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Forget dating, women go online for friends

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 7, 2019 - Duration: 02:37s

Forget dating, women go online for friends

Women have long relied on dating apps to find romantic partners but now they’re increasingly turning to these platforms -- and spinoffs of them -- to make friends.

Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Forget dating, women go online for friends

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BROOKLYN RESIDENT AND BUMBLE BFF USER, PRIYA VEDHARA, SAYING: “So I actually googled ‘how to make friends in New York...’” And as Priya Vedhara quickly learned — there’s an app for that.

While dating apps have become the norm to find romance, many are now using them to find friends.

PRIYA: “Cindy was not my First” Vedhara used the BFF feature on dating app BUMBLE to meet Cindy Santos.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BROOKLYN RESIDENT AND BUMBLE BFF USER, PRIYA VEDHARA, SAYING: “I swiped and we matched which was great.

And then we kind of had a few messages between each other and then we met really quickly and had a really really amazing night and lots of fun.

And very quickly I thought to myself -- 'Yeah this could be a good girlfriend for me'.” (SOUNDBITE) (English) BROOKLYN-RESIDENT AND BUMBLE BFF USER, CINDY SANTOS, SAYING: “We laughed a lot.

I think we both had a similar sense of humor.

We both like wine.

So that helped.

(laughs)" Bumble -- which now boasts 50 million global users -- introduced its friend-finding BFF feature in 2016.

And according to the company, its growth is explosive – with its user base for BFF surging by 99 percent year over year.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BUMBLE'S CHIEF BRAND OFFICER, ALEX WILLIAMSON, SAYING: "BFF really came about through long term plans for the brand, but also something our users were asking for which prompted us to move fast on it." In the same way the Bumble dating app works -- users create a BFF profile.

Users scroll through and swipe right on the ones that interest them.

If two users select each other, a match is made and it’s up to them to start messaging.

BFF and others like it are gaining steam at a time when women are finding it more difficult to make friends offline, says Pamela Newenham -- who also caters to women looking for female bonding.

She Co-founded 'GirlCrew' and now helps run the app our of San Francisco.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-CEO OF GIRLCREW, PAMELA NEWENHAM, SAYING: "We're in an era of coworking freelancing working remotely.

Women are getting married later.

Divorce rates are higher.

People are living by themselves and they're moving cities more so than ever on switching jobs." Newenham says 100,000 GirlCrew members, in 50 different cities, can chat to each other, create or join events... or simply throw out a request for, say, brunch.

And those quick interactions can lead to long-term friendships.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-CEO OF GIRLCREW, PAMELA NEWENHAM, SAYING: "We've had friends -- make such good friends that they made those people bridesmaids at their wedding.

We've had people travel the whole world together.

My own sister has gone to more than seven different countries with a girl that she met on girl crew." While THIS is still a budding friendship -- 2 months in the making – the women seem confident that this is a bond that will last

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