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Mamboo is a free online dating site that is simple to sign up for, easy to use and has a few surprising things that make up for its lack of style and features.

It isn’t a very popular site, hasn’t been showing a lot of signs of growth – but it can be a good way to get your feet wet with online dating.

First Impressions

On first glance, Mamboo is clean looking and follows a minimalistic design that draw social media front and center – even to the point of showing a “conversation” in bubbles similar to the iPhone messaging system. On second glance, there are a few things that just sort of aren’t as impressive.

  • The profile pictures on the front are stock pages.
  • The site features an American “couple,” even though it is obvious that the gearing is towards the EU
  • You can’t look without signing up.

The registration is simple. An active email is all that is required and a confirmation step. Then you can search or build your profile from there.

What’s it like in the real world?

Mamboo scores decently in the upper 200 thousands globally and 34,856 in France. Their overall global rating has risen over 10,000 points globally but when you look at the traffic graph it barely shows any movement at all. Further down the Alexa page, the reason for this becomes clear. Aimed at the 20 something crowd, Mamboo is hugely popular in France. It just isn’t really of interest to any other country, which makes you wonder about the American marketing on the landing page. It could be a smart appeal to the French, or a frustrated dream for the owners.

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For a simple, no-frills site Mamboo doesn’t have more than the normal offerings, except for some small upgrade options. There is an option to contact people via email, and you don’t have to pay extra for that. If the person you are interested in is on line you can IM them or even send them a virtual gift. To do that you need to purchase tokens. If you upgrade your account you can also use tokens to –

  1. See who viewed your profile
  2. Send virtual gifts
  3. Move your picture up in search engine results

The search options are basic, but complete. They focus on profile pictures in the results so there really isn’t much of an emphasis on the written profile. Mamboo has taken a lesson from the popularity of Twitter and Facebook so it functions more as a social media site for singles. Everyone is definitely there for the purpose of meeting someone else, but it has an overall friendly feel to it. One of the best features of Mamboo is that is has a free, downloadable mobile app that functions well on a variety of mobile platforms.

Price and membership

Mamboo is completely free, unless you want some VIP perks like bumping up where your picture ranks and sending virtual gifts. When you want to disable your account the option to do so is right under your settings choice. While it is free, you should expect that it is a cookie driven site as it is run by hosted ads. This means that there will be some data scraping going on to try and target ads to you that may be of interest.

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Mamboo is a modern site that makes use of a lot of the lessons learned from social media. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, but it does deliver a solid ability to chat and IM people who interest you without giving away all of your information. You don’t have to pay any hidden extras to use the site; it can truly be considered 100% free. The only real draw back to Mamboo is that the demographic it appeals to is so limited. That may change, and there is a lot of noise in the Mamboo community that they are working hard to expand into the UK and US market. They just are going to face some stiff competition. Until that happens, it looks like the French will very much keep this fine little site alive for the future.

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