Interview: Tagged Co-Founder Explains 5 Billion Monthly Pageviews, 50 Full-time Employeees and Social Games

The Tagged social network distinguishes itself as a social network about making new friends, and has been successful in a social networking industry dominated by Facebook. Greg Tseng, co-founder and CEO, explains the source and details of their growth below.

ST) Do you have any idea how many of users use Facebook AND Tagged?

Some of our polls have indicated up to 80% overlap in active users with Facebook.

ST) Do you feel that you are an alternative to Facebook, or a complementary service?

Tagged is a complementary service. Facebook is for maintaining pre-existing relationships whereas Tagged is for discovering new relationships. Put another way, one would use Facebook to keep in touch with people they already know and use Tagged to meet new people. These are both important use cases — both are core human needs — and that’s why the two companies companies can co-exist and both do well.

ST) Congratulations on Tagged being ranked 15th in the top 100 fastest growing companies in San Francisco. Which teams at Tagged are growing fastest?

Thank you! The fastest-growing team would still have to be engineering which accounts for about half our team. Our company is very technical and analytical and we’re a small team of only ~50 full-time employees that are doing big things. We are the third-largest social network in the US, with over 100 million registered users, 5 billion monthly pageviews, and profitable for the past 3 years.

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We offer a $10,000 referral bonus for any new hire. Half paid on start date, half paid after 90 days.

ST) Do you feel that social games have played an important part in your continued growth?

Yes, our mission is to “enable anyone to meet and socialize with new people” and our three main use cases are dating, interests, and games. Playing social games is a great way to meet new people and we have a unique opportunity to create differentiated games that promote social discovery. For example, our Pets game, where you can “buy and own each other as pets,” is played by 10-15% of our daily active users and is a great way to meet new people.

ST) If all goes according to plan, what will Tagged become 2 years from now?

If all goes to plan, we’ll have realized even more of our mission. With over 2 billion people online, we have the opportunity to enable billions or even trillions of new human connections. Currently, our 100 million registered users form around 100 million new connections every month. We’re proud of this accomplishment but in two years I’d like to be enabling many more, perhaps over 1 billion new connections per month. Also, while our mission remains the same, we will evolve with new technologies and in two years I’d expect Tagged to be more real-time, available on all major mobile platforms, and possibly offer live video.