Time for the Big Game!

San Francisco is in a frenzy of excitement gearing up for the Big Game on Sunday! We’re excited to host the teams that will be competing to win the coveted trophy along with millions of fans from across the country.

Wherever you’ll be watching the Big Game, you should have a football in tow. Give the Football gift to your fellow Skouters. It’s now free in the Gift Store! You can find the football in the Sports category.

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Is this your first time giving a gift in SKOUT? It’s super easy. Click here to learn how.

Ahead the Big Game SKOUT Sees Surge in Virtual Travel to San Francisco

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More than 1 million people are expected to travel to San Francisco this week for the big game, but thousands more are virtually visiting to get in on the local excitement. SKOUT, the global app that helps you meet new people and expand your social circle, has seen a surge in virtual travel to San Francisco within its app this week.

SKOUT, which saw more than 16 million virtual journeys take place in 2015, compared to the average number of virtual trips to San Francisco to the number taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week. On Monday, Feb. 1, Skout saw a 98% increase in virtual travel to San Francisco, and on Tuesday, Feb. 2, virtual travel to San Francisco was up by 100%.

SKOUT’s unique Travel feature allows its millions of users around the world to virtually travel anywhere in the world. Simply unlock any destination, such as San Francisco, and for 24 hours you can start connecting and chatting with people who are physically in that city!

Want to join the fun? Tap here to learn how to travel virtually in SKOUT!

Mardi Gras Masks Available in the Gift Store!

February 9th, 2016 marks the end of Mardi Gras. Have you been celebrating?

French for “Fat Tuesday,” Mardi Gras marks the festival before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It’s celebrated all over the world with a number of various traditions, including wearing masks and costumes.

To celebrate Mardi Gras, we’re giving away the Mask gift for free! This gift will only be free during the Mardi Gras season, so be sure to share with your fellow Skouters before Feb. 10! The Mask is available in the Gift Store in the Souvenir Shop category.

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Is this your first time giving a gift in SKOUT? It’s super easy. Click here to learn how.

Get Fit February with SKOUT HQ!

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February kicks off our SKOUT fitness challenge. Here at SKOUT HQ, we are vowing to exercise more and watch what we eat in order to meet an overall group goal of losing weight while building endurance and strength.

We do this because we love and support each other. But, we also thoroughly enjoy a friendly competition.

Guiding us through this fitness challenge is personal trainer from The Movement SF, Jay Tapanainen. He has a B.S. in Kinesiology from San Diego State University with an emphasis in fitness, health and nutrition. So, we definitely trust him to coach us to be our fittest selves.

Throughout the month, we’ll do a series of performance tests each week to measure:

  • # of times we jump rope in 1 minute
  • # of pushups in 1 minute
  • Distance we can long jump (we get 2 attempts each week)
  • Timed plank

By competing against each other to be stronger and healthier, we become stronger as a team! This is where we pat ourselves on the back and brag that we each stayed in plank position longer than one minute and thirty seconds. Not bad for our first performance test!

Skouters, remember when we asked you what your goals were for 2016? 78% of you resolved to exercise more and 84% of you said you get a better workout when you exercise with a friend! We’re inviting you to join our fitness challenge. Recruit a fellow Skouter to help you meet your goals!

To help motivate each other, share the #1 OF Badge with your friends, now free in the Gift Store under the Badges category.

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Not sure how to give a gift to a Skouter? We can help – click here.

Celebrate Your Online Friendships!

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February 3rd marks the second annual International Online Friendship Day! We kicked off this momentous holiday last year and are psyched to be celebrating it again a second time around!

In this digital age, online friendships are flourishing, and SKOUT is super proud to play a part in helping people make new online friends all over the world! We surveyed more than 23,000 members of our global community to uncover some of the most recent trends in online friendship. Here’s what we found:

More than 75% of people have an online friend they’ve never met in real life.

  • 85% of people surveyed in Australia
  • 83% of people surveyed in Brazil
  • 81% of people surveyed in Mexico
  • 80% of people surveyed in the Philippines and Chile
  • 77% of people surveyed in Argentina
  • 76% of people surveyed in the United States

Miss Popularity award goes to…

  • The United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and Malaysia where over 35% of respondents have more than 10 online friends.

Meeting your online friend in real life sounds like a fabulous idea to…

  • 80% of English people surveyed
  • 81% of Canadians surveyed
  • 84% of Mexicans surveyed
  • 86% of Filipinos surveyed

Online friendships span the globe.

  • 69% of Malaysian and Mexican people surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country
  • 79% of Vietnamese and Costa Rican people surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country
  • 83% of Filipinos surveyed say they have an online friend who lives in a different country

There you have it. Online friendships are increasingly becoming a thing. Even the experts agree!

“Over the past decade, dramatic changes have taken place in the way we live, work and communicate but the need for friendship remains unchanged and essential to our well being,” said psychologist Irene S. Levine, PhD, producer of The Friendship Blog, a popular advice blog that helps people better navigate the murky rules of making and keeping friends. “Online friendships can complement ‘in real life’ ones, providing many of the same vital benefits, such as social support and feelings of connectedness.”

We couldn’t agree more! Whether you’re the newbie in town looking to make new friendships or simply want new people to chat with, you can find genuine friends online.



SKOUT SHOUT-OUTS

We’d like to give a special shout-out to our Skouters who shared their success stories with us. Thank you for the stories and enthusiasm about your online friendships!

“I have met two of my best friends on SKOUT. As with all apps you are bound to meet one or two bad seeds, but SKOUT is the one app where meeting great people outweighs meeting bad people. If you are looking for someone local, or if you are looking for someone abroad, there’s a little something for everyone.”
– Aaron, Virginia

“It was really a refreshing and unforgettable experience meeting nice people through SKOUT.”
– CJ, Philippines

“I thank SKOUT for giving me the opportunity to make friends with people all around the globe.”
– Jhelum, India

“I’m from Pakistan and when I moved to New York, I was bored, alone and had no friends. When I started using SKOUT I made a lot of friends in New York and now I feel happy here!”
– Aman, New York

“Back in 2014, one of my friends got me to join Skout, she said it was fun so I gave it a try. As soon as I got on I used the “Shake to Chat” feature. The third person I came in contact with was a guy named Matt from New Jersey. We talked for a while! It is now 2016 and I still keep in contact with Matt daily. We plan on meeting up over the summer. I never imagined SKOUT would bring me life long friendships and close, personal interactions with people. I love the app and will continue to use it to make new relationships. Thanks for the experience you have given us Skouters!”
– Samantha, Canada

“I have made so many online friends but the best ones are Audrey from France and Manow from Thailand. I’m sure that I will meet them whenever I get a chance!”
– Nishit, India

“I started using SKOUT to make good friends and see what was going on around the world. I never thought I would meet a guy and I met my husband! Thank you very much SKOUT!”
– Betül, Turkey

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.



SKOUT SUCCESS: DAVID AND YOSHIMI

Back in October of 2014, David (SKOUT ID: davidrf87) joined SKOUT to improve his English skills and meet new people. He used SKOUT Travel to check out the scene in Tokyo and met Yoshimi! They hit it off right away and soon developed an online friendship where they were chatting every day.

Sparks flew and their friendship soon grew into a romantic relationship. Almost a year into their online relationship, David traveled from his home country, Spain, to Tokyo to meet Yoshimi in person.

After spending two months of quality time together in Tokyo, David and Yoshimi got engaged.

“It was the best experience,” boasts David. “Thanks to SKOUT, I have met my future wife!”

David and Yoshimi

David and Yoshimi

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.



SKOUT SUCCESS: LADY TORO AND RIVER

Skouter Lady Toro (SKOUT ID: ladytoro1) has been making friends on SKOUT for three years. In July 2015, she noticed River (SKOUT ID: river1175) on the Buzz of a mutual friend. “Her sense of humor was spot on, and I knew immediately she was a cool chick,” remembers Lady Toro. River sent Lady Toro a private message, and they clicked right away! “Same sassy and snarky sense of humor,” says Lady Toro.

Lady Toro lives in Amsterdam, and River is thousands of mile away in North Carolina, but they don’t let the time difference get in the way of their friendship. They even plan to meet in person this year!

“She cracks me up so often! We can talk for hours sometimes (and totally forget about the time difference, as it’s usually halfway through the night for me). We’ve been talking about meeting up at some stage this year. I’m not sure yet who goes where, but I’m positive we will meet in person and have a great time together. I have a lot of online friends but never had a bestie like her; she rocks!”

Lady Toro and River

Lady Toro and River

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.



SKOUT SUCCESS: RIH AND SALAR

Rih and Salar began their online friendship on SKOUT about a year ago when they encountered each other via SKOUT Travel. Salar initiated the conversation by sending Rih a chat message. They keep up their friendship via chat on a daily basis, despite the distance between them. Rih is in the Philippines, and Salar is in Canada.

“He’s always there for me, and I’m lucky to have him as a friend,” says Rih.

Rih and Salar

Rih and Salar

If you have a SKOUT success story you’d like to share, shoot us an email at successstories@skout.com.



CELEBRATE YOUR SKOUT FRIENDS WITH FRIENDSHIP BADGES

Do you have the best online friends ever? Share your appreciation for them by giving a friendship badge from the Gift Store. They’re free during International Online Friendship Day! These badges are located in the Badges category of the Gift Store.

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Giving a gift is super easy! Tap here to learn how.

Congrats #SkoutBoost Winners!

Everyone loves a good compliment! We asked Skouters to post the best compliments they’ve received on the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutBoost. It was difficult for us to choose the winners because there were so many amazing compliments submitted! But, we narrowed it down to four winners and awarded them each 500 points! Congrats Skouters!

“The best compliment I’ve been given is that I’m smarter, braver, stronger and more beautiful than I realize.”
– Jamie (SkoutID: ncbabygirl1982)

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“Well, aren’t you the cutest little dumpling?”
– Roger (SkoutID: tinhead)

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“The last compliment I got was from my Godfather telling me how proud he was of me because, no matter what happens in my life, I always follow my own course and I don’t let others influence this course!”
– Jonas (SkoutID: jonasv92)

“One of the best compliments I’ve ever received: “You’re the type of person I need in my life.”
– Faith (SkoutID: segov)

Keep your eyes out for more hashtag contests to come!

Calling All Chocolate Lovers!

Happy Chocolate Cake Day! If you’re a chocoholic and enjoy a decadent piece of chocolate cake, this is a day worth celebrating. We’re showing our appreciation by giving away our Cake gift for free! You can find this treat in the Cafe category of the Gift Store. Enjoy!

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Not sure how to give another Skouter a gift? It’s a piece of cake — click here to learn how.

Compliments Go A Long Way!

Everyone loves a good compliment; it puts a smile on our face and boosts our confidence. In celebration of National Compliment Day on the 24th, we want to know the greatest compliment you’ve received lately. Post the compliment on the Buzz with the hashtag #SkoutBoost. We’ll choose our favorites and give you 500 points!

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Give Monster Hugs for National Hugging Day!

National Hugging Day is on the 21st! Give a fellow Skouter a monster hug with a Grrrr Monster gift, now free in the Gift Store! You can find this adorable monster in the Cute category. Who wouldn’t want to be hugged by this cutie?

Give a monster hug on National Hugging Day!

Give a monster hug on National Hugging Day!

Giving a gift is a piece of cake. Check out this post if you’re a first time gift-giver in SKOUT.

Celebrate Ati-Atihan Festival 2016!

Ati-Atihan Festival is held annually every January in Kalibo, Aklan in the Philippines honoring the Santo Nino (infant Jesus).

A feast marks the beginning of the festivities followed by tribal dances with vibrant costumes, traditional music and a parade held on the third Sunday of January marking the culmination of the celebrations.

The festivities attract both devout Catholics and nonreligious people from all over the world, making it one of the biggest tourist attractions for the Philippine Islands. National Geographic named the festival one of the “Must-Attend Events of 2016.”

Hala Bira! Pwera Pasma!

Hala Bira! Pwera Pasma!

Meet new friends from around the world and indulge in the fascinating experiences various cultures have to offer by traveling virtually with SKOUT Travel!