Tinder for Friendship: App Brings Together Single Parents
New app Frolo aims to ease solo-parenting isolation by bringing together single mums and dads in local areas to build new social networks.
The app functions like a Tinder profile for parents; users load their interests and their children’s age to be matched with parents of a similar outlook in their local area. They can message other parents via the app and join – or create – Frolo community meet-ups and trips. A newsfeed also provides a space for solo parents to post questions or updates, so others can share guidance and advice.
London-based founder Zoë Desmond started Frolo (a portmanteau of ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) as an Instagram page, after the end of her relationship with the father of her son left her lonely and looking for friends with shared experience. The app was developed after the account gained popularity with single parents. Followers began interacting with Instagram’s Stories feature to find online communities, which translated into real-life friendships. For more on new isolation-busting networks, see Gen Lonely.
There are existing social media apps for parent socialising like Peanut, but Frolo puts the experience of single parenthood centre stage. While inclusive of all circumstances that have led to solo parenting, the app is strictly for single parents (both mums and dads are welcome). The most recent UK statistics show that there are 2.8 million lone-parent families (ONS, 2017) – indicating a strong potential user base for Frolo and similar services. The app is currently in beta testing, with plans for the full subscription service to roll out in the UK and Ireland in September 2019.
For more on initiatives supporting evolving family units, see our Macro Trend The Kinship Economy.