In summer 2021, 23-year-old Marissa Meizz went viral after a TikToker heard her friends had agreed to exclude her from a party. In response, the social media app was awash with invitations for Meizz to join various friendship groups. After hosting a 200-person gathering in Central Park, Meizz launched an online community, No More Lonely Friends, organising free meetings across the US and selling merchandise with optimistic and friendship-focused messaging.
Launched by a first-generation college student who struggled to find peers during remote learning, Flox is an app designed specifically for groups as opposed to individuals. Once friendship groups sign up – the app is exclusively for New York undergraduates for the time being – they can connect and meet other groups. The group dynamic is central to Flox as it offers an element of safety, something that mitigates the risks associated with meeting people one to one.
Taking a more purposeful approach is Locals, which not only connects people who are digitally fatigued but are keen to get involved in social and planet-driven causes. Launched in London and Los Angeles, activities include nature hiking, film screenings and a meditation session with a Tibetan monk. In addition, Locals roots itself in positive impact by organising volunteering trips, as well as letting users raise funds for a charity of the host’s choice, instead of paying a fee for the experience.
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