On Friendsy: giving credit where credit doesn’t seem to be due

By Isabella Raynal

photo 5As it becomes available on more and more campuses, Friendsy prides itself on being a more targeted version of Tinder aimed at college students.

For those unfamiliar with Friendsy, it’s an app that allows college students to view one another’s profile – which consists only of their name, photo, gender, graduation year, major, and one extra-curricular activity – in order to determine if they want to be friends, hook-up, date, or pass altogether.

Users can also send each other “hints” – elements of their profile – in order to give people information about those sending them requests while still leaving their name anonymous.

Matches occur when people mutually select both one another and their desired relationship, prompting the ability to message one another.

In order to explore whether or not the app actually fulfills its intended purpose, I surveyed a group of Northwestern students about their usage and opinions of Friendsy.

Keep in mind that the majority of responses came from freshman students, which tends to be the grade most eager to make new relationships as they start college for the first time.

photo 3Slightly more than half of the respondents had or have a Friendsy account, giving us a balance of responses from users and non-users.  Many of the non-users buy into the stigma surrounding the app: similarly to Tinder (which is the other most used dating/hook-up app by the quarter of respondents who use another form of social media to find dates/hook-ups), the app seems weird or creepy, and a less genuine way of meeting people.

In terms of meeting people, Friendsy seems to have the reputation of a hook-up app. Surprisingly, the respondents to this survey were least interested in hook-ups. Not so surprisingly, since this was mainly filled out by freshman, most were interested in friends.

But when it comes to finding relationships, only a small portion of respondents seriously use Friendsy to accomplish this.

But in addition to gathering information from users of the app, I also decided to ask Graham Derfner a few questions about his experience as Northwestern’s Friendsy representative.

At Northwestern, many students hopped on the bandwagon in September, and profiles continue to be made. Despite fear that the app would face direct competition from Tinder and YikYak, he’s satisfied with the progress Friendsy’s made so far.

As a rep, his main responsibility is getting the word out, whether it involved putting up posters around campus, handing out free sunglasses, or posting about the app on social media.

“The app is better when there’s a large pool of students participating so I spread the word and told everyone to sign up. Now that Friendsy’s been running for a little more than a month, I don’t have to promote as vehemently as before, but I still have jobs to do for the company,” says Derfner.

You may have seen him serving coffee in front of Tech last week to promote the launch of ChitChat, a new way to message people on Friendsy.

“I’m repping Friendsy as hard as I can and I’m hoping more people and take advantage of what Friendsy has to offer: connecting with and meeting new friends across the NU community.”

Obviously, there are some discrepancies in my research, but that’s to be expected considering the controversiality of dating/hook-up apps.

The overall feeling towards Friendsy seems to be that it’s mediocre at best.  Many of its critiques revolve around the anonymity of requests, its logistics, the inactivity of users, and the lack of information available on users’ profiles.

So in an age that seems so geared towards technology, Northwestern students seem to still prefer the old-fashioned way of meeting people: seeing and getting to know them in person.

My advice may sound pretty cliché, but “you do you.”  You know what’s best for you in terms of meeting new people, so at the end of the day it’s up to you to decide whether or not Friendsy is the app for you.

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