Want to Meet People and Make Friends? 12 Great Apps to Try

young woman in trendy clothes talks on a smartphone

Meeting new people and finding a new circle of friends can be tough. But there’s an app for that! | iStock.com/RyanJLane

Between the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store for Android, it’s basically true there’s an app for everything. So when you move to a city, or notice all of your friends from high school or college are busy with the roles and responsibilities of adulthood, it may make sense to find apps to meet people and make friends. That might sound awkward, but hear us out.

Making friends when you aren’t in high school or college can be tough (in much the same way that it can be difficult to find a romantic partner.) But many people are growing comfortable with the idea of using dating apps to find someone to date. And even if you aren’t yet on Tinder, you use apps for plenty of other kinds of socializing. (Think about all the time you spend on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.)

As Isabelle Chapman reports for Mashable, using an app to find friends doesn’t have to be as awkward as it sounds. Chapman explains, “While it might seem strange to meet friends via an app, we use on-demand apps for everything from groceries to finding dates, so looking for a new pal to spend some time with is a natural extension of what’s already so common.” If you’re willing to give it a try, we’ve gathered some of the best apps to help you meet people and make friends.

1. ATLETO

Female hands holding new iPhone 6s

Want to make some friends who will go running with you or play basketball on the weekends? Try ATLETO | iStock.com/RossHelen

If you’re an athlete, then it makes sense to connect with other athletes for friendship and fun activities. ATLETO, which is available for iOS, matches you with other athletes based on your location, skill level, frequency, and mode. You can use the app to check out nearby activities and request to join them. You can choose among more than 40 different sports to find other people that share your favorite activities. You can grow your network of fellow athletes, and even meet people you can build friendships with in real life. 

2. Bumble BFF

woman using smartphone and smilling

Looking for your new BFF and want a positive, feminist experience finding friends? Bumble BFF is perfect for you | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Popular dating app Bumble, known by some as the “feminist Tinder,” also has something to offer if you’re just looking for friends: the BumbleBFF mode. Just download Bumble for Android or iOS, and then you’ll be able to activate the feature. Bumble lets you connect with potential friends by swiping right. After you match, either person will have 24 hours to make the first move, and then after that, the connection disappears. The feature is a great way to find friends in a positive online environment. (And then to meet some of your new friends in real life.)

3. Citysocializer

Woman holding mobile phone with empty black screen

Want new friends to hang out with while you try out fun activities around your city? Citysocializer is the app to try | iStock.com/grinvalds

Citysocializer may be the perfect app for you if you want to find new groups of friends with whom you can go to fun events and share fun activities. Using the app, you can discover events to attend and meet interesting people while you’re out. The idea is you’ll “find lots of things to do and people to hang out with every time you feel like going out.” It’s a great way to meet people and find social events whether you’re at home or traveling. 

4. Hey! VINA

Woman holding an iPhone 6s

Want to find more awesome women to be friends with? Hey! VINA is a must-have app | iStock.com/Prykhodov

Hey! VINA is the perfect app for women looking to connect with other awesome women. Whatever you’re looking for in a friend, Hey! VINA can help you find it. The app promises to empower “women to choose community over competition and to tap into the power of a supportive global community of awesome women just like them.” You’ll be matched with other users based on your quiz results, favorite activities, life stage, age, and location preferences. The app is currently available for iOS and will soon be offered for Android, too. 

5. Meet My Dog

female texting on Apple Iphone while smiling

Need friends who wouldn’t mind hanging out with both you and your dog? Meet My Dog may be the perfect place to find buddies for both you and Fido | iStock.com/Reimphoto

If there’s an app that helps athletes meet other athletes, then there should be an app to help dog owners meet other dog owners, right? Enter Meet My Dog. This iOS app enables you to connect with other dog owners in your area. The idea is that you can find friends for your dog, and perhaps meet dog owners you wouldn’t mind hanging out with again. According to Meet My Dog, “Dogs want to play with their friends, just like us!” 

6. MeetMe

A set of programs from famous brands of social networking

Want to find potential friends who are fun to talk to? MeetMe may be a great way to discover them | iStock.com/Prykhodov

MeetMe is the app for you if you want to chat and meet up with fun people nearby. The app enables you to chat with people with similar interests, and you can discuss a wide variety of topics with the users around you. You can share posts and ask questions, and discover potential friends around you. The app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows. 

7. Meetup

young woman's hand typing a text message on her smartphone

Hoping to find a friend who shares your love of photography or your interest in tech? Then download Meetup | iStock.com/Ridofranz

Meetup is a platform that makes it easy to connect with people who have the same interests and like the same activities as you. You can discover local Meetups for all of the things you love to do. And you can create your own Meetups to connect with new people in Meetup’s user base. The app is available on iOS and Android, or you can explore the community on Meetup’s website. Just pick an interest — like Outdoors & Adventure, Tech, Health & Wellness, Photography, Language & Culture, or Music — and check out Meetup groups in your area. 

8. Nextdoor

young black woman sitting on floor at home with cellphone

Want to connect with potential friends right in your neighborhood? Nextdoor is a great app to try | iStock.com/m-imagephotography

Nextdoor positions itself as a “private social network for your neighborhood.” The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, enables you and your neighbors to stay up to date on what’s going on in your local community. You can use the app to learn about fun neighborhood events, which are great places to meet the people who live near you and make potential friends. You can also use the app to chat online with your neighbors and simply connect with the people who make up your neighborhood.

9. Patook

Four friend hands texting in their smartphones

Want to find friends on a platform that ensures nobody is there to find a romantic partner instead? Patook is a must-have app | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Patook calls itself a “platonic friends app.” You can join the platform as an individual or as a couple (if both you and your partner are looking for new people to hang out with). Patook bans flirting. It even brags that it has “the most advanced flirt detection algorithm in the world, and it will ban and block any users who aren’t here to make friends before you even hear from them.” The app will match you with potential friends based on your interests and opinions, and you can set preferences on which kinds of users you want to be visible to.

10. Skout

Female using app on smartphone

Want an app that will connect you with great people whether you’re at home or traveling? We’d recommend Skout | iStock.com/SolisImages

Skout claims to be the world’s largest app for meeting people, with millions of users around the world. The company explains, “At Skout, we’re all about preserving the magic of unexpected meetings that lead to discovering new people. From friendships to romance, Skout has been connecting people since 2007.” You can use Skout to make friends wherever you go, whether you’re hanging out at your neighborhood bar, going to a concert in your home city, or traveling either domestically or internationally.

11. Tinder Social

Woman holding mobile phone

Hoping to find more people for you and your friends to hang out with? Consider Tinder Social | iStock.com/ Kikovic

Iconic dating app Tinder recently launched Tinder Social, a mode you can switch to when you aren’t looking for potential dates. Tinder Social prompts you to select Facebook friends who are also on Tinder to create a group. Then, it will show you other groups that you can match with. When you set up your group, you can specify what your plans are for the night, and Tinder Social helps you make connections and meet new people. As Tinder explains, “Often your best times are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew, and your two crews have an amazing time together.”

12. Wiith

Two women sitting in a bar and staring at mobile phones

Hoping to make new friends at a fun event? You should definitely check out Wiith | iStock.com/oneinchpunch

Wiith is an app that promises to make it easy to “hang out with someone new.” The app, which is currently offered for iOS, enables you to connect with new people by creating an event or joining somebody else’s event. You can “find and be found by other activity seekers” and connect with new friends who share your interests. The app even promises to make it easier to “be spontaneous and social,” which sounds like a pretty great way to meet new people and make new friends.

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