This App Will Find You A BFF

by Eliza Castile

Are you in the market for a new best friend? Step right up to the Hey! VINA app, which is designed to help you find your adult BFF, or at least give you the chance to get started. We may have dating apps for seemingly every niche out there — farmers, lumberjacks, and even Disney lovers — but the truth is, sometimes it's easier to find a date for Friday night than it is to make friends as an adult. Even if you're still in contact with your best friend from childhood, it's perfectly natural to grow apart as you grow older; unfortunately, making and maintaining new friendships after high school and college isn't as easy as it seems, especially if you're new to an area. Needless to say, this can lead to some awkward moments. (Not that I'm speaking from personal experience. Nope.)

Fortunately, that's where the Hey! VINA app comes in. Created by Olivia June Poole and Jen Aprahamian, VINA is a company dedicated to products that support female friendships worldwide; their app is an extension of that goal. Hey! VINA works much like dating apps in that you can swipe right or left through profiles, which are based on information from Facebook. However, unlike Tinder, Hey! VINA uses an algorithm based on location, mutual friends, and information from quizzes that determine your interests.

According to Tech Crunch, the app's creators drew inspiration from their own experiences as women in the tech industry, surrounded by male colleagues and watching many female friends move away from the city. "As an adult, you don’t have people you can quickly warm to like you do as a kid," Aprahamian explained to the Daily Dot.

To begin, the app requests information from your Facebook profile, after which you take a short quiz about your social preferences — whether you prefer drinks or coffee, staying in or going out, and so on. According to the Daily Dot, the creators plan on including personality quizzes in the future to increase the algorithm's matching power, and the app even provides suggestions for activities when you and your potential friend meet up. Once you've edited your profile to your satisfaction, you can start swiping, and the rest is, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Of course, Hey! VINA has drawn some derision for turning our ability to make friends into an app. However, it's clear that many adults do find it difficult to make connections as they age; otherwise, we wouldn't have countless articles and books dedicated to the subject. (Even TIME has published advice about it.) Besides, it's hypocritical to approve of finding a friend with benefits online while criticizing someone for doing the same with a regular friend.

Although Hey! VINA launched this week, it's still in the beta stage. As a result, it's only available in New York and San Francisco at the moment, though there are plans to expand into other cities later on. Once it reaches your city, it may only be a matter of time before you find the Ann Perkins to your Leslie Knope.

Images: Dawn Foster/Bustle; Giphy