Apps That Help You Find Friends, Not Dates

The older you get, the harder it gets to find friends. There is no school recess anymore that used to force you to interact with kids your age you would have ignored under different circumstances. According to a research by Mental Health Foundations, a British company, people aged 18 to 34 are the loneliest demographic. Large cities propagate loneliness. As ironic as it sounds, mobile devices tend to isolate users from their real social lives, building a wall of addicting online activities that don’t add quality to the friendships we have. Reverse the trend and use your device to find friends, not distance yourself from them.

Mobile market is jam-packed with dating apps, but what about apps that can help you find friends, not dates? Since there is nearly no area mobile developers haven’t explored, there is an app that can potentially help you find friends. In fact, there are many of them. Let’s roll.


Download from iTunes

Perhaps one of the most restricted apps as of now, Hey Vina is currently available in select areas, and it has a waiting list. So, you will have to be really persevering to get your hands on it. Nevertheless, it might be worth the hassle. Hey Vina is for ladies looking for female friends, as they call it “besties.” The app taps into your Facebook account to verify you are the real person and minimize catfishing and other online predators. The crux of the app is to help you find friends, well potential friends, among the Hey Vina users in your area. You will see if you have mutual friends, interests in common, estimate whether your personality types match by completing a series of short quizzes. The ultimate goal of the app is to have you meet the actual people behind the profile pics. Ladies tend to arrange for small group meetings as a way to break the ice the first time. It’s safer from the security perspective, too. And it works like Tinder in a way that it lets you swipe left and right as you choose potential friends. Yeah, a bit superficial, but you can strike a conversation in a private chat to see if you have things to talk about.

Meetup – Groups near you that make community real

Download from Google Play | iTunes

Meetup is a platform that notifies you about the real world social events, gatherings, meetings and parties based on your interests and more or less near you. Even though it does not match you with a specific person directly, it gives you plenty of ideas where you can go to meet like-minded people. The events may be free, or require some entrance fee or invitation, but the gist of Meetup is to get like-minded people together. It’s Apple Watch-compatible, and has far more features that just a notifications app. You can be the organizer and host an event (subscription required). There are plenty of tech-related groups, like developers, hackers, web designers. Moms groups, Dads groups, fitness, hiking, career and networking, support groups, book clubs, photography, new in town, language groups and many more, depending on your area, of course.

Skout – Chat, Meet New People

Download from Google Play | iTunes

In essence a dating app, Skout lets users find friends, too. The advantage here is it’s not limited to your area only. You can find friends to chat with in other parts of the world, for example, if you plan to travel there, or simply because you’re too shy to meet, and would prefer a penfriend. The app has a neat “shake to chat” feature that pairs you with a random person if you don’t feel like searching. Good-looking UI and a vast users base means you have more choice than, say, on Hey Vina.

Bumble App

Download from Google Play | iTunes

A famous dating app, Bumble, aka the feminist Tinder, introduced Bumble BFF feature, that does just that – lets you find friends. Even though the app was reported to be more “fortunate” for friend finding purposes for women, who said guys can’t give it a go? It’s pretty much like Tinder – swipe left and right, just don’t confuse which one is like and which dislike. On Bumble, users have 24 hours before the connection expires. Strike a conversation, arrange for a meet up, or just chat – the app has nifty GIF service you can insert in the chats when you miss words. Many users don’t care to add bios, so yes, it’s pretty visual-focused, too. So, make sure to have a nice profile pic.

Eventbrite – Fun Local Events

Download from Google Play | iTunes

Much like Meetup, Eventbride is a personal recommendations app that looks for something interesting for you to do in the real world, at the events you can potentially meet new people and get social. You can also book tickets from within the app, but availability depends on the venue, rather than the app itself. It’s got concerts, conferences, classes, festivals – both free and paid. You get to select the subjects that interest you and the app generates a list of events near you complete with details and location directions. You can have it add the events to your calendar, Android Wear compatible.

VAMOS – The Event Guide

Download from iTunes

Vamos is much like Meetup or Eventbride, but iOS-exclusive. Vamos generates its lists of events from social networks like Eventbride, Facebook, Ticketmaster and Eventim. So, you have plenty of categories to choose from – nightlife, arts, fashion, family, and more. The app learns your interests and suggests venues, or you can browse manually based on your location. Sort events by popularity, see which events your friends from social networks attend. This can be a good tip app to meet up with someone from your social networking circles you haven’t had a chance to meet otherwise. In any way, apps like Vamos, Eventbride and Meetup have an obvious advantage over the apps like Bumble or Skout – they give users the context, a common interest based on which people come to specific venues. So, it’s potentially easier to find friends, or just socialize without any long-term agenda.

Pro Tip

If you use a Facebook app, tap into its events feature. In order not to miss upcoming events, you’d have to walk an extra mile, though, since Facebook does not make it too easy to follow events. Just add Facebook events to your Calendar app.

Here is how:

The feature is called “export your events and friends’ birthdays” and works with Google Calendar, iCal and Microsoft Outlook. You will need to set it up from your computer just one.

  • You will need – a Facebook account, and a Google account that syncs with your Android device (likewise for iOS, iCal with sync enabled).
  • Log in to your Facebook account → go to the upcoming events page.
  • To export all upcoming events or birthdays navigate to the bottom right, below Events Happening This Week, choose Upcoming Events
  • See the “Subscribe to all upcoming events on your calendar“ link – copy it
  • Go to your Google account -> open Calendar → next to Other Calendars there is an arrow icon→ Add by URL → paste the link → Add Calendar.
  • The Facebook upcoming events list should be imported to your Google Calendar now, so you don’t miss notifications.

Hope some of it helps! Let us know if you got any luck finding friends with the help of any of these or other apps. Feel free to share your app suggestions in the comments below and don’t forget to follow PocketMeta on social networks for timely updates on our apps and games roundups, reviews, and handy guides on everything iOS and Android!