Apps and websites for making friends that actually work

There are many apps and websites for making new friends, but which are the best? In this list, we’re going through them and their pros and cons. We only cover apps strictly for making platonic friends.

Meetup

Here, you’ll find meetups in your area. Meetup.com isn’t explicitly for making friends, but it’s a great way to find like-minded people who can turn into friends down the road. Tips: look specifically for recurring events. Those are the ones where you get a chance to get to know people over time.

Positives

Good for meeting many new people with similar interests in a group setting.

Negatives

Not as good for getting to know people in-depth. Most events are one-off, and here it’s rare to meet people there that turn into friends. However, if you go to recurring meetups where you meet the same people regularly, you develop your relationships with them.

https://www.meetup.com/

Bumble BFF

The app works like Tinder or “ordinary” bumble, but for making friends. I’ve used this app myself in New York City and was surprised at how good it works. However, I can’t speak for its effectiveness in smaller cities. When you sign up, write a comprehensive profile about yourself and what your interests are so that people can paint a picture of you.

Positives

Everyone’s there for the same reason, so it’s easy to jump into the search for a friend fairly quickly.

Negatives

Not as good for getting to know lots of new people. You’ll find many more people on Meetup who you’d never find on the app. This is a great complement to Meetup, however. Another drawback is that you (at the time of this writing) can’t filter for interests. Patook has better functionality here.

https://bumble.com/bff

Patook

It’s against terms of service to flirt, so people that try to use the app for hookups get banned. It also has an option for couples to befriend other couples. The app has a large userbase and great reviews. However, the reviews have dwindled the last couple of months. You can try it in combination with BumbleBFF and see which one gives the best result to you

Positives

Good for making friends based on mutual interests.

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Negatives

It doesn’t have the same user base as Bumble BFF.

https://patook.com/

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing started off as a hospitality service where you can host people or “couch surf” for free when traveling. This has since grown into a community that has different types of meetups. Many people have detailed profiles, so it’s easy to meet many interesting people.

Positives

Good for meeting many new people with different backgrounds. Hosting gives you a great opportunity to spend time with people you might not hang out with otherwise.

Negatives

It’s not a friendship-making app at its core, so most people don’t use it to build lifelong connections, but rather to have an experience. Hosting and surfing aren’t great for meeting people that you see regularly because of the traveling aspect. Local meetups work a bit better for that.

https://www.couchsurfing.com/

Subreddits for making friends

Reddit is one of the world’s largest online communities and subreddits are subforums around specific topics. Read the rules for each subreddit and introduce yourself, or browse other’s listings.

Many people here are looking for all kinds of meetups, both group, and one-on-one. If you’re making a post, write a little bit about your personality and what kind of person you’re looking to meet.

Positives

These subreddits are great for posting an event where you want several people to show up. To post a similar event on Meetup.com, you’d have to pay. Also, Meetup.com doesn’t have the same explicit focus on making friends as these subreddits have.

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If you want to attend a meetup that someone’s posted, you can check people’s posting history before meeting up to help paint a picture of them.

Negatives

If you have a niche event, you have better luck using Meetup.com as they have a larger reach. It’s less convenient than Bumble BFF as you have to read many posts to see which ones are in your area.

Check out Meetup and MakeNewFriendsHere.

Niche apps

The following apps focus on certain demographics.

BarkHappy – For dogs

A pretty gimmicky app, but is reported to work fairly well. Lets you browse other people’s and their dogs’ profiles, set up meetings and attend events.

https://barkhappy.com/

Hey! Vina – For women

An app for girls to make friends with local girls. Like Tinder, you swipe left and right. It has personality quizzes and questions you can take that add to your profile and you can also link your Instagram if you want. You can see more about other people than just a couple of photos and a bio. You need to connect it to Facebook as a security measure.

https://www.heyvina.com/

Girlfriend Social – For women

Girlfriend social has the same target audience as Vina, but is a website rather than an app that looks dated. Try out Vina first.

https://www.girlfriendsocial.com/

Peanut – For mothers

Peanut is aimed at moms to befriend other moms. You swipe like on Tinder. The app has decent reviews.

https://www.peanut-app.io/

Yubo – For teens

Yubo is aimed at teenagers who want to make new friends and it has an impressive 20 million members. The reviews are overall positive even though some think that the functionality is too basic.

https://yubo.live/en

Atleto – For working out together

The idea of the app is to find like-minded to work out with. In one review, the author said that it was hard to find people to match with. Other users claim to have had a good experience.

http://www.atletosports.com/

Do you want tips on how to make new friends?

Check out our guide on how to make friends and our other guide on how to make friends online.

Apps and sites that have been reported to not work well

We cover the apps below for your reference, but we don’t recommend them because they either have too few users, are reported to not work, are focused on business networking or dating, or are reported to be used inappropriately.

  • We3 – Is reported to have some bug issues. Varying reviews can still make it worth a try.
  • Girl Crew – Few users.
  • Badoo.com – Mainly a dating website.
  • REAL U – Doesn’t have many users.
  • RendezWho – More of a game than an app for making friends.
  • Shapr – An app like tinder, but for networking/making friends. Since the last update, you have to pay to specify your location.
  • Friender – Few users and reported to have technical issues.
  • NotForDating.com – Works as a “dating website”, but for making friends. Few users.
  • Interpals.net – People mainly use it to learn new languages, rather than make personal connections.
  • Meet My Dog – Same concept as BarkHappy, but not as well executed or popular.
  • Hater – The concept is that you’ll find people who hate the same things as you do. Mixed reviews on success for actually making friends.
  • Tinder – For dating.
  • OkCupid.com – Mainly a dating website; many people who claim to only look for friendship are actually looking for partners.
  • Pof.com – Mainly for dating.
  • Meetme.com – Mainly for dating.
  • Skout – Frequent reports of being used inappropriately.
  • Craigslist – Frequent reports of being used inappropriately.

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David Morin is the founder of SocialPro. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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