This article was published on September 28, 2018

Tattoodo wants to be the of getting inked

Tattoodo wants to be the of getting inked
Callum Booth
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Callum Booth

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Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.

Let’s get something out of the way first. Tattoodo is an awful name for a business. Say it aloud: Tattoodo. Tat-doo-doo. Like poop. It has a poopy name.

But, bowel-reminiscent moniker aside, the company is trying to do something interesting: become the prime online place for booking tattoos, both on a normal web browser and in-app.

Started in Copenhagen in 2013, the Tattoodo platform was designed as a place for artists to share their work and connect with the public. And it’s gone pretty well for it. Tattoodo has over 30 million followers across its social networks and hosts over 300,000 artists on its platform. On top of this, its app – which has had booking functionality rolled out to it today – has 4.2 million registered users.

Considering these figures, Tattoodo’s evolution into a booking platform makes sense. And it might actually work too.

Why’s that?

Well, because tattoos are big business. Between 30 and 40 percent of millennials in the western world are inked, as is 21 percent of the total US population. Oh, and according to Tatoodo, the industry is worth about $50 billion globally and analysts at IBISWorld estimate the industry’s 2017 US revenue was $2 billion.

Despite this immense value, I’d wager most tattooed people (myself included) chose their shop by either a friend’s recommendation or because it was close. Yeah, you might look at some of the artists before booking, but you’re not exactly shopping around in the way you would, say, for somewhere to stay on holiday. Which is weird when you think about it, because tattoos are, you know, pretty permanent.

Still, Tattoodo is not the first company to launch a tattoo booking service. In fact, a company called Inkbay got there first and, from what I can see, has done a good job. But, Tattoodo differs in some key ways.

Firstly, and as aforementioned, Tattoodo has a huge and active community to market to. Secondly, Inkbay is only available in Sweden, Denmark, and the UK, while Tattoodo can be used worldwide. Considering the site’s large US presence (there are 40,000 American artists on Tattoodo), this gives it the opportunity to become the de facto tattoo booking platform in the country.

So how does the app work?

Well, it’s incredibly simple to use and has a solid, functional, and clean design – something replicated on the Tattoodo website as well.

You open it up and can see either a list or map of tattoo studios near you, as well as reviews:

You can then put in a request to book a tattoo:

Or book in a time slot for a consultation, as shown in the bottom of this example:

Tattooing is now firmly mainstream, but elements of the industry are still stuck in the past. While industry-entrenched tattoo enthusiasts might not find a huge amount of worth in Tattoodo’s booking functionality, it could make it easier for the person on the street to find a design they love.

Still, only time will tell if this sort of service will catch on. People have been getting happily (and heavily) tattooed for decades without the need of this sort of service and, when you consider the ubiquity of review sites, it’s questionable how much difference something like Tattoodo will make.

However it pans out, I’m definitely going to give it a try next time I want some work done. Shame about the name though.

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