Isolated for months now, tweens and teens are actively searching for online friends, often describing them as IBFs (Internet best friends), via TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and online games. The #IBF hashtag has more than 670 million views on TikTok, and variations of that hashtag on Instagram contain hundreds of thousands of posts.
Those who aren’t totally comfortable putting themselves out there on games, TikTok or Snapchat can turn to Reach – Internet Best Friends, a new app that received more than $5 million in funding. Reach connects anyone between the ages of 13 and 55 looking for an Internet best friend.
Others have met on somewhat new sites designed to connect people based on interest. Discord, for instance, is a site created five years ago for people to chat primarily about gaming, though its 100 million monthly active users also chat about everything from art to hiking.
Lily Wells, 15,