Interview with LOVOO founder Alexander Friede

LOVOO is by far the most popular and innovative flirt iOS and Android app worldwide. It combines state of the art mobile technologies with sexy and gripping language. Today we are talking to Alexander Friede, the CEO and founder of LOVOO GmbH.

English-Team:
Alexander, LOVOO started out in August 2011 as Kiss2Go. Why did you change the name to LOVOO?

Alexander Friede:
Kiss2go started in August 2011. In September 2011 we were warned by a Berlin radio station that had secured the rights to the word “Kiss”. Although we were in negotiations with the radio station and had also filed a counter-action, we looked for an alternative name for our startup as plan B. As it was also shortly before our first TV advertising campaign and a temporary injunction by the radio station had cost us a great amount of money and trouble, we decided to use the new name LOVOO and reorganized the entire branding within a few days.

English-Team:
How is the name “LOVOO” pronounced and who came up with it?

Alexander Friede:
We wanted the name to sound like “love” and to be pronounced with a soft “o-u” vowel sound at the end. For this reason we added the advertising slogan – LOVOO – SO FLIRTEST DU – which makes it easier for people to get the pronunciation correct.

People are really familiar with both gOOgle and yahOO and also our competitor BadOO. In reality, many people simply say LOVO with the stress on the “o”. Ironically, many people write it incorrectly, as it actually is pronounced: LAVOO or LAVUU. Nowadays we leave it up to each person to say it as he likes and we have optimized our keywords for search engines to include all possible spellings.

I can´t say exactly who really had the idea. Even before we named our project Kiss2Go we had long lists of suggestions for different names. On one of the lists which we looked at again in September 2011 while looking for a new name we found a similar suggestion. Especially at the startup you have to take care that the name isn´t being used for similar projects or that there is a danger of confusion from phonetic similarities.

This name also had to be available at the most important domains and of course a wordmark must also not be registered with this or a similarly sounding name. All these things led to an evaluation of every different combination of letters. In the process there were even completely crazy names, for example, LAVUUU. In the end LOVOO was chosen; many successful startups use 5 letters and LOVOO finally won after a vote by all concerned parties.

English-Team:
In how many languages is LOVOO available?

Alexander Friede:
LOVOO is available worldwide and has already been localized in English, Czech and Turkish.  More languages from strategically important regions are to follow shortly.

English-Team:
Have you any idea how many German users communicate in English with users from other countries?

Alexander Friede:
The number of English speaking users is still very small at the moment. However we are currently developing a tracking device for such statistics to be produced in the future.  But as we are a location-based app, most users predominantly view users near to their homes. Users must therefore actively search for users from other countries.

English-Team:
Why did you decide to offer regional versions in Czech and Turkish first of all? Why didn´t you begin with Polish or Spanish for example?

Alexander Friede:
For a German company based in Germany it is very difficult to capture a foreign market.  It is important to establish partnerships with local companies and if possible to have a local representative too who is familiar with the local market conditions and has already established a good network of contacts, for example with the press and media. We have already found such partners in the Czech Republic and in Turkey.

English-Team:
Which LOVOO app is more popular, iOS or Android?

Alexander Friede:
At the beginning the iOS LOVOO apps were much more popular than the Android versions. However, in the past few months Android has increased its market share tremendously and in some countries our LOVOO Android apps are now more popular than the iOS versions. One of the reasons for this development is the fact that there is large number of new mobile devices that run on Android as opposed to iOS or Windows Phone.

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