Mobile Insights from Flirtomatic

Still at the mobileSQUARED Taking Internet Mobile roadshow, where Mark Curtis, CEO of Flirtomatic, has given his usual interesting and insightful presentation. In essence, it was the story of how Flirtomatic got from where it started out, to where it is today, with no attempt to gloss over some of the mistakes the company made at various points along the way. There was no one theme that emerged from the presentation, but I thought there were several points he made, that were worth sharing in bullet point form, namely:

  • Having tried and rejected traditional media as a way of driving traffic to the Flirtomatic mobile site, the company found it 270 times less effective than mobile advertising.
  • 10% of payments on the mobile site for premium services and virtual gifts come via credit card.
  • Curtis believes that a new medium will emerge for mobile advertising, which he said could be a series of sequential banners. “New formats always emerge when new media emerge,” he said.
  • Offering the Flirtomatic mobile service via a mobile website gives the company fantastic reach, without the complexity or hassle of developing different versions of apps for different platforms. The top performing handset is responsible for only 5% of data traffic. In fact, only four handsets generate more than 1% of data traffic on the site.
  • Despite this, Curtis says the company has no alternative now but to enter “Appland” with an iPhone app. The app will be available by Christmas, and will be free.
  • And despite this, Curtis believes that the future of mobile content will be Web Runtime, and that “apps will disappear over the next four to five years”.

Fascinating stuff, as ever. Whether you have any interest in online and mobile dating and flirting or not, Flirtomatic is a brand that's well worth watching.

David Murphy