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The social/local app helps you meet new people based on similar interests and hangout spots
I’m always a little wary of social apps that promise to bridge online and offline social networking by connecting you with people who share the same interests in real life. Meeting new people online is fine, since—in theory—you’re not really “meeting” them, i.e. they can’t get within arm’s reach to shoot you up with tranquilizers and whisk you away to their Albanian prostitution ring, like in that Liam Neeson movie.
But a new app that launched Monday—Crowded Room—aims to make that very online/offline social networking bridge by helping you connect with people who frequent the same hangout spots as you. The app’s creator, IAC, claims to have built a service that helps you make new connections based on similar interests, mutual friends, and…who happen to be nearby.
"Where you go and what you do says a lot about the people you want to meet," said Michael Kestenbaum, CEO of Crowded Room, in a statement. "Crowded Room helps you find your kind of people at your kind of place by using the best aspects of social media to help create connections in the real world."
Obviously, this is not just for someone who walks into a coffee shop and thinks “I’d like to make a new friend today—preferably someone who shares my affinity for coffee.” The service is clearly geared toward those who are looking for love…or something like it…which is why the app allows you to tailor suggested connections with separate “men” and “women” tabs. Could this be the ideal hookup app frat boys have been waiting for all these years? Ha, ha—j/k, there’s no shortage of hookup apps.
You can even meet people at places you plan to go, such as a party, via the “Go” button, which allows you to sync up your check-ins with Facebook, Foursquare, or Twitter. The app gives you the option of checking in privately or publicly.
To make the app a little less scary, you can also tailor who you meet by whether you have any shared connections, which you can determine when you initially download the app and tap into your Facebook friends list. But the company notes in the release that the app’s algorithms continue to learn the more you use them, which allows them to deliver more and more relevant hookup meetup suggestions.
The free app is available today for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.
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