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Read More: Dating Apps That Promise Love, Not Match Overload Obviously, there are far more dating apps on the market than friend-finding apps.But in big cities like New York and Los Angeles that are filled with young, transient populations, the idea of using technology to connect with new friends is gaining steam.Many times, her messages were met with confusion and silence.

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Read More: How People Are 'Juicing' Their Online Dating Profiles Since its launch two weeks ago, more than 7,000 people located everywhere from Turkey to Hong Kong have signed up.

Nobody has found their partner yet, but company co-founder Candy Avila Baca promised "a little surprise" for the first 10 to 20 people who end up doing it. The app hopes to "digitize the chance encounter" that someone might have while traveling, with none of the filtering for interests or beliefs found in other matchmaking apps."You might see friendships that develop that transcend age or gender," Ansari said.

A new generation of apps is matching people who are looking for friendship, not romance, with features that wouldn't look out of place on Tinder or OKCupid. VINA, Monarq and Wiith connect people with similar views and lifestyles.

While photos still play a role, the focus is more on compatibility than looks.“We’re a lot more data-driven,” Olivia June Poole, co-founder and CEO of Hey! “We’re really focused on understanding you holistically as a person, as opposed to it being a game of ‘hot or not.’”Hey! Users answer questions about their interests, personality and goals, post a photo, and the apps match them up for a coffee date, museum outing or whatever other activity they may be into. It lets people create events (for example, brunch or cocktails), invite other users to join, and then accept or reject those who show interest.

Services like Meetup, which encourage strangers to get together and participate in an activity, weren't as targeted she would like.