My Quest for Friendship with the Top Friendship Apps on the Market

My Quest for Friendship with the Top Friendship Apps on the Market

From Bumble BFF to Hey Vina!, is there a friend-finding app out there that actually works?

If you ‌work remotely, like me, you would know the struggle to make new friends. Sure, you have work buddies, but if you want someone who shares your niche interests and hobbies, chances are you won’t find them at the office. According to UK-based research on employee engagement, 67% of workers between the ages of 18-34 express that remote work has made it harder for them to make friends. Thus, a lot of people have resorted to finding friends on the internet. 

In my own struggle for friendship, I began scouring the internet and settled on trying three different apps—Bumble BFF, Wink and Hey Vina! Here is a detailed review of my experience:

Bumble BFF

Bumble BFF is a section of the popular dating platform Bumble, which boasts over 50 million downloads to date. The app features three separate parts—Bumble Date, Bumble BFF for making friends and Bumble Bizz for making business connections. Bumble BFF functions much like its dating counterpart, with users creating profiles that include photographs, interests and answers to prompts that help display their personalities. While women are required to make the first move to initiate a conversation on Bumble Date, this rule doesn’t apply to Bumble BFF, which simplifies the process of reaching out to potential friends. 

As a user of Bumble BFF, I was looking for purely platonic friendships, specifically with other women. However, I quickly discovered that finding a compatible match on Bumble BFF was not as easy as I thought. At first, I swiped right on women that were close to my age (25) and also had similar interests. But when I had no luck finding any matches, I expanded my search to include all women in my age range. Even then, the exercise turned out to be fruitless. 

Although I received a good number of likes on Bumble BFF, I was unable to see who had liked my profile without upgrading to the premium version. The premium version, which costs anywhere between US$19.99 a week and US$229.99 a year, offers additional features such as a profile spotlight (making your profile visible to more people) and unlimited daily swipes.

Despite its popularity, Bumble BFF left me feeling frustrated and disillusioned with the idea of making new friends through an app. It was shocking to me that my experience on Bumble BFF and the dating side of the app was so very different. Suffice it to say, I’ve left this app for good!


With over five million downloads, Wink is also a multi-functional app like Bumble. Unlike other friendship and dating apps, swiping right is a way to send people a friend request and get in touch with them. Each friend request costs you gems (the in-app currency of Wink), which you can earn by following Wink on Instagram, logging into the app every day and regularly chatting with other users. 

Or, for those who want to skip the hard work, you can also just purchase these gems using real money. However, the unpaid version of the app has a limit on how many friend requests you can see. Hence, even if a lot of people want to talk to you, you might never end up connecting with them. 

When you visit a person’s profile on Wink, you see their personal details alongside their Wink score. The Wink score is calculated based on how active you are in the Wink community. The app offers a paid monthly subscription at US$4.99 that includes unlimited gems, the ability to rewind any accidental left swipes, a comprehensive list of your received requests and no ads. 

With Wink, I found it just as hard to find female friends here as on Bumble BFF. I sent people requests and messages, but no one seemed eager to respond. The requests I received largely consisted of men who were looking for someone to date. I did connect with a guy who does seem like a potential friend. But only time will tell whether this would actually turn into a real friendship. 

Hey Vina!

Since it hasn’t been easy to connect with other women on the first two apps, I opted for a women-only app in the hopes of a higher success rate: Hey Vina!. It is an app that caters exclusively to women who are looking to make new friends. It takes you through a mini-quiz that helps to create a personalized profile for you. The quiz consists of questions like do you like coffee or wine, are you a morning person or a night owl and so on. 

Hey Vina! is free to use and doesn’t have any ads. However, you can also buy a VINA VIP subscription that costs anywhere between US$5.99 (one-week membership) and US$47.99 (six-month membership). The paid subscription gives you access to features like finding out who swiped right on your profile, getting a second chance to like a profile you accidentally swiped left on and having your profile put in the spotlight. 

Unfortunately, my experience with the Hey Vina! app was not very satisfying. The app is only available on the Apple App Store, which could explain why I found so few potential friends on the platform. Despite swiping on multiple profiles, I quickly ran out of options after seeing four or five profiles in the app, and even the people I swiped right on didn’t lead to any connections. 

Within minutes, I was completely done with whatever the app had to offer. The app also features a “join the party” feature where you can randomly be matched with two other women for a live group chat, but this also didn’t yield any positive results. 

Should You Use Friendship Apps?

As someone who has struggled to make friends in the past, I was excited to try out these friendship apps. Unfortunately, my experience was largely unsuccessful. None of these friendship apps actually worked, or at least not in the ways I had expected them to. 

However, just because it ended up this way for me doesn’t mean you should dismiss friendship apps completely. There are ample people out there who have successfully made friends on these platforms. So, if you are lonely and looking for more social connections, trying these apps might not be the worst idea. If nothing else, you’ll walk away from these apps with renewed vigor to put yourself out there and try to socialize more just like I did.

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Header image courtesy of Freepik


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