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Social dating site Badoo.com reaches 100 million users, remains unknown in U.S.

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Online dating has hit a new high, apparently. Badoo.com, a self-described “social dating” website, announced today that it has reached more than 100 million users from over 180 countries — a surprise, considering it’s nearly unknown in the United States.

The four-year-old start-up, which bills itself as “the planet’s largest social network for meeting new people locally,” attributes its success to the reinvention of “both social networking and online dating.” Its growth is also due to a recently-launched Facebook app, which already boasts 25 million users. Like most dating sites, however, Badoo uses location-based information to connect love-seekers, and seems to offer the standard flirting functionality available on most dating websites.

So, where did Badoo gain so many flirty devotees? Everywhere but here. Badoo, which launched in 2006, ranks in the top 50 websites in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and throughout Latin America. It also stands within the top 10 sites in many African nations, like Congo, Angola and Cameroon.

“In the English-speaking world, we’re the biggest thing you’ve never heard of,” Badoo COO Bart Swanson tells Thinq.co.uk. “But that is now starting to change.”

Badoo reportedly expects that change to come quickly, with projected users reaching 200 million by next year. So, don’t be surprised if someone sends a request to Badoo you sometime soon.