New social media platform helps people make friends during pandemic
"We wanted to develop a way to combat these feelings of loneliness and isolation," co-founder Sam Brickman says.
People are meant to be together. That’s been easier said than done during the coronavirus pandemic. Quarantine Buddy is a social media platform designed to help.
Started by a team of Cornell computer science students, Quarantine Buddy’s matching algorithm connects people with similar interests together. Users simply fill out a questionnaire and are paired with other users based on the answers they provide.
Co-founders Sam Brickman, Jordyn Goldzweig and Alisa Lai came up with the idea while at learning remotely from home. They missed the in-person social aspects of being at a college campus. They figured that if college students were feeling this way, other people must be feeling the same.
“We realized that it wasn’t only us missing this,” Brickman said. “It was people all throughout the world of all age groups really missing the ability to talk and interact with other people. We wanted to develop a way to combat these feelings of loneliness and isolation.”
According to Brickman, over 45,000 people have tried the Quarantine Buddy from 130 different countries. In addition to linking people with common interests, the platform puts together virtual events like book clubs, game nights, and TV chats.
Even when the pandemic ends, Brickman feels that Quarantine Buddy, also known as QBuddy, will have staying power. He notes that modern social media platforms either help people stay connected to people they already know or meet potential romantic interests. A platform that helps people meet friends may be QBuddy’s niche in the marketplace moving forward.
“So many people we’ve spoken to say that it’s so hard to meet people,” Brickman said. “We want to be the first website that’s really optimized for meeting new people. Not necessarily to date, just to be a friend.”