Whether you’ve just moved to a new city, are working from home, or have lost touch with old friends, there’s no need to feel isolated. There are apps at your fingertips that will have you connecting with others in minutes.
What sets these apps apart from other social media apps like Instagram and TikTok is that they encourage in-person meetings. When you connect with people in your community, chances are you’ll create memorable experiences as well.
If you’re hoping to find like-minded people in your area, check out these social networking apps designed to promote a sense of togetherness.
1. Hey! VINA
Hey! VINA is an application created by women, for women. Unlike dating apps, Hey! VINA encourages friendships only by connecting you with women in your area.
While introducing you to the app, it asks you to choose from the communities and interests you identify with, such as: introverts, extroverts, dog owners, gamers, foodies, homebodies, moms , expats and LGBTQI+ to name a few.
Women’s profiles appear with a photo, their location, certain personality traits, interests, as well as the communities the person belongs to. You can then swipe right or left if you want to connect with that person. Just like dating, if there is a match, you can start chatting.
There’s also a section where you can make plans, organize your own events, and find out what’s going on in your area. To add a new level of fun, there’s an assortment of quizzes and personality tests you can play with to get to know yourself better. If you played the quizzes, your results appear on your profile for others to see.
To download: Hey! VINA for Android | iOS (Free)
The Meetup app has been around since 2002. It is considered to be one of the oldest in-person dating apps. It organizes meetings in almost all the countries of the world. From sewing circles to startup communities that entrepreneurs can join, there’s something for everyone.
Meetup is all about connecting people who live in the same city. If you’re on the go a lot and looking for activities, events, and people in your area, you can search for Meetups and start finding things that interest you and are happening around you. You will be notified when there is an event for the group you signed up for.
You can also organize your own events, create your own groups and even promote your services (for example, if you give a conference or have a conference coming up), you can promote it. Meetup encourages people to grow their professional and social networks by inspiring them to connect with others based on common interests.
To download: Meetup for Android | iOS (Free)
3. Next door
Nextdoor is an app that lets you find people in your neighborhood. As the name suggests, people are encouraged to share their exact location and find people in their neighborhood, street, or even building.
The app focuses on hosting meetups, buying/selling items, as well as initiating chats with people nearby. Nextdoor shows you exactly how many bands are in your area and lets you discover events, restaurants and businesses near you.
To set it up, you need to provide your exact location for a personalized experience. After that, you will be able to see people from your area. You will need to completely complete your profile to authenticate yourself.
The one thing about Nextdoor is that if you’re in a country whose language you don’t speak, it can be difficult for you to find people who speak your language. You can, however, search for “English speaking” groups and services to see what’s going on.
To download: Meetup for Android | iOS (Free)
Peanut was created primarily for moms who want to connect with other moms. The app acts as a support group for women who have questions and need support on various topics, such as motherhood, mental health and wellness.
The application has spaces for group conversations, chat rooms and community meetings. It advertises itself as a “safe space where women can connect”. It is a network where women can share their personal experiences, offer their expertise and connect with other women in their city. There are also podcasts you can listen to.
After signing up, you will be asked to identify yourself with a selfie which will not serve as your profile picture, but will be used to securely identify that you are a real person.
After that, you will be able to access blogs on almost any topic related to women’s health and wellness. You can also browse advice from experts (such as midwives, doctors and nurses) who you can get in touch with through the group.
To download: Peanut for Android | iOS (Free)
Using Facebook to connect with people in your community is a great way to network, make new friends, and keep up to date with events in your area. If you are a long time user of Facebook, you will have noticed that over the years it has undergone many changes.
From what was once a platform where you could find your old friends, many people are now using it to find new friends and build online and offline communities. It’s easy to find groups dedicated to what interests you. You can join communities located in your city and create your own group or community.
When you meet someone in an app there is a good chance that please and if they live nearby you can also meet them. For people who find it difficult to make friends, there are online platforms solely focused on building online communities for introverts.
To download: Facebook for Android | iOS (Free)
While it’s plausible to think that social media apps are meant to get people talking online, many apps these days are designed to let people interact face-to-face.
Apps that focus on building communities are much more likely to provide their members with a sense of belonging, as their intention is to bring people to the same place to connect.