Friend Zone

Matchmaking apps help people find new pals

Earlier this month, popular dating app Bumble launched BFF, a new feature which applies the platform’s swiping and matching algorithms to friendship. After receiving requests for this capability and noticing that people were already using the platform for this purpose, the company sought to make it an official offering. Given the demand for friend-finding tools, numerous apps are now focusing on this entirely.


Nearly two-thirds of Millennials find it difficult to make new friends as they get older, as addressed in the Cassandra Report. Moreover, as they tend to have nomadic lifestyles, many often move to places where they don’t have a social circle. The app Hey! VINA helps women in NYC and San Francisco expand their female friend network. Users first connect to Facebook to confirm their identity and fill out a six-question quiz. They then use a Tinder model to find potential pals with whom they have mutual friends. In the future, the app will incorporate BuzzFeed-style personality quizzes to help people better convey themselves.


Millennials prioritize friendship, especially as they’re settling down later in life, if at all, and are looking to have a vibrant group of friends as their support system through adulthood. Monarq, much like Hey! VINA, uses a swiping interface to help women form such meaningful friendships, with a particular focus on helping professional women befriend and empower one another. Users must connect with Facebook, answer questions, and provide a tagline. Each day, they see profiles of three potential friends, and if both women express interest in becoming buddies, they’re able to message each other. The service is available in New York and Arizona.


Individuals looking for more people to hang out with can do so via London-based app Excuses to Meet. While youth may not want to strike up a conversation with strangers in passing, they’re increasingly turning to digital tools to facilitate new connections. Users choose from a list of excuses to meet someone new, such as to practice a sport, find a roommate, or go to bars/clubs. They can then scroll through people who’ve listed the same topics and choose to start a conversation about a particular “excuse.” The app seeks to help people feel a greater sense of community within their city and explore it together.