Monday 5 December 2016

What is Tagged.com?

Published 22/10/2015 | 08:35

With the news of a court case involving social media site 'Tagged.com', Irish parents might be wondering what the site is and if their children are using it.

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Tagged.com is a social networking site that could be best described as a mixture of Facebook,  words with friends and Tinder.

The site was launched in 2004 and has undergone several expansions, aquiring companies like Digsby (instant messager for Windows), WeGame (gaming application) and Hi5 Networks (a competing social network with 230m members).

The site claims is has over 300m members currently with 5.9m monthly unique users in the US and 18.6m monthly unique users globally.

The 'Meet Me' function of the site is the most direct dating function of the service, although many of the other aspects like messagaing and games have a dating (or 'making new friends') element.

The 'Meet Me' function works very like Tinder - users enter in their sexuality and are recommended people they 'should meet'. They can then say no by pressing the X button or open the lines of communication by pressing the 'like' button. Users can also use the 'Browse' button to browse other members in their area.

Read: Dublin trainee plumber pretended to be 13-year-old girl called 'Julie' to lure teen victim to his home for sex

'Pets' is one of the games on the site. It allows users to buy and sell each other as 'Pets' - a throwback to some of the world's earliest social networking sites. Users buy gold (or convert 'Luv' into gold - more on that below) and use it to 'buy' other people as pets. Prices for 'gold' starts at €5.50 for 2,500 up to €220 for 400,000. Users 'pet worth' are often in the millions - requiring a lot of gold.

Another way to earn gold is by giving and receiving 'Luv' from other users. Users get ten free 'Luv' gifts per day to give out to other Tagged users and they earn points towards gold by racking up 'Luv' from other members. Tagged.com has a function to show you a chart of the 'most Luved' users in your area.

Tagged includes all of the features of Facebook with a more basic user interface. Users can add a bio, photos and videos. They can add friends and join groups and Tagged will remind them of friend's birthdays.

Tagged allows users to completely delete their accounts and one of the reasons listed for deletion is 'I'm in a relationship'.

Tagged.com was originally an under 18's site, opening up to older demographics in 2006. They now have more members in the 35-49 year age category than any other, with teens in the United States making up only 10% of their userbase. In the US, users are more likely to be female or African American. In Ireland, the userbase appears to be mostly men in their early to late twenties, with a strong showing in the thirties and forties.

Tagged.com is reported as having peaked in popularity in 2009, with a steady decline ever since. They launched a mobile site in 2011 which offered location-based, real-time chat for users. Their iPhone app was launched in 2010 with the Android app being launched in March 2011. Tinder launched in 2012 and by 2014, had registered one billion swipes per day.

Tagged featured on a number of 'fastest growing companies' lists before 2011. It has not appeared since.

In 2009, the site paid $1.4m in legal settlements regarding 'deceptive bulk email' under spamming laws.

Tagged is not to be confusing with iTagged which is an augmented reality app allowing users to broadcast and discover updates tagged to a specific location and has no dating element.

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