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.
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.
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.
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?