Badoo is a very popular social networking site that's based out of London, England and is incredibly popular throughout Latin America, Spain, Italy and France. Badoo launched in 2006 and has seen amazing growth ever since. Badoo gets a lot of its users based on the promise of finding a significant other who shares similar interests and activities, and other nearby users' profiles are prominently featured. When a user logs in, the site implores them to, "Chat, Flirt, socialise and have fun!"
Badoo launched in 2006 in Spain, which is where founder Andrey Andreev was living at the time. The site had evolved from Andreev's earlier dating site, Mamba, and moved its headquarters to London not long after. Andreev, who is originally from Moscow, has been known for being incredibly secretive with the media. The site initially launched as a photo sharing site, but soon they tweaked the formula to make the site's focus to try to meet new people in the area. By the end of 2009, the site had 48 million registered users, and one-fifth of them were paying to use the service. Although Badoo is entirely free to set up a profile and search for new friends nearby, a user can pay to boost their profile's visibility or to buy virtual gifts for prospective dates.
In the summer of 2010 Badoo moved into mobile and launched an iPhone app and an Android app. After just eight months of being for sale in iTunes, the Badoo app had been downloaded 1.5 million times. The apps for phones allow users to be able to see when another Badoo user is nearby. While the site allows users to search by city, the mobile apps allow users to search for new dates or friends whom are in even the same building.
Badoo claims that about four-fifths of its users love the site for the ability to use it as a way to hook up with someone. Wired wrote an article in early 2011 detailing how Badoo has built a billion-pound empire based on sex. While Badoo's popularity currently lies in Europe, South America, and Latin America, it's likely the site will push its way into popularity in the United States soon. Currently the site is in 24 languages, with payment possible in 100 currencies. While the site has garnered some controversy for the potential promiscuity that it encourages, it's mostly been openly accepted and frequently lauded.