What is Badoo?
Badoo is a social network focusing on helping you meet new people in your local area. It is not officially a dating website, but many use it as one. The site has been described as "a chat room, dating site and picture rating site disguised as a social network." 1 As of July 2010, the site had 61,174,701 members. And according to Alexa.com, Badoo is one of the top 150 sites on the Internet, ranking 145th worldwide. 2 The site is available in several languages, and it appears that the site is more popular internationally than it is in the United States. Badoo is the 28th-most popular site in Spain, the 43rd-most popular site in Italy, and the 56th-most popular site in France. 3 4 5 Badoo, however, is banned in Iran. 6
Creating a Badoo account is free, but you can purchase the site's "Rise Up" for a small price. This makes the user's profile move toward the front of profile searches, making the profile more popular and likely to attract other viewers.
Concerns for Parents
- Users can't view other users' pictures until they add their own pictures. Also, if they want to view personal information about other viewers, they have to fill out at least 50 percent of the profile questions Badoo asks. On a site where participation is so essential to the site experience there is a risk of oversharing personal information.
- This network is also different from many other social networks because its focus is not on connecting and sharing with people a user already knows. Instead, it's about meeting new people. Badoo encourages users to strike up a chat conversation, send gifts, and participate in other online activities with people they do not know in real life. Furthermore, strangers can send you messages whenever they'd like. These messages could contain unsafe content or spam.
- Badoo has received many negative reviews that criticize its lack of privacy and security. Its users are supposed to be over age 18, but it's easy to lie and create a profile even if you are younger than the required age.
- Badoo features a photo rating area where users can rate how attractive other users are on a scale of 1 to 10.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
- Badoo is meant to be for those over 18, so you may not want children and younger teens to use Badoo. Check out Badoo for yourself and see if you think it is appropriate for your older teen.
- If your child does use Badoo, make sure they have their privacy settings adjusted so that as much private information as possible is protected. Talk to your child about what information can be shared online and what should not go on a public profile (full name, address, phone number, financial information, and so forth).
- Talk to your teen about the photo rating section. Not only is it a shallow game, many images are inappropriate.
Where Can I Learn More?
Here's a review of Badoo.