Tinder for Friends: New Apps Cater to People Seeking Platonic Friendships

Sick of the seasonal chatter of Valentine’s Day dinner reservations, rnboxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses? You’re not the only one.

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Trend Hunter’s researchrn has shown romantic relationships are not the top priority for those in rntheir 20s today, and the notion that one needs a man or woman is being rnscoffed at – especially by young women. Movies such as How to be Single,rn strong single leading ladies such as Jennifer Lawrence and prominent rncelebrity girl squads a la Taylor Swift are shifting the focus from rnromantic relationships to other types of relationships.

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‘Hey! VINA’rn is a Tinder-inspired app that focuses on connecting like-minded women rnto form new friendships (rather than focusing on facilitating hookups rnand plenty of awkward dinner conversations). The app allows women to rnbroaden their social sphere by browsing different profiles that they’re rnshown through an advanced algorithm that incorporates data such as rnmutual friends, quizzes taken through the app and how close connections rnare to one another.

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These sort of matchmaking services aren’t only targeting women either. Voyajrn is an inclusive app that looks to connect travelers with travel hosts rnand form friendships. Why? Experience new places through your host’s rneyes and get immersed into the culture place you’re visiting. And it’s arn great way to build a network of places to crash and people you don’t rnmind having crash with you. To participate, just upload a photo and rnblurb explaining why you are traveling and what you’re looking to do rnwhile there. The site matches you to the best host for you and if you rnlike you can even meet them via video chat prior to the trip. Similar rnapps and websites have also been popping up like the friend groups rnmeeting site Smeeters and the world’s largest app for meeting new people, Skout.

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s interesting to note “Galentine’s rnDay,” a social gathering of ‘gals’ in the lead up to Feb. 14th, is now arn widely-used term, with Fox doing specials on Fun Gift Ideas for Galentine’s Day and TIME publishing lists like 5 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day Like Leslie Knope.rn Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope coined the term ‘Galentine’s Day’ rnback in 2010, and it has steadily risen in popularity in Google searchesrn in February ever since.

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Shelby Walsh is the president of Trend Hunter, a website tracking industry trends.

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