Flirtomatic is one of the oldest social networks in the UK you probably haven’t heard of. Why? Because it’s largely on the mobile, aimed at young people and it’s taken a less subtle approach than some sites: full on flirting. But that strategy appears to be paying off. It’s just announced a million registered users, mostly based in the UK and more than half of them are mobile portal users. If you want to talk about mobile social networking as it really happens, then it doesn’t get more real than this. Somewhere along the line the numbers have just really picked up. In February 2007 it had 225,000, so that equates to a 350% growth within an 18 month period to today. In July it expanded into Germany, and they claim revenue is really skyrocketing, although don’t put numbers on it.
The skinny on the service is that it is targeted at young adults (75% of users are 18 – 30 years old) with a free service. But members pay to do certain things, like send virtual goods – like roses – to the person they’re flirting with.
Flirtomatic, launched June 2006, has venture funding from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and Seraphim Capital. It’s holding company, Handmade Mobile Entertainment, was formed in June 2004 by Avi Azulai, co-founder of iTouch the mobile entertainment company, and Mark Curtis, a former Managing Partner in digital agencies Fjord and Razorfish.