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' It's not about dating in the way that or eharmony are, it allows more flexibility."Most people use the site just to chat, with 20 per cent going on to date.

One has to acknowledge that Badoo may have a sizeable user base, but it’s struggling to gain massive name and brand recognition – in fact, just yesterday I didn’t mention them in my list of big and/or fast-growing European technology companies because I plain forgot.

And yet, in the past year alone, Badoo has managed to increase the number of registered users by 28 percent, the company claims.

Driving this growth is a geolocation-based ‘hot or not’-style game, dubbed Encounters, which was launched in 2007, one year after the company’s founding.

Basically, Encounters allows Badoo users to find people in their local area, with the help of photo, interests and profile info.

If you’re into online or app-based dating, then you should have - it’s a dating and social discovery network, that has over 350 million users worldwide; that’s more than the entire population of the USA!

When you combine this huge pool of users with Badoo’s tools that help you refine your search, you’re bound to find the right person. In a nutshell, Badoo helps you to discover the right people for you - wherever you are - with location-based matching that helps you get quality matches quickly. You can find people either by using the familiar swipe feature or through the Discover section – it’s your choice.

"I'm impressed with how it works, and fascinated by the game-like business model."Sign up to Badoo and your screen will be filled with pictures of singles in your geographical area. Women who are newly registered are often hit on (or "pinged") in minutes.

Jessica Powell, Badoo's chief marketing officer, gives a demonstration on an i Phone. "Women get approached a lot more but once a conversation has been initiated women are just as chatty as the guys," says Ms Powell.

Not so for Badoo, which was started by a Moscow native but is headquartered in London, UK: it is expected to cross the 200 million users milestone some time this weekend, and continues to sign up new users at a rapid clip (100,000 per day at present, according to a company PR).

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