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Bumble is a female-friendly dating app created to do most of what Tinder does, only better. On Bumble, after mutually matching, women start the conversation by messaging and (unless they opt for additional paid features) only have 24 hours to do so before the match expires! Unlike Tinder, which has recently expanded to include a desktop version, Bumble’s webpage merely directs users to download the app by entering their phone number for a text link.
One can’t help but wonder if Bumble will follow Tinder’s lead yet again, and create a non-app version soon since the two sites have mimicked one another enough to lead to numerous lawsuits (detailed in our “History of Bumble” section).
History of Bumble:
Launched in 2014 after Whitney Wolfe Herd left Tinder and teamed up with Andrey Andreev, the founder of Badoo, Bumble has been buzzing its way to success. While Wolfe Herd has received media acclaim for her rise to the top at a young age, things weren’t always as bright. In 2014 she received a $1 million dollar (plus) payout from a lawsuit against Tinder’s parent company IAC- though IAC says this was not an admission of wrongdoing. She alleged founder Justin Mateen had harassed her, which she claims led to her quitting her job as VP of Marketing when the two stopped dating.
In 2017, Forbes magazine ranked Bumble as worth over $1 billion dollars. Perhaps in part due to Wolfe Herd’s experiences with discrimination, Bumble has paired with the Anti Defamation League to keep their site free from hate symbols being displayed in profiles. Operating much the same way as Tinder, users connect through Facebook and the app’s algorithm matches through shared friends and interests.
The app also syncs up with Spotify and can connect to one’s Instagram account. Unlike Tinder or Hinge, which lets either gender message first, Bumble promotes women making first contact through messaging (except in the case of same-gender matches, where either user can). Bumble has expanded with two additional versions of the app – one for connecting friends, called Bumble BFF (started in 2016), and another for female networking, called Bumble Bizz (started in 2017). From 2016 onward, the app has made efforts to combat ghosting, or users never answering. Bumble now gives men 24 hours to reply to a woman’s first message as opposed to the prior unlimited time.
Wolfe Herd told Vanity Fair in 2016, that Bumble is the “first feminist dating app” as it empowers women to reach out to what they want. Bumble has also introduced ‘photo verification’, which lets users verify profiles with a selfie. In 2017, Bumble turned down a $450 million offer from Match Group (IAC), which led to a domino effect when Bumble rejected the offer. Tinder’s parent company now alleges that Bumble is a copycat of their inventive swiping technology and Bumble has fought back alleging that the possibility of acquisition let their trade secrets be stolen, etc.
Pros & Cons
- Attractive Users? Like Tinder and all apps incorporating swiping, Bumble is fun to use and showcases attractive users. Software engineers, coders, and users alike suspect that Bumble’s algorithm filters the best users to be shown and swiped on first. Indeed, upon sign up, the profiles shown seem to be cream of the crop! The app also wants people to think before they swipe and not just swipe yes for every single match, lest your profile be placed further back in the cue.
- Restricted Messaging: One complaint women have on open messaging sites is that they are inundated with messages, many from users they aren’t interested in. Bumble restricts messages to only be between mutually swiped matches and initiated by women. Though it’s not uncommon to get ‘swipe happy’ and swipe ‘yes’ for users you might not like on the second review, if you remain uncertain, you can filter your ‘yes’ pile for messaging, on the second review.
- Same-Sex Friendly: The site represents more than just straight users. In same-sex matches, either party can send a message first, but the person contacted still only has 24 hours to respond.
- Millennial Online Magazine: As Bumble is an app, the website isn’t mandatory,. However, for millennial age females, venturing to Bumble and viewing the “Beehive” online blogs and stories can be a fun read. The Beehive focuses on topics from Love, Friendship, Career, College, City Guide, and more, with articles such as “How To Help A Friend In An Unhealthy Relationship”. Meanwhile, the Bumble store allows users to shop for trendy apparel https://shop.bumble.com, etc. If you’re a college student, Bumble has opportunities to be an ‘ambassador’ and bring the app live to your campus.
- BFF App: Married people who love swiping on behalf of their single friends can now get in on the action with Bumble BFF. Bumble BFF is a friend-finding version of the app and a fun alternative for those looking for friends- whether single or already in a relationship. Once you select BFF, you will not be shown on the dating site of Bumble. Think of it as a more proactive form of social media.
- Speedy Matching: As Bumble focuses on 24 hours to match and 24 hours for a user who received a message to respond, users are more proactive about replying. Of course, there will still be users who procrastinate, but did you really want to connect with them anyway?
- Bad Matches Are Filtered Out By The Female Users? One theory floated about by female users, is that women slowly weed out less desirable matches. Since women message first, then idea makes some sense as users who don’t receive much attention are more likely to leave the site.
- No Underwear Selfies: Dislike selfies taken in the mirror at the gym? As of 2016, Bumble banned ‘mirror’ selfies, along with underwear photos and photographs that are just plain blurry.
- Easy Sign- Up: One benefit for those with low attention spans is that once you connect Bumble through Facebook and allow your location to be visible, your profile is ready to start matching. Not all information is autoformatted, however, and you should still fill in the rest of your profile.
- Photo verification: Users can optionally verify photos with a selfie imitating a specific gesture (users are shown 1 gesture out of 100 possible). Though this doesn’t guarantee a user is safe to meet privately, it does help profiles seem more authentic. http://thebeehive.bumble.com/bumbleblog/2016/9/26/the-end-of-catfishing-introducing-photo-verification
- Backtrack: Shaking one’s phone lets a user backtrack on a mistaken match (if it is a mistaken ‘no’, ‘yes’ swipes can’t be undone). On Tinder, one has to pay to do so. Bumble offers this same feature for free (3 backtracks that refill after 3 hours). The actual shaking motion can be kind of difficult, so put your all into it.
- Time Flies: 24 hours to reply is not a large window of time. If you are okay paying a monthly fee to have membership on the app, you can receive extra time reply to expired matches. If you are strictly looking for free dating, you will have to check the app frequently.
- Female Messaging First: Though many men talk positively about the concept of women messaging first, as it takes the pressure off, it does put male users in the backseat. For men who, because of lackluster profiles or not prioritizing posting pics, etc. don’t receive much attention on the app, this can be frustrating.
- Not Hearing Back: There will be times you match with or message a user and don’t hear back. This can happen on all dating sites and apps, but on Bumble the short countdown until a match expires can might leave you unsure if a match meant to let you expire, or not!
- Avoid Expiration: Bumble is popular, but not quite as popular as Tinder. If you want the freedom to message everyone without worrying about expiration times, Tinder might be a better swipe!
- Bumble Scams: While most of the time profiles are verified, there are a few profiles that have not gone through this process. On any dating mobile app, catfish and scammers will say and do anything to get your hands on your hard-earned money. If someone isn’t verified or isn’t willing to video chat with you, you might want to reconsider this match.
This is Bumble’s version of membership. It lets users select from everyone who has already right swiped you, extend your matches by 24 hours, and (most importantly) rematch with expired connections.
- Lifetime: $149.99 one time fee
- 3 months: $49.99 one time fee (which is equal to $16.66 per month).
- 1 month: $22.99 one time fee, for one month.
- 1 week: $12.99 per week.
*Billing is recurring/ cancel anytime. Subscription billing (done through iTunes) must be cancelled at least 24 hours before the end of the current billing period. Cancellations can be done through the iTunes & App Store Account Settings.
Coins can be purchased and used on doing “Super Swipes”. Instead of an ordinary right swipe, this feature tells another user that their profile stands out. To encourage the use of Super Swipes, the icon (a yellow pentagon with a white heart in the middle) is placed on the front right of each profile shown.
- 30 coins: $37.99
- 15 coins: $22.99
- 5 coins: $8.99
Ease of Use
Dating mobile apps typically have more simplified and easy to understand options than website equivalents. Since Bumble exists only as an app, it is straightforward, though icons exist in the place of words on the main screen.
Bumble has a great FAQ page, found HERE: https://bumble.com/en-us/faq which gives answers to common questions and other ‘How To’s’.
To contact Bumble through the app, again select the ‘person icon’, followed by “Contact & FAQ”. Next, select “Contact Us”, which will give you the option of sending a written message for any questions, technical issues, idea suggestions, or to report billing problems. Business Inquiries, Partnerships, Success Stories, Press Inquiries can be sent through email contact, found HERE: https://bumble.com/contact-us
How does This Work?
Although you can browse the website, it’s best to bite the bullet (err, beehive) and download the app. Bumble can be downloaded through the app store and connects with your Facebook account. If you don’t have a Facebook account, or want to avoid using it due to privacy concerns, you can opt to “Use Another Option” and enter your phone number instead.
If you do enter your phone number you will have to enter a verification code sent to you by text message. If you connect through Facebook, you will only be asked what information you want to share – which will give you the option of deselecting your friend’s list syncing. If you do not want to see the friends you have in common with other users, deselect.
As soon as you are logged in, you will be asked whether you want to join “BumbleBoost” (to see who has already right swiped you, and extend or rematch expiring matches) or buy coins for Super Swipe. If not, you will select “Continue for free”.
Step Two – Swipe Yes or No (*Right or Left)
Unlike dating sites with lengthy questionnaires, Bumble immediately directs you to user profiles and swiping. Your Facebook photograph(s) are automatically displayed and can be changed or deleted, but your profile details will remain blank until you add information.
Although it might be tempting to skip entering information and start ‘swiping’, remember that user are right or left swiping on you as well. The more personal details you offer (within reason), the more likely you are to find a match. Mutual matches will show if you select the ‘conversation box’ icon in the upper right hand side of the screen.
Step Three – Edit Profile
To fill in your profile details select the ‘person icon’ at the upper left hand side of the screen and then select “Edit Profile”. You will be shown uploaded photographs and have the option to change them. Photo order can be changed by holding and dragging the photographs. You will also enter personal information in the “About me” section, and add or change your job and education if not already synced through Facebook.
Step Four – Settings
Selecting the same ‘person icon’ at the top of the screen will also give you the option to change your search settings. Select “Settings” will allow you to alter your search criteria for gender, age (unlike Tinder’s highest age being listed as 55+, Bumble allows searches from ages 18-80 years old). The minimum search distance is “1 mile away”, as Bumble has plenty of users to choose from.
The longest search distance listed is “Up to 100 miles away”. “Notification Settings” also found under “Settings” lets users select which features they want message notification for- new messages, new admirers, new matches, expiring matches, alerts for profile tips, Bumble events, app vibrations, etc. Since Bumble has time limits, consider receiving alerts before matches expire.
Swiping & Profiles
Right swipe is yes, left swipe is no. To view photos on a user’s profile, swipe up. To read their profile, click on the white text box with information to expand it. Tap the page to go back to the prior profile window.
- To sign up for paid features, select the grey ‘person icon’ from the upper right hand side of the ‘Bumble Date’ swiping screen. From there, you will see options to buy ‘Bumble Coins’ or get ‘Bumble Boost’.
- What do you get with Bumble Boosts?
- Match with people who you know are already interested in you.
- Rematch with expired matches if you didn’t have a chance to message them.
- Add 24 hours to your time limit so you can think of the perfect introduction.
- Get unlimited filters on what you look for in a partner so you can find exactly who you want.
- If you swiped left on someone but changed your mind, you can give them a second chance with backtrack.
- What do you get with Bumble coins?
- Put your profile in the spotlight so you can be shown to more people.
- SuperSwipe on people you really like so they know how badly you want to message them.
Since Bumble is an app, the best place to look at its performance rating is through the iTunes star system. Bumble has 4 out of 5 stars or 4.1. Reading the reviews will show raving fans and those who like the idea of the app, but didn’t have luck. True enough, men who consider themselves average looking felt women on Bumble were picky and that it was hard to be the needle picked out of the beehive. Reviews are overall positive. Some remind about recurring billing or suspect fake profiles from some users.
Bumble is especially good for women as it features many user friendly options which women enjoy. It is app dating at its best and if you don’t find a match or like your experience, delete the app. Try Bumble for free at first, though the paid features are worth the cost. Men will enjoy knowing women liked them enough to initiate a message.
Word on the street is generally positive, with many people enjoying their dates. If you want a dating site/app that puts more emphasis on personality tests and questionnaires for matching, then Bumble won’t be for you. If you don’t mind doing the detective work yourself (i.e., reading profiles, browsing through profiles, or asking questions), you will be able to find what you want (or don’t) by paying attention.