What is it? A free networking app that allows you to meet up with professionals in your area

Price: Free, with upgrade options

Devices: iOS and Android

How is it of use to journalists?

Journalists depend on a strong network of contacts to source new story ideas, gain valuable insights, find job openings and seek mentors.

But in the fast-paced world of digital journalism, it can sometimes be difficult to meet new people face to face – so we rely on relationships we build on social networks.

However, free app Shapr aims to help you network both online and offline, combining the much-loved swiping feature of Tinder within the professional demeanour of LinkedIn.

Users of the app swipe to match with other professionals they'd like to meet, those that might help them match their goals, or share similar interests and ambitions.

We gave it a go ourselves, which ended up in a productive meeting with freelance journalist Rachelle Foster in Brighton.

So how do you get started?

After downloading Shapr, users need to customise a public profile. This includes a picture, job position, a list of interests, their background, online portfolios and a bio description.

You can then assign yourself current goals from a list of options, such as to ‘find mentors’ or ‘get inspired’, so people know what you are looking for.

Also, you can let people know your availability or meet-up preferences in the ‘how can we meet’ section by choosing options like ‘coffee’, ‘weekends’ or ‘video call’.

This all influences the ultimate decision... do they want to meet you?

In turn, the search will display people of potential interest based on common factors – but you are limited to 15 results per day.

Just like your profile, it will show all their input information, and you have the option to ‘pass’ or ‘meet’ them with a swipe of your finger.

When two people ‘match’, i.e. both parties have swiped right, they are able to message through the app and arrange to meet should they wish.

And don't worry, you can always choose to 'unmatch' each other if you are having second thoughts.

Give it a go for yourself, and tell us about your Shapr experiences on Twitter @journalismnews.

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