Does Online Flirting Predict Offline Revolution?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Social Networking Site Used in Egypt's Revolution Uncovers a Striking Link

LONDON, February 17, 2011 - It might seem a frivolous question to ask when the dust has not yet
settled in Egypt and Tunisia.

It might, however, be an apt one, according to (, the world's largest social network for meeting new
people, with 107 million users chatting and flirting in 180 countries,
including Egypt and Tunisia.

While researching something else entirely, Badoo has discovered evidence
of a striking correlation between online flirting and offline protest.

"We were compiling a league table of the most flirtatious cities in each
continent," explains Lloyd Price, Badoo's Director of Marketing, "ranking
cities by the number of online flirtations initiated per month by their
average Badoo user."

Interestingly enough, the most flirtatious African city by some margin
was Tunis, capital of the first Arab country to revolt.

The period studied coincided almost exactly with Tunisia's revolution.

Next, global attention shifted to Cairo. "So, we examined our figures for
Cairo," says Price. Cairo, they showed, was Africa's third most flirtatious

And Africa's SECOND most flirtatious city? Algiers.

Media headlines by now declared, "Yesterday Egypt, Today Algeria".

"We don't mean to be frivolous or opportunistic," says Price. "But the
correlation is compelling."

So, what explains it?

One answer might simply be age. Badoo's users in North Africa are
predominantly "Generation Y", in their twenties and thirties, like those
spearheading the protests.

And these protesters are wired.

"Tunis, Cairo and Algiers are all cities with a high proportion of
educated, tech-savvy young people," observes Price. It is no coincidence that
a hero and key spokesperson of Cairo's revolution is Wael Ghoneim, a Google

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, global news agency, UPI reports,
"Euro-based Badoo and Bebo also pitched their cyber tents and fielded 'town
criers'." And, when Facebook and Twitter were blocked, many protesters used
Badoo instead. Social networks have enabled the masses to co-ordinate online,
and protest offline.

Tunisia's uprising has been dubbed "The Jasmine Revolution", and Cairo's
"The Megabyte Revolution". But might the best term for both be "The Network

Africa's Five Most Flirtatious Cities

    RANK  CITY                  SCORE*

    1.    Tunis (Tunisia)       24.7
    2.    Algiers (Algeria)     22.4
    3.    Cairo (Egypt)         21.9
    4.    Wahran (Algeria)      21.8
    5     Rabat (Morocco)       21.3

* Key: Average number of online flirtations initiated per month by Badoo
users there.


Contact: Mick Thorburn: +44-7961-033615 / mick at info at

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