New Hope, Pa.-based The Meet Group, the social media conglomerate whose Bucks County HQ is about an hour’s drive from City Hall, opened up a new 5,600-square-foot Center City office.
Since 2016, and until Monday, the company kept a Philly outpost by way of a mid-sized office at WeWork’s first location in Northern Liberties. Per CEO Geoff Cook, the bigger hub will allow the company to tap into a wider pool of tech talent, especially data engineers. Consider it a continuation of the gateway offices trend that many suburban companies have pursued in recent years to cater to city-dwelling millennials. (It’s a trend City Hall has even tried to accelerate.)
“It helps us be more competitive,” said Cook, who became CEO in 2012 and oversees the publicly held company’s five social media brands: MeetMe, Tagged, Hi5, Lovoo and Skout.
Currently, the company’s Philly office at 12th and Chestnut holds a team of 12. By year’s end, Cook expects that number to rise to 15 or more.
All told, The Meet Group has 300 employees: 130 in the greater Philly area, about 60 in San Francisco and 100 in Germany as a result of the acquisition of Lovoo.
In 2017, the company rolled out live streaming and monetization capabilities into some of its platforms and, reportedly, has half a million daily livestreamers.
“Last year was about building the plumbing,” Cook said. “Now, 2018 is about how to make it more interesting.”
The HQ trivia app and subsequent craze across the U.S. is telling, says Cook, of an audience that connects well with livestreamed content with a traditional media format.
“It creates an element of human connection that you don’t find with asynchronous communications,” said Cook.
How to compete alongside livestreaming giants like Facebook, Twitch or YouTube? One secret weapon is the power of, er, love.
“What MeetMe has been about is creating meaningful human connections,” the exec said in reference to the dating verticals of the company’s lineup of apps. “There’s an element of romance that’s there.”
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