Skout is the world’s largest social networking platform for dating and meeting new people. This application was developed by Skout Company and it uses location based algorithm to detect new people within a pre-defined radius. Skout Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, USA. The App is free to download and to use. The application can be used for meeting and chatting with men and women based on the customized search parameters set by the user.
Skout application has isolated its user community. The adults and teens are completely separated and this means that kids cannot easily access adult materials. This segregation also ensures that adult and teens don’t mingle together as opposed to other social networking applications. This decision was arrived at in June 2012, when there were three separate incidents where minors were allegedly raped by adult users after posing as teenagers. The company later on resumed the services to teenagers after installing additional safety measures that would curb such incidences.
Skout is available for both iOS and Android operating platform, and in 2013 the company reported that it had managed to establish over 500 connections which is exceptional considering the fact that the company is a startup. The application is also available in more than 180 countries and so far it has been translated into 14 different languages. The application boasts of more than 10 million members.
Through Skout app it is possible to chat with new friends, provide gifts such as photos, flowers, and chocolates, and even share photos.
Skout utilizes mobile phones Geographical Positioning System (GPS) to assist users find each other within pre-defined radius. However, the application does not identify a user’s exact location, and users are free to move out from the location tracking feature. The GPS feature is only enabled in the adult community. When searching for individuals, it is possible for the app users to view each other’s profile related information together with recent activities.
Due to Skout’s aggressive market expansion, it has not escaped the eyes of venture capitalists. In 2012, Skout managed to raise $22 million in form of venture capital from Andreessen Horowitz.
One of the best features with using Skout is the travel feature that allows users to meet with each other in another city or country while travelling. However, this is a premium paid feature, and since majority of users are travellers, Skout utilizes the paid feature to support most of the company’s operational expenses.
Other feature includes the Snake to chat that connects users to connect other users who are shaking their smart phones at the same time. During the shaking up, user profiles are normally anonymous for a period not exceeding 40 seconds after the shake before any conversation begins.
Skout Company is expanding their product portfolio. In May 2014 the Company announced the acquisition of nightlife app. Through nightlife app users are able to find nightlife events, purchase tickets, and at the same time view guest lists for event happening in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York.