With millions of members from all over the world, Zoosk is already one of the most popular online dating communities. Now the company is adding some gamification elements to encourage more connection and improve the overall user experience.
Considering that 75 percent of Zoosk users are under the age of 35, adding some game mechanics to the online dating platform seems to make a lot of sense. In this interview, Zoosk CEO Shayan Zadeh discusses some of the new gamification features.
As Zadeh points out, gamification isn’t a new idea, it is just being used in new ways. In this case, Zoosk is using its virtual currency system to build incentives that enhance the user experience. For instance, its popularity system guides users toward deeper engagement, leading members to reach out to each other, send more interesting messages, or even purchase virtual currency to advertise their profiles.
Active users receive more profile views, more messages, and more friend requests. Besides naturally making the system work better, all of these inbound attentions also add up as points towards that user’s popularity. Since points are only awarded for inbound actions, the system encourages members to write thoughtful messages that will result in a response. Along with satisfying an inner need for “popularity,” the addition of game mechanics creates an additional incentive for actions that will also lead to a better experience and better results in the long-term.
“What we have learned from our experiments with gamification is that you can get more out of the system both for the users and for the business,” Zadeh says. “For example, providing a positive feedback loop on ‘good engagement’ to our users has not only given them more incentive to engage with the product, but also has been driving the members to send more thoughtful messages.” According to Zadeh, there’s more gamification on the way. After some further testing, Zoosk plans to implement additional enhanced gamified features.
Perhaps they’ll implement some gamification into their matching algorithm!