xonadu blog – Chat, Dating and Social Media in 2012

In spite of the myriad ways to date and connect that didn’t exist a few years ago, xonadu’s sms chat and dating thrives.  Social media has opened up new ways for resellers to promote our white label sms services. Media like facebook adverts and promoted tweets can drive consumers to a text based product even if it means coming via a facebook app, web app or mobile app. Ultimately consumers still attach a premium to receiving a text message on their phone from somebody they don’t know. On our dating service the peer-to-peer sms conversations which unfold are immediate, addictive and often more intimate than anything dating site messaging services provide. It’s a hit for most of our users which goes some way to explain why our ARPU figures are in rude health and why were in talks with dating clients about integrating our peer-to-peer sms into their websites. In terms of adult operator based virtual chat it seems there will always be a male consumer demand for this kind of service. No other dating servicecan provide instant adult content straight to the sms inbox of a mobile. Premium rate chat will always be an impulse purchase – it is not like paying by credit card for dating membership – and while the consumer can find it there will always be engagement with it. So are we threatened by social media? Arguably it’s made a dent but no, not long term.  I guess if Facebook ever created their own integrated dating service there’d be worried dating providers all over the world but even then there’s a big enough (and still growing) dating/chat pie out there with more than enough to go round. Admittedly, social media does bring with it regulatory issues that from a white label perspective we’re very aware of – rogue reseller tweets, or unscrupulous ads failing to explain pricing and terms and conditions are something we’re anxious to avoid, but proper due diligence in the first place should eradicate this kind of behaviour.

In terms of new technology like location and apps on mobile we’ve embraced device agnostic web apps rather than enduring development costs and approval lead time of mobile apps. We’ve increased the number of women on our dating service with a free
web-to-sms web app – ‘Chirps’ – which allows female users to send free messages to the phones of our male users. From a standing start a year ago we are now seeing exponential growth in our adult chat volumes thanks to consumers accessing web apps on their phones. Mobile operators’ location platforms have long been able to provide location based services and this in combination with postcode matching means it’s not exactly a new technology to us.