Is Badoo a dating site, a social network or something in between? We decided to give it a try and find out...
Badoo has been around for a lot longer than people tend to think. In mainland Europe, it's been a popular site for years, essentially a dating site disguised as a social network. The company didn't put a lot of emphasis on the benefits the site can have for people searching for love, but members of the site quickly became very well aware of this quality.
As time has moved on, Badoo has spread into the UK and eventually hit the USA. Although it still doesn't completely position itself strictly as an online dating site, it merits our review treatment simply because that one of the main reasons that people use the site.
How Does Badoo Work?
During the registration process they invite you to choose the reason you're signing up, to which we selected the “Dating” option. From that point it's clear that we're firmly in the dating sector, with the next steps all very typical of other internet dating websites we've reviewed. You're invited to add a photograph (if you don't, you are regularly prompted with requests to do this) and more information about yourself.
The members area is a little more interesting. Unlike a lot of popular dating sites that present search results in a way that shows you multiple profiles at once, Badoo provides you with results on a one by one basis. It's not quite Tinder style (read our Tinder review here), but has a similar feel due to the emphasis placed on the main photo of your matches. That being said, as you flick through your potential dates it does also outline any common interests you have with the person being presented to you as an option for a romantic relationship.
Is Badoo For Free?
The site is free to join and let's you browse members at no cost, but there are a few upgrades that are pushed to us during our review of the site. Paid features include the enabling of 'Superpowers' (boosting your profile to bring double the amount of attention to you) and the “Charge Your Points” feature, which lets you to pay for other enhancements that can boost profile performance and visibility.
One very positive aspect of the site is the way that Badoo promotes the benefits of account verification, frequently encouraging users to do so using a variety of different methods that are offered including via phone or Facebook account. The benefits of this are clear and generally surround security on the site – if you can prove you are who you say you are then you'll get more attention and conversely, if you know that the people you see on the site are genuine members, it's more likely that you'll spend time trying to communicate with them. Scammers find it more difficult to prove their identity, so verification like this is an important deterrent to help reduce fake registrations.
Overall, we like Badoo and feel that it is worthy of exploration. Although it's not only for dating – a lot of people still join the site to find new friends – it has the infrastructure to help serious daters find true love. The excellent mobile apps are a nice way to try the site and it's great to see a dating site making more use of mobile technology for making payments (on Badoo you can pay using SMS, far more convenient than the typically used credit card option).
Is Badoo Worth Joining? Our Conlusion
If you're based in Europe then it's simple, Badoo is as much of a 'no brainer' as top dating sites like Match or eHarmony. For our non-European readers we'd also suggest checking out Badoo, just to run a search to see what membership is like in your area. After all, when it comes to finding your other half, you have to be open to trying different ideas.
As usual, we'd like to take this chance to recommend the use of at least three dating sites at any given time. Multiple accounts let you test and try a number of dating services quickly, whilst giving you a much higher chance of setting up dates in a prompt manner.