Badoo is an free online dating site and app, founded in Russia in 2006 by a Russian businessman Andrey Andreev. Initially, Badoo was a part of Facebook, serving as a dating matchmaker based on personality quizzes and surveys, and it was accessible via the Facebook games platform. The site's main focus was to stand out from its competition, as they would refer to themselves as a social network with a heavy emphasis on dating, meeting new friends and expanding social circles. In 2016, they launched a mobile phone application as well, and since then it has become one of the most downloaded apps of all time, according to Google's Play Store statistics.
Badoo tends to turn more towards the younger audience and boasts an amazing number of nearly 420 million users worldwide, with over 15 million registered users in the United States alone.
To register your profile, all you need to do is enter your first name, city, gender, birthday, and what you're looking for (friendship, chat or date). You also need to upload at least one picture of yourself, but you can skip this step for now and come back to it later. However, you have to verify an e-mail via the code that they will send you. Once this is finished, you can start using the site. Unlike many other apps and sites of this kind, Badoo doesn't require you to do any personality tests or surveys.
However, in order to have fully functional access, you need to verify your profile. There are several ways of verification, but you only have to do one of them. You can either take a selfie in a specific pose, for example, raise your left hand or something like that. There is also a way to link your other social network accounts such as Facebook or Instagram, or verifying your identity via SMS code that they will send to your phone. You can use Badoo without verifying yourself, but you will be limited in many ways. All verified users have a blue checkmark sign right to their name.
Since Badoo is a free service, everybody can view everybody's pictures without any restrictions. Even though you gain access to the dashboard immediately upon signing up, you are not allowed to perform various tasks like play games or purchase coins unless you upload at least one picture of yourself.
Overall, profile information as a whole is quite lackluster. Unlike other sites where you can do personality tests and surveys, Badoo only offers interests list. Basically, you can choose anything from a huge list of items, whatever it is; your favorite drink, your favorite music group, a city which you like, literally anything that is relevant to you in any way. In order to encourage users to upload their best pictures, there is a profile scoring system. After you've uploaded at least 3 pictures, other users can rate your pictures through various games. The higher your score is, the higher is exposure of your profile to other members, so make sure your pictures are your A-game. Most beloved members of the community get a free "featured" status, and their pictures would randomly appear on other user's dashboards. The downside to this is the fact that the other users are rating you only based on your appearance, without being able to view your complete profile beforehand.
Even with the site's multiple verification processes, there are many fake profiles on Badoo. Many user reviews are written about this, and many of the new users have experienced that. A couple of minutes after creating a profile, you have multiple requests to chat. This is very obvious since you have no pictures or any relevant information upon signing up. The site has a premium feature which allows users who have a premium subscription to message new users without restrictions what so ever. But those who are genuine about meeting somebody wouldn't just message anybody who shows up, right?
According to recent statistics, female population boats a higher percentage as of lately, but this is most likely due to the rise in number of fake profiles. Due to the lack of customization and better profile personalization, it could be tricky to spot fake profiles, but after some time you can easily tell fake from real profiles. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn't! Due to the lack of profile quality, we can surely tell that Badoo is catered more towards hook-ups and casual relationships. It would be hard for a person who looks for a serious relationship or marriage to determine who would be a good fit for them with only few informations to work with.
How to get in contact
Badoo Encounters as they call it is the most common way of getting matches. This feature will present you potential matches one by one, and every one of them will have a couple of pictures to view, and contains user's basic information such as name, age, city of residence and it will show if you have any mutual interests as well. If you are interested, you can click a heart to send a notification to that user. However, they will only see a blurred picture of you, until you show up in their encounters. If they click the heart on you as well, a match will be made and you can move on to chat with that person. However, if they happen to skip, they will be shown that they missed a match. Most of the users are using this as a fast and easy way to get in touch with others, and this is the exact version of Tinder's swiping system. You can also use coins to send a super crush, which will result in you getting top priority in that person's notifications. Badoo Encounters also has a filter option, which allows you to set the preferred gender and age range of users which you want to show up.
People Nearby is Badoo's primary search function, as it allows you to browse through many users. You can input various filters, such as showing only new users, or showing users based on their age, gender, location or distance away from you, or based on what are they looking for within the site (friendship, chat, date). Make no mistake about the word "nearby." Via this function, you can also search users who have private profiles, or search users in another city or even country!
There is also a number of pictures in your bottom left part of the screen. Those are pictures from featured users. You can have your photo featured if you pay with credits, or if you have one of the highest profile ratings based on your best pictures. You can simply click on anybody's photo to view their full profile and message them if you are interested.
Since Badoo is a free service, messaging other users is possible without buying a premium subscription. The only necessity is for yourself to have at least one picture in your profile. Once you have that, you can contact anybody. However, you can send only two messages, and until you get a reply, you are forbidden from contacting that user again. Also, you can set the option to get an e-mail or browser notification whenever you get a message. If you are especially interested in somebody, you can also add them to your favorite list. On the other hand, if you are bothered by somebody, you can block them as well.
Recently, Badoo also released a Badoo Live feature, which allows users to host a live video stream, and other members can join to participate and watch. Viewers can send gifts to the streamers, thus increasing their popularity. On the other hand, streamers are encouraged to set goals of what will they do when they earn a certain number of credits from their viewers. This could be anything from dancing, singing a song or something else. Anything stupid or unordinary!
Since Badoo's emphasis is heavily set on being a social media platform with a focus on dating, the layout itself is very similar to other social networks like Facebook. The dashboard looks pretty messy, and the design itself is quite simple. Actually, the way your profile looks when viewed by somebody else is much better than the way that you see it. In terms of its usabillity as a whole, the site is very user-friendly and most of the features are accessible with a single click straight from the main page. However, all of this is due to Badoo's developers being more focused on mobile phone application since its launch. Profile appearances are much better in the app than they are on the site. This is obviously understandable due to Badoo being more catered towards casual meetings and hookups. Also, there are some additional features inside the application which help you meet people on the go.
Although many users are satisfied with the app's free version, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to premium membership if you are serious about using this as a source of meeting potential partners. There is a lifetime premium membership offer for $80, and there are no other similar apps that offer a lifetime subscription. Badoo also uses in-app currency known as credits, which can be purchased and used to unlock many cool perks such as notifying your matches when you are online or sending gifts via the chat.