New Tinder-like app comes to Northwestern

Annie Bruce, Reporter

A new matchmaking app that will match up interested students as “friends,” “hook-ups” or “dates” is launching at Northwestern on Sunday night.

Friendsy, an app designed by two Princeton University seniors, offers students a way to interact exclusively with other students at their school. Graham Derfner, a Friendsy campus representative for NU, said the app will be available for students to download on iPhone and Android phones on Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.

“We wanted to create a way for students on campuses to take more advantage of the amazing people that are around you and branch out of your social circles in a risk free way,” said Michael Pinsky, one of the founders of Friendsy.

Similar to apps like Tinder, Friendsy allows students to view other profiles and indicate whether they would like to “friend,” “hook-up” or “date” the user, depending on their level of interest. The user will only be notified of a match if another student selects the same option.

“Everybody’s secrets are kept super safe,” Pinsky said. “It’s sort of a win-win way to put yourself out there.”

Derfner, a Weinberg sophomore, joined the Friendsy team after Pinsky reached out to him about expanding to NU.

“The platform is made to connect people,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing to connect campus … and I love that it’s very inclusive to Northwestern only.”

Though the app has launched at 41 schools across the country, students log in using their school email addresses, making each Friendsy community unique and exclusive to that school. Pinsky said more than 20,000 users have signed up nationwide and the app has made almost 200,000 mutual matches since its launch.

Friendsy also features a Murmur feed, which is a constantly updated feed of compliments, overheard comments and pictures.

“One of the great things about us, that separates us from other apps like Yik Yak, for example, is that everything is moderated,” Pinsky said. “We monitor for negativity and anything that’s racist or homophobic or anything like that won’t go through. It’s a very positive process.”

After Friendsy’s initial launch as a website at Princeton in May 2013, Pinsky and co-founder Vaidhy Murti traveled to Dartmouth College over the summer and knocked on 750 doors to sign up an additional 400 users. Over the past year, the partners have continued to update and improve Friendsy and launched the iPhone and Android app versions over the summer.

“The reason we keep doing this and keep working so hard to make it happen is because we actually feel like we’re making a very real difference,” Pinsky said.

Over the next year, Pinksy and Murti hope to reach 100,000 users and continue to launch at colleges across the world.

“People have written to us and told us that Friendsy has really changed the way they interact with people,” Pinksy said. “Somebody wrote to us a couple months ago and said they thought they found their soulmate through Friendsy, which I think is unbelievable. What more could you really want from an app?”

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