As many of us have learned, it can be hard to make new friends as we age into adulthood. Throw a couple of little ones into the equation, and you see why it can be especially difficult for moms.
Welcome Peanut, an app designed to help mothers connect. This Tinder-like app makes it easier for women to reach out and make real-life connections with other moms based on common interests and location, as well as the age and gender of their children. Mothers can start conversations or group chats and organize meetups with helpful scheduling tools.
This month, Peanut celebrates the one-year anniversary of its launch. So far, Peanut has more than 220,000 users, and more than one million messages have been sent through the app.
“It’s been a very exciting year in terms of watching women join this community,” CEO and founder Michelle Kennedy told Digital Trends. “We haven’t really done any formal marketing to this point, so we’re very proud of the organic growth. And I think that speaks to the quality of the user experience. As women, we want to tell other women about the great things we find, so that they’ll use them, too.”
Like any startup, Peanut experienced its share of ups and downs in its first year. The highs included being featured at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. But when the app initially debuted on iOS only, Peanut had to face frustrated Android users. (Note: Peanut is now in fact available on Android phones).
“It’s been a very exciting year in terms of watching women join this community.”
“It was always the plan to test the market on iOS first, but the requests from Android users came in thick and fast. It was hard to hear from women who wanted to make those connections and felt excluded. You feel horribly responsible,” Kennedy said.
While successes and disappointments could have been predicted, Kennedy did not expect the app to attract users from so many different places. Peanut is available throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, and its largest communities are in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas.
“Whenever I fly into a new city, I check in to Peanut to see what the density is like, how many women are using it, and what the conversations are like. I don’t know these women, and I have no idea how they heard about Peanut, but how cool is it that a girl from Austin, (Texas), for example, has found this community,” Kennedy said.
Another boon for Peanut is that in recent years, societal conversations have turned more toward women and mothers.
“When we first started building the app a few years ago, I don’t think people were talking about motherhood as they are now. People were certainly talking about women, but not necessarily ‘mothers.’ I’ve felt the shift, and I see it everywhere,” Kennedy said.
Although this attention on women is deserved and overdue, the problems Peanut aims to solve are not unique to them. In fact, surveys show that adult men are suffering a friendship crisis as well.
So it begs the question, will there be a Peanut for dads?
“He-nut! — that’s what my husband would like it to be called,” Kennedy laughed. “Never say never, but for now we’re very focused on solving this pain point for women.”