Bvddy - Using Tinder Logic to Make Fitness Social

Is it better to work out by yourself or with friends? It depends on your approach, but the fact remains that, in adulthood, finding partners in crime for your athletic pursuits is a bit more difficult. You might have managed to talk your partner into going jogging with you, or had an impromptu basketball game with a few friends one sunny afternoon, but anything long term is going to be a lot harder to maintain.

To solve this issue, Miami startup Buddy Tech looked at Tinder. It's long since been proven that Tinder's swiping system is far more broadly applicable than first thought, and better suited to things other than dating. The latest on that list? Finding a gym buddy.

On Bvddy, you create profile which logs your location, age and the sports you're interested in, then matches you up with other people who have similar interests. This way, you can arrange that game of squash or weekly run with someone of a similar skill level, or look for events that you might be interested in and open up a dialogue with other people who are considering going.

The swiping interface is almost identical to Tinder's, and the discover feature simply lists nearby events that you might be interested in. Profiles are rated by how responsive they are, as well as how they were to partner up with, so the more you use the app, the more likely you'll be to get matched up.

Unlike a dating app, you can't really over or undersell your value, because it will either end up making you look like a fraud, or a jerk who just wanted to play tennis with someone they could utterly annihilate. People play sports because they want to have fun, primarily, and all this is really doing is sidestepping the awkward 'hey, do you climb?' conversation.

You can also create and manage events in-app, so if you buddy up with someone, and it's going well, you can start to arrange local events and get yet more people involved. Events are mapped to availability - you'll only see the ones which you're actually able to attend, so the chances of half a dozen people pulling out an hour beforehand are lessened.

It's pretty limited here the UK, I only found a handful of other users in the local area, but in the US it's reached in excess of 100,000 daily active users since launching last year, when it was limited to only Miami. With time and attention, this could end up being a truly global network, and more dedicated events and corporate sponsorship deals could emerge. Even if it hasn't fully reached your area yet, keep an eye on this one, it might just find your that fencing partner you've been needing since university.

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