The OTHER Social Network: Badoo … in Brazil

Image via WeHeartIt

By: Alice Bonasio, guest blogger

With over 112 million members, and a few more joining every second, Badoo is one of the fastest-growing – and profitable – ventures on the web.

In Brazil, though, it is a mass phenomenon, with over 14 million users registering for the service in under two years.

But there is still room for expansion, since Brazil has the largest number of internet users in Latin America – 76 million and growing.

Brazilians are avid Social Networkers.

A recent Synthesio report found that among internet users in Brazil, 86% were on Social Networks, compared to 74% in the UK and US.

So what’s Badoo all about and why does it work so well in a tropical climate?

It all boils down to its easy, flirty, “lets hook up” attitude, which really resonates with Brazilians, it seems.

You can either sign in through Facebook – Badoo is also its fastest growing app according to Wired magazine – or create an account, and the site tells you how many guys or girls near you are looking to meet up.

Intentions vary from the innocent and romantic to the quite explicit and frankly unrepeatable.

Match those intentions with someone nearby, and you can give each other access to photos.

If you’re using the Android or iPhone app, then it will tell you exactly how far away your potential date is.

It’s easy to understand how the immediacy of it is thrilling.

You can check out if someone in the coffee shop or nightclub you’re walking past is interested in meeting up, and approach them through the safety net of digital mediation.

This blend of real-life and online social interaction is a relatively new thing, but it’s set to seriously expand in the next few years as more of us get smartphones.

Image via WeHeartIt

But unlike other social networking sites like Facebook, Badoo is also incredibly profitable.

It succeeded where so many others failed by finding a way to make a lot of money out of advertising… but not as we know it.

There are no banners on the site.

Instead, users who register and use the service for free have the option to pay small amounts to advertise themselves.

When you first register your profile goes straight to the top of the lists, which means people searching for someone in your area are likely to contact you.

That doesn’t last long though, since the site is growing by about 300,000 users a day.

Unless you live in a small remote village (and if so, you probably already know every potential date in your area) then you need to pay in order to get a more prominent place in other people’s searches.

This freemium model generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the site, and there are rumours of an upcoming IPO.

Image via WeHeartIt

Badoo is based in London’s Soho, but the US and UK are not its strongest markets. Apart from Brazil, the site has its largest followings in countries like Mexico, Italy and Spain. Seems like the hotter countries really are more flirtatious.

** All images from WeHeartIt. **

Alice Bonasio is a Brazilian/American/Italian writer specializing in Digital Cultures. She has been published in Gamestm, Edge, The Escapist and 360. She is currently finishing an MA in Creative and Media Enterprises at the University of Warwick. She lives in England and is a PR Executive for one of the UK’s hottest tech start-ups, The Filter. Contact her on LinkedIN and follow her on Twitter.

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  1. fasfa

  2. Badoo es una de las mejores redes sociales

  3. Appreciate you sharing, great blog.Thanks Again. Cool.