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Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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Posted: September 12, 2014

Meet Friendsy | Another college-based social media app with a stupid name

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Friendsy? Where do they come up with these names? I know they’re targeting college students but it’s not like they’re all idiots. I mean, we haven’t even started discussing the app and can you already tell how much I hate the name? I would have much preferred “Hook Up Mania” — “HUM” for short — at least it’s direct and straight to the point. Friendsy sounds like something you name a bunny or a kitten.

Anyway, so Friendsy. Not to be confused with the formerly beloved, and now deceased, Friendster (another stupid name). The app was developed by two students at Princeton, Mike Pinsky and Vaidhy Murti, who started brainstorming ways for students to meet (ahem, hook up with) new people outside of their social circles. They launched the first version of Friendsy on the Princeton campus in 2013.

Friendsy, which currently has about 10,000 users at 40 colleges across the U.S., combines a number of features similar to those found in other social networks like Facebook, Tinder, and Yik Yak. Unlike those networks, Friendsy is limited to members college or university communities by requiring all users to register with their college or university e-mail addresses. The app’s users are shown each other’s profiles with several photos and some basic information, including class standing, gender and major. They are anonymously allowed to express interest in another user without the other user finding out, unless the match is mutual. Unlike Tinder, there is not a hot-or-not dynamic. Users can choose to indicate that they would like to become friends, hookup or date the other user.

friendsy logo_new

According to the app’s creators, so far most of the mutual matches (60%) have been for friendship — although considering the devious ways of the human heart some users who want to be “friends” may be focused on something more. In cases where the second user hasn’t already viewed the first user’s profile, the second user is invited to review a collection of “likely suspects” (matching the first user’s general profile) in order to elicit a response without giving away the first user’s identity.The Social Graf, MediaPost

Overall, Pinsky said one of their goals is to avoid situations where people are set up for rejection.  “It removes the social risk of going up to someone and putting your neck on the line,” Pinsky said.

Another component of Friendsy is a feature similar to the popular app Yik Yak, called Murmurs. Users can post comments anonymously or non-anonymously to the constantly updating Murmur feed, which other users can read and upvote. On Friendsy, users can also direct anonymous comments at a specific user, similar to mentioning someone in a tweet. Pinsky said the entire feature began as a way for users to compliment each other.The Michigan Daily

Pinsky added that Friendsy emphasizes moderating content to ensure users have a positive experience.

“On Friendsy, all content is moderated, so you’re never, ever going to have a negative experience,” Pinsky said, “The worst case scenario is you like someone who doesn’t like you back, but that’s sort of life sometimes.”

So, in summary, this is a clever app with a growing following. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a success on college campuses across the country. Now, if they would just change the name …

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