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    Love fire shots and football? Your interests can make you friends on YoTurf

    A long ride on a Mumbai public bus in the company of similarly-aged, smartphone-toting strangers—but with no common ground to start a conversation—gave Abhimanyu Amar Jadhavrao an idea. As the co-founder of Crackheads, a company started last year to develop apps and websites, he teamed up with partner Vaishnavi Iyer to create YoTurf, an app that helps you connect and chat with strangers based on shared interests.

    Partner in crime
    “I love cars, bikes, photography and food, and I love to discuss this with others. But, as an introvert, I never have the nerve to approach anyone. So YoTurf, in a way, is a tool to help out people like me,” says Jadhavrao, an advertising professional. Since neither he nor Iyer (a journalist) have any experience in coding, they approached Chennai-based developers, Openwave, to create the app.
    Currently supported by iOS (Android will be added later this month), YoTurf went live last month. Its premise is simple: download the free app, add your interests (over 250 pre-loaded, with the option of adding more), switch on your GPS, find like-minded people nearby and start a dialogue. “A user told us that he went to a pub and found another ‘Turfer’ who had a shared love of fire shots, and the two connected over it. So it’s the ideal ice-breaker,” says Iyer.

    Go anti-social
    While interest-based advertising will be a part of the experience, Iyer assures us that it will be unobtrusive. Up next for Crackheads: plans to develop an ‘anti-social’ app—something that will help you kick your addiction to social media! Details: yoturf.com

    -Surya Praphulla Kumar

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