Hot Hot Hot: Gamification and Zoosk go all the way!

Zoosk, The Romantic Social Network

Today, EnGaming is going to take you on a magic carpet ride, and show you the romantic world of online dating in Zoosk! (and also some gamification related topics of course)

Founded in 2007 by Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, Zoosk, The Romantic Social Network™, has since achieved tens of millions of active members around the world. It allows you to connect with new friends, play games with them and improve your lifestyle and, most importantly, dating.

Heating Things up with Gamification

Aiming for a younger age group, Zoosk brought in the elements of gamification to turn everything up a notch:

We are able to build incentives into the product that help guide users towards deeper engagement and other behaviors we find useful. For example, using a simple popularity system, we are able to drive users to reach out to more members, send more interesting messages, or even purchase virtual currency to advertise their profiles using our boost functionality.” -Shayan Zadeh, CEO (Source)


Gamified Element #1: Coins

Zoosk has a coin system that enhances the online dating experience. Members can get 50 coins for $5, 250 coins for $20, and 750 for $50.

Through buying virtual coins, members can

  • Boost Up: Increase your popularity score (see Popularity Meter below)
  • Delivery Confirmation: See if the person you’re pursuing has read your emails
  • Special Delivery: Bump your message to the top of your love’s email list
  • Gifts: Make a better impression by sending you interest a virtual gift
  • Advertisements: Advertise yourself on the search page

Coins can be earned by:

  • Liking Zoosk on Facebook
  • Installing Zoosk on your iPhone or Android
  • Installing Zoosk on your iPad
  • Signing up for Partner sites like NetFlicks, Disney, GoDaddy, BigFish, Bingo, and more
  • Spending $X amount at Sony, Banana Republic, McAfee and more
  • Completing surveys by Opinion Survey and more


Gamified Element #2: Virtual Gifts

Members on Zoosk can send gifts to each other to improve the online dating experience. Here’s the down-low on these virtual goodies:

  • Icon-based: Wide selection of  gifts to choose from like Teddy bears and perfume bottles. However, they’re all from iStock photo, so -10 points for lack of exclusivity. Although somehow the bunny above was sold out, so +10 exclusivity to break even!
  • Virtual: Duh, it’s a virtual gift! But what if they could buy a REAL gift that that person could actually see, touch, smell or taste?  We think there’s an opportunity for Zoosk to link the virtual would with the real – check out our mock up website of how this could work here with the virtual Valentines Day card:


Gamified Element #3: Popularity Meter

Members can’t be on a Zoosk page without getting hit by a motivational prompt like the popularity meter above.

  • Ranking: Ranking is based on  profile completion and level of interaction with Zoosk, which motivates people to go on the site and wink at strangers more often. (and if your score sucks like ours does (see picture), boost it with a little coin!)


Gamified Element #4: Personal Compatibility

Zoosk has a number of ways to drive members to complete their profiles:

  • Survey: The survey questions are relevant and does not initially overwhelm the user: One question is shown at a time, and there’s a clear progress bar. The only problem was that once we hit 100% on the progress bar, the questions STILL continued! We never actually found out how many extra questions there were before abandoning the survey.
  • Personal Interest Survey: When a member finds an interesting single, as we have in the picture above, there’s the option to learn more about her. But first, he needs to answer the same question that he wants revealed from her.
  • Match Score: With a completed profile, members can now search singles and see their compatibility score with that person. The person in the picture below was rated a 2/3 match for EnGaming!


So in the end, would we use it? Totally, Engaming already has 5 different chicks winking at us today! Zoosk did a great job gamifying their site – the game elements were well integrated and there was “kind of” a real value behind the rewards.  If Zoosk links up with the real world, the rewards will be even sweeter! To summarize, next time you’re doing some online dating, don’t be surprised if you end up at this movie:

What’s next to be gamified? We want to hear from you?

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