How Badoo Bridges The Gap Between Online Dating Profiles And Real-Life Attraction

Online dating has ballooned to a $4 billion business. Now the industry faces new players (Spotify) and challenges (how do you keep happy couples engaged in a dating site once they’re, well, engaged?). Badoo's Jessica Powell shares her ideas for engineering better relationships.

Photo by Ed Hepburne Scott

Jessica Powell

CMO / Badoo / London

Problem: As online daters become conditioned to screening potential mates via in-depth profiles, the process of meeting new people online grows further from how offline attraction really works.

Solution: A social discovery app, Badoo facilitates meetings on the fly by encouraging users to find people right around them based on nothing more than a photo, an age, and an interest or two.

"It's no coincidence that Badoo was built in Spain, because Badoo is about approaching people you don't know—in real life—having seen only their picture and age. Americans don't do that. When I was living in New York, you'd go out with your friends but you wouldn't talk to the people next to you. When you're out in a place like Rio or Madrid, it's just much easier to start conversations. There's more natural social lubrication in those cultures. It's not that Americans don't want to meet new people, it's that they're not conditioned to as much. If we were a normal dating site, we'd have a matching algorithm and long user profiles that don't really tell you anything. We view interests as just an icebreaker. The most successful conversations don't start with 'Hi' or 'I like your profile.' They start when you say something that's interesting to the other person."

Shot on location at Golden Union, London

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