Badoo

 
Adults-only dating app uses location to match nearby people.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Badoo's main page includes seven choices, any of which can be selected by tapping on its icon. One choice ("invite") asks users to log into their Facebook accounts; other choices are linked to in-app purchase options. Although using location services is presented as optional, most features on this app won't work well unless you use them.

Violence

Badoo's terms of use assert that it's not responsible for any content posted by users, nor does the developer monitor what's posted. If questionable content is reported (via a report-abuse option under users' profiles), Badoo reserves the right to remove it. 

Sex

​Public images of users include suggestive photos. Badoo's guidelines state that "erotic" but not "pornographic" photos can be uploaded to users' private photo albums. One of the app's feature is called "encounters," and it asks users while they're viewing another user's posted photos to tap "Yes, No, or Maybe" to the question "Want To Meet Up?" Badoo's terms of use assert that it is not responsible for any content posted by users on the service, nor does the developer monitor what's posted. If questionable content is reported by another user (via a report-abuse button within user profiles), Badoo reserves the right to remove it.

Language

Badoo's terms of use assert that it is not responsible for any content posted by users on the service, nor does the developer monitor what's posted. Terms of use indicate that people should not use expletives or harassing language. Widespread coarse language has been reported. If questionable content is reported by another user (via a report-abuse button within user profiles), Badoo reserves the right to remove it.

Consumerism

Badoo encourages users to purchase premium services and "Super Powers" (prices vary; one example: $10/month for three months) to chat with the most popular users, be among the first to chat with new members, and see everyone who voted "yes" for you in Encounters and Favorites. Subscriptions to premium services auto-renew, as does the auto top-up feature, until the user changes those settings. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There's a spot for users to identify themselves as smokers in their profiles. Badoo's terms of use assert that it is not responsible for any content posted by users, nor does the developer monitor what's posted. If questionable content is reported by another user (via a report-abuse button within user profiles), Badoo reserves the right to remove it.

Privacy & safety

Significant privacy concerns. Two privacy settings -- turning off "Show distance" and "Show online status" -- are available under each user's profile; however, the app posts a warning next to each setting that using it will limit the amount of people with whom the user will be able to connect. Some photos are considered public while others can be posted and shared privately. To register, users must provide a name, an email address, a gender, a date of birth, and location details. The privacy policy indicates that the app "might" ask for your phone number to verify. Profile questions include questions about personal information, but answering them is optional. Once you're registered, Badoo tracks your IP and email addresses. The "Invite" feature asks for your Facebook information to access and invite your contacts.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Badoo​ is an adults-only app for online dating-style social networking. With more than 200 million users worldwide, the app (and companion desktop version) identifies the location of a user by tracking his or her device's location and then matches pictures and profiles of potentially thousands of people the user could contact within the surrounding area. There are many options to pay for subscriptions and other in-app purchases. The developer's terms of use clearly state that Badoo is not for teens, nor should a photo of anyone who is not an adult be posted -- even photos that include children with an adult/parent user.

What's it about?

Register for a free account on BADOO with a Facebook account or an email address. Create a profile with a photo and answer profile questions. Select options of who you want to meet (age, gender) and why (dating, friendship). If you do not turn on location services, there are essentially no options. Location services must be activated before you begin to see other users. Tap on photos; answer "Yes," "Maybe," or "No" to meeting up; send and respond to users' messages; list favorites; and more. Badoo is an adults-only social-networking dating tool.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Badoo is a giant, worldwide social-networking site. Countless pictures of people will appear for browsing when a user registers (with messages such as "806,941 people in your area want to see what you look like and find out more about you"). Even if those people aren't all necessarily nearby, some of them likely are and they will know where you are. The user interface is orderly and easy to understand, although it seems to push people toward in-app purchasing options and inviting friends. 

Badoo's app store description says it is "100 percent safe and secure," but the app's developers indicate they do not monitor and are not responsible for content posted. During this review, photos of users who appeared to be under 18 were observed. ​Badoo has been cited in reports as having problems with privacy, falsified accounts, and money scammers. It is not intended, safe, or appropriate for teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why (for legal and safety reasons) teens are prohibited from creating accounts on social-networking services, such as Badoo, that explicitly state they're for adults only.

  • For alternatives, check out Common Sense's Social-Networking Apps for Teens list.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 17, 2014
Category:Social Networking
Size:42.70 MB
Publisher:Badoo Software
Version:3.6.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 7.0 or later; Android varies with device.

This review of Badoo was written by

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