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Many times, her messages were met with confusion and silence.

But she occasionally got lucky."Some people were like, 'Oh my god, I have always wanted to do this too! She eventually formed one strong friendship with someone from OKCupid, only to watch that person move to another city.

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.

Today, many chatrooms seem to have only one person loitering inside.

It’s incredibly difficult to even use the chatrooms, because you need AOL Desktop, a free program that when downloaded, feels like a glimpse back into the days of dial-up. And, just like in the 1990s, people looking for sex. She’s 72, and in her free time, she likes making miniature scenes and working in her garden.

For some people, it might seem weird to look for a new pal on their phone. Back in 2005, only 44 percent of people said it was a good way to meet people, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. And while social networks such as Facebook and Instagram allow users to contact random people, specialized apps, Baca said, make it seem OK to reach out to strangers without it feeling weird.

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.

A., and users have to join a waiting list to try it out. You sign up and are matched with an anonymous user. The users can't even message each other — they communicate by answering irreverent multiple choice questions, sending GIFs, and creating Spotify playlists."You lose something when you know everything about a person," Rendezwho co-founder Adil Ansari told NBC News.

The app reveals the distance between the two users (which averages 2,800 miles) ... "The point is to go out and travel and one day meet this person."Allowing messaging, Ansari pointed out, would lead to people sharing their names and then searching for each other on Google, killing the mystery.

After that, she decided to start a networking group called "Ladies Who Vino." It grew and eventually inspired her to create Hey! That app matches users based on factors including location, mutual friends and personal traits.

Right now it's only available in New York, San Francisco and L. If that sounds too much like online dating, Rendezwho tries to make friendship a game.

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