Nearpeer leverages the paradigm of social media networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, to encourage students to connect. Unlike those networks, however, Nearpeer provides a specific targeted search for students looking to connect with other students sharing the same interests, coming from the exact locations, or pursuing the same areas of study.

Using a powerful back-end data analytics functionality, Nearpeer also helps institutions understand the patterns and outcomes of student connections, which empowers institutions to improve a sense of community for their students, helping to improve retention in return.