Friendsy: Frenzy, or just Friends-eh?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Fear no more, lonely Swattie: the campus specific hookup/friend-finder app Friendsy has finally arrived on campus.

Friendsy is a more robust, optionally platonic Tinder. The app was founded by four Princeton undergraduates in May of 2013, and has launched at 41 schools at time of writing. It was first spotted on September 7 on the Class of 2018 Facebook group, in a post by co-founder Mike Pinksy.

Friendsy, like Tinder, allows you to swipe through a sea of possible partners and indicate whether or not you’d hook up with them. Friendsy restricts the pool of partners to other Tri-Co students, and gives users the additional options of “friending” or “dating”, as well as “hooking up.” Users are required to sign up with a valid .edu email address, input their class year, major, and affiliation – all of which become criteria to filter matches in the app. When two users express mutual interest, Friendsy divulges your information and facilitates communication.

A hypothetical Friendsy interaction might start with a notification reading: “A girl in the class of 2016 wants to hook up.” You could try to find her in the entire class of 2016, but you could decide instead to request a hint. If she accepts your request for a hint, Friendsy offers up a more specific bit of information: she’s in Tango Club. Once you’ve found her in the smaller pool of Tangoers, you indicate your desire, and Friendsy initiates conversation with one of many whimsical prompts: “Would you rather visit the Moon or Mars?”

Friendsy also provides a forum for anonymous social messaging, similar to location aware communication app Yik Yak.  Friendsy encourages students to post anonymously to the campus “Murmur Feed” with a compliment for another student, a picture, or an “overheard at Swarthmore” quote. The most popular quote at time of writing: “Well there was that one time I tried to have fun, and we all know how well that went.”

Campus reaction towards Friendsy is mixed, if not outright tepid. Paroma Nandwani ‘18 described her experience receiving hookup notifications as “ridiculously awkward” and “kind of creepy”, but likes the murmur aspect of the service. She appreciates the attempt by Friendsy to keep murmurs exclusively positive, and said that “if more people get on it, Friendsy will achieve what it wants to achieve.”

For the moment, Friendsy remains more of a novel fascination than a useful social tool. “I haven’t heard of anybody who’s actually hooked up on Friendsy” says Bobby Zipp ‘18: “It doesn’t promote doing things, it just promotes talking about them.” An anonymous member of the class of ‘15 said “Friendsy is trying to be Facebook, Tinder, and LikeALittle. And I think it’s failing at all three. It’s a trivial thing that will blow over in a couple of weeks.”

Nonetheless, Friendsy continues to attract interest across campus; a quick trip to the “connect” tab of Friendsy (for research purposes) reveals an impressively well populated roster of Tri-Co students. Perhaps the the campus’ cautious fascination with Friendsy is best captured by Casey Lu Simon-Plumb ‘18: “It’s so weird… but it seems like everyone’s on it.”

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