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April 16, 2017

Make friends with other women with ‘Hey! Vina,’ a Tinder for friendships

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Swiping has been proven rather addicting, if not useful, for establishing interpersonal relationships. And now, it’s being applied to friendships.

If swiping for love has met with success (and indeed, no matter how infrequently, it most certainly has), it seems that applying the same practice to other sorts of relationships ought to result in happy endings, too. That is the hope behind new app Hey! Vina, described as “your favorite app for women’s friendship.”

When you swipe right in Hey! Vina, you won’t be in for a potential date — rather, you’ll have the opportunity to “meet new friends, join communities of people like you … and read awesome articles about living your best life.” So if you’re new in town, you may be able to say “hey” to a new friend circle with Hey! Vina.

While the app isn’t exactly new (it actually first came into existence last January), its global launch didn’t take place until September 2016. The premise is similar to that of most dating apps: you need a Facebook account in order to register, allowing you to check out potential “matches” (which is to say, gal pals) based on mutual friends or interests. From there, you’ll fill out a profile, and like any other matching app, the more information you provide, the better your chances of being paired with someone with whom you might actually be compatible.

Tell potential friends whether you’re introverted or extroverted, whether you’re a city slicker or would prefer to hike all day, and whether you want to end your day with a glass of red wine or a whiskey cocktail. Then there are some open ended questions like, “What’s your guilty pleasure?” or “Describe yourself in emojis.” Hey! Vina also provides various personality quizzes to go into even greater detail about your personality (but those are optional).

Perhaps the best part of Hey! Vina is that it is solely dedicated to forming friendships. At least, insofar as this is a female-only platform. “Part of that is so that it doesn’t turn into a dating app,” Olivia Poole, one of the founders of Hey! Vina, told Engadget. “When you put men and women onto a platform to meet, it can very easily and organically turn into a dating app, just based on human nature.” Poole noted that while men and women can certainly have platonic relationships, those relationships still develop differently than they do between two women.

And while you may think that you don’t need the help of an app to make friends, science suggests that may not be the case. “Part of the difficulty around making friends as adults is that you fall out of practice,” Miriam Kirmayer, a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University in Montreal who specializes in emerging adult friendships, told Engadget. “When we’re younger, there are playdates, and it’s easy to access a social network of people who are the same age as us or who might have similar interests. But once you leave school, and even through university to some extent, established friendship networks tend to be uprooted and disrupted. It’s hard to find people with whom you connect.”

But just maybe, Hey! Vina can help.

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