Dating app Bumble has launched a standalone friendship-finding app in Ireland.
Parent company Bumble Inc. announced the launch of Bumble for Friends on July 26, creating a new way for people to grow their friendship circles.
The app, which was launched in Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Philippines, the US, and the UK, is free to use and allows people to discover "meaningful, kind, and fun connections in their local area."
The original Bumble app has included a friendship mode since 2016 (BFF) in addition to a mode for romantic connections (Date). There is also a mode for people seeking to make business connections (Bizz).
Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble's founder and CEO, said a dedicated Bumble for Friends app would make it easier for people to find friends separate from the dating experience.
"Friendship has always been a critical part of Bumble’s goal to living a healthy and happy life. With feelings of loneliness and isolation at an all-time high, now more than ever is a time to prioritize self-love and friendships for our well-being," Herd said in a statement.
"People are more open to making friends online than ever before. In fact, in a recent Bumble For Friends survey, 67% of Gen-Z respondents shared that making new friends online lessened their loneliness.
"No matter your life stage - whether it’s moving off to college, looking for a travel partner or becoming a new mom - Bumble For Friends creates a fun way to connect with people while helping solve the extremely important issue of loneliness."
People interested in Bumble for Friends can make a profile, adding photographs and providing information about their likes and interests. They will then be invited to swipe through other members' profiles in their local area and swipe right on those they would like to make a platonic connection with - mirroring how Bumble Date works.
Anyone currently using the BFF mode on the Bumble app can move their profile over to the new standalone app. The BFF mode on the original app will no longer be available once a profile has been moved to Bumble for Friends.