CEO of Meetup, David Siegel, in a recent interview shed light on what the most important aspect of the Meetup platform was to its users. Meetup is a platform for organising real life events, spanning across all kinds of hobbies. However, it’s not hobbies that people are looking for, it’s friends, revealed the CEO.
The top ‘searched for’ term on Meetup, for the first time ever, has become ‘friends’. In a post-pandemic world, after forced isolation, people are looking for new connections and friendship. Naturally one of the best ways to do that is doing your favourite hobby with other people who share the same interest.
In an interview with Authority magazine, published on Medium.com, David Sigeel described how people have access to a wealth of social platforms online. They have social networks, online gaming, they even have remote working. All these things replicate and simulate human interaction to varying degrees of success. However, he describes it as drinking soda to combat hydration. The real thing, meeting up in person, is what can quench people’s thirst for human interaction.
And the need for connection to combat loneliness is higher than ever. Siegel cited Havard research that showed 46 percent of people report experiencing loneliness, and that friendship, more so than any other factor, had the biggest impact on people’s happiness.
Meetup is also exploring, like many other apps, the use of AI. Where it can be a powerful tool on meetup is when people are setting up new groups and activities. Siegel highlighted how a lot of people stumble and give up setting up a group when it comes to filling in the content and description of the event. It can be hard to find the right words and clearly overwhelming to organisers. AI can be used to auto generate that description and reduce the burden, helping users find the right words.