This app helps you make mom friends even when you’re trapped under a baby

This app helps you make mom friends even when you’re trapped under a baby

Except what follows are often awkward social interactions between moms eager to make a connection but unsure whether the other person wants the same, or whether they're even a good fit for each other. Much like a dating app, it uses an algorithm to match moms with similar interests and experiences. "I donít think they [the other mothers] looked how I felt. Peanut, which is available as a beta download in the Apple store and is ad-free, is designed to eliminate these awkward social dynamics. That's partly why users can't just scroll through potential matches without having to decide whether to connect. Only one match is presented at a time. "You know the person youíre waving at ...[is] looking for a friend too," she says. Similarly, the message function makes it easy to poll people about when they're available to meet. Though it's available to all in the app store, most of the women on Peanut live in London or New York. Users who don't have any matches in their neighborhood or city will still see matches from elsewhere.

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Image: Peanut

One of the hardest parts of motherhood, aside from the sleep deprivation and wild emotions, is the stinging, sudden realization that few friends get what you’re going through.

That loneliness inspires plenty of women to join mom’s groups, postnatal yoga, music classes óbasically any social activity that might lead to a new friend.

Except what follows are often awkward social interactions between moms eager to make a connection but unsure whether the other person wants the same, or whether they’re even a good fit for each other.

A new, free app, Peanut, aims to take the guesswork out of that agonizing process. Much like a dating app, it uses an algorithm to match moms with similar interests and experiences.

Image: Peanut

Michelle Kennedy came up with the idea soon after her son was born three years ago. Kennedy, a founding member of the dating app Bumble and former executive of the European networking service Badoo, felt lonesome even though she frequently saw new moms in her neighborhood and interacted with them at classes.

But group settings often felt intimidating to Kennedy. “I donít think they [the other mothers] looked how I felt. They looked quite together. I felt like it was a mystery,” she said.

Peanut, which is available as a beta download in the Apple store and is ad-free, is designed to eliminate these awkward social dynamics. The algorithm serves up matches based on data contained in a user’s Facebook profile, including a woman’s location, education and profession. She also chooses three “badges” from a collection of tongue-in-cheek icons. A user can describe herself as a “dance machine,” “hot mess,” “spiritual gangster,” “adrenaline junkie” and “city gal.” Additionally, she can indicate whether she’s a “single mama” or if her child has “special needs.” Newer moms might get the most out of Peanut, but women with children up to age 16 can join.

The point, isn’t just to match moms who have parenthood in common, but to help women make meaningful connections based on common values and interests.

Those selections feed the algorithm, but they’re also meant to convey a user’s personality. Candid profile photos help with that, too. Since the app is integrated with Facebook, it…

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