Shares of social-networking company The Meet Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MEET), which owns and operates brands focused on helping people meet other people, popped nearly 10% on Friday. The stock rose as high as 9.9%, but finished the trading day up 9.6%.
The stock's gain followed the Meet Group's announcement that it was launching live video capabilities on LOVOO, its leading European dating app. "LOVOO Live enables users to broadcast and view live-streaming video, invite others to join their streams, chat, and earn virtual gifts, creating more authentic interactions and making it even easier to meet new people," the company said about the new feature in a press release.
LOVOO Live is launching in both France and Switzerland, following its launch in Austria two weeks ago. Early engagement data in France and Switzerland is encouraging, with the average user watching over 15 minutes of live video per day, management explained. In addition, the average broadcaster is broadcasting over 45 minutes a day, "levels comparable to what we saw in the early days of video on our MeetMe app," noted Meet Group CEO Geoff Cook.
Further, Cook said virtual gifting, which is the centerpiece of Meet Group's video-monetization engine, looks poised to be a meaningful catalyst for live video on the platform. Indeed, 2% of LOVOO viewers have already given virtual gifts -- a milestone that took Meet Group's MeetMe app six months to achieve, but was achieved in one week on LOVOO.
The success of live video and virtual gifts help validate the company's ongoing strategy of launching a feature and deploying it across its apps at scale. This provides an optimistic example of how Meet Group's shifting strategy to managing a portfolio of apps instead of focusing most of its efforts on its flagship MeetMe app could play to its advantage.
Meet Group is focused on continuing to rollout its live video, planning to launch LOVOO Live on a country-by-country basis in the second half of 2017. The next major geographic launches for LOVOO Live will be in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the company said.