Scott Rosenbaum, 30, spotted a gap in the market while working on a dating website and launched the strictly platonic website Rentafriend in New Jersey last year. "Male seeks female for platonic banter – 40 (London)" reads the headline in another post. "I'm a 24-year-old white female from West Yorkshire, looking to make to new friends within my favourite city… I like learning to cook, going to shows and concerts, and getting to know new people and forming new friendships.
"No one was offering friendship," says the marketing whiz. On the site, "friends" sign-up to offer themselves – from a few pounds per hour – to the lonely, bored or plain curious. "Looking to make new friends, nothing more," pleads a 26-year-old male. I have always loved London, ever since I was a little girl and would to love to make new friends in the area.
Youcef actually approved my coming along, and as I write this very sentence has just pinged me to say ‘hey’. A fresh dating app seems to spring up every month, and friendship platforms are following suit – today, the young, mobile generation appreciates the practicality and instantaneous nature of forming relationships by scrolling through pictures and sending a few messages.
With that in mind, Wiith already has a few similar models to compete with.
Tall Mature Guy is 58 and looking for a "TALL lady companion, NOT a sex partner (I can't be bothered any more)".
According to recent statistics, the LGBT community makes up roughly 5% of the American population, but where are all the Lesbian singles?
Others want someone to share their passion for mountain biking, or table tennis, or the theatre, or for getting stoned. They aren't on the lookout for curvy women or men who boast about how good they are in bed, and explicitly detail the reason why.
"The plan would be sitting around chilling, smoking, listening to some dirty, dirty dubstep. " says a 20 year-old west Londoner looking for "some honest platonic fun". They are browsing, posting and reading adverts on the internet, in this instance on new website Rentafriend, seeking – and offering – the company of strangers, for friendship only.
"I was serious when I said I'm just looking for friends on my profile.
You're so nice, and I don't want to lead you on in any way.