Badoo Review — The “Social” Dating Site

Described by many as part dating site, part messenger, part social network — Badoo brings an interesting spin to the world of online dating. Recently — using the service as an average user would — we took Badoo for a “test drive.” These are the results that we obtained from our Badoo review.

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Badoo Review Results
  • Popularity - 89
  • Value - 84
  • Features - 86
  • Quality of Members - 81
  • Safety - 77
  • Customer Satisfaction - 79
83

Final Word on Badoo

Overall, Badoo is a fun and easy to use dating site. It offers enough familiarity in terms of navigation, that when coupled with its reliable match results will keep users coming back to the site. Rich in functionality in its free version, purchasing credit for additional features never seems forced upon you as with other dating sites. Caution, however, should be exercised when credits are purchased to ensure that they are indeed one-time purchases and not reoccurring ones. ABOVE AVERAGE would be our rating for Badoo.

— Pros and Cons of Badoo —

Pros

  • Robust free version
  • Very familiar and intuitive user interface
  • 300 million active member database
  • Provides verified profiles
  • Interaction between members easier than other sites (message box and instant messenger)

Cons

  • Purchasing credits cumbersome on mobile apps
  • Reoccurring purchase of credits can easily be triggered inadvertently
  • Verified profiles requires linking of Facebook, Twitter or mobile number in unpaid version
  • Option to earn “free” credits requires exposing yourself to “spammy” advertisers

— In-Depth Badoo Review —

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Sharing tidbits about your life on social media has become so ingrained in modern culture that for many it’s the norm. That means that the social media style of interaction is also becoming the norm. It is precisely that style and paradigm of communication that the dating site Badoo has tapped into.

In operation in Europe and Latin America since 2006, and in the U.S. since 2012, Badoo has an immensely large database of members. As of early 2017, it boasts over 300 million active members.

— Badoo Registration Process —

The registration process for Badoo is different than those of more traditional dating sites. The process is very much like that of registering for a social media site. You submit your personal information, mainly pertaining to location, age, gender and some biographical information. The latter can be as thin or as in-depth as you want. The registration is free.

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A legitimate email account is required to complete the registration. Badoo will send an email to you in order to confirm your new account. An alternate method for registering with Badoo is to use Facebook authentication. This requires you to use your Facebook credentials and grant Badoo permission to use the service. A benefit of registering with your Facebook credentials is that you may then add your Facebook friends that also have Badoo accounts to your new Badoo account and vice versa. This is not a default action — you must first authorize Badoo to do so. If you’d rather keep the fact that you have a Badoo account private from your Facebook contacts, simply leave the default privacy settings as they are at setup.

The registration process can be done via Badoo’s website or through their Apple or android mobile apps. Both are free to download from either the App Store or Google Play.

The registration process in our experience took less than five minutes.

— Functionality —

By the time you finish reading this Badoo review you will likely be tired of hearing how Badoo feels and functions like a social media site. However, once you log in, your welcome page emulates that of a social network site. From our point of view this is a good thing. It makes the site familiar and intuitive, even if you are a new member. It also makes searching for matches more natural. You don’t feel like you’re on a dating site.

— Badoo Matchmaking Process —

Badoo uses the data that you have provided to them at registration regarding your biographical information, geographic location and preferred match criteria to feed you the profiles of other members that are potential matches.

When you log on, you can modify what sort of match you are in search of at that moment. You have three choices: make friends, chat and date. The “make friends” option will match you up with people that are not seeking a relationship or hookup. This option is great if you merely want to extend your circle of friends. The “chat” option brings people together that are in search of people to engage with via the site’s chat platform. The “date” option is the one that would be used for those seeking meet ups, hook ups or potential relationships.

At the start of every session, you can also modify the gender of the person that you are looking for as well as the age range. (provided they are 18+, of course)

badoo filter

You can further fine tune the selection of people that Badoo matches you with by engaging in a series of “swipe games” based on who is nearby, who is seeking encounters and who wants to chat. Selecting the “nearby” option is supposed to only show you potential matches in your area. You then either like or dislike each profile.

When testing this feature we encountered a few instances when people from geographically distant locations were returned to us. These instances were few in number, but enough for us to notice — roughly five percent of “nearby” results.

The “encounters” option returns potential matches for members seeking casual hookup style meetings. We were surprised by the relatively low percentage of “catfish” profiles when using the search criteria. Other sites tend to return large numbers of fake profiles under the casual encounter category. Identical to the “nearby” category, you swipe for your approval or disapproval. Badoo labels these peer ratings as “yes,” “maybe,” and “no.”

The “chat” filter returns members that are only interested in chat. The only criticism that we had of this filter was that roughly 25 percent of the members that it matched us up with were offline for chat at that moment.

Overall, the matchmaking methodology used by Badoo renders what we can confidently label as quality results. You don’t feel frustrated by the results of the matches being suggested to you.

— Interacting With Other Badoo Members —

Interacting with other members and potential matches mirrors the communication process of — yes, wait for it — social media sites. You receive notifications when other members message you and you can even see the number of people that have taken a glance at your profile.

badoo messages

You can also see if a member that you have liked has liked you back. You also have the option of blocking specific members from contacting you. This sounds eerily familiar, right?

Badoo even has an instant messaging application for members to chat privately with each other.

— How Much Does Badoo Cost? —

Badoo operates under a “freemium” model. This means that some functionality is free for all members and others requires payment. Compared to other dating sites, the free version of Badoo is robust. You could easily use the free version and obtain a good user experience.

Badoo calls their premium options “Super Powers.” These are paid for when you use them. There is no monthly membership. To obtain Super Powers you must purchase Badoo credits. These can be bought using a credit card or PayPal.

We found the purchasing of Badoo credits straight forward using the website. However, when using the Apple and Android apps we found the process a bit cumbersome. It was too easy to accidentally set up reoccurring purchases of credits — that’s a big smudge in our opinion. Also, with the Apple app, you are limited to using your Apple account as the only method of payment.

Once you have Badoo credits you can use them to amplify the search criteria that is used for finding matches. You can also see who voted “yes” or “maybe” for you in the encounters section. Super Powers also allow your messages to appear above those of unpaid members.

Badoo credits also allow you to verify your account profile without having to link your Facebook or Twitter account, or linking your mobile number.

Credits can be purchased in amounts of 100, 550, 1,250 and 2,750 blocks. A 100-credit block will cost $2.99, while the 2,750-block will cost $39.99.

badoo credits cost

Badoo offers a convoluted way for members to earn “free” credits. We found it to be cumbersome and obtrusive. They involved taking surveys and looking at selected ads. We found it inconvenient and on more than one occasion wound up signing up for a service that we didn’t need or intend to join. We discourage you from trying the “free” credit options, but the choice is yours.