Growing up watching Girlfriends and Sex and the City, I always dreamed of having a similar girl squad. You know a team of successful, genuine friends that you could make money with, grow with, and then later get cute and turn up with. In my mind, of course I would be Joan or Carrie, but in order to fulfill my ideal squad goals, I still needed my Maya, Toni, and Lynn or my Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda.
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When I first graduated from college and moved back to my hometown, I noticed that I wasn’t the social butterfly that I was in college. The BFFs that I met in college either lived in a different city or were still in school. The few friends that I had back at home were either married or had children (so you can so ‘goodbye’ to turning up on a Tuesday). Besides those girls, the only other people that I knew were old high school friends that I didn’t even talk to anymore.
I never imagined how hard it would be to establish new and genuine friendships as an adult - especially after college. This is common for most people, especially for those people that move from city to city because of family or their careers. Most people make new friends at work, but that’s not really my forte. While I do love my colleagues, sometimes I want friends that I can talk about random things with that are not work-related. Even more, sometimes I don’t want to even think about work so when I’m with friends from work, I’m still reminded of work.
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Recently, two female entrepreneurs created an app that can help women find their ideal friends. This app called Hey! VINA is a match-making app that helps women network establish friendships with each other. This app works by matching women with similar interests, and who have compatible personalities. To make this work, Hey! VINA, doesn’t just show its users pictures and profiles, but it also uses a matching method that takes into account information like mutual friends via Facebook, location, and data from quizzes that can be taken in the app. “It's super easy to find a date on the Internet, but why isn't it as easy to find a new friend?" said Olivia June Poole, cofounder and CEO of Hey! VINA.
“We built this app to solve for our own needs as women who have moved, traveled, changed careers, and shifted lifestyles and life stages. Through our adult lives we go a lot of places that our existing friendships don’t always support and it becomes time to expand our circles,” said Poole.
Down the line, she says, the app will release optional fun quizzes users can take, as well. The responses to the new quizzes will be open for sharing with your existing friends, and will be able to be used within the app to pair women with potential new friends.
So how does this new app work?
First you will need to download the app. As of right now, it is only available on iOS.
After downloading the app, you would need to take a brief, introductory quiz so that the app can gauge your interests and personality. Once you’ve done the quiz, you can start swiping away to find your potential friends.
Next after the app finds a match for you, similar to Tinder, you will receive a “Ditto!” message on the screen, along with a suggestion that you and your potential friend meet in person. For Poole, it is important that all connections on the site meet in person as soon as possible to quickly nurture the relationship. The app will also suggest activities for you and your potential friend to do like going to brunch, wine-tasting, or to a happy hour (the event ideas will be created based off of both parties interests).
Although Hey! VINA just launched, it's still in the beginner stage. As a result, it's only available in New York and San Francisco at the moment, yet there are plans to expand into other cities in the upcoming months.
What do you think of the concept behind this new app? Would you use it to network and meet new friends?