Akamai’s Web Performance solution helps Blued accelerate user growth globally

“With Akamai, we are able to provide a personalized and localized experience to our users around the world on their mobile devices, without worrying about the inherent performance and availability issues of the mobile Internet. Akamai helps us accelerate our user growth and allows us to focus on innovating our services for the gay community worldwide.”

Liu Yuanchen , CTO , Blued

Launched in 2012, Blued has fast become the world’s most popular gay social app, attracting over 15 million users worldwide. Available across platforms and operating systems via iOS, Android, and Windows 8, Blued aims to provide the fastest, easiest, and most fun social networking service for gay communities worldwide. With their growing reputation and increasing number of users in China, Blued has been looking to expand its business overseas, especially in North America and Southeast Asia. Blued chose Akamai to solve the problem of native mobile app and API performance using Akamai Web Performance solutions. With Akamai’s Ion and Edgescape products, Blued successfully accelerated their user growth worldwide.

The Situation

Blued is a social platform for gay communities worldwide, and the mobile app allows its users to post personal profile/updates, search for people nearby via geolocation, and send text, voice messages, and pictures to each other. The company hosts the app in their data center in Beijing and serves 15 million users worldwide.

The Challenge

During the process of going global, Blued’s mobile application faced issues with performance and availability due to the following:

  1. Centralized application architecture: The Blued app is hosted in a data center in Beijing. This centralized architecture resulted in performance and availability degradation for users not living in Beijing.
  2. Location-based social app: The Blued app provides personalized and localized service for users based on their location data, resulting in a lot of chatty API calls and dynamic content sent between the mobile app and their data center in Beijing. This resulted in app performance issues and contributed to the user experience degradation.
  3. Internet outage and last-mile glitch: The inherent availability issues of the Internet, especially the last mile availability of mobile networks, affect the user experience.

The Goals

After great success in China, Blued has been promoting its app globally, especially in North America and Southeast Asia. Their main business goals are:

  1. Make social networking an easy, convenient service for the global gay community by providing a best-in-class user experience.
  2. Accelerate user growth and gain new users in North America and Southeast Asia.

Major Results after using Akamai

  • Blued’s overseas user base grew at a substantially accelerated pace.
  • Blued app JSON API performance improved by 153% worldwide after leveraging Akamai Ion.
  • Able to provide more accurate location-based services leveraging Akamai Edgescape.
  • Reduced first screen time and streamlined users’ browsing, leading users to spend substantially more time on the app.

Reason for Selection

To support their business growth, Blued was looking for a CDN provider with the breadth of products, global platform, and industry expertise to solve their user-experience challenge. Akamai met all three criteria and exceeded Blued’s expectations for mobile app and API optimization. After using Akamai, Blued’s API performance improved by 153% worldwide, and the overall user experience improved dramatically. With Akamai, the company is now able to innovate fearlessly, expand their business without boundaries, and always provide their users with a best-in-class mobile app experience.

About Blued

Recently launched in 2012, Blued has already become the world’s most popular FREE gay social app, attracting over 15 million users worldwide. Blued is available on iOS, Android, and Windows 8, providing the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to connect with the world’s biggest network of guys close to you. Check out their profiles, photos, blogs, and contact information, or maybe send them text or voice messages, photos, and your own accurate location. Use Blued to look around, post your moments, share your life…. and maybe encounter your Mr. Right!

Blued is part of Blue City Holdings Ltd., a social enterprise devoting its efforts to provide internet services to LGBTQ people. Blue City also launched in 2000, which became the biggest gay website in China, along with other LGBTQ resource platforms such as,, and Danlan Public Good. By taking as its motto “Changing LGBTQ people’s life with science and technology”, Blue City actively participates in AIDS prevention and awareness work alongside antidiscrimination and has successfully engaged in dozens of public welfare programs with many international organizations including WHO, UNAIDS, UNDP, and many government authorities.

Blued concentrates on mobile technology to provide social networking and easy, convenient services for the gay community.

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