We’ve moved around a lot – across the country and (almost) back, and we average a move every three years. My husband and I (and, eventually, the kids) learned pretty quick that we need to jump in fast, getting to know our new homes and make connections in the community.
But, making friends – the kind you just want to hang with – isn’t easy to do fast. You can seek out those with like interests – there are meet up groups, athletic leagues, churches, homeschool groups… But one of the things I’ve realized is that I often have to travel to these groups. Oh, I don’t mean travel, I just mean get in the car and drive across town (or other to another city altogether).
Sometimes… you just want to meet for coffee. Or hit the park with another parent and kids.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a huge appreciation for Facebook and how it’s been fantastic not just for meeting new people with common interests, but also for staying in contact with friends and family as we hop around the country. But, it’s not always the best help to find friends offline.
So, hooray for Huggle! Huggle is an app that connects you with people who are already interested in the places you go – and it helps you connect with them. It’s almost like a matchmaking app, when you didn’t realize you already had friends all around you… and you just hadn’t met them yet.
Here’s how it works: First, you download the app and create an account. Then, Huggle keeps an “eye” on where you are, using the location services on your phone. Huggle connects you with other users who visit the same places you do but showing you their profile pics. You can then check out their profiles and send them a message. Chances are, if you’re hitting the same coffee shop, visiting the same park, or working out at the same gym – you’re going to have other things in common, too.
Something really cool – in addition to our little issue with moving, we go out of town regularly. I was pretty delighted when Huggle started showing me users who frequent some of my favorite haunts in other cities. Huggle is not just for your home, but for anyplace you’d like to connect and meet other like minded folks.
It’s almost as if your tribe is out there – whoever you go – but you just can’t see them. Huggle provides that extra key of letting you recognize and connect with them.
Seth Godin said that the internet helps us “find our tribe.” Huggle helps you find your tribe in person. Let’s face it – sharing a coffee face to face still beats Facebook live.
One more thing: Lots of folk s(yours truly, included) are concerned about safety online. We protect our data, and we need to protect ourselves and our families, too. Huggle has your back.
First, Huggle is an app for adults – it’s not for kids. If you choose to connect other accounts, like Instagram (I did), Huggle will only import pictures of you. So, selfies? Yes. Kids? Absolutely not. Pictures of “stuff?” Nope. (I appreciate this. I post images of products I’m reviewing on channels requested by the businesses who sent them, and sometimes I cringe when I see those images cross posted on channels where they don’t make any sense. No worries about that with Huggle.)
Second, Huggle has some cool verifications. You will have to verify who you are through at least two other social media channels. You can choose from Facebook, G+, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also use your mobile phone number. In addition, you are required to take a picture of yourself making a specific gesture. This picture is then checked by a <gasp> human being. #norobotsonHuggle
Mercifully, I will add in that they do not show the picture. I was noodling around during my morning coffee and took mine with no makeup and bed-head. I was torn between feelings of horror and the resignation of me realizing what I’d done too late. But Huggle is kind, and won’t show this picture on your profile.
But that’s okay.
Someone has to be first, and when my people find Huggle, I’m ready and waiting for them.