I popped by the Flirtomatic London offices today to meet with founder Mark Curtis and the team. I’ve long been a follower (and fan) of Flirtomatic (check out the MIR archive coverage) and particularly fascinated with how they’ve managed to build such a massive base of users via the mobile web.
Flirtomatic is, as you might have guessed, all about flirting — not necessarily dating in the traditional sense. Mark and his team are uber-smart. They’ve got the sign-up time down to approximately 45 seconds via mobile. So if you click on an advert or if you visit via an operator portal link, you’ll be able to become a member extremely quickly. This fastidious and razor-sharp focus on the sign-up process has helped them garner a massive, massive user-base.
Mark was telling me that when they started, they used to convert just over a third of sign-ups into active users (and by active, they mean ’sends a flirt message’, not just logging in). They’ve now got that ratio up to 70% – a simply phenomenal figure.
I spent a few hours with Mark discussing his take on mobile development. The resulting interview is fantastic food for thought. Firtomatic have built a solid foundation of decent, healthy and increasing revenue through mobile web. Why? Well, he explains in some detail on camera and makes some super observations.
If you’re after some highlights, try these snippets for size:
* They users bought 14,000 virtual engagement rings in 72 hours to celebrate the leap year back in 2008.
* Don’t write off credit cards as a method of payment. 10% of Flirtomatic’s revenue is derived from credit cards — details of which are input via the mobile browser!
* Vodafone UK’s ‘free data’ day on May 1st for PAYG users boosted sign-ups 13 times.
* iPhone users are by far the longest to validate (i.e. confirm) their accounts — in some cases it takes four days for a user to login to their email to validate their account.
* The N95 remains one of their most popular handsets by traffic.
* On average within 2 hours of signing up, males get roughly 4 flirtomatic messages from other users. Females get about 20!
* They money is in visibility (i.e. users paying to improve their rankings/ratings). That point is probably one of the most incisive takeaways.
* It’s not necessarily about apps. I think a lot of developers will be very interested to understand why Mark and his team simply haven’t bothered with mobile applications as yet.
We also did a walk-about of Flirtomatic’s Towers, indeed they’re now a proper tower since new additions have led them to expand on to a second floor. Mark did a quick introduction to the staff before we sat down and got talking.
Mark’s video(s) should be up shortly. If you’d like a reminder, we’ve got a nifty function that will update you by email every time we post. Subscribe here.
(That screencap above of Mark is from the video import.)