It used to be that making new pals was as easy as recess in the schoolyard. Adulthood, however, poses its own obstacles to finding your ride or die—the least of which are crammed schedules, parental duties, and not wanting to leave your comfort zone, especially if you're an introvert.
If you've moved to a new town or city, making connections with others in your new locale is an important part of helping you settle down and thrive in your new life. Many of us forge lasting friendships through our jobs, but with so many companies offering full time work-from-home options, this is another strong buddy-building avenue at risk. These platonic relationships can be so vital. Just as dating apps have helped to solve the dilemma of finding love in the digital age, apps to make friends are working to fill another void.
For those looking for a new workout buddy or kindly neighbor to get coffee with on the weekends, try Bumble BFF. Dog lovers can find companions on Pawdates. Avid readers can get an online book club started with like-minded people around the world using Skout. Or, take a quick survey on the app Friender to help match you with a potential new BFF. Options abound, so read on for the best friendship apps that can both help you expand your network and find the Gayle to your Oprah (or vice versa). Bonus: Most of them are free.
A simple way to join a like-minded social circle, Meetup matches people based on their shared interests. Read: female programmers, barhoppers, and even nature photographers. Themes range from general (Free Comedy and New Friends NYC) to niche (Southern California Bulldog Crew), and you can search by demographic, so you don’t land at a happy hour with a bunch of 20-somethings—unless you want to!
If you like to take your time getting to know new people before jumping into a friendship, Yubo might be for you. Yubo is a social live-streaming platform that lets you swipe to find new friends, chat with them in the app, hang out in shared livestreams, and explore different interest groups.
Your kids’ calendars are packed with playdates and social gatherings, but moms need friends, too. Enter: Peanut, an app created with mamas in mind. An easy way to meet mom friends, seek parenting advice, and join mom-versations, the app suggests women with similar-age children in your neighborhood with the nearly universal swiping method. But that's not all: Peanut also has communities of those who are navigating fertility and menopause, with a goal to connect women of all ages with like-minded individuals.
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The female-centric Bumble dating app burst onto the scene in 2014. Since then, the company has launched Bumble BFF mode as a way for women to meet women simply wanting friends. And though the swipe-happy app is a hit with younger millennials, there are success stories belonging to those born before the early ’80s. For professionally minded networking, check out Bumble Bizz too.
Wink is a friendship app that connects users to potential friends both locally and around the world. If you're looking for a resource that is dedicated to serving friendships only, Wink is for you. First, you create a profile, featuring a host of personal photos and details on your interests, preferences, likes, and dislikes. From there, you'll be able to explore other users on the app, and simply swipe to start a conversation. You can easily send a message, photos, gifs, and more through the app's messenger feature, too.
If texting isn't really your thing, give LMK a try. LMK helps you connect with potential friends who share similar interests beyond just sending a quick message: With LMK, you can share voice messages and join talk-based Audio Room conversations with multiple people. With LMK, you can also even watch YouTube videos together as a shared experience.
Cost: Free; premium plans start at $4.99 per month for a 6-month subscription
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Ablo is great for anyone looking to cast a wide net with their friendship search. You can meet and chat with people around the world, and tune into livestream shows alongside new friends. Additionally, Ablo automatically translates text conversations to a shared language, making it easy to communicate without language barriers.
Created to empower women through female friendship, Hey! VINA is touted as "Tinder for girlfriends.” But the Tinder-ness begins with the user interface and ends with the algorithm. That’s a tech-fancy way of saying that just like the dating app, you swipe left and right on possible friends based on proximity, mutual friends, and quiz data. Once you match, the app suggests a spot to meet, like a hiking trail or a wine bar. It's all about building a community of trusted new friends!
Cost: Free; VIP subscriptions start at $6 a week
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but do you even know your neighbors? A private social networking app, Nextdoor is your window to everything happening in your neighborhood, be it block events, furniture swaps, community events, or even car break-ins. Beyond being just a news source, though, the app encourages in-person meetings, leading to new friendships.
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Whether you’re looking for a workout buddy or a purely platonic pal to paint the town with, Friender just might be the way you meet your future partner in fun things. After an introductory survey that has you choose the activities you’re interested in, the app suggests people (men are included on this one) who match with at least one of your favorite activities.
Cost: Free; premium subscriptions start at $5.99 per month
Hoping to make more friends in your neighborhood, or find people who are interested in the same hobbies as you? Founded in 2007, Skout allows you to chat, send photos, and exchange virtual gifts with new friends. You can also join in live broadcasts, or create your own. While Skout has a dating option as well, many users are simply looking for new friends. You might just find your new book club group on the app.
Cost: Free; premium subscriptions start at $9.99 per month
Engaging in team sports exercises more than just your cardiovascular system. They build your social network, too. Atleto knows this and matches fitness fiends based on their location, skill levels, and workout frequency. Through the app, you can join a preexisting group (softball team, running club) or host a sport activity of your very own. And who knows? Maybe you find the dream workout buddy.
DeAnna Janes is a freelance writer and editor for a number of sites, including Harper’s BAZAAR, Tasting Table, Fast Company and Brit + Co, and is a passionate supporter of animal causes, copy savant, movie dork and reckless connoisseur of all holidays. A native Texan living in NYC since 2005, Janes has a degree in journalism from Texas A&M and got her start in media at US Weekly before moving on to O Magazine, and eventually becoming the entertainment editor of the once-loved, now-shuttered DailyCandy. She’s based on the Upper West Side.
FriendMatch is an online service to help you meet real new friends, from your neighborhood or from around the world.What apps can you make new friends on? ›
- Best for Finding Community: Meetup.
- Best for Young People: Yubo.
- Best Tinder for Friends: Bumble BFF.
- Best for Women: Hey! VINA.
- Best for Online Chatting: Wink.
- Best for New Homeowners: Nextdoor.
- Best for Athletes: Atleto.
- Best for Pen Pals: Slowly.
FriendMatch is an online service to help you meet real new friends, from your neighborhood or from around the world.What is the making friends over 50 app? ›
- Silversurfers – connect with people from similar walks of life.
- Stitch – a dedicated social community for over 50s.
- Meetup – Meetup helps you to connect with people in your community to try something new.
WINK is just like Tinder but for friends! The app lets users swipe left or right on profiles they feel that will be a match. You can select the age range and gender of people you want to connect with and add your interests so you and your matches have at least one thing in common.Is there an app for older people to make friends? ›
Amintro is the best social platform for adults 50+ looking for new and meaningful friendships. We believe in the old-fashioned power of simple friendship.How do I make random new friends? ›
- Study groups: ...
- Do things you love in your city: ...
- Join a group online based on your likes: ...
- Connect on social media: ...
- Start a conversation that leads to meeting up: ...
- Send a message to someone you want to get to know:
Senior Chatters is an online forum specifically designed for older adults looking for friendship or companionship online. With almost 10,000 members, it's one of the most popular senior friendship sites out there.How do I make random friends online? ›
- UNBLND. App to make friends - UNBLND. ...
- Friended. A nicer place to make friends & chat - Friended. ...
- Meetup. App to make friends - Meetup. ...
- We3. App to make friends - We3. ...
- Vingle. App to make friends - Vingle. ...
- Patook. App to make friends - Patook.
- Volunteer in the community. ...
- Join an amateur sports team. ...
- Join a gym and try an exercise class. ...
- Join a dance class. ...
- Run a local road race. ...
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce or a Professional Networking Group. ...
- Join a religious group or cultural club. ...
- Join a wine club.
Transform your hobbies into friendship opportunities.
Many senior centers host a wide variety of hobby club meetings and book discussion groups you can sign up to attend. If you're comfortable going online, you can find people and local events on networking sites like Meetup.com.
Activity groups around the country center on common interests. Many are for older adults seeking community and friendship. Check community centers, churches and senior centers around you. Online, look into AARP communities, Facebook Groups or Meetup.com.How do I make friends after 55? ›
- Find a new hobby. You don't get to choose your office colleagues, but the beauty of exploring a new hobby or a long-held passion is that you can hang out with like-minded people. ...
- Find a new hobby. ...
- Learn a new skill. ...
- Surf the web. ...
- Volunteer. ...
- Embrace the outdoors.
FriendMatch is just what is sounds like - a matchmaking service for friends. Similar to online dating, but for friends. Our international community of friend-seekers allows for making friends from in your neighbourhood or from around the world. Website http://www.friendmatch.com.Is there an app for friends only? ›
Friender claims that it is a “friends only” type of app, which means that it is not specifically designed for dating and starting romantic relationships. Its goal is to simply connect you with people who have similar interests.
Vina is the women's friendship app that helps you find new female friends. Simply swipe right to find your new BFF. Made for women, by women, this app lets ladies take lighthearted personality quizzes to find friends they'll be compatible with or join communities of like-minded women, like yogis or working moms.What is the app for making friends under 18? ›
Spotafriend Is a swiping app for teens ages 13-19. Swipe pictures of other teenagers around you, and swipe right to become friends. If you both accept, you get a match and can start chatting privately. Spotafriend is the perfect online app to meet new people near you.How can a 13 year old make friends online? ›
Spotafriend is one of the most popular making friends apps for teen age from 13 to 19 years old. Like Tinder, it is a location-based app that works on a swiping basis to form matches. Users engage with the app by swiping pictures of other teens nearby.How can a 12 year old make friends online? ›
Young people between the ages of 12-16 can meet friends online through various means, including: Social media: Many young people use social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook to connect with others who share their interests or are in the same age group.Can you use dating apps to make friends? ›
And so it's going to be the same thing with friendships,” said Niobe Way, professor of developmental psychology at New York University. Apps like Bumble BFF and Meetup have become popular ways to build platonic relationships.