Adventure. Belonging. Companionship. Understanding emotional triggers make your ad creative more effective. Our latest post, Creative Trends for Friendship Apps, shows how ads for matchmaking apps leverage different user motivations for audience targeting.

  • Compare dating app vs. friendship app user motivations
  • See how Facebook creative is modified for TikTok
  • Compare how ad creative appeals to specific needs and desires

“Like Tinder, But For Besties”
Creative Trends for Friendship Apps

As part of a $39.7 billion social network industry, friendship apps strive to connect users with an explicit interest in socializing. Instead of focusing on intimate relationships as dating apps do, friendship apps create fruitful communities based on common interests and non-romantic passions. Adoption of platonic relationship finders is on the rise, driven by reduced interpersonal connection and socialization during the pandemic. Friendship improves the quality of life and after pandemic isolation, people need more of it.


The Friend Trend

While apps sustained many remote relationships over the past two years, location-based friendship finders that help people meet are once again bringing people together in the real world. Meetup (which advertises “lasting friendships” and “growing your friend circle”) receives nearly 20 million monthly visits and has long set the standard for in-person community building. Bumble promises to help users find a new bestie through their BFF feature. Hey! VINA claims to be a “Tinder for (Girl) Friends.” And Peanut connects “like-minded mamas” based on children’s ages and pregnancy due dates.

Understanding user motivation is critical for a successful user acquisition campaign. Friendship app ad creative illustrates how persona-based creative concepts appeal to the unique motivations of different users. Some folks want more of what they already enjoy, while others want new experiences outside of their comfort zone. And some people just want like-minded folks to hang out with.

To see what’s bringing new friends together this summer, we’ve analyzed creative trends and user motivations for friendship apps based on data from Facebook Ad Library and TikTok For Business.


User Motivations for Friendship Apps

While there are some similarities to dating apps, friendship apps trigger different motivations and appeal to users in different ways. Friendship apps may focus on belonging over validation or shared affinities over unlimited connections.

creative trends for friendship apps

dating app user motivations

Creative Trends for Friendship Apps

Though user motivations have nuanced differences, creative trends are similar between friendship and dating apps. Based on high-performing ad creative from Facebook Ad Library and TikTok For Business, these are some of the top trends we’re seeing.

  • Testimonial UGC: focused on a regular/typical person’s direct experience of the app
  • Influencer-style UGC: content created for followers
  • Media coverage: independent reviews detailing features and benefits
  • Editorial photography: stylized and visually compelling
  • Key Feature: Highlighting specific benefits like a unique matchmaking mechanic

Discovery & Trust

Meetup and Eventbrite focus on community-based events to build a link between individual and group bonding. While some events focus on a “something for everyone” breadth of experience, others are hyper-focused on niche interests and IYKYK experiences. In contrast to time-based events, Nextdoor focuses on location–a neighborhood–to connect individuals to a larger community. While less intimate than testimonial TikToks we see for other friendship apps, Nextdoor ad creative features the app interface to encourage brand trust through meaningful information sharing.

Source: Facebook Ad Library 

Companionship, Shared Experiences & Belonging

Peanut is a friendship app that matches women based on their pregnancy due date and the ages of their children. Their Facebook ad creative combines influencer-style “reposts,” typical testimonials, and editorial photography. The app helps “make pregnancy less scary” and promises weekend walk dates with “like-minded mamas.”

Peanut friendship apps
Source: Facebook Ad Library
Peanut friendship app
Source: Facebook Ad Library

Peanut App

In contrast to Facebook creative, Peanut’s TikTok ads combine high-contrast typography or screenshots with relatively neutral video backgrounds. They use media coverage, “reposts” from other channels, and UGC-style posts that look entirely native. Advertisers looking to reach TikTok audiences often recycle ad creative straight from other channels, but TikTok requires a unique creative approach.

Peanut's TikTok App
Source: TikTok for Business

How We Can Help

Testing different creative trends paired with different user motivations is the cornerstone of our creative process, the Ad Concept Model. From cinematic trailers to influencer-style UGC, our Creative Studio provides clients with creative-driven Hollywood storytelling and quantitative analysis. Our creative expertise comes from managing $150m in monthly ad spend across Facebook, Google, TikTok, Snap, and Apple Search Ads with clients like Disney,  Zynga, Rovio, Nickelodeon, Yelp, Sun Basket, NBA, MLB, Roblox, Glu Mobile, Jam City, and many others. Our creative team is masters of influencer-style UGC creative, live-action, post-production, 3D animation, motion graphics, and illustration.

Creating and testing 100K videos and images each year for clients provides us unparalleled insights into the evolving mobile advertising ecosystem. From our strategic analyses of IDFA loss and media buying automation to tactical guidance for A/B testing, we ensure our clients can adapt and thrive. Contact us at to work with our elite creative team.

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