Tinder For Friends: Would You Use An App To Find A New Best Pal?

Blake Lively texting

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

Contrary to what Taylor Swift’s Instagram feed would have us believe, making new friends seems to get more difficult as you get older. Once you’ve hit your twenties, finding the Blair to your Serena just isn’t as simple as it was back at school or university, when your biggest worry was which of your never-ending group of pals would be graced with a slot in your Top Eight on Myspace.

While there is a plethora of apps promising to find love at the tap of a smartphone screen, the simple art of making friends seems to have been neglected – until now.

Friendship app Hey! VINA (currently available in a beta version on iTunes) launched earlier this week, and has been touted as Tinder for BFFs, promising to connect likeminded women with a wider network of potential pals.

‘It’s super easy to find a date on the Internet, but why isn’t it as easy to find a new friend?’ asked Olivia June Poole, the app’s co-founder. ‘We built this app to solve our own needs as women who have moved, travelled, changed careers and shifted lifestyles and life stages,’ she told FastCompany.

While Hey! VINA isn’t the first app to adopt the ‘swiping for friends’ concept, it promises a slightly more sophisticated approach. Like Tinder, it uses your Facebook network to verify your account, but instead of relying solely on your location to generate potential matches, there’s also a personality questionnaire. Don’t worry; it’s not soul-searching stuff, just a series of eight questions based on your likes, dislikes and personality type. There’s also the opportunity to flesh out your profile with a list of interests, and Poole hopes that more light-hearted quizzes (such as ‘Who’s your sitcom BFF?’) will be added further down the line.

Once you’ve swiped right on a prospective addition to your squad, a message window opens up, allowing you to chat further and potentially arrange to meet up.

Hey! VINA is currently only available to use in San Francisco, with plans to roll out the app to other major cities in the next few months. But wouldn’t it feel a little impersonal (not to mention awkward) searching for your new best pal using a Tinder-style interface? And even if you did make a friend for life, wouldn’t it lead to similarly embarrassing ‘Where did you two meet?’ scenarios further down the line? According to its founders, the app isn’t meant to replace real life interactions – it’s just a networking tool, or an easy way to expand your social circle. As Poole says, ‘If we can help people adapt and fulfil their needs… We think that’s great!’

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