Outdoor advert company buys Swiss courting app Blinq to energy beacon push

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The courting recreation certain is hard to care for. Zurich-based courting app Blinq has been obtained by way of a Swiss outside promoting company, APG|SGA, with the latter coveting the staff’s revel in in rolling out beacon networks for a brand new department that will probably be growing interactive advertisements to paintings at the side of the Bluetooth comms tech.

The worth of the purchase has now not been disclosed, although given Blinq’s restricted traction it’s not likely to be a lot of a a couple of. The startup had raised round $1M in seed investment since being based again in 2013, together with from native angel traders and the founders’ personal finances.

The Blinq courting app — and any other mission the startup evolved: an set of rules to pass judgement on bodily beauty — will each be closed inside of two weeks, in line with co-founder and CTO Jan Berchtold.

“We are building a large scale beacon network to connect out of home and mobile media,” he says of the staff’s new function at APG|SGA. The Swiss advert corporate is 30 according to cent owned by way of international out of house media large, JCDecaux.

The outside advert corporate is in search of tactics to extend its virtual playbook with data-targeted advertisements, flagging the alternate in media intake behavior powered by way of smartphone use. “Mobile technologies make it possible to combine the advantages of wide-coverage Out of Home advertising with the added value of digital content. The smartphone or tablet is thus being established as a kind of “Out of Home medium”, which may be turning into increasingly vital for promoting shoppers,” it writes in a press liberate about its plans.

“Precise location data in real time is essential in order to usefully link Out of Home and mobile media. For this reason, APG|SGA is currently developing its own targeting solution. In future, this should enable advertisers to display relevant advertising messages on a person’s smartphone in real time based on their location.”

It’s now not transparent how massive APG|SGA’s deliberate beacon community will probably be, nor when it’ll release. We’ve requested for extra main points and can replace this publish with any reaction. Update: “We are planning to deploy 20,000 beacons within the first year. The beacons will be placed on our billboards and in cooperation with retailers and public transportation companies. There will be a strong focus on the urban areas,” says Berchtold.

In phrases of the way the beacon advert tech will paintings, he says they’re going to be offering an SDK for iOS and Android to allow beacon detection for writer apps. “There is no special opt-in [from users] necessary since we rely on the standard location opt-in,” he provides. 

It’s now not transparent what number of energetic customers Blinq’s courting app has at this level — a yr in the past it was once claiming 200,000 per 30 days energetic customers — even if Google Play lists the Android app as best having garnered between 100,000 and 500,000 downloads, so it’s imaginable 200okay was once top process. (As some degree of comparability, Tinder’s Android app has had between 50M and 100M downloads on Google Play.) Berchtold provides they have got 400,000 “registered users”.

We first lined Blinq again in December 2014 when it was once hoping to face out within the Tinder-dominated courting area by way of incorporating beacon proximity era into the swipe-to-like combine — and kitting out choose venues (equivalent to ski hotels) with Estimote iBeacons. An in-app function referred to as InstaConnect then enabled Blinq customers to decide in to be notified of possible dates placing out at the similar location.

Even surroundings the social unease/creepiness issue apart, i.e. of getting ambient notifications when a stranger that would possibly need to pick out you up is placing out in the similar bar, the speculation appeared very difficult to get off the bottom, given a double layer of community results being in impact. i.e. Blinq each desiring a variety of customers to energy a hyperlocal location-based courting situation; and a variety of venues to be kitted out with the related beacon tech — no less than to provide anything else greater than pre-packaged singles courting ski vacation novelty (at which level beacon-based notifications can be beautiful redundant anyway, as all of the holidaying singles can be in the similar après-ski bar… ).

While their beacon-powered courting idea was once obviously a stretch, the pilots Blinq ran had been no less than a means for the staff to realize revel in — which will now be put to paintings for APG|SGA, rolling out a beacon community “in the near future”.

As for the Blinq app, whilst there are sure feedback about its design, consumer critiques skew in opposition to proceedings in regards to the time it took to get verified (its singles group was once supposed to be ‘curated’, fairly than a free-for-all); and — for many who had been in any case in a position to get right of entry to the app — sadness in regards to the loss of possible dates when they were given there.

“Once you are allowed full access to the apps functionality, you realise that there’s no one to do so with, except for maybe two or three people living at least 160 km away,” writes one reviewer. “When you’re done saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye ‘to them, the only thing that remains is you and your broken dreams.”

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André LePeq

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