Your new buddy's just a click or swipe away
LOOKING for like-minded dance aficionados or animal lovers in the neighbourhood?
They might be just a click or swipe away, with the growing number of social platforms that allow people with common interests to find each other online or via their phones.
Launched in July, Nearcircles aims to connect residents living in the same neighbourhood or condominium.
The website has 40 neighbourhoods - including Bishan, Woodlands and Tampines - as well as 180 condominiums listed. Signing up is free.
Nearcircles founder Suresh Mylavarapu, 30, told My Paper: "We recognised the lack of social relationships between neighbours in the building we were living in, and saw that it was the same in most, if not all, the residential areas in Singapore.
"We wanted to connect people and strengthen the ties between residents...through hobby groups and activities that would be of common interest to them."
Mr Mylavarapu added that the website uses a location-tracking system to detect users' exact location when they register. Users can sign up from anywhere, but they have to log in at least once from their home in the next five log-in attempts.
Undergraduate Chris Lim feels it is safe to use the portal. The 22-year-old, who lives at Tropica condominium in Tampines, made use of Nearcircles so that he could watch the World Cup for free at a neighbour's place.
He said: "I wanted to watch the World Cup...and managed to find someone on Nearcircles who opened up his house in the next block. I think it's quite safe, and it's helpful in promoting 'unity' among the residents."
Tech-savvy animal lovers and their four-legged companions have a smartphone app to find like-minded company.
Launched in July as well, Petfie aims to connect animal lovers in the same neighbourhood. They can set up accounts for their pets or stray animals, and socialise with other pet lovers in the vicinity.
Businesses, such as a pet clinic or pet shop, will also be able to create profiles in about a month's time.
The app is available only on the Singapore iOS App Store for now. About 200 users have created profiles on the free app.
Petfie founder Jerome Chan, 26, said: "On Facebook and Instagram, you get an assortment of selfies or food pictures. (On) Petfie...the unwanted content is filtered and everything is animal-related.
"It is a single platform where pet lovers can gather to tell stories through photos of their pets. We've placed geotagging as a top priority. Through our map view, one would be able to discover pet profiles in his vicinity."
Insurance broker Stephanie Fong, who owns a 12-year-old West Highland Terrier, said: "I like the map-view feature because it gives me an idea of the types of animals in the area."