The PERFECT Social Networking App For College Students Launched By Princeton Students
Meeting college students outside of your normal circles can be quite hard. Between classroom commitments, social obligations, and extracurricular activities, college students are overwhelmed. In recent years, social networking apps, like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, have helped facilitate new connections and relationships, however, they don’t allow students to effectively filter down their pool of potential matches. Thanks to two Princeton alumni, college students now have a viable alternative.
Founded in 2014 by Vaidhy Murti and Michael Pinsky, Friendsy is a social networking app designed specifically for college students to help them meet others on their campuses. The app has exploded all over the country and is quickly taking over longstanding dating app incumbents with its feature set and flexibility.
Tinder Meets Young Facebook
Friendsy works a lot like other social dating apps but with a twist. Users still swipe to indicate interest or a lack of interest in others, however, the app will ask whether individuals are seeking friendship, a date, or a hookup. Friendsy will only match two students if they are looking for the same type of connection. In order to sign up for the platform, students must have a .edu email address and complete a profile.
Said founder Murti, “as an interested venture capitalist put it, we’re trying to do to Tinder what Facebook did to Myspace. Make it exclusive and clean.”
Friendsy also allows students to filter profiles on a number of other characteristics, including school, gender, or major. Additionally, users can drop “hints” for specific people which increases the chances that those two individuals will be matched. Similar to how YikYak works, the Friendsy app also includes a chat feed where students can anonymously post positive comments about others around campus. Because Friendsy supports such a high degree of filtering, students benefit from higher-quality matches and meetups. Today, the app is available nationwide at more than 1,500 colleges.
A Social Networking App Born Out Of A Chance Encounter
Friendsy’s founders, Michael Pinsky and Vaidhy Murti, bonded over a mutual love for the Yankees on Princeton’s campus. The two met at a chance encounter and realized they both felt it was harder than it should be to make connections with other students on campus. From this initial meeting, Friendsy was born and has since grown to more than 45,000 active users.
Early on, the startup raised over $200,000 from various sources including angel investors and Princeton University. Since then, the team has added $500,000 in seed funding and boasts monthly download growth >10%, according to Crunchbase. On average, users spend 26 minutes per session on the platform and log more than an hour in a day. Today, a team of 13 continues to grow Friendsy’s presence and help college students better manage who they meet over social networking apps in their neighborhoods.
Learning From The Past
This Untold Spotlight Initiative story reminds us of the importance of learning from the past in order to succeed in the future. Friendsy’s founders took inspiration from Facebook’s incredible rise in the mid-2000s. They built an active user base quickly on college campuses and leaned on the exclusivity and flexibility of the app to generate desire within the target population. Now, tens of thousands of students all over the country have much more control over who and how they meet on their campuses.
As an entrepreneur, you should study the past successes and failures of those who have operated in a similar space. Learning what did and didn’t go well for other entrepreneurs can help you accelerate your venture’s growth and avoid major pitfalls that would have otherwise slowed you down!
Interested in meeting other college students on campus? Download the Friendsy app here!