With millions of users around the world, Skout is the largest location based social networking and dating app. Available on both iOS and Android operating system, over five hundred million connections have been made since 2013. Apps such as Skout give people the opportunity to chat and connect with others in their community or around the world. So it is no surprise just how many people have online friends they have never met. Recently, Skout conducted an online friendship survey and found that four out of five social networking users have ongoing online friendships with people they have never met. Eighty-three percent of those questioned stated they would certainly like to meet their online friends one day, which sheds light on the level of trust that can be achieved after long term correspondence with online pals.
Meeting people from other communities gives people the opportunity to learn about other cultures without the expense of travel. For instance, a staggering sixty-two percent of Americans said they have online friendships with persons in other countries. Foreign friends can offer unique and interesting opinions on political and social issues. Not to mention, you can pick up a little of the language in the event you do travel or nurturing international friendships can simply be a nice complement to a persons everyday life. The world is changing, and the way people make and nurture friendships also seems to be changing.
The survey found that the ability to connect with smartphones has made it easier to develop online friendships. While ninety-two percent of the respondents stating they use their mobile phone versus a computer to stay in touch online, and fifty-nine percent actually communicate on a daily basis. While some are touting the use of social networks as being damaging to forming relationships, Skout’s survey seems to demonstrate the fact that people are changing the way they choose to interact and are satisfied with friendship in the real world and in cyber space.
Skout has an interesting and popular Travel feature within their app, which allows users to select a destination or city to meet new friends from anywhere in the world, bringing back the tradition of pen pals from many years ago. The Skout app is available in sixteen languages, and its community spans more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and successfully raised $22 million in capital from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.