Big news: Skout linking arms with MeetMe!

Hi there!

We have some really exciting news: Skout is merging into MeetMe!

When we started Skout almost a decade ago as a “mobile first” company, there were no iPhones or Android devices out there. Not even Facebook had a mobile product. It was a tough proposition since the market was not ready -- and for a long time we struggled to get any traction at all. At that time, it seemed as if we knew almost all of our Skouters by first name. :-)

We all shared the same vision: that meeting and connecting with new people is an inherently good and exciting thing to do. Fast-forward to today and we have a thriving community with millions of people from all over the world. Hundreds of millions of connections have been formed – and we truly believe that these friendships have made the world a better place. The global aspect has always been important to us, and that is what makes Skout unique.  

During this journey we got to know the very talented team at MeetMe. We share the same vision and have been friends for years. That friendship has now developed into something deeper, and we are committing to continue the journey of connecting people, not independently, but together as one bigger and stronger company. You can read more about the news here. We are absolutely thrilled about this!

The acquisition is subject to a number of closing conditions, and we and MeetMe are targeting the completion of the acquisition in October 2016.

We want to thank all the people who believed in us during these incredibly rewarding years (in no particular order): our users, employees, investors, friends, family and partners. It would not have been even remotely possible without your support and hard work -- and for that we are forever grateful!

We’re looking forward to this next chapter!

Christian Wiklund & Niklas Lindstrom – Founders Skout

Sport Those Shades!

Sunglasses Day is on the 27th, and we’re celebrating with a free Gift and a hashtag contest!

Post a pic of you and your bestie wearing sunglasses to the Buzz with the hashtag #shades for your chance to win a pair of SKOUT sunglasses for you and your bestie along with 500 Points!

In addition to posting a pic to the Buzz, be sure to give your favorite Skouters the Sunglasses Gift located in the Summer category of the Gift Store. Remember: This gift will be free all day!

Happy Sunglasses Day, Skouters! Stay cool.

Learn how to give a gift to a Skouter! Click here.

Bring Your K-9 Bestie to Work With You!

June 24 is Pet Sitters International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day®! Here at SKOUT, we usually focus on making human besties. However, in honor of this occasion, we thought it’d be fun to learn what the SKOUT community thinks about K-9 besties in the workplace.

Highlights from our survey include:

Dogs at work are more popular than you may think!

  • 14% of everyone surveyed say they bring their dog to work, at least some of the time.
  • People who work in an office are even more likely to bring their dog to work -- with 21% saying they bring their four-legged friend to their workplace.

Dogs can make you happier, more productive and less stressed at work.

  • 74% of people surveyed say that dogs make employees feel happier in the workplace.
    • Office workers are even more likely (78%) to think so.
  • 63% of people surveyed say that dogs help lower employees’ stress levels at work.
    • Among office workers, that jumps to 67%.
  • 43% of everyone surveyed say that dogs make employees more productive.
    • Office workers especially think so - with 51% saying canine coworkers enhance productivity.

Dogs give companies a “cool factor.”

  • 51% of people surveyed say being able to bring your tail-wagger to work makes your company a cool place to work. Workers age 30 and under especially think so (58%).

Best company perk? Pooches are more popular than ping pong tables.

  • When it comes to perks in the workplace, the ability to bring your dog to work is preferred three times as much as the option of having a ping pong or foosball table.

One possible problem: getting along with your boss’s dog!

  • 9% of people surveyed say the biggest downside of having dogs in the workplace would be having to pretend they like their boss’s dog, even if they don’t.

Dogs rule, cats drool.

  • 78% of people surveyed say they prefer Take Your Dog to Work Day, while 22% prefer Take Your Cat to Work Day.

At SKOUT, we enjoy being able to bring our K-9 best friends to work. But, there are definitely guidelines we need to follow to ensure everyone in the office gets along with our K-9 bestie. Check out our tips for taking your dog to work.

If you don’t have a dog and are thinking about adopting one, consider adopting from Muttville! This San Francisco based non-profit gives senior dogs who are least likely to be adopted from shelters a second chance at love! Muttville dogs make awesome companions, especially for those workaholics who spend the bulk of their time in the office and prefer to have their dog by their side while they work!

You can scroll through the friendly K-9 faces on Muttville’s website to find the right dog for you. In addition, you can give your favorite Skouters Muttville stickers during Take Your Dog to Work Day! For every sticker given on this day, SKOUT will make a donation to Muttville. Take a look at the Muttville stickers!

Give Sid, CocoPuff and Emerson Stickers to Your Besties!

Share your love for your K-9 friends with your favorite Skouters! On Take Your Dog to Work Day, SKOUT will make a donation to Muttville for every Muttville sticker given on June 24, 2016. You can find Sid, CocoPuff and Emerson in the Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day! section of the Gift Store.

Is this your first time giving a gift in SKOUT? Learn how!

5 Tips for Bringing Your Dog to Work

At SKOUT, we bring our dogs to work all the time because our K-9 besties make us happy. In the office, we make sure our dogs practice certain etiquette in order to get along well with everyone. We asked our fellow employees what tips they have for other Skouters who are considering bringing their dog to work for the first time.

  • Get it approved. Just because others bring their dogs in, does not mean it is a free-for-all. Make sure you have all the necessary approvals from management, and understand any ground rules, before you bring your pooch. (Ryan, QA)
  • Don’t delegate. Remember that as the dog owner you are 100% responsible, 100% of the time for your pet’s well being, behavior, and biological needs. Don’t ask your team to walk or clean up after your dog! (Kristen, Human Resources)
  • Bring on the goodies! Just like people enjoy snacks and games in the break room, so do your dogs. Biscuits and toys can help you encourage positive interactions with your dog and your coworkers throughout the day. (Nikki, Marketing and owner of Apollo, Nova, Stars and Verse)
  • Remember doggie hygiene. The only thing worse than a smelly coworker is a smelly dog! Give Fido a bath and proper grooming before bringing him to work. (Mark, Creative Director and owner of Spanky)
  • Remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for your dog, too! Feed your dog before going to work, so they don’t get “hangry” and nip your co-workers. (Jane, Marketing and owner of Jakey and The Bean-Dog)

There you have it! Follow those tips when you bring your dog to work, and your dog will shine like a Golden Retriever, unless your dog is a Golden Retriever… then it’s already golden. Shine on!

Congrats to Our #K9Bestie Contest Winner

We asked the SKOUT community to show off their K-9 bestie by posting a photo to the Buzz with the hashtag #K9Bestie for a chance to win a SKOUT branded dog leash and 500 Points. There were some entries that made us LOL and a few that gave us all the feels. But, there was one in particular that takes the cake for the most adorable.

Congratulations to SkoutID: rrrenee for the winning post!

skout_k9bestie_renee.jpg

We love a little friendly competition and will be posting another hashtag contest in the future, so stay tuned for a chance to win Points and swag!

Give the Gift of a Classic Martini on Father's Day

What are you getting your dad for Father’s Day? Well, it just so happens Father’s Day falls on Martini Day this year. So, we suggest treating him to a homemade Classic Martini to toast to how amazing he is!

Mikey is our cocktail expert, and he’s provided an excellent recipe for the occasion.

You will need:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • Garnish: lemon twist and olives

Directions:

  • Add all the ingredients to a cocktail glass and fill with ice. Stir until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Express a lemon peel over the drink. Garnish with cocktail olives.

Follow us on Instagram for our video tutorial.


In addition to celebrating Father’s Day and Martini Day by drinking Martinis, we’re honoring the occasion with Martini Gifts! This Gift is free all day on June 19 and is available in the Beverages category of the Gift Store.

Share a Martini Gift with your favorite Skouters! Click here to learn how.

Give Back, Drink a Negroni

Our resident Mixologist, Mikey, recently informed us it’s Negroni Week. What is a Negroni you may ask and why has there been an entire week set aside to celebrate it? Well, the Negroni is a yummy cocktail that is super easy to make and enjoy with a group of friends. Negroni Week was started as a way to raise money for local charities around the world. Learn more about Negroni Week here.

To celebrate, we’d like to share Mikey’s Negroni-making expertise with you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth

Garnish:  

  • Orange peel

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a double old fashioned glass and fill with ice. Stir until well chilled. Express an orange peel over the drink and drop it in. Check out our Instagram video for the tutorial!

Happy National BFF Day!

For National BFF Day on June 8, celebrate your IRL (in real life) and online besties! As technology plays an ever-present part in our everyday lives, we were curious to know how many people are meeting their best friends online in addition to real life. We surveyed more than 3,000 Skouters and found more people are meeting friends in general online than ever before -- and this extends to finding a bestie! While 70% of people surveyed say they have an IRL best friend, nearly half (48%) of people say they have a BFF they met online.

Additional highlights from our National BFF Day survey include:

Women are more likely than men to have a BFF they met online.

  • 52% of women surveyed say they have an online BFF, while 46% of men say the same.

People under the age of 30 are only slightly more likely to have an online BFF, but not by much!

  • Don’t assume that online friendships are a Millennial thing … 51% of people age 30 or under say they have an online bestie, compared with 44% of people ages 31-40 and 49% of people ages 41 or older.

A BFF who really gets you may not live nearby ...

  • 23% of people surveyed say their online BFF lives in a different country, and 28% say their online BFF lives in a different state.
  • 50% say their online BFF lives fairly close, with 25% saying they’re in the same city and 25% saying they live in the same state.

Many people have met their online BFF, IRL.

  • 45% of people surveyed say they have met their online bestie in person, and 93% say they want to meet their online BFF IRL someday.

IRL or online, friendships are about caring.

  • 70% of people surveyed say the best gift from a friend on BFF Day is a heartfelt message or chat session. Only 30% would prefer a gift.

Check out our Skouters who have met their online besties via SKOUT!

Lady Toro and River

“I have a lot of online friends but never had a bestie like her; she rocks!” - River

Read More

Alyssa, Jay and Marina

“I love my friends,” Alyssa says. “We share happy moments.”

Read More

Natassja and Tara

“She's sweet, a great listener, and cares about me,” Nastassja says about Tara. “I tell her practically everything!”

Read More

Justin and Friends

“Without SKOUT, I wouldn't have as many friends. I owe it to you for helping me meet Milly, Jess, Nathan and Kaley. I appreciate having this app and it making a difference in my life.”

Read More

Jeph and Alex

“He's a friend that is worth keeping,” Jeph says.

Read More

Faith and Jakob

“We talk most of the time,” Jakob says, and the two friends plan to meet in person someday.

Read More

Lucas and Friends

“I talk to them every single day!” Lucas has said about some of his SKOUT friends.

Read More

Pongchuwala and Friends

“I started to meet people both local and international,” says Pongchuwala. She found Skouters with whom she shares interests on Buzz and Meet, and they stayed up late chatting.

Read More


Celebrate your SKOUT besties with a free BFF! Badge! This badge can be found in the Badges category of the Gift Store.
 

Not sure how to give a gift to a fellow Skouter? Click here to learn how!

Show Us Your #K9Bestie!

 

Whether you're able to take your dog to work or not on June 24th, we want to know who your K-9 friends are! We’re giving Skouters a chance to win a SKOUT branded dog leash and 500 Points!

All you need to do is post a photo of you and your K-9 bestie to the blog with the hashtag #K9Bestie. We’ll choose our favorites and award the winner SKOUT swag and Points!

Treat Your Friends to Mint Juleps

Celebrate Mint Julep Day on Monday, May 28, by mixing this delicious concoction for your friends!

We asked our resident mixologist, Mikey, for his take on the Mint Julep.

Follow this recipe:

MINT JULEP

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Kentucky Bourbon
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 drops bitters (optional, but you should definitely try it with bitters)

Directions:

In a julep cup, lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup. Add the Bourbon and fill with crushed ice. Stir until the outside of the julep cup is frosted. Add more crushed ice to fill the cup completely. Add a couple of drops of bitters, if desired. Garnish with a mint sprig.

For a non-alcoholic version of the Mint Julep, substitute the Bourbon for unsweetened iced tea.  

NON-ALCOHOLIC MINT JULEP

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz unsweetened iced tea
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • 8 mint leaves

Directions:

In a julep cup, lightly muddle the mint and simple syrup. Add the iced tea and fill with crushed ice. Stir until the outside of the julep cup is frosted. Add more crushed ice to fill the cup completely. Garnish with a mint sprig.


In addition to entertaining your friends with Mint Julep cocktails, you can give your favorite Skouters Mint Julep Gifts available for free all day on the 28th in the Beverages category of the Gift Store!

Click here to learn how to give a gift to a Skouter.

Summer Goal: Get a Pen Pal!

Weekend getaways, ultimate frisbee competitions, music festivals...summer is amazing, right?  With Memorial Day right around the corner, now is the time to start setting your summer goals, and this year why not add an online pen pal to the list?!

Back in the “olden days” people would be assigned a pen pal through an organization and then they’d write hand-written letters back and forth to learn about each other’s cultures and customs. Today, it’s so much easier to connect with new friends around the world! Use the SKOUT Travel feature to find someone to talk to anywhere in the world, immediately. You won't have to wait interminable weeks for a response from your pen pal, and of course, there is the added benefit of not having to look around for a postage stamp!

Don’t know where to begin? We’ll make it easy for you… Our team combed through data to uncover the friendliest cities around the world. Take a look at the map below. In the past month, Skouters in these cities have made the most connections. So go ahead, reach out and strike up a conversation. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone who will be a friend for life!

Infographic.jpg

Get a summer pen pal? Check that one off the list!

Skouters Provide Burger Inspiration for Hamburger Day

May 28 is Hamburger Day! Join the fun by grabbing your friends for a night out at your favorite burger joint.  

How do you prefer your burger - well done, medium, medium-well? Do you take your burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard… all of the above? Or are you do you tend to stick with veggie burgers?

To answer some of these impending questions, we asked Skouters how they like their burgers. The answers will definitely make your mouth water.

“For juicier burgers, flip the patty only once, and don’t cover the grill or pan.” — SkoutID: kzykzy

“I use Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, season salt and mix it together. Sometimes I will throw in ketchup or hot sauce.” — SkoutID: curlysue79

“I like adding chipotle hot sauce to give it a smoky flavor!” — SkoutID: Bianca

“My bro puts fried garlic chips on burgers. I love ’em!” — SkoutID: Eric

“Mix ground chuck with coconut milk and one egg white. Grill patties with a slice of pineapple to make Hawaiian burgers.” — SkoutID: dwbpd

“Jalapeño burgers are good!” — SkoutID: corepowww

“I found these really delicious!” — SkoutID: aviva1dan

“One things I like to do is make stuffed burgers with an onion, mushroom and bell pepper saute. And don’t forget to butter up them buns and toast them on the grill — you’ll thank me a bunch later.” — SkoutID: omars30

“I love my burgers with cheese, salsa and mayonnaise, so it doesn’t hurt to experiment.” — SkoutID: dreamgirl34

“Breaded banana peppers, fried pickles or French’s onions and Frank’s red hot sauce mixed in the meat.” — SkoutID: bluecandi33

“Bacon.” — SkoutID: live4everfloris

We’re honoring Hamburger Day with free Hamburger Gifts! You can find this deliciousness in the Food Court category of the Gift Store.

Giving a gift to another Skouter is easy! Learn how.

Bike Month Celebrates Active Transportation!

At the beginning of the year, we asked Skouters what their goals were for 2016. 74% said they planned to exercise more this year, and 84% say they get a better workout when they exercise with a friend!

How is that exercise routine coming along for you? If you need some inspiration to mix up your workout routine, May is the perfect month to pick up bicycling!

Bike Month is primarily celebrated in the United States and Canada, but you can celebrate anywhere! During the month of May, we encourage you to take a weekend bike trek with friends or simply commute to work on your bike as opposed to driving or taking public transportation.

Check out this video from our co-worker biking around Santiago, Chile!

Promote biking this month by sharing the Mountain Bike Gift with your favorite Skouters! This gift can be found in the Bikes category of the Gift Store. They’re free for the rest of the month!

Skouters Dish on Their Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

May 15 is Chocolate Chip Day, and to celebrate this delicious occasion, we asked Skouters what their favorite chocolate chip cookies are.

Whether they be homemade or store-bought, Skouters definitely love cookies! Warning: Reading this will make your sweet tooth ache. With that said, carry on!

“I love cooking, but I have to put a brake on baking, otherwise the kitchen will be the place I spend most of my time at every day. But I have a friend who bakes all desserts amazingly, and here’s the recipe she uses - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25037/best-big-fat-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookie/.” — SkoutID: aviva1dan

“I love a good white-chocolate and fresh-raspberry cookie.” — SkoutID: legolego

“White-chocolate chip with macadamia nuts.” — SkoutID: dwbpd

“Always include walnuts. I won’t eat a chocolate chip cookie unless it has walnuts.” — SkoutID: Mikemyers

“Eat it raw — so much better. LOL!” — SkoutID: Timmay

“I love baking, but it's easier to buy already-made cookie mix. I'm a budget shopper.” — SkoutID: bunnyredgrave

“Chips Ahoy!” — SkoutID: Ale

Share your love for chocolate chip cookies on May 15 by giving your favorite Skouters a Chocolate Chip Cookies Gift, now free in the Gift Store until the end of the day on the 15th! You can find this gift in the Sweets category of the Gift Store.

Not sure how to give a gift in SKOUT? Learn how!

Time to Announce the Round 3 SKOUT Leaders!

SKOUT Leader Round 3 results are in! Skouters who share fun pictures, fill out their About Me and send virtual gifts to fellow Skouters, get the popularity vote. Check out this post for more details on what it takes to make the SKOUT Leader Board.

Congratulations to the following Skouters!

Do you think you should be in the Top 5? Try filling out your About Me section or posting fewer selfies and more pics of you doing fun things like hiking or playing soccer with your friends. Skouters want to get to know who you are! So, let your personality shine through your profile!


If you think a fellow Skouter deserves to be in the Top 5, give him or her a Trophy Gift! Trophy Gifts are located in the SKOUT Leader category of the Gift Store.

trophygiftfb_skout.png

Congrats to the Top 5! Stay tuned for Round 4 of the SKOUT Leader Board! View Round 1 and Round 2 leaders!

Shout Out to Our #Besuper Contest Winner!

During Superhero Day, we asked our community to post a picture with their super squad to the Buzz with the hashtag #besuper.

We had several stellar entries, but would like to award one outstanding entry in particular with a SKOUT Superhero Day t-shirt and 500 points. Congratulations! 

SkoutID: 2daifor

SkoutID: 2daifor

Stay tuned for more opportunities to win SKOUT swag and Points!

Head to the Flower Shop of the Gift Store on Mother's Day

This year, both Iris Day and Mother’s Day fall on the same day! Is this a serendipitous coincidence? We think so! 

To show our mothers how much we truly appreciate their love and support, we’re making the Iris Gifts free on Sunday, May 8! 

Celebrate the best BFF of all, your mother, by sharing Iris Gifts on Mother’s Day. Head to the Flower Shop category of the Gift Store for the Iris Gift.

New to SKOUT? Giving a Gift is a great way to break the ice with a fellow Skouter. Learn how to give a gift!

Thank You for Helping Us Grant a Wish!

Our National Superhero Day campaign was a huge success due to the generosity of the SKOUT community.

We surveyed more than 4,000 members of our community and learned more than 80% want to be superheroes in real life! And what does it take to be a superhero in real life? The majority of Skouters think it takes selflessness.

During our campaign, we asked Skouters to give a Superhero Gift to help SKOUT and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grant a wish to a child suffering from a life-threatening medical condition.

We owe our entire community a huge thank you for helping us meet our goal of granting a wish to a child in need of a real-life superhero. Thank you for exemplifying the true selflessness it takes to be a superhero.