Bumble App – What’s all the Buzz?

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Bumble is the first proclaimed feminist dating app service that has given women a new take on dating. This service allows men to engage in conversation with eligible women only if the women have made the first “move.” In essence, the differentiating factor is that once there’s a mutual right swipe, the woman must be the one to send the first message within 24 hours or the connection goes away forever (I’d probably miss quite a few connections because I doubt I’d follow up that fast, and it seems most users aren’t really digging this short time restriction aspect.).

It’s quite literally the feminist version of Tinder. It appears to have that Tinder like feel most likely because it was created by Whitney Wolfe, who was co-founder of Tinder, but resigned due to a falling out with the other co-founders over sexual discrimination claims. After she parted ways with Tinder, she said she created the Bumble app in order to solve an issue. The issue she has sought to solve was leveling the playing field between women and men in the online dating market (and maybe even a little bit of an”in your face Tinder” issue, but who knows.).

Bumble is supposed to tackle and break down antiquated dating cliches. With this app, women are placed in the driver’s seat and have the power to open the lines of communication and the men just have to wait.

Apparently, men are loving this regardless of women in power piece because it makes things more interesting and exciting when they see a woman is making the decision to engage with them. They don’t have to wonder if she’s interested in talking because she is taking that first step. It removes that part of the mystery.

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Making the first move can be extremely hard, especially in a society where courtship is known to be a man’s responsibility, however, it sounds as though Bumble is in the business of teaching and reinforcing women to be assertive in the dating space by equipping them with the power of first reach. It allows women to set the tone for the direction of how they’d like the conversation to go. For women, no one can contact you without your consent. Also while it helps take the pressure off of men, it provides validation for women to be more forward.

According to Wolfe, “Bumble really sets the stage for an empowered and modern way to connect“. It gives women a level of understanding of what it’s like for men. Women get to experience firsthand what it’s like to put themselves out there with the possibility of getting rejected, ignored, blocked, or even called a creep for a change.  While I know that doesn’t sound like that would be the most appealing switcheroo for women, it can put a lot into perspective, and there may still be a sense of empowerment when the ball is in your court even if the outcome doesn’t always work out in your favor. Those daunting possibilities can still happen at any point no matter who initiates the conversation, but to be able to control the tone of the conversation from onset is key.

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According to Wolfe, “‘Men love Bumble because for the first time they’re being chased rather than the other way around,’ she says. ‘And women love it because they are not being bombarded with messages.’” Men can see what it’s like to be bombarded with messages and feel what the chase is like. Both genders can really learn from one another, something like a societal gender role swap.

In addition, I was intrigued to learn that Bumble has added a feature called Bumble BFF. You can switch to BFF mode, which will take you on an online quest to find a bestie, bromance, wingman, work out buddy, or maybe even recruiting a girl squad, lol. She may as well just call it strictly the “friend zone”. The feature sounds kind of weird and creepy… you know, actively being on the hunt for a best friend online, but I’ve realized that everything starts out weird before it ultimately becomes the new normal.

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The world continues to change, and I think it’s pretty interesting what Whitney Wolfe has done thus far, which is working to create a social change. I’m not sure if a Tinder like app is the best way to find love, but she has given us alternative options on how we can choose to approach and be approached as far the online dating world as well as how we cultivate friendships.

The primary function of this app appears to put a spin to the traditional way of men initiating interactions with women in hopes of finding their Bumble Bae. But does this give the women too much power? Is it revolutionizing the online dating world? Or does this work in favor for men who find it hard to make the first move in fears of rejection?

What are your thoughts?

Sources:

https://bumble.com/en-us/about

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/11616130/Tinder-co-founder-Whitney-Wolfe-The-word-feminist-seemed-to-put-guys-off-but-now-I-realise-who-cares.html

http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/news/features/2016/03/09/bumble-feminist-app-interview-with-whitney-wolfe

15 comments

  1. Great post! It’s really interesting to see the different approaches different dating apps have on how to match people. There is also that app called happn, where 2 people that have literally (and registered by the GPS of your phone) crossed paths, can interact.
    It’s really interesting the approach the approach this app has over dating app’s. I would not consider this app “feminist”: The definition of feminism is to make both different genders equal in all the fields. By giving the key to the woman, you are just cutting this equality right away. By assuming that all the guys are doing the first move, we are falling into a generalization. Making the stereotypes stronger. But this is a whole other debate about feminism.
    In Spain there is a website called “adopta un tio” (adopt a dude) that works more or less the same way. Women have the power to choose which guy they like, and men only have to wait.

    1. I agree that it’s not feminist, but the concept is certainly interesting. I met my husband in college so (un?)fortunately missed the online dating craze. An advantage of this app, I think, is that it keeps some of those “bye felipe” posts at bay (please follow bye felipe on instagram if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) It (mostly) protects women from harassment from men they’re not at all interested in. But having never used Tinder, I’m not really sure what the real difference is in this app–don’t you have to mutually connect on Tinder, too?

  2. Excellent post and great job of explaining what the app does. I mentor a sophomore and her cousin was the one to create this app. I think she has good intentions in creating this app and my cousin who is a male really likes the app as well. He told me the other day how it is so much easier to have an app where the woman has to start the conversation because even though anyone can start a conversation in other apps, men typically start the conversation because of societal norms. I think this app does a great job of leveling the playing fields. The only thing it doesn’t work on is if you are searching for the same sex.

  3. Great post! I really loved learning about the initial idea behind bumble and that it was actually a jab at Tinder. I’ve never thought of bumble as “feminist” but I guess when you lay it out like that, it does qualify. I think the idea of the girl initiating the conversation is a great change and definitely a unique feature of the app that makes it stand out and what I think will make people keep coming back to it rather than reverting to other competitors.

  4. Although this app seems to give more power to the women using it I think that it can be beneficial for both males and females. As @alexapindeck mentioned, for men who are on the shyer side or scared of rejection this app can help to validate them because the women are reaching out to them first. I know that there are Instagrams dedicated to the weird things people say on Tinder and I’m wondering if some of that subsides when people choose to use bumble instead or if people still say outlandish things just to get a reaction. In my mind, Bumble has been able to brand itself as a true dating app, while Tinder isn’t always for people looking for serious relationships.

  5. Cool idea for an app. I personally haven’t used it but I Can see how both men and woman would like it. It also for the most part takes the creep types out of the game. The woman making the first move gives them the and that would be interesting for man (though not traditional). I’d use it if I was single

  6. Having recently found out that my company has assigned me to a role in Tampa for my first rotation after I graduate. I’ve been thinking about the fact that on top of discovering a new city and new state I’ll also have to figure out how to make new friends. The Bumble’s BFF concept sounds intriguing, but I’m not sure if that will be my first move for making friends. However, if people can find love on the internet, why should it work to find friendship? Regarding dating, I agree with you that this may eliminate some of the messages women receive. That said, as we’ve discussed in class, people will find other outlets [such as LinkedIn] to be creepy if they want to be.

  7. Great post, i love bumble. But the feminist inside me struggles to call it a feminist dating app. Bumble uses some sort of algorithm that places the most attractive/affluent/swipe-able candidates first when you open the app. This is good to keep people interested, but having a ranking system doesn’t feel very feminist. Yes the app gives more power to women, but i thought equality was a key pillar in feminism? but what do i know, im a stupid guy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  8. Really good post! I actually agree that it is helping to empower women in the way that you mentioned – it forces women to be assertive. I don’t have the app, but I like the idea behind it. Also didn’t know about the BFF version of the app. Like you, I don’t really see it taking off, but you make a great point that everything starts out weird before it becomes the new normal. Another thing I’m wondering is if there is a trend beginning for apps designed to cater to the needs of different groups of people, specifically by gender. We talked about Chariot For Women, the female Uber, a few weeks ago, and now Bumble has gained some traction. Obviously there is no other connection between these apps, and maybe their existence is anecdotal, but I wonder if this is the direction in which things are heading.

  9. Nice post! I know plenty of people who have used Bumble and like it – but no more than any other dating app. It’s just another one to add to the mix. And the chief complaint has been that it’s the same people on all of the apps. These apps are especially funny if you’ve read Aziz’s Modern Romance. Back in the day, people were more inclined to people from their neighborhood – but then we all started going away from college and we met people who we would have never met. We’re now getting back to a time when we are finding the people who are physically near us again.

  10. Now, let me first say that I think Tinder is primarily a social experience, not a technological one. That said, it doesn’t seem that Bumble is all that different than Tinder, except for marketing and culture. But maybe that’s a big difference, as it might shed the stigma of Tinder as the hookup app. Seems like they’re making a more concerted effort to monetize though.

  11. I think this app is really great. I think It provides a lot of benefits to both men and women. Hopefully, they get rid 24 hour expiration feature soon. I also think that one could argue that the app is feminist because, after men had the advantage of getting to make the first move for so long, this is allowing women to make up for lost time. Although whether or not being expected to make the first move is an advantage is debatable.

  12. Would have never found out about this refined Tinder if not for you! Really great post, I enjoyed the read very much. Do I think Bumble has a worthwhile value proposition? Absolutely, and I believe it is multi-tiered. Empowering women in this way must reverse the roles of genders in some way, shape, or form. I’m uncertain about its expansion beyond simple dating, into friendships and such, but the more variety, the more I think it will capitalize. It isn’t like Bumble users for dating would be removed from the dating sphere if they tried its other uses. Cheers, thanks again!

  13. I agree with some of the above comments that while this app does give women more power, I would not consider it a feminist app. It does so at the expense of giving men less rights, and feminism is technically a movement for equal rights. Nonetheless, I think this app is a creative new approach to online dating. It has an interesting, differentiating factor that I think will make the app stand out among the vast amount of dating apps and websites. I’m also very amused by the addition of the Bumble BFF mode – sounds corny but could very well be useful. We can all go online to find our husbands and wives, so why not do the same to find our best friends!

  14. With the amount of dating apps out nowadays, this was a pretty cool idea! Alot of times, the guy is usually the one who initiates conversation, so with women initiating it gives the interaction a new little wrinkle. Even in if you’re out, for the most part, a man is supposed to go greet the woman if she is interested in her. So that’s pretty cool. But it does expose them to the vulnerability of making the first move. It can be pretty nervewracking just because you never know what you’re going to get. Nonetheless, I love the idea of the women having the power here.

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