Quackquack is a newly launched dating site that has taken a clean approach to dating – i.e. the site focuses on bringing ‘real/genuine’ users (and not fake profiles) and is solely aimed at Indian users.
Truly speaking, if an Indian ‘single’ wants to find someone online to genuinely date with, they’d end up with no major site which can cater to their requirement and people would end up stalking others on Facebook or matrimony sites – infact, it’s surprising that most of the ‘dating’ sites have become more of an adult site to drive soft porn content (i.e. ad revenues), leaving an opportunity for a startup to disrupt this space.
Once you register on QuackQuack, you can send blinks, waves (i.e. short messages that are templatized) and chat with others. The site has premium offering which enables users to send personalized waves (i.e. messages) etc.
Unlike most of the dating sites, QuackQuack is focusing on bringing valid profiles and also ensuring that there is no ‘free’ content being generated on the site. That is, you either stay happy with the templatized content or you pay for access to more features.
A chicken and egg problem? Well, what’s commendable is that the team hasn’t gone for the regular free model (which is mostly meant to collect lot of fake profiles) and has premium offering from day one.
Here is a quick QnA with Ravi Mittal, founder of QuackQuack
Pi: What’s the market need you are solving? Facebook pretty much takes care of ‘poking’.
Ravi: Just like matrimony has its own niche, so does dating. Facebook is a social networking site where you’d mingle with friends you already made at some point of time and it can’t be the solution to every problem.
Indians are looking for options to date, to find someone online, because they are either new to the town, or their friends circle has exhausted or probably their work atmosphere isn’t so vibrant or want a refreshing change in their relationship status.
Basically there is a difference between what is available (read Facebook) and what works (a dating site). And a niche for dating provides a common platform for singles to meetup. It has its own niche and Indians have by far been deprived of such a platform. And youngsters (22-35) ARE looking for this platform where they can mingle and really explore likeminded singles whom they can connect with much before they say the M word.
Else, we wouldn’t have had 800 odd users signing up each day!
Pi: If its about discovery/finding people, how do you handle fake profiles? First, how do you even spot a fake profiles (which are generally available on all the dating sites)?
Ravi: We’re following multiple ways of doing it since we can’t really ask users for their IDs.
1. We screen the content & photos people upload on their profile. Our moderators are provided with guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not. So, spam, obscene, fishy content, doubtful content is removed and users are advised / warned. On repeated activities, we evict them from the site. In some cases, we ask users to verify their photo identities when we are doubtful.
2. We have content alerts in place which can trigger alarms to our moderation team when certain keywords are sent via messages / chat. We monitor this on a regular basis.
3. Users can block others if they find them fake or don’t like them. Else, we have a feature called ‘report user’ where in users can quickly send us their feedback about a profile. We then enquire and cross check the information provided and evict these profiles. We did have 2-3 cases in the past and we were successful in detecting them and removing them.
4. African IPs are blocked which amount to major amount of fakes and spammers. And they follow a particular trend in registering on our site. So, even if their IPs go undetected, we do remove them from the site.
5. Most of the members who are free members have basic rights on the site and cannot communicate directly with others which helps in reducing the menace. And people who pay for the services would definitely not pay just to mimic as a fake profile.
Having said that, saying that we would ask for driving license or passport copies a ‘la shaadi.com or bharatmatrimony.com and provide trust seals, it really wouldn’t be an insurance against abusers or fakes! We are trying to do the best with the best possible resources at our hands without hurting anyone’s privacy. In the future, once we get more popular, when we can demand more credibility from members, we will have more checks in place.
PI: There is a premium version too – in general, how many of your current users have gone premium?
Ravi: 3% (2.7% of be precise) of our users are premium members as of date. Majority of them signed up for 3 months membership, the basic most subscription pack on the site and renewals too are flowing in. We are seeing a healthier trend as the site is gaining credibility. And with doorstep collections introduced (in collab. With Gharpay and Aramex), we are seeing impressive trends.
PI: Is freemium the only biz model? What else is planned?
Ravi: There’s no freemium model. Kindly note that any free flow of content on the site will damage the clean image and genuine users will run away (experienced that!). What we are actually offering is a basic free membership which will help users get comfortable with the site, gain confidence and then pay for the services. We see users convert even after 5 months of joining! We really do not earn anything from free users! Freemium model will not work as the advertising revenue is just about 10% of our total revenue. And for the site to keep going and to ‘actually’ solve people’s purpose, generate traffic, we need to advertise & advertise. So our revenues come in only when users pay. We are however, constantly brainstorming on new features we can provide to premium users so they can see more value.
However, we have delivered over 1 million ad impressions per month in the past and once again, our popularity will help cash on this in the future.
PI: Future plans:
1. Live chat via our wap site. No need to download any app.
2. Auto message senders to specified criteria, helping users save time (a first time with any dating or matrimony site)
3. Revamped version coming in a few weeks, being one of the simplest and fastest dating site. Users will also benefit with our ‘less clicks, more contacts’ UI experience.
4. Social credibility and other profile credibility features which would truly show a user’s commitment.
If you are single and ready to mingle, do give QuackQuack a quack and share your quack.