Momo, China’s top flirting and hook-up app, has updated to v4.0 on both iPhone and Android and added a bunch of new features – all of which are aimed at monetization.
Ever since we first looked at Momo in late 2011 the app has been fairly minimal (in a good way), but the new raft of features adds a lot more to the dating app. The biggest departure for the app – which has just surpassed 40 million users – is an optional VIP membership that costs $2 for one month, or a cheaper annual package is $17. As a VIP Momo user, you get useful things like telephone support, the ability to follow more than 100 people, extra avatar options, and lots more.
To monetize its non-VIP members there’s now a store within the Momo app that sells virtual stickers. Clearly that’s inspired by social messaging apps like Japan-made Line or China’s WeChat. Those sticker packs can be bought with a virtual currency called Momo coins. 100 of those shiny coins cost $2, and that’s also the price (rather steep) of many of the emoticon packs.
Momo got $40 million in funding last summer, and we believe that Alibaba, China’s top e-commerce company, was involved, though that wasn’t confirmed officially. Whoever the major investors, it appears that Momo is now ready to make some money from its social network. Hopefully all those new users – still flocking in at the rate of about 10 million new ones every four months – won’t be scared off by the VIP package or the pricey extra emoticons.
The international version of Momo, which first launched last October, remains at v2.0 and doesn’t get any of these changes. Since non-Chinese web users have a much lower tolerance of clutter and feature bloat, it’s probably a good idea not to throw all those new things at its global flirters.
(Source: QQ Tech – article in Chinese)