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I was envisioning using Badoo to connect with cool people at crowded events like the Maker Faire, or maybe at industry conferences. Part 2: The low-down reality The initial impression I got when I signed to the service: man, this is creepy.Immediately after signing on, with no photo or information in my profile, I was told that four women wanted to talk with me, one of whom was 382 miles away. I was a blank box with nothing but an age and a location.Your account will be charged for renewal at the price listed within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period.Subscriptions may be managed and auto-renewal may be turned off via Settings View Apple ID.Even the part where you enter in interests, to match with other users, is relatively obscure.Then there's the revenue model: the service is free, but only to a point. These are both very interesting numbers for an online connection service. Powell told me that about 50 percent of the conversations on the service lead to real-world meetups, and that under 20 percent of the site's usage is around dating.
To activate "super powers" (which allow your messages to go to contacts more quickly, among other things), you either pay with credits or contacts: you can invite other users to Badoo and the service will check your social networks for matches if you authorize it to do so. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, and it's a reasonable business to be in.
Humans are needy, messy creatures, so why not build businesses that serve that reality?
The challenge is that if you have a sexy product, there's very little else that can bloom underneath it.
Other features require payment, too, and you can't do much before you bump into pay-me blocks. A site that's similar in some ways, How About We, feels more platonic than Badoo. There is, after all, one thing that people will always want, and one way or another, pay for.
And I do respect Powell's assertion that in Silicon Valley we tend to like the sterile, or as she put it, "desexified" product.