Does anyone really need Friends? (The feature)

I found the initial absense of “friends” on CS promoted the purity of hospitality exchange by default. If you wanted to talk to friends or to search out friends of friends, you had facebook. If you wanted to stay with a Norwegian person in Norway, you had couchsurfing. I thought it strengthened the reference system because you knew that good references came from guests or hosts - not some buddy from highschool or other random character.

It was recommended that I start this thread because some people like Friends functionality.
Who you are, where you are and where you are going - to me, that’s the important bit.
Who you know? Less so.

Um… prove wrong :joy:


People were very fond of the ‘friends of friends’ feature. I do kind of agree it’s a bit pointless beyond that, I would just add all my hosts/surfers and some people from events. But maybe instead of friends, you could just have an automatic ‘past hosts and surfers’ bit, and mutual friends could be mutual connection.

But you might think that just has the same problem as friends of friends? And it prevents adding people yourself, like from an event.

I think people liked it because it was like an extra measure of someone’s personality/trustworthiness/etc. on top of references. And you could ask the mutual friend about them, or use them as a topic of conversation.

PS. love (The feature) in the title :laughing:


I liked it, though rather as my contacts, not to publish whom i know. I didn’t use fb, so cs was practically the only social site i was on.

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Could you not get that from references?

Not really. I wouldnt mind if the list is completely private. I don´t need anyone else to know that. But for me it served as a blackbook of people I´ve met through the years, not all of them were my hosts or guests, just one example: this super cool couple that were nomads travelling the world: they were working and staying for 2 months, so they rented an apartment… We shared lots of times because I was their “local firend”, had dinners, celebrated birthdays, learnt about each other cultures, but they were not my guests, so we didn´t exchange references. I´m not sure if I added them to FB, and if I did I don´t recall, but I have them on CS and after now and then I do go through my contact list and send a message to people I´ve met in previous years to catch up, sometimes I happen to travel to someones country after years and I know who to ask for tips, sometimes they send friends my way for info or accomodations. =)

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I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing, apologies if I didn’t get you. What I’m looking for specifically is a “friends of friends” search filter. So if in a big city there’s a hundred hosts, each with a long and detailed profile since we’re all fond of that sort of thing, and I can’t be bothered to read each and every single of them – then it’s super-handy to filter for people who’ve already got an acquaintance in common with me. It’s not even that I’d always ask that person about my prospective new host (could be I just wouldn’t get the answer in time), but that it’s a great point to start a conversation: “Hey, I saw you’ve met so-and-so, …”.

I’ve been on CS for many, many years and nevertheless don’t feel I’ve witnessed its golden age. So my experience could be different from yours in that in certain places (think Amsterdam, London, Paris or anywhere in Italy) I’m generally pessimistic to find a host and expect to write lots of request. I agree that the feature could lead to staying in sort of a closed circle, but on a second thought I find that fear unfounded since in most places it’s yielding zero results anyway. It’s more like a random joker that appears rarely but is real gold in those few cases.

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Could be my bad. I joined in 2008 and my usage of CS peaked in 2011. I never used the friends of friends filter so I may very well just be out of the loop on how useful it might be. Never used the app actually… during my time, smartphones were yet to gain market saturation.

Perhaps the moral of the story is never grow old, it sucks :joy:

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This sounds great! I would suggest leaving it up to the users to decide if they want to be honest about who is a friend or not and if the community catches them in a lie then we could have an honesty aspect as well and the community could rate the person as less honest…

You could easily cheat anyway so I think it’s better to not block everything and just leave everything up to the community.

How about we promote both? People who still want to be anonymous could still be anonymous and turn off the friends feature? What do you think of that? @XpXnx

Not a huge fan of this feature. Needing to send out friend requests is really back to that school-yard BS will you be my friend. and also the awkwardness of being friends you met with only once. Have a contact list, maybe even a feature called “Keep in Touch” where they go into your “address book” but not friends - its too used now, has lost its sheen, and exclude socially awkward introverts (who, yes, like to couch-surf too) =)


I mostly ignored friend requests in CS.

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If I understand correctly you’re completely ok with the feature just not with the name? Or what is the exact difference you are proposing? Will do you think it’s bad to have friends and keep in touch with surfers at the same time?

The whole branding around friends and friend requests.
As I mentioned there could be a feature
“Lets keep in touch!” and these people go into your “Address Book”

Its the whole concept of friends - if ye become actual friends then ye usually migrate to other platforms.


Yes, that’s the word! An address book would be wonderful.


I completely agree with you but I do think a smaller friend section as well world be nice for people who are actually friends, usually from before, maybe we can also add a reference system to that and have that show in the friends list - “I know him from high school he’s a real ass hole” for example :sweat_smile:

haha, I get where you are coming from but I’m still keeping to my opinion :wink:
We are not all so socially connected as you! I don’t even talk to people from Secondary School. The people who I met on the road have been wonderful and supportive, and those that I call true friends I have direct contact with - letters, postcards, phonecalls, random whatsapp messages. Other’s then I have FB to keep up to date with their lives, and them with mine if they choose.

I’ve already noticed Chgai how you like to have many different communication outlets :smile: I guess we are just opposites here!

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Really like the address book idea too! I’ve noticed how all these “friend lists”, even on other platforms like FB and Insta, function essentially like a contact list. You get to reach out to acquaintances on your “friends list” on these particular platforms if you’re not in contact with them by phone. So yes, it is essentially an address book lol.

If this address book were to be private, naturally there wouldn’t be a “friends of friends” list. And I agree with @XpXnx, I like the fact that without this feature, people would be more inclined to go out of their comfort zone and meet somebody totally new, with no connection to you. If we want to foster that “Couchers is one big community” feeling, leaving that feature out could help.


I disagree that the feature would substantially dis- or encourage you to move out of your comfort zone. Mostly because as I said above I don’t think it’s a filter that’s going to be useful often – just very useful in those few other instances.

On top of that, with the couple of people (really just two I can think of right now, out of maybe a hundred individual interactions overall) I’ve met by recommendation of friends in some hitherto unknown city it wasn’t about being more or less comfortable at all – rather, about this exhilarating feeling of a web growing ever denser. One of these had been most memorable (sorry, I’ll digress off topic) because it came to pass through insane coincidence. When during a trip I introduced two of my friends to one another – all of us from different countries and meeting up in a fourth, with considerable distance between everyone –, they found out they had another common friend (from yet another unrelated place). Took me a while, but some years later I managed to meet that bloke and close the circle for good.


Think in some way an adress book or friend list should be integrated.

Think this is main function for events. How else organisers gonna invite people to their events? Without an invite system for friends/acquintances far less people will probably attend.

Or anybody else have ideas how to fix this in another way?