Dating sites have existed since the beginnings of the internet, but what is there besides Tinder? Badoo is a dating app more popular than Tinder, dominating the global dating culture, especially in Eastern Europe.
Founded by Russian entrepreneur Andry Andreev in 2006, Badoo quickly became a popular dating site across the world. According to the BBC, it was the most downloaded app in 21 different countries in 2016. In Europe, the West and East are split, in which Western countries prefer Tinder, while Eastern countries prefer Badoo.
Emerging six years before Tinder, Badoo amassed a global following that Tinder was unable to compete with after its launch in 2012. According to DMR Business Statistics, Tinder has approximately 50 million active users, whereas Badoo has 418 million active users in 2019.
Like other dating apps, Badoo allows users to chat, share photos and videos, match with others, and share common interests with new people for free. The app has a location-based feature that allows users to connect to people close to them, but you can also search for people outside of your proximity. You can swipe right or left for potential matches, similar to Tinder or Bumble. And you can pay for the app’s premium features.
Unique to Badoo is their “newsfeed feature.” Instead of swiping through potential matches, never to see many of them again, Badoo allows users to look at all of their options and then choose who they would like to match with. Users also can video chat with their matches, something that Tinder users cannot do.
Badoo has a safety feature in which users can request a selfie from their matches to prove that they are the same person in their photos. The company has also developed a photo verification program, in which users recreate a specific pose. The photos are sent to one of Badoo’s 5,000 moderators to verify the photo, something that Tinder also lacks. This has created more trust in Badoo because people are more likely to be who they say they are in their profiles.
In Eastern Europe and across the world, Badoo was able to gain popularity because it emerged before Tinder. This allowed people to use the app and find people before the Tinder craze, creating a household name in dating apps and more trust in the company. Thus, these countries were unlikely to switch to a different dating app because they already had one that worked for them and Tinder did not offer anything revolutionary.
Another reason Badoo has dominated Eastern Europe, as well as other parts of the world, is that Badoo has more language features than Tinder. Badoo currently is available in 42 different languages, whereas Tinder is only available in 20 languages. This is especially important in Eastern Europe because of the language variation between countries. This allows more people to connect with each other through different languages.
According to GFluence, Badoo’s popularity stems from its diverse demographics. 80% of Tinder users are between the ages of 18 and 34, and only 5% are between 45 and 64. Whereas on Badoo, 70% of users are between ages 18 and 34, and 15% are over 44 years old. This means that more people will be able to find love from their age group on Badoo, and older people have a better chance at finding love on Badoo than on Tinder.
Arguably, Badoo is more successful in Eastern Europe because these countries share a similar cultural background that stems from communism and the Soviet Union. Since all of these countries faced similar histories during communism, it makes sense why they prefer the same dating apps and cultural influence even after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Overall, Badoo has become popular in Eastern Europe because it came first and it offered more and better features than its competitors. Likewise, Tinder did not catch on in Eastern Europe because it did not have many unique features and people were unlikely to switch from a dating app that they already knew and loved.