Interview with Hey! VINA CEO Olivia Poole about her Tinder-style app for female friendships

When I was working on my dissertation, I was researching on all the platforms where I could meet women my age. I was looking for fashion and beauty opinions on a school assignment, but was surprised when I stumbled on this app called Hey! VINA. It’s sort of like Bumble BFF, but it’s so much more aesthetically pleasing with its pastel colors, and it allows women to connect after filling out detailed profiles about their interests. It also allows women to hold group events and gatherings, which can definitely take the pressure off of making friends. I spoke with the founder of the app, Olivia Poole, who gave me some insight behind the app and why women should embrace the support for one another.

Can you explain why you thought there was a need for the app? I launched Hey! VINA in 2016 because I knew firsthand how difficult it is to find friends as an adult. At the time, I had moved to San Francisco and I didn’t know anyone, let alone have an inner circle that I wanted (and needed) so badly. After starting a women’s only wine night series, Ladies Who Vino, I realized the power of bringing women together in a safe place. I created VINA to scale that experience out to the world! I decided that using a dating app like interface but with the sole intention of women’s friendship was the way to go, because I tried (and failed!) at messaging the other cool girls on other dating sites to be friends. The results proved that I was onto something—as VINA reached 100,000 downloads in its first week on the App Store.

What is your favorite feature of the app?
I love our personality quizzes! They help you see how people’s personalities fit into the equation of being a good match, plus they’re a lot of fun!

What advice would you give for someone who is going to be meeting their first VINA?
Remember that the vina you’re about to meet is here for the same exact reason as you! You both downloaded Hey! VINA for a reason and you’re here to make a connection and develop a friendship, so don’t be nervous because you’re both looking for the same things in life! You already have VINA in common, so just let the conversation build from there!

Can you explain how VINA is a bit different than Bumble BFF?
Our members say they love Hey! VINA because we’re exclusively focused on women’s friendship, so the platform is very feminine and designed with that sole goal in mind. They also love how we show so much more than photos, plus they love being able to host and attend plans created by other people in the community! Lastly, many of our members aren’t looking for dates, so they’re not comfortable having a dating app on their phones.

You can download the Hey! VINA here using Google Play or the Apple Store.

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