‘Tinder for moms’ seems like an app idea of which the founder of Ashley Madison would be proud, but Peanut’s premise is a lot more wholesome than that. The new iOS app’s mechanics are somewhat similar to that of the famous dating app, which is why the comparison seems to have stuck. But what Peanut really is, is a platform using which women can find other women desiring of fellowship, and use their mommy status as a point of connection. As the website explains, they’re “on a mission to build a community of women, who happen to be mamas.”
Peanut being evocative of popular dating apps should come as no surprise given its origins. Co-founder and CEO Michelle Kennedy was part of the team that founded Bumble, a location-based dating and networking app in which only women can make the first move. Prior to that she was deputy CEO at Badoo, another dating-focused app that also sort of functions like a social network.
Peanut, though, has its sights firmly set on facilitating platonic interactions–specifically those between mothers. Why laser focus on such a niche target audience? Possibly because it’s an underserved market consisting of often underappreciated individuals. It is well-documented that social dynamics can change following having children; one study quantifies that change at an average 15 percent drop in women’s satisfaction in their friendships. If new ventures should hinge on solving a problem, Peanut seems to have its priorities right.
‘Moms’ The Word
The app starts by asking mothers for information regarding their children, or the status of their pregnancy. It gathers that information along with whatever it’s able to glean from Facebook profiles (which is required to log in) to create an app-specific profile of each user. A machine learning algorithm chews on that data to show members each other’s profiles, also taking into consideration their physical proximity. A ‘wave,’ executed by swiping up, is what users employ to express interest in exploring a friendship with each other.
Once members have gone through the mutual screening process, they can initiate a conversation. Messages can be sent from a messaging tab, or can be sent directly from a users’ profile pages. To make things more social, a group chat with up to 20 members can be created. And to gauge interest in the possibility of meeting outside the digital walls of the app, a poll can be conducted. The feature allows users to vote on dates and meetup ideas.
Peanut is launching in the UK and US, targeting London and New York initially. It is available for download via the App Store. If Peanut sounds interesting, you might also want to try Hello Mamas, Smile Mom, or Mom Co–they’re effectively the same, though they don’t seem to have quite the same marketing edge.
Prateek Jose is a writer and engineering undergrad from India with an unhealthy obsession for obscure historical trivia. Conversations about absurdist fiction and the technological singularity make his day. He’s already uploading parts of his brain to servers by writing for websites such as this one.
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