A new app called Peanut is being hailed as a "Tinder for moms" – women who create a free profile can "swipe" to "wave" and connect with other moms with similar interests for friendship or even playdates with their children.
When Nicole Giordano, 28, heard about it, she thought, "That's a really cool idea. It's an easy, quick way to get introduced to somebody." Dating apps like Tinder help introduce couples, so why not an app that lets people hook up for friendship?
Giordano, a stay-at-home mom of a 6-month-old girl, welcomed the opportunity to increase her current circle of family and friends. One mom she's met through Peanut is Jennifer Bonislawski, 29, who has a 1-year-old boy. The two have chatted online and become Facebook friends, and they hope to meet up soon.
Here's how Peanut works: Women create a profile with their first name, community and photo. They include the ages and gender of their children. They also can choose three descriptors from a list of possibilities that include, for instance, "outdoorsy," "single mama," and "strictly organic."
Peanut was created by Michelle Kennedy, a London mom of a toddler. She worked for Badoo, a European dating site, before having her son. "We're doing everything in the palm of our hand," she says of modern life. While on maternity leave, she wondered why there wasn't a similar way to use a mobile phone to find new moms to bond with while her other friends were still at work.
"No one's really around at 2 in the afternoon to kill time with," says Kennedy, 34. "There are points of time when you really feel quite isolated." Now that she's working full time promoting Peanut, she uses the app to find other women on the same schedule as she is who might want to connect on a weekend, she says.
Kennedy named the site Peanut because early on in her pregnancy with Finlay she read that the fetus was the size of a Peanut, and that became her nickname for the baby in her belly. "It's named for Fin," she says. The app launched in February and has just passed 100,000 users worldwide.
Locust Valley, N.Y., mom Bonislawski says the app still "needs some tweaking" to make it easier to use, and that she thinks it will be more useful to her once more women on Long Island sign up.
"It's not going to make or break my social life," Bonislawski says, but she says she is hoping more women will join so that she can meet other moms even closer to her home.
"I would definitely recommend it," Giordano says. "It was just cool to make a connection with someone I wouldn't normally meet."