Canberrans launch Fluttr, the app connecting people online and in person | The Canberra Times | #tinder | #pof

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It’s not unusual to go out and see people on the dancefloor or sitting at a bar with friends, and still be on their phones. It’s something that as a DJ, Vineel Dutt sees regularly. And it’s also the thing that sparked a conversation with his friend Dasun Rajapakse about social media and how people use it. “A lot of people were just sort of sharing memes and things. There wasn’t too much human interaction,” Rajapakse says. “That’s why we talked about how it would be great to freeze that out and get people away from it. But no one can freeze that part out of our lives out. “So we thought it would be cool to have a profile with you while you’re out in social situations as well as being able to connect with each other in a more genuine way. We figured it was a way of bringing the two worlds together.” That was four years ago and this week the pair along with co-founder Ferdi Bartulovic launched Fluttr, for Apple and Android. Unlike apps such as Bumble and Tinder – which are primarily dating apps but have variants for making friends – Fluttr has launched primarily as an app for creating friendships. This is despite the fact that when Fluttr first started marketing itself in the middle of last year, it was done so as a dating app. So why the change? According to Rajapakse and Dutt, it was just a matter of them going back to their original plan of helping Canberrans make friends. That being said, they haven’t ruled out the idea of adding a dating feature to the app down the track. “What we didn’t want to do was restrict users to go down a particular path before they connect,” Dutt says. “At this point, we want to keep it really social and I think it’s important these days because while in Canberra we can still go out to bars and things like that, due to restrictions of COVID, they can’t connect like they used to and everyone must be seated at a table.” READ MORE: Currently, Fluttr is only available to Canberrans and this is partly because, to match with someone, you need to be in the same venue. Matches will then only last a limited time as the idea is that you are in the same location so why not just talk in person? As Dutt and Rajapakse describe it, Fluttr is an ice-breaker app. “We might go out to bar or cafe or something and might cross paths with someone who we feel we might get along with really great but our interactions might be very limited,” Rajapakse says. “You might see someone who might be wearing a shirt or something like that suggests to you that you might have something in common. Something like a sports jersey. And it’s not something that a lot of Canberrans do – just go up to someone and just start talking to them. “The app is a tool to help that happen.”

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