March 31st, 2011
The Facebook app for freemium flirting and dating website Badoo has had a meteoric rise this month, going from 2.8 million to 4.8 million daily active users. To attain the growth, Badoo streamlined its interface to focus users on the most viral aspect of the app, released several new language localizations, and added a set of compelling new questions to its quiz.
Badoo serves as an example of how Facebook app developer can kick start their growth, though some users might find its aggressive viral tactics spammy.
The company’s Director of Marketing Lloyd Price told us it made the changes to the app around March 6th, and immediately saw growth. London-based Badoo has 112 million registered users on its home site, but now has five times as many Facebook users, counting 64.4 million MAU according to AppData, our data service tracking application traffic and growth. As a freemium service, its crucial for Badoo to gain exposure to as wide of an audience as possible so it can find enough users willing to pay.
Badoo’s Facebook app furthers this goal by concentrating on viral channel distribution rather than immediately pushing users to the website where they can be monetized. Badoo thereby allows its most engaged app users to organically move to use the app’s deeper features or visit its website.
When users first install Badoo’s app, the only option they see is the Friend Quiz where they can answer questions like “Would you go on a date with [friend]?” or “Would [friend] play spin the bottle?” about their friends and post them to their walls. If users uncheck the “Publish on your friend’s wall” box, they’re confronted with a pop-up asking them to notify their friends and an option recheck the box.
While Badoo has tabs for “Browse people nearby”, “Want to meet you“ and “Messages”, these only become visible after a certain level of engagement or return visits. While within Facebook’s terms of service, Badoo’s virality-over-content could annoy some users. Still, its DAU divided by MAU, or stickiness, is increasing indicating a rise in engagement, not just installs. App developers should consider their mix of viral mechanics and content to determine what balance achieves their goals.
To help the app grow internationally, Badoo received several new language localizations. Now, majority of the app’s users come from Mexico, France, and Italy. As Facebook continues to grow internationally, localizations for the biggest emerging markets, including Indonesia, Turkey, and the Philippines are essential to sustained growth.
Lastly, in order to improve engagement of new users and keep old users interested, Badoo loaded a new set of questions into its friend quiz. As loyal users can spend hours a day on Facebook apps, providing the fresh content is important. By analyzing the performance of past content and expanding on successful themes, apps can refine their content over time for maximum engagement.
Through a combined strategy of viral focus, localization, and content additions, Badoo has outlined a method for developers to increase their user counts.
The geographic data regarding Badoo users in this post comes from AppData Pro, our data service supplying performance data, including historical MAU and DAU data, audience demographics, and company information for developers and applications.