Meeting new people has been made a lot easier with the advent of social media and dating apps. Skout, one of the more unique and popular mobile apps in this space, connects you with other users based on your real-time location.
Available for both iPhone (iOS) and Android devices, Skout is positioned as a "global network for meeting new people." This can be useful both for everyday use and for when you might be traveling abroad. After downloading the mobile app and setting up your profile, you can connect with nearby users based on your specifications.
Most notably, you can check if there are other Skout users in your vicinity, view their profiles and engage in chat sessions. You can also see who looked at your profile, read updates from nearby users, and save your favorite users. The app also allows you to buy and send gifts. Each profile has the ability to upload and share pictures too.
User locations are generalized. While you may not know if Jane Doe is a few seats over from you at a specific bar, you may be able to see that she is in the same neighborhood as you.
The main Skout mobile app is completely free to use and grants you access to all the core features. Optionally, you can choose to upgrade to Skout Premium on a subscription basis from within the app itself.
The monthly fee for the premium version is about $10 with discounts offered when you prepay for a three-month or 12-month package. A premium subscription boosts your 'popularity' within the Skout community by listing your profile first in games and searches.
Skout Travel is another paid feature that is separate from Skout Premium. This allows you to connect with users in a city other than your own. The effective cost to 'travel' to another city using the in-app virtual currency is about 20 cents.
Separate Teen and Adult Communities
Whereas most other social platforms provide no clear distinction for users in different age groups, Skout has separate communities for teen and adult users. Teens, in this case, are defined as being under 18 years of age. This is largely the same demographic that is attracted to other social apps like Kik and Snapchat.
The teen community is more limited, as users there cannot search by location and they cannot find users who are within 100 miles of them. Even so, Skout has experienced significant controversy surrounding rape allegations with underage users in 2012 and temporarily shut down its teen community in response.
More Than a Dating App
Even though Skout has been said to be even more popular than Tinder, it has repositioned itself from being strictly a dating app to one that facilitates 'connecting people; in general. Dating is decidedly still one of the main reasons people choose to use Skout, but even the main website now talks more about "preserving the magic of unexpected meetings that lead to discovering new people."
Tips for Using Skout
Familiarizing yourself with Skout may feel somewhat overwhelming at first, but you'll become more comfortable with the platform the more you use it.
- The intrinsic dangers of social media definitely apply here. Be careful about what personal information you post. The Safety Awareness Center on the Skout website offers a number of helpful safety tips.
- Unlike Tinder, there is no built-in screening process with Skout. What this means is that practically anyone on the platform can message you. This can be seen as either an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your perspective.
- It is worthwhile to invest in Skout Travel if you plan on visiting another city and you don't know anyone there. This way, you can start to form connections even before you arrive.
- The 'Interested?' feature, which is accessible from the main menu, matches you with other users. You can then choose to tap a green check mark to approve the suggestion or a red X to remove it. Once matched, you can choose to start chatting.
- If you'd like to take a chance, try the 'Shake-to-Chat' feature. This connects you with a random user that you may not have otherwise met.
Meet New People
It can be difficult connecting with new people, especially if you've recently moved to a new city and you don't know anyone. By allowing you to search for other users based on general geographic area, Skout makes it easier for you to meet new people, form new friendships, and maybe even connect with the next love of your life.