the next word in social networking". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. 
  19. ^ "A nightclub on your smartphone". The Economist. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Top 15 Most Popular Dating Websites". eBizMBA. September 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ Rowan, David. "How Badoo built a billion-pound social network... on sex". Wired. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Adam. "Badoo Social Networking". Affiliate Colony. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Bonneau, Joseph; Preibusch, Sören (2009), "The Privacy Jungle: On the Market for Privacy in Social Networks" (PDF), WEIS '09: Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on the Economics of Information Security. 
  25. ^ Social networks ‘failing users’ The Daily Telegraph 21 Jul 2009.
  26. ^ a b Stuckey, Daniel. "Badoo is an Enigma Wrapped in a Puzzle Wrapped in Spam". Motherboard. Vice Media. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 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.)
  27. ^ Leaver, Ken (4 October 2012). "Badoo: Is their secret to success SPAM?". Ken's view on tech. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  28. ^ Yezpitelok, Maxwell. "6 Things Social Networking Sites Need to Stop Doing". Cracked. Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2014. [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. 
  29. ^ "Treffipalvelu varastaa profiilitiedot: Varo tätä sovellusta Facebookissa" (in Finnish). Iltalehti. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  30. ^ "European privacy requests for search removals". Transparency Report. Google. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 

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