HowAboutWe, a startup that recommends date activities for both singles and couples, is launching the first internationalized versions of its iOS app.
The company bills itself as “the first offline dating site” because of its emphasis on real-world activities. Beyond the obvious dating site features (browsing profiles, sending messages to set up dates), HowAboutWe offers the ability to post local date ideas, to browse ideas from others, and to see who’s online nearby.
Head of PR Jade Clark told me via email that the HowAboutWe already has international users, but the app was only available in English, limiting its growth outside the United States. Now it’s available in 15 new languages covering more than 30 countries, including Japan, France, and Russia.
The company says it’s also making all features in the app available for free to international users, in contrast to the US, where premium features like unlimited membership can cost between $8 and $35 per month. Asked why HowAboutWe is taking this approach, Clark said the first step is “to extend our reach as a brand and to hit critical mass in one of these new markets,” and then to look at monetization options.
HowAboutWe Dating (that’s the singles product) has 1.7 million users in the US, while there are half a million HowAboutWe for Couples users in four markets, the company says. When asked about mobile and international plans for the couples product, Clark said, “Yes, we’re working to expand our mobile offerings and have some big announcements tied to this planned for Q1 .”
Co-founder and co-CEO Aaron Schildkrout has also to put together a blog post with his team about “10 Things You Need to Know Before Internationalizing Your App.” Many of those items are pretty technical (“All of your translatable copy should be stored in strings”) but some are more general — for example, he talks about the challenge of languages that require “grammatical differences for men and women”.
His final point: “It will always take 3x longer than you think!”