9 Apps for Meeting People and Hanging Out with Friends

April 19, 2012

1:20 pm

Now that we’re all addicted to Facebook, a bunch of new apps want us to step out into the real world and (gasp) meet people in-person.

One of the newest is GiddyUp, launching today. GiddyUp helps you plan meetups with your phone contacts. If you don’t know where or when you want to chill, invite your friends to “Drinks tonight” and figure it out in a group chat. You don’t even need the iPhone or Android app to get an invitation; anyone with a smartphone can see invites and RSVP.

How does GiddyUp fit in with the other meetup apps out there? Here’s a handy table:

GiddyUp events can also be planned – i.e., with a specific date and time – but the app is especially useful for organizing last-minute get-togethers. Highlight and company help you connect with people nearby in real-time, and Forecast, Wendr, and GonnaBe let you tell everyone where you’ll be later.

GiddyUp cofounder Elliot Goldwater sees a few drawbacks to apps of the “anyone can show up” variety:

“1) People generally feel awkward inviting themselves to someone else’s event and 2) people value their privacy and generally don’t like everyone knowing what they are doing.”

But that’s not a flaw in all plan-sharing apps: Wendr, for example, lets you broadcast plans to only your best friends. And these apps may appeal to people who live for random encounters and chance meetings.

Tell us your favorite meetup app in the comments.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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