Sramana: Is your virtual currency applied to games?
Greg Tseng: You can convert it to Pets cash or you can buy gifts. Within Meet Me, you can buy gifts so that more people can meet you. Today our virtual currency business line has become more profitable than our advertising business line.
Sramana: I hate advertising models. I think this is refreshing.
Greg Tseng: Advertising today represents between 30% and 40% of revenue. The various paid features represent the majority of our revenue today.
Sramana: How does the paid features revenue split between virtual currency and subscriptions?
Greg Tseng: Subscriptions account for 5% of revenue. The virtual currency is the primary revenue driver. There is a lot of opportunity on the subscriptions side that we just need to tap into.
Sramana: You have been at this business for more than five years and have about 300 million users, with 20 million active users. Why are your users at your site?
Greg Tseng: They are there for social discovery. They are there to meet people and get to know other people.
Sramana: My experience is that I live a public life. I get a lot of friend requests from strangers.
Greg Tseng: You are an anomaly because you are a public figure. Most people really don’t use Facebook to meet new people. Even though some of the features between our sites are the same, the reality is that user behaviors are different. The things you share are very different when you are meeting someone for the first time than when you are talking to someone you have known for 10 years. I don’t think that one site can support both use cases.
Sramana: What are some of the business strategies other than what we have discussed so far? What things have been key to building the business?
Greg Tseng: We are very analytical. We measure and track everything that we do. We track every speck of our viral marketing. We track use and engagement of new features. We track converted rates from free to paid users on all payment methods across all countries. We treat it like a huge science project with a lot of micro-experiments. We let the data speak for itself, and we optimize the site to make it a better experience.
Sramana: Based on the data, what are some of the behavioral trends among regions?
Greg Tseng: The male to female split between countries can have a wide range. Some countries will have 80% of its user base as male and 20% female, whereas other countries will be two-thirds male and one-third female. India is a very male-oriented country.
Sramana: What are your top regions or countries?
Greg Tseng: The U.S. is number one, with 25% of our user base. The other 75% are in other countries, with a strong presence in the U.K., Mexico, Malaysia, Canada, and Turkey. It is a very widespread globally. Social discovery is a human need. Regardless of age and gender, you will have a core need to meet new people.