RentAFriend’s Pals Pivot to Virtual Friendships During Pandemic

Summary: RentAFriend, the world’s largest resource for those seeking in-person platonic companionship, is currently expanding the mission of its huge Friend base to include “Virtual Friend Services” while the COVID-19 crisis keeps people sheltered in place.

What started ten years ago as a service designed to get people away from their computers to enjoy in-person platonic companionship, RentAFriend is ironically now the perfect platform to offer ‘Virtual Friend Services” to those confined to their homes during the pandemic.

The growth of RentAFriend into a global network of available Friends speaks to the need for many to hire a companion for a variety of reasons—for example, to accompany them to an event, share a common interest, teach them a craft, or simply pass the time together.

Now, with social distancing and orders to remain at home a universal reality, friend seekers can search RentAFriend’s massive database of profiles for free to find ideal virtual companions. Then, for a small registration fee, they can gain access to contact information for any of the Friends they wish to connect with.

“The concept is basically the same as our in-person service,” says Scott Rosenbaum, Founder of RentAFriend. “The difference is, members interact with their Friends remotely via Facetime, Zoom, Texting, Phone Friends, Penpals, or whatever media works best for them.”

Rosenbaum adds that the virtual service opens the door to a vastly greater pool of potential Friends to hire worldwide, while broadly expanding the range of activities they can share. “A member who loves wine might value the friendship of a sommelier in France. If you hope someday to travel to New Zealand, connecting with a citizen of that country can provide valuable insights into places to visit, restaurants to dine at, sights to see. There’s no limit to the opportunities virtual friendships can offer.”

As with the regular service, most Friends start at around $10 an hour for their time or expertise, though the fee may be negotiable or even waived depending on the activity planned.

Free searches of the RentAFriend database, information about becoming a member, or offering your services as a Friend, can be found at

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