Although Tinder has become almost synonymous with India's dating scene these days, homegrown dating apps are still working hard to carve a niche for themselves by coming up with new and different features at regular intervals.
Ritesh Bhatnagar, chief marketing officer, Woo, says that the homegrown dating app has been a pioneer in women’s safety and privacy features, most of which are now being highlighted by our global competitors.
“One such example is Bumble adapting the use of initials instead of full names for their female clientele on the app, when it entered the Indian market. This has been an integral feature of our app since inception (for over 5 years). Apart from this, Woo has a plethora of women-centered features such as Woo Same, Woo Secret, Woo Phone etc.,” he elaborates.
India as a market for dating has considerably broadened in the past few years. Taking cue he states, "New age users of dating apps are more open and vocal regarding their needs in terms of product features as well as interactions with fellow users of the app.”
“On Woo, it's mostly a migratory population, working in the top metropolitan cities of India that constitute a majority of app users. Our app has a robust in-built feedback mechanism along with other modes of gathering info about its consumers. Consumer insights have been the core of our product and brand communication,” he adds.
As reported by ET recently, most global dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and Indian apps such as TrulyMadly and Woo have been using Facebook accounts for user logins.
Users mostly exchange numbers without much hesitation on dating apps.
What perhaps makes the Woo stand out in the already crowded segment is the fact that it takes the matter of women safety quite seriously. With the feature — Woo Phone (available only to women), women can place an internet call directly from the app. Their personal details such as name, number and location remain confidential and this information cannot be seen by anyone on the app.
And, this is what, Bhatnagar admits, inspired the brand to launch another feature.
“After the grand success of our previous video on the Woo Phone feature; we decided to release another one — Woo-Hide. This feature is an effort to ensure there are no unwanted interactions on the app,” he says.
The recent film, conceptualised by River India (an independent creative agency), is a result of a research conducted on what women want online, he explains.
“Most of the women said they would like having their privacy respected and safety prioritised," Bhatnagar shares.
With Woo Hide women can browse profiles in an ‘incognito’ mode and only the profiles that have approved by the woman can contact them personally.
"Woo has witnessed an increase in the number of women users on the app by 60 per cent and further aspires to elevate it to 100 per cent in the coming times," he states.
Sharing the route the brand takes in order to understand their audience, Bhatnagar says, “At Woo, we ensure that our brand creatives connect with our audience in the best possible manner, while keeping brand ethos intact. We conduct focus group discussions every month and also gather information via interviews and surveys, thus our brand communications are based on thorough consumer insights. In fact, the positioning of the Woo app is also based on a very important consumer insight that women depend on their gut to make a decision and they know when it’s right.”
Given that most of their user base spends a considerable amount of time on various digital platforms, digital is the most preferred medium of communication for Woo today.
“We look into the reach, engagement and impact of different media channels along with solid KPIs such as ROI and ROAS before parking media money,” Bhatnagar divulges.
Woo was founded in 2014 by Sumesh Menon and Ankit Nautiyal. Menon and Nautiyal, are co-founders of U2opia Mobile, a mobile technology company.