Last Christmas – along with all the perfume, books, clothes, toys and media devices – there were a lot of good intentions under the tree. Several months later, we thought the time was right to poll more than 2,000 of our Belgian users about their new year’s resolutions for 2014. Did they stick to them? Are they healthier, better people? Or have they abandoned their good intentions and gone back to their bad habits? Let’s dig into their answers and find out.
Best laid plans…
38% of Belgians surveyed claimed that they had made at least some plans for the new year. The holiday season might be the traditional time for giving and sharing, but when it comes to self-improvement, 37% of people said that they thought of themselves first. And singles (38%) made more resolutions than people in a relationship (35%), which perhaps suggests that if you’re settled down you’re less motivated to change. Just remember not to get stuck in a rut, people!
Popular resolutions for 2014 included taking more exercise (24%), losing weight (13%) and giving up smoking (11%). Socialising also got a boost in the new year, with 22% of our Belgian users hoping to make new friends and go out more. And of those with room in their hearts for further ambition, 9% stated that they wanted to spend more time with their families, while 6% were angling for a new job or a promotion this year. All lofty goals…
A trouble shared is a trouble halved?
But how did they fare? Surprisingly, women took the lead in ditching their resolutions, with just 10% staying the course compared to 19% of men. As these figures show when taken together, very few of our Belgian friends actually followed through with their plans over the long-term. So, how can you improve your odds?
Our results show that sharing your intentions may be the key to success, helping to keep you honest when you might otherwise be tempted to quit. Many of our Belgian respondents opted to do just that, with 38% involving their friends and 32% relying on their partners. There’s clearly nothing so challenging that a support group can’t help you with it!
The wisdom of age
You also stand a better chance of sticking to your guns as you mature. Perseverance apparently comes with age, as the over-50s proved themselves the most unwavering (16%). This may reflect the fact that age brings perspective – the older you are, the more realistic your intentions become (or maybe it’s just stubbornness!). Of course, another surefire method of sticking to your goals is to cheat when setting them; one in three of our Belgian respondents shamelessly admitted to choosing easy resolutions that they knew they could keep!
Whatever you decided to change last New Year’s Eve, we hope that our survey will give you some ideas for making sure you live up to your resolutions of 2014. And if you need a friend to use as a crutch, why not check out people in your neighbourhood on Twoo? With over 8,000 matches made every single day, it’s the fun and easy way to get to know new pals. So you’ll have even less excuse to fail next year. Right? Right.
Have fun and stay strong,
Every now and then, we like to bring you news of trends we’ve spotted among Twoo users, giving you a glimpse into the psyches of potential new friends from around the world. This time around, we thought we’d focus on the Netherlands.
Dutch use of social discovery sites like Twoo appears to be changing, and meeting new people in person is becoming increasingly important. In a recent study, we found that Holland leads the way in Western Europe when it comes to meeting online contacts in real life, with two-thirds of Dutch respondents having transferred their friendships from their devices to the outside world. Compare this to some of the other countries in our survey – Belgium (60%), France (51%), Germany (46%) – and it becomes clear that the Dutch are at the forefront of modern relationships. And they’re light years ahead of the UK, where only 26% were willing to take the plunge and move online friendships offline.
So, the Dutch are meeting new people IRL… but how? And where? What’s the secret to successfully building on the connections you’ve made online?
Firstly, it’s not always about dating! 44% of our Dutch members claimed that they were looking for friendship, ahead of 34% who were seeking romance with a potential partner. The main reason given for meeting at all was a previous enjoyable online chat.
Once you’ve decided you want to meet, it’s time to choose a place. Our friends in the Netherlands definitely favour having fun in a casual way. 66% picked a bar or a pub as their venue of choice – but not just to calm their jangled nerves with booze; in fact, more than half said they’d opt for a cup of coffee. Prefer the outdoors? Well, if you’re into physical exercise, perhaps Holland is the place for you, as taking a walk came in as the surprise third favourite encounter. The conclusion seems to be that the Dutch are waving goodbye to traditional (and formal) meeting places in favour of a more laid-back approach.
As Lien Louwagie, Community Director at Twoo, explains: “Every month, more than 140,000 Dutch people use Twoo to expand their social network, and this number continues to grow. The Dutch are very open in their online contact – they love to have fun and get to know people in an easy way.” But don’t just take her word for it – the stats back her up! 96% of our Dutch users said that they’d had a fun time during their first encounter with a Twoo friend. Even better, 63% met up with their new friend again, and almost half of our Dutch pals met with more than one person. One in five even said that they’d met more than three friends through Twoo.
So if you want a high success rate when moving your friendships from the digital world to real life, it all starts with making a strong connection on Twoo.
According to a survey answered by more than half a million of our international users, we’ve found that the Dutch are the most strongly attached to their mobile phones, with a third (34%) of them claiming that they definitely couldn’t live without their devices. This puts the Netherlands at the top of the countries surveyed, ahead of Germany (13%), Spain (19%), France (20%) and the US (22%). Around a third of these high-tech lowlanders would choose to take a phone or a laptop to a desert island, instead of personal photos and letters (20%), or a pen and football(6%).
Twoo is used as a meeting place by a growing number of people in Holland – more than 500,000 have registered on the site since we launched in 2011. Around 10,000 of our Dutch friends responded to our questions about their mobile use, and only 3% of them said that they could imagine life without a cell phone.
The prominence of the phone in Dutch daily life is also evident in the stats on their surfing behaviour on Twoo. 44% of the 150,000 users who sign in each month are making new connections using their smartphones. This is significantly more than the global average of 33%.
As Twoo’s Community Director, Lien Louwagie, explains: “The Dutch are proven leaders in the use of mobile technology. We’ve already released apps for the iPhone, Android and Windows phones, and we’ve recently introduced apps for iPad and Android tablets for our tech-savvy users from the Netherlands. Mobile devices are going to be even more important in the future for staying in touch, and the Dutch seem to be ready for that progress!”
On 19 November 2013, Twoo HQ joined the world in celebrating International Men’s Day. And what better time than Men’s Day to put our male users under the spotlight and investigate what a man is – or should be – in today’s world. We began our research by asking our female users for their definition of the ideal man… and let’s cut to the chase: gentlemen, you really don’t need to look like Brad Pitt or David Beckham to wow the ladies. Clearly, it can’t hurt – but there are more important factors to take into consideration than a pretty face and a stack of cash.
Some body to love
While it’s true that 52% of the women we surveyed claimed to prefer a fit, sporty appearance in their ideal men, we found that shapely men were more popular (taking 27% of the vote) than slender gents (22%). The message? In general, women are attracted to all sorts of body shapes, and aren’t afraid of the odd curve or bulge here and there. But don’t take this as an excuse to stay slumped in front of your TV, because although there seems to be some truth to the idea that there’s somebody for every body out there, you’ll increase your chances (and your overall health) if you take a little exercise and get up off that couch!
Do clothes make the man?
Suits and ties might not be required, but that doesn’t mean you guys are necessarily going to score by wearing sweatpants or the lethal combination of socks and sandals. Our women were mainly looking for casually dressed men (31%), but nearly a quarter of them admitted that they would be drawn to a chap who carries himself in a stylish manner. Clothing might not be the be-all-and-end-all, but making yourself vaguely presentable obviously helps to show potential partners that you can take care of yourself. Remember, first impressions definitely count.
Substance over style
Ok, so we’ve dealt with your body and what you put on it, but BREAKING NEWS ALERT: flexing your muscles and wearing the latest fashion just isn’t enough. Never underestimate the importance of what’s inside – personality! The ladies on Twoo made it clear that if you’re not frank (31%), humourous (10%), cheerful (8%), reliable (8%) or adventurous (6%), then forget it. And so what if there are a load of sporty hunks swanning around? The vast majority of our women (55%) said they were looking for one thing: a partner who trusts them. Personality and integrity always win out in the end!
Travel is hot, smoking is not!
Finally, if you’re looking for a secret weapon to help you conquer the hearts of our female members, our research suggests that you pull out one of your travel tales – because apparently there’s nothing hotter than a man who occasionally ventures out into the world. The more adventurous, the better! Topping our list of things to avoid mentioning, however, are tobacco products of all kinds – the majority of women (52%) are looking for non-smokers. So if you haven’t kicked the habit, maybe now’s the time…
Ok guys, now you know what women want, and it’s a fair bet that you’ll have recognised at least some elements of yourself while reading this blog post. So why not polish your rough edges using the results of our research and put yourselves out there on Twoo? We’d love to hear how you get on.
Everyone in Team Twoo loves movies, and so we decided to take a detailed look at Belgians’ film watching behaviour. And guess what we found out? Belgians prefer to go to the cinema with company. So far, so standard. What startled us was that 45% of them claimed that they would rather go to the flicks with friends than with a girlfriend or boyfriend. Partners were firmly relegated to second place (30%), while only 4% of respondents stated that they would rather go alone – mainly because that way they can see the movie they actually want to see. Ouch. Trouble in paradise?
A shoulder to cry on
However, as our results show, perhaps these lone wolves made the wrong choice and could have used some company after all – more than 60% of film fans admitted to regularly wiping away a tear at the end of a film (although obviously they almost all try to hide it). And yes, this is as true for men (51%) as for women (49%) – a stirring display of equality from our members! A tragic 5% of our Belgian survey group went even further, and confessed to being total cry-babies. Won’t someone give these sensitive souls a hug?
Horrified by romance?
While comedies (26%) and action films (22%) top the genres among our Belgian friends, in a surprising third place comes romance, followed by horror. Just under half of respondents described romantic comedies as being “sometimes ok”. At the same time, a similar number (44%) designated the genre as “heartwarming and funny”. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 7% spontaneously screamed “Change the channel!” As for horror films, slightly more than a quarter of Belgians (including men) said they jumped in terror while watching – the perfect opportunity to hide behind the extremely hardcore 10% who claimed to have “seen them all”. Because nothing says FUN TIMES like quaking in your seat…
It seems that almost all of us like to share our cinematic experiences with friends. Can’t find someone to go with you? Turn to Twoo! Wherever you’re based and whatever your tastes, updating your favourite films on Twoo could lead to a connection with a brand new movie buddy from your area. But where to go from there? Well, based on the numbers, we’d recommend a comedy. Whether it’s romantic or not… we’ll leave that up to you!
Here at Twoo HQ, we regularly receive e-mails from people telling us that their profile isn’t getting enough attention. In cases like this, our first step is to check out the user’s profile. And in the vast majority of cases, our search for answers ends right there. The reason? An unflattering profile picture.
Think for a minute about how you use Twoo. While browsing through profiles, it’s a fair bet that you’ll have skipped past other members simply because their photos didn’t hook you at a glance. The old cliché that first impressions count is unfortunately true. And if you’re judging people in a couple of seconds based only on their picture, you’d better believe that they’re doing the same to you. If your profile isn’t getting any interest, it’s almost certainly down to your choice of photo.
Don’t believe us? Fine, we don’t expect you to blindly take our word for it. Instead, we thought we’d put our theory to the test, using guinea pigs plucked from our own staff. A pair of our diligent workers, Lien and Stijn, each created two near-identical profiles each – the only difference being the choice of profile picture. One profile had a great pic, while the other had a truly awful one: Dark, out of focus and unflattering. We set up the profiles, and waited to see how other Twoo users would respond. After a week, we tallied the results. And here’s what happened…
As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves: the good photos got the action. Let’s look again at Lien’s bad photo, though – what’s wrong with it (apart from the darkness, the lack of eye contact, the fact that it’s out of focus and the unflattering sense of exhaustion that it exudes)? The impression it creates isn’t friendly or engaging, so why would we want to find out anything more about this person? Now compare it with Lien’s good photo. She seems happy and relaxed, and is looking and smiling right at us. We want to know more, to be around that positive, upbeat energy… maybe even to be the one to prompt that smile in future.
Now let’s see how Stijn fared.
Again, you can see the difference. Users responded to the good photo, because Stijn looks like the sort of person we might actually want to be around. He’s engaging with the camera, smiling and radiating good humour, on what looks like a lovely day, out and about. Fun, right? Contrast that with the bad photo – what’s interesting about this social misfit? His awkward posture? His murky face that we can’t really make out? His evasive stare off-camera? You get the idea.
So what are the conclusions of our experiment? The better the profile pic, the better the response! Clear, brightly lit, happy photos are guaranteed to make a better impression than blurry, gloomy, miserable ones. So before you write to us, baffled by the lack of action your profile is getting, take a minute to check your profile from a stranger’s point of view (or even ask a trusted friend for their honest opinion). Based on first impressions, would you want to find out more? No? Then start snapping and don’t stop until you’ve got a bright, welcoming, friendly profile photo. We think we’ve proved that it makes all the difference.
Get ready to be noticed!
Just one year after launching, social discovery site Twoo.com is already a force to be reckoned with, with over 8 million unique visitors in May, according to comScore.
To bolster the success of their online presence, Twoo.com has launched two mobile apps, with features exclusive to handheld devices, that give users’ freedom to chat, meet or date who they want, when they want, where they want.
Twoo.com’s app can now be downloaded on Android handsets, in addition to its recently improved iPhone equivalent. To complement the site’s key features, the app uses location-based software so you can see which users are closest to you, real-time.
Twoo.com understands the needs of social single people today; users can’t be confined to desktop searches – they want real time, mobile capabilities that enable meeting on the move, just like in the real world.
As well as new features, there is a growing team based in London, headed up by Nick Lisher, former Strategy Director at mysinglefriend.com, to complement the European HQ in Ghent, Belgium.
Nick is thrilled to be joining Massive Media, the dating site’s parent company, at a time when Twoo.com is on the road to becoming one of the world’s most popular social networks.
Nick Lisher said, “Twoo.com is a force of nature, a phenomenon in the world of social discovery. I am overwhelmingly impressed with the product, as are the 1.5 million members who log into the service every day to meet new people, and have fun. I can’t wait to further introduce the service to US and UK audiences.”
The expanding team and rich functionality are two factors helping to catapult Twoo.com up to third in the list of the most popular personals sites worldwide, according to recent ComScore data, leaving many of the traditional, “old school” dating websites trailing behind.
The fledgling site had 8.42 million unique visitors in May 2012, more than double the amount reported in December, and all within a year of launching.
The success of Twoo.com demonstrates that meeting new people is a huge part online culture. People use the site to meet like-minded people for dating or friendship, and the popularity of Twoo.com’s mobile apps show the importance of keeping up with today’s evolving social landscape.