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Dating App Lulu Becomes Part of Online Dating Service Badoo

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  • Saturday, March 12 2016 @ 07:00 am
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Badoo Acquires Lulu

Lulu, a dating app designed to help women rate and share information about the men they date, has become part of online dating giant Badoo.

Lulu has had an interesting history. Founded in 2011 by Alexandra Chong, the app was originally created to help women have a safer online dating experience by encouraging them to communicate with other women over the app about the men they dated. Users were given the ability to rate their dates according to looks, humor, ambition, and even sexual prowess. They could also add pre-made hashtags for more detailed examples describing a man, like #OneWomanMan, #WillActSilly or #EpicLaugh.

The app took off among women, but men felt they were being unfairly judged or even bullied by women using the app. Some complained that the app itself was sexist and shallow. Since these reports, Lulu has allowed men to see their ratings, hashtags, and edit information about themselves.

Chong has been named President of Badoo in the deal, and will be seeing global expansion for the Badoo brand as well as managing Lulu in-house. "Badoo is a natural fit for the Lulu community. In line with Lulu’s vision, Badoo is committed to providing the very best online dating experiences for women in particular,” Chong said in a statement released by Badoo. She added that Badoo’s CEO Andrey Andreev and his team “have done an outstanding job growing the product into a truly global community offering a unique local experience for its users.”

Despite being in the shadows of more well-known sites like Plenty of Fish and Match, Badoo is a major player in the online dating world. The service was founded in 2006, has 300 million users in 190 countries around the world, and 60 million monthly active users. An average active user spends 1.8 hours on Badoo per day, the company says.

Lulu isn’t the first dating app to join Badoo – the company has a portfolio of apps under its belt as well, including the popular Hot or Not and Blendr.

With the acquisition, Lulu’s users will be able to access the profiles and connect with Badoo’s extensive database of users. Instead of just being a messaging and ratings app, it will be a full-fledged dating service.

The big question for Lulu’s future is murky. Current reviews in the Apple and Android stores aren’t favorable. Many people liked the rating system the app pioneered, and are unsatisfied with its new premise, which shows users who on the app is nearby and who they just passed or bumped into, in order to begin a conversation or start dating.

Since launching in the US, the Lulu app has been downloaded by more than 6 million people and is on the phone of one in four US female university undergraduates.

To find out more about the dating service which purchased Lulu you can read our review of Badoo.

Former Tinder Co-Founder Launches Bumble, a 'Women-Friendly Tinder' App

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  • Friday, December 05 2014 @ 06:30 am
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Bumble Dating App

Earlier this year, Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe left the company after raising a lawsuit against her colleagues over allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. In case you need a refresher, Wolfe alleged that she was sent inappropriate messages by one of Tinder's male co-founders, who pursued a romantic relationship with Wolfe and then publicly shamed her. She also says she was stripped of her co-founder title over fears that her age and gender would damage the company's perceived valuation.

Heavy stuff, but it looks like Wolfe might soon get her revenge. TechCrunch reported that she's teamed up with Tinder alumni Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick to create a similarly swipe-based dating app they've dubbed Bumble. According to its Facebook page, Bumble is “an exciting, new place to meet people” and “everything you've always wanted from a social discovery app with none of the things you don't.”

Ok, sounds good so far. So how does it actually work?

According to TechCrunch, the app looks (unsurprisingly) much like Tinder. The famous swipe interface is in play, as is the basic large photo/snippet of personal info structure. A key difference is that Bumble appears to use more detailed information than Tinder – including job position, company, college, and graduation year – supporting the idea that it is intended for more serous daters.

Bumble explains its process like this:

  • Two people like each other and it's a connection
  • The girl has to make the first move by starting a chat within 24 hours
  • If she doesn't chat, the connection disappears forever
  • But... guys can extend ONE match per day for an extra 24 hours

A 24-hour rule seems a little harsh, but otherwise the idea is interesting. Will flipping the traditional dating dynamic on its head actually work, or will Bumble end up being a service where almost everyone is silent?

Bumble's behind-the-scenes structure also raises some interesting points. Competing with Tinder is no easy feat, but if anyone stands a chance, isn't it a Tinder founder and former employees? They have experience and insider knowledge that no one else has, plus enough public visibility to spread awareness quickly.

Really quickly, as it turns out. A source told TechCrunch that Bumble has already raised millions of dollars from a number of different sources, including social dating service Badoo and a multi-millionaire heir to an oil fortune. Bumble claims the app will be launching any day now, so we should find out soon enough whether that's enough to take on Tinder.

Hot Or Not Is Making A Comeback – As A Dating App

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  • Monday, June 30 2014 @ 09:24 am
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Once upon a time, back in the 2000s, Hot Or Not was a phenomenon sweeping the Web. By now most of us had written the site off as a piece of early 21st century nostalgia, but it’s just gotten a mobile makeover and has plans to join the booming online dating business.

The new version of the addictive rating game is owned by UK-based online dating company Badoo, and is now available in the iTunes and Android app stores. Like other mobile dating apps, Hot Or Not uses location-based data to show you the most attractive people in your vicinity. That idea is nothing new. What Hot Or Not hopes will catch users’ eyes is the app’s customized Hot Lists, which are based on how users vote on profiles created in-house of celebrities, politicians, authors, and other recognizable figures.

The Hot Lists feature calculates a person’s hotness based on user votes, then updates in real-time to show the prettiest people near you. The radius the real-time Hot Lists span depends on the number of users active in a given area – so the more users who are around, the more the radius will shrink to keep it localized.

The rest of the app works exactly as you would expect a mobile dating app to work. Users can connect their Hot or Not profiles to Facebook, which autofills their Hot or Not profiles with their Facebook likes and profile pictures. In the games section, users can browse the profiles of other members in their area and rate them with a heart (for “hot”) or an X (for “not”). If a user hits the heart, they can strike up a private conversation with the person who tickles their fancy.

Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, who launched Badoo in Spain in 2006, is the man behind the plan to bring Hot Or Not back. Badoo is one of the largest international dating sites in the world, with roughly 200 million users in 180 countries, but its presence in the US is lacking. Andreev hopes Hot Or Not will change all that. So far, he claims the new Hot or Not app has amassed 10 million users in its short lifetime.

It’s impossible to prove the validity of Andreev’s claim, but according to the Google Play store, the app has been installed on Android devices between one million and five million times. In the iTunes App Store, shortly after its release, the Hot or Not app ranked 321st overall and 21st in lifestyle.

You can download the app for iPhone, Android, and Windows phones.

How A Russian Is Taking Over The (Online Dating) World

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  • Thursday, January 30 2014 @ 07:03 am
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This is a truly international take on online dating.

A Russian man, Andrey Andreev, who established the London-based online dating service Badoo, has found his site winning over users in France, Spain, and Italy. "The seven-year-old company says it has signed up some 200 million people worldwide, 25 million of them active users," reports Bloomberg, "making it the biggest dating service, according to ComScore."

Andreev's ambition is to make Badoo "a social network for meeting new people," rather than a service for connecting users with people they already know. So far, his ambition has paid off: Badoo has been profitable since 2009, with last year's sales expanding about a third to $200 million. The company now has its headquarters in a loft in London's trendy SoHo district, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as an advisor, and may have an IPO in its future.

The challenge Andreev now faces is to keep US rivals like Tinder and OkCupid at bay, while expanding Badoo beyond its current strongholds in southern Europe and Latin America.

The key to doing so might be Badoo's business model. Unlike services like Match.com, Badoo doesn't charge a monthly fee. Instead, users are invited to pay 1 euro to highlight their profile on the site and increase their chances of being noticed. Because the advantage only lasts for a minute or two - until other people pay to raise their profiles as well - Badoo says that some dedicated users have paid for as many as 20 boosts per day.

Competitors' responses to Badoo's success have been mixed. Jessica Delpirou, director of Meetic France, told Bloomberg that Badoo is no threat to her service, saying that users prefer her more traditional dating site (a sister to Match.com in the US) despite its higher price, because it creates better matches. "People seeking serious relations need confidentiality and tend to pay for a subscription," Delpirou said.

OkCupid founder Sam Yagan told Bloomberg that he, too, believes his service is superior to Badoo and is rated higher by users. Officials from other competitors, like Tinder, did not return Bloomberg's requests for comment.

Right now, Badoo far outstrips Jiayuan, the largest dating service in China, which registered 19 million active users as of September 2013, according to ComScore. Badoo's userbase is also larger than Meetic's 16 million, Match.com's 8 million, and OkCupid's 2 million. And that's all before further expansion into Asia, Britain, and America, which Andreev is currently eyeing. If things continue on the same path, these other dating sites might soon be changing their tunes.

The Top 10 Best Mobile Dating Apps in 2013 (Part II)

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  • Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 09:41 pm
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Since 2008, Cyber-Dating Expert has been a go-to source of online dating advice. With dating coach and two-time author Julie Spira at the helm, the team behind Cyber-Dating Experts helps singles improve their chances of finding love on the Internet and their mobile phones.

The 4th annual Cyber-Dating Expert "Top 10 Mobile Dating Apps" list compiles the best-of-the-best that mobile dating applications have to offer. In a world that's becoming increasingly smartphone-based, Spira and her team say these are the 5 best apps for tech-savvy singles:

2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award

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  • Monday, January 30 2012 @ 03:51 pm
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2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Gold
Recipient of Gold
Match.com
2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Silver
Recipient of Silver
eHarmony
2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Bronze
Recipient of Bronze
Badoo

We wrapped up the 2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award poll today. It ran from October 1st, 2011 and ended today, January 30, 2012. We almost reached 1000 votes, the most we ever have had. In total we had 987 voters who answered 2 questions. The first being which paid dating site would you recommend for the "2011 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award". The second question asked which free dating site you would recommend.

The annual Single's Choice Award is our most important award we give out. This is because it is voted on by you. Collectively our visitors spend many more hours online with these dating sites compared to what it is possible for us to do. We do have our own opinions as well which is why we have the Editor's Top Pick awards. These awards are based on our own experiences as well as the comments we receive from visitors throughout the year.

For 2011 we listed the top eight dating sites for you to vote on. The three dating sites which received the most votes will get an award, Gold for first, Silver for second and Bronze for third.

The recipient of the Gold 2011 Single's Choice Award is Match.com. We also gave this dating site the Editor's Top Pick - Overall award as well. Match.com received 331 votes, which is 33.5 percent of all votes. Most other dating sites in the poll only were voted on about 8 percent of the time which makes Match.com almost 5 times more popular than most other sites.

The recipient of the Silver 2011 Single's Choice Award is eHarmony. eHarmony has won this award 4 times in a row. They had 22.5 percent of the vote which works out to 222 votes. eHarmony's match system is as popular as every with users which is also why they were the recipient of the Editor's Top Pick - Match System award as well

The recipient of the Bronze 2011 Single's Choice Award is Badoo. This up an coming social dating site made great strides in popularity in only one year to be able to earn the bronze award. While they only had under half of the votes than what the winner of the silver award received, Badoo did get a respectable 95 votes, which works out to almost 10 percent of all votes.

Here are this year's standings for the Single's Choice award for all dating sites in the poll.

  1. Match.com
  2. eHarmony
  3. Badoo
  4. Zoosk
  5. Chemistry
  6. Date.com
  7. PerfectMatch.com
  8. Lavalife

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for the 2011 Single's Choice Award. Our visitors in 2012 will appreciate knowing which dating services are the most popular.

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