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Whether you’ve moved to a new town, started a hobby, entered a new phase of life or just want to make some new friends, the web makes it easy to connect with people Turn Your Internet Relationships Into Real World Friendships With A Meetup Turn Your Internet Relationships Into Real World Friendships With A Meetup There is one thing you must know when organizing a virtual meetup with an online compadre: don't be creepy. The prime consideration you must have is that your friend -- regardless of how close you... Read More who have similar passions to your own.

Connecting with new people can help you get more out of life. You’ll have more support systems who know what you’re going through and can share your trials and victories with you. Especially if your hobbies include staying in shape or eating well, surrounding yourself with others who want to do the same can be a great motivator.

Here are six websites and apps that can help you take the plunge and start making new friends 10 Effortless Ways To Meet Interesting People While Traveling 10 Effortless Ways To Meet Interesting People While Traveling When traveling, it can often be difficult to meet like-minded, interesting people to spend your days and evenings with. With the right tools and some enthusiasm, it can be an effortless exercise. Read More who share your interests:

Meetup (iOS & Android, Fees Per Group)

Meetup app

“Find your people” is Meetup’s slogan, and the site delivers on this promise. Meetup will connect you with others who enjoy your interests by letting you search for groups within five miles of your location using any of the site’s categories or your own terms.

For example, if you want to get moving but don’t have a specific sport in mind, you can look for groups in the fitness category. If you know you want to play soccer Top 5 Football (Soccer) Games You've Probably Never Played But Should Top 5 Football (Soccer) Games You've Probably Never Played But Should If you feel as though you've played the latest, high-profile titles to death, there are alternatives for the armchair pro tired of FIFA, PES, Football Manager, and the rest. Read More , you can search for a soccer-playing meetup.

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If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can also start a new group.

It’s free to create a Meetup account and join existing groups, but if you start your own meetup you’ll have to pay organizer dues.

There are currently two pricing plans for organizers, with a third option coming soon. Prices vary by region but Basic plans are around $10 a month and Unlimited member plans are about $15 a month. You can also ask members to contribute by paying annual dues or chipping in whatever they can to support the group.

Of course, this also means that you may be asked to pay dues or donate to the groups you join as a member. However, Meetup allows you to participate in a group for a trial period without paying dues. This means you can try out different groups to find the best fit.

Download: Meetup on iOS | Android

Groupspaces (Web, Fees Per Group )

Groupspaces app

Groupspaces goes beyond the concept of the meetup to provide a home for many other kinds of groups as well. These groups include nonprofits, churches and university clubs. Joining a group means you get access to files, photos, newsletters, and event information shared within that group.

Similar to Meetup, Groupspaces lets you search for nearby groups using a category or keyword of your choice.

Groupspaces differs from Meetup in that it offers many options for individuals who already belong to a community, such as a college or church, but want to find groups How To Use Google+ Hangouts To Meet With Friends How To Use Google+ Hangouts To Meet With Friends Google Hangouts is a key feature of Google+. If you are not using Hangouts already, you are missing out! Maybe you haven't yet joined Google+. Well, if you do have a Google account, then joining... Read More within that specific community.

For example, Groupspaces hosts many groups affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. A freshman at UPenn would have an easy time connecting with the on-campus clubs that match her academic and extracurricular interests.

One downfall of Groupspaces is the way their pricing plans are set up. The pricing page lists a Free and Basic account option, but they are at the bottom of the large chart of more expensive pricing plans.

A free account will get you 2 Member lists, a total of 50 Members and 250 MB of file storage. The Basic Plan expands this to 200 Members, 5 Member lists and 2 GB of files storage for about $8 a month.

Much like Meetup, being a member of a group means you may be asked to pay monthly dues, which will vary based on the groups that you join.

MEETin (Web, Free)

MEETin site

MEETin declares its mission simply as “make friends in the real world.” It’s run by volunteers and is completely free to use.

While MEETin lacks the flash and extensive features of sites like Meetup and Groupspaces, it’s easy to find your city listed in alphabetical order on the left side of the site. Each city’s page includes upcoming events and photos from past events, as well as classifieds and message boards.

If there currently isn’t a MEETin group established for your city, you can email the site webmaster to inquire about getting one started.

MEETin will help you meet new people in your town, whether you’ve just moved or want to stir up your social life Beat The Loneliness: Find Friends & Let The Internet Help You Beat The Loneliness: Find Friends & Let The Internet Help You Feeling lonely? Virtual friends won't make that feeling go away. The best cure is to meet people and make friends in real life. This can be really tough, but the Internet can help you! Read More . Popular events include happy hours and specific activities like ski trips and cultural outings.

Another great feature of MEETin is that it states upfront that the site is not for professional networking or dating. That’s not to say these things couldn’t develop organically, but it removes the pressures and expectations of such assumptions and frees you to just show up and have fun.

Smacktive (iOS & Android, Free)

Smacktive app

With a focus on sports, exercise and other physical activities, Smacktive will help you find people to go to the gym with or practice your tennis moves on.

Based on the premise that it’s easier to stick to a workout or new activity if you have someone to do it with, Smacktive’s purpose is to offer both companionship and accountability.

Smacktive gives you updates on the number of Smacktive users who are currently in your area, as well as the number of activities you can join in on nearby.

Of course, simple probability suggests that this app will likely be most valuable to you if you live in a well-populated area like a city.

Download: Smacktive on iOS | Android

WeGoDo (iOS, Free)

WeGoDo app

WeGoDo connects you to nearby people interested in the same hobbies and activities as you. Search for people with like interests using the app categories like “Urban Exploring,” “Mountain Biking” or even, simply, “Dogs.”

What distinguishes this meetup service from other, similar ones is the social media-like experience it offers. You can also post photos and comments about the things you’ve done, the things you want to do or anything else on your mind. WeGoDo also includes a news feed of local deals, curated content and recommendations. Think of WeGoDo as Facebook with a purpose.

Download: WeGoDo for iOS

ONE (iOS, Free)

ONE app

ONE is an app for college students. It will connect you with potential friends, dates and colleagues by letting you create a profile of your interests and then notifying you when someone nearby has a similar interest.

Because it’s limited to college communities Ten Android Apps Every College Student Needs Ten Android Apps Every College Student Needs If you're at College or University this semester, you need these ten apps. Read More , students can feel somewhat safer about the people they may be matched with and approached by. ONE also displays photos of the people you’re matched with, making it easy to spot them.

Perfect for college freshmen or a recently-transferred student, ONE can help you find new people who share your passions.

Download: ONE on iOS

Ready, Set, Make Friends!

With so many great options for finding like-minded people nearby, there’s no excuse for being a couch potato. So get online, find some new groups to connect with and then get out there to meet your new pals.

Image Credit: Picography

  1. Jennifer
    November 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    A little surprising to see 'Glynk' missing from this list. Yeah, it's a relatively new app. But that's where I meet people like me through some great content...a couple of months back I was actually looking for like-minded apps and this is the first app that came up..working great till now..

  2. erika
    March 31, 2016 at 6:35 am

    there is a new site that looks cool and is along these lines . its called HowZone. You can see it on howzone.com

  3. Shaurya
    November 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Great Article,
    Through zaprest.com you can also meet like minded locals who share common interest while you travel.

  4. Jorge
    May 19, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Great article, Kayla.
    But not every interest is listed on those apps, and this is the major drawback I find.
    If for example I'm into tech, I wouldn't go for it, since they lack of what I need to connect with the people I'd like to.
    And if for example I'm into ciber-sex chatting, I wouldn't use them since probably I'd like to enjoy watching on a higher resolution, wider screen. So, instead I'd use other "social" websites like amateur.tv, for example...

    Anyway, your articles are appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jorge
    May 19, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Great article, Kayla.
    But not every interest is listed on those apps, and this is the major drawback I find.
    If for example I'm into tech, I wouldn't go for it, since they lack of what I need to connect with the people I'd like to.
    And if for example I'm into ciber-sex chatting, I wouldn't use them since probably I'd like to enjoy watching on a higher resolution, wider screen. So, instead I'd use other "social" websites like amateur.tv, for example...

    Anyway, your articles are appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  6. Kayla Matthews
    May 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Hey Dennis,

    Just wanted to let you know that you can find the link for the image at the verrryyyy end of the post. The image is from Dave Meier via Picography. =) Thanks for reading!

  7. Saikat
    May 18, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Isn't it strange that we actually don't use social media tools as much as we should to proactively increase our circle of friends in the real world? Some of these tools can really help, but their success comes down to localization.

    • Kayla Matthews
      May 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      It is strange that we don't use them more for actually being social, especially those of us who live in more populated regions.

      Thanks for the insights, Saikat!

  8. kt
    May 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I've met some cool people on specific forums with regional sections like:
    Gun forums. (I've met some nice people at gun shows after posting I'd be there).
    Music forums.
    Video game forums.

    Just find a forum you like and use the regional section if they have one.

    • Dennis Slapo
      May 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Kayla,

      Where did you find that picture of the 3 women joggers? What site? Very curious. I like it very much.

      Dennis Slapo

  9. Rick
    May 18, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for this article. Please ignore the hateful comments.

    • Kayla Matthews
      May 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks, Rick! Glad you enjoyed it. =)

    • Michalis Tiritas
      May 19, 2015 at 5:12 am

      Thanks Rick for your feedback. I agree with you and thanks Kayla for the article! I've actually only used Meetup out of all of these but am going to check these out now (I'm based in UK). I teach a course on social networking so these are going to be really useful as I already use meetup as one of the tools.

  10. Matthew
    May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Great. First article of the day and met with comments from a pompus, self-righteous, leftie attempting to be a humorous intellectual. Hint: no tool will help you meet people because you're an obnoxious bore.

  11. likefunbutnot
    May 17, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Many of these tools only work in places where the population density is great enough to support the tools. In those surroundings, having the ability to meet people with similar interests doesn't necessarily have to be arbitrated by a social media tool.

    In the area where I live, Meetup bulletin boards are populated almost exclusively by equine sports enthusiasts and frighteningly right wing political organizations. I guess that's awesome if you're into animal husbandry or long for the days when racist groups could march openly in 4th of July parades, but the author will have to forgive me if I don't find the tools that have been highlighted to be meritorious.

    • David
      May 17, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Right wing and racist groups? You must be brain washed by MSNBC, I reckon. Stop watching MSNBC or CNN.

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