Badoo is the single largest dating-focused social network in the world.
Based in Soho, London, the service is used by people in 190 countries and has attracted over 350 million users since its founding in 2006.
But how did the service grow so large?
Following the explosive growth of Facebook, the owners saw an opportunity to take advantage of something the popular social networking site wasn’t doing:
Helping strangers connect.
People obviously responded and the company is thriving.
But can you actually meet a potential match using the service?
I signed up to find out.
You can quickly sign up for Badoo using your pre-existing Facebook account.
If you’d rather not link your accounts (despite Badoo’s promise not to post on your behalf), you can opt to create an account directly instead.
To do this you will have to answer a few questions about your gender, your intentions on the site, the people whom you prefer to meet, and specifics about your name, birthdate, location, and email.
Once completed you will begin working on your profile.
The first step will be to upload your photo. I recommend reading our guide for more information on how to choose the right one for your profile.
After that, you can begin answering questions that tell people more about you.
Unlike some other sites, none of this is compulsory but a fuller profile is always ideal.
Ease of Use
New users are thrust into the service without any kind of explanations or tutorials.
Thankfully, Badoo is really nicely designed and intuitively laid out. It will take a lot of exploring and a period to get used to the layout, however.
You can access most of the features you will use via the sidebar.
I recommend using the mobile app, which provides a more straightforward experience.
Badoo has a wide variety of features that can be accessed by adding a photo to your account.
The first you will encounter is called Encounters. It functions similarly to Tinder’s rapid fire ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ feature.
Other features include People Nearby, Messages, Liked You, Favourites, and Visitors.
A unique feature to Badoo is the ability to get matched with a celebrity lookalike and then search for people who look like your favourite celebrity. It’s a cute feature which only kind-of works.
If you pay for Badoo, you will be granted “super powers”.
These abilities include instant access to people who like you, the ability to see who added you as a favourite, and the ability to browse anonymously.
Badoo is very good at discerning real accounts from fake and is well known for its catfishing prevention.
The service requires verification to perform certain actions.
Some profiles, for example, can only be viewed if you confirm your phone number and any strange accounts are required to be photo verified.
You can control who can find you and contact you on the service by changing your privacy settings. You can also block anyone.
Badoo is free to use, but you can enhance your standing on the platform by powering up with credits.
Credits vary in price, depending on the quantity you purchase:
- 100 credits costs £3.00
- 550 credits costs £12.99
- 1250 credits costs £20.99
- 2750 credits costs £44.99
The services you can buy using these credits also vary in prices:
- Getting placed first in People Nearby costs 100 credits.
- A featured profile costs 100 credits.
- More visits and matches cost 250 credits.
- Extra shows in Encounters cost 100 credits.
- Boosting your chances costs 100 credits.
In other words, performing most actions will set you back at least £3.00 and are they are all temporary.
Depending on how you use the service, it can be extremely inexpensive, or dangerously pricey.
Badoo is really well designed and fun to use. It can assist you in meeting people to be pen pals, friends, or even something more.
Although your success may vary, the people I interacted with were mostly pleasant and interesting. Just don’t expect a dating site like Match.
I recommend Badoo more for meeting friends than for serious relationships.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the credits. They can really add up and will certainly run you more than other top dating sites.