BumbleBizz Takes Flight

Since I gave my presentation a few weeks ago, BumbleBizz officially launched on October 2nd. Most of the feedback I received on my presentation centered around you all wanting to know more about exactly what BumbleBizz is, how it works, and how it will take Bumble from a dating app to a connections app; so here we go!

If you open the Bumble app right now, you will be given the chance to choose which vertical you would like to create a profile for. These verticals include Bumble (dating), BumbleBFF (to find friends in the area of your same gender), and now, BumbleBizz (to make networking connections). Each of these verticals are totally separate from one another so you can tailor the photos you choose and your bios to fit the vertical, and perhaps most importantly, no one on BumbleBizz will know if you have a Bumble dating profile or vice versa.

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So what does a BumbleBizz profile look like you might ask? Below is a sample profile, an example of a match notification and a company partnership. When you create a profile, first there is a Headline section where you can describe your current employment status and what you are looking for on BumbleBizz. Then you can scroll down to the About Me section to write “more details about your skills, previous roles, and anything else you’d like people to know.” Below this, you can add up to four jobs (including your current occupation), up to four institutions, and finally your gender. The only flaw to this feature is that the only jobs and institutions you can add already must be on your Facebook profile. Therefore you must go back into Facebook and add any jobs or institutions that you want to showcase on your BumbleBizz profile.

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Like I mentioned in my presentation, BumbleBizz works the same way as the Bumble vertical in that if there is a woman in the match she must initiate a conversation within 24 hours to keep the match from disappearing (if it is two women or two men either can initiate the conversation before the 24 hour time limit). In an interview with AdAge, Bumble’s CEO Whitney Wolfe said the reason to keep the requirement for women to make the first move an integral part of BumbleBizz, as well as on Bumble, is that “it’s about letting the woman know that it’s okay to be outspoken, it’s okay to be confident.”

Ultimately though, why should LinkedIn or other professional networking sites care about BumbleBizz? Well, for starters Bumble is the first company to use a geo-targeted swiping approach to allow professional networking. Also, BumbleBizz has a few cool features that are sure to set it apart from the competition. As shown in the image above, Bumble is partnering with different companies, like AirBnB, that their large millennial audience already is both familiar with and feels a sense of connection to in order to engage users who are actively looking for new jobs or career paths. This puts BumbleBizz more in the realm of a LinkedIn-esque company, as there are actual job opportunities posted regularly, and not just individual-to-individual based connections.

Another interesting feature BumbleBizz is adding is a feature called “Bumble Spots” which are officially approved by Bumble as safe places to meet a potential networking connection. If a user shows their profile at a Bumble Spot they are eligible for discounts and promotions. For the time being, these spots are unpaid partnerships. As the popularity of BumbleBizz grows however, Bumble is looking to monetize these business connections by having companies like coffee shops or restaurants pay to be featured as a Bumble Spot.

However, BumbleBizz is in its infancy and still has some kinks it needs to work out before it can really ‘take flight.’ First of all, unlike a traditional resume, BumbleBizz uses a person’s photo as the primary means of selecting someone to network with. Although Wolfe has said that BumbleBizz is “more focused more on the connection with the individual than a job posting,” and therefore is not necessarily meant to replace websites like LinkedIn, there is no way to deny the natural tendency for people to choose to talk to people they find more attractive, regardless of their resume or skill set.

Also, BumbleBizz uses geo-targeting and only allows people to connect with others within a 100 mile radius. This is tough for people like me who might be looking for jobs in other cities across the country. When I was working in the office this summer however, I did find out that eventually BumbleBizz will allow for long-distance connections. Eventually, users will be able to select different cities that they wish to network with people from, but there is no telling how far off in the future this addition will become available. Other features that are soon to be added include the ability for people to create group messages and organize events within the BumbleBizz vertical.

Lastly, if BumbleBizz ever does decide to directly take on LinkedIn, they have a lot of catching up to do. Currently Bumble as a whole has around 20 million users, and networking giant LinkedIn boasts around 500 million users. Additionally other players in the dating world are trying to tap into the estimated $80 billion recruitment industry. eHarmony tried to create its own career site called Elevated Careers, but it did not take off as planned and was eventually acquired by Candidate.Guru. Tinder also has tried to enter the space by acquiring Humin, a management app back in 2016, but has yet to do much with the technology.

It will be interesting to see if any of these companies can gain a sizable footprint in the large recruitment industry. In my opinion, if Bumble can continue to improve BumbleBizz, it has as good of a shot as anyone; plus it never hurts to root for the underdog (or should I say under-bee?)!

 

 

10 comments

  1. Great presentation and post! I can totally see myself using the BumbleBiz feature and excited for a little change up to the professional networking world! Allowing users to make connections with other users more than 100 miles away would be a great add-on. For reasons you have mentioned as well as if you are doing some traveling for either work or pleasure and you would like to meet other professionals at your destination. Instead of waiting until you reach your location to see who is around, you would be able to get a head start and plan out fun activities with new friends. I am also interested to see what other dating or networking platform will have similar ideas!

  2. Really awesome post and presentation! I think it is really important for companies that are looking to recruit a younger talent base to adapt to recruitment styles that are more in line with platforms millenials are accustomed to, and BumbleBizz is certainly on the forefront of that idea. A student may have no idea how to cultivate a professional LinkedIn profile, but would know exactly how to construct a profile on something like Bumble. It will be interesting to see if having the photo still be the main feature of the profile has any effect on who is getting recruited, or if that will ever get someone in to trouble somewhere down the line.

    1. I definitely had the same reaction about having the photo be the first thing someone sees. Is this going to lead to our bias being more apparent in a networking setting? I just wonder if the focus should be more on your skills and previous experience. Obviously, LinkedIn has a picture component, but I feel like it is less of a focus. I’m also curious if BumbleBizz will take off largely because it seems like the point is to connect with people you don’t already know. In terms of networking, personally, I try to connect with people I know or at least have some sort of history with professionally. It’ll be interesting to see how it competes as so much more networking/recruiting is turning digital!

  3. Great post! I’m not a user of Tinder (so fact check if necessary) or other dating apps but it sounds like Bumble is a first mover in creating a platform that holds personal and professional verticals and already have it out for the public to see. That also means that Bumble has an advantage in identifying target segments from all the data collected on the verticals. You guys are underdogs in reach but leading in idea development. Like you said, I think with some polish and marketing, BumbleBizz would really give LinkedIn a run for their money

    1. Bumble is the first (from my knowledge, at least), so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Tinder introduced “Tinder Social” a while back, which seems to be the equivalent of Bumble BFF. Between their new entrance to professional networking and catching up in the platonic social scene, Bumble sure does have a lot to learn!

  4. Really interesting article! It is interesting that a platform like bumble is diversifying into the business networking. I would never associate it with business, but it seems an interesting proposal. I feel that linkedin has become to impersonal and having bumble biz could make connections much more personal and the most important aspect is that it will be geotagged. Also, I feel that our generation wants to make things more informal, which I feel that this platform will address.

  5. Great post! I am curious what the profile of the average BumbleBizz user is and what their target user is. I would expect users to be young people looking for jobs rather than well connected people who already have jobs. I wonder what will incentivize experienced professionals to join BumbleBizz. It seems like these people are a key part of the value proposition for users of the platform. I also wonder whether LinkedIn will see a need to respond and how they would do so. Would they create their own version of the platform with the ability to leverage their 500 million user base? I am very surprised that so many other dating companies like Tinder and e-Harmony have also tried making their own version of BumbleBizz before. I wouldn’t expect the two to go together, but maybe the businesses share a lot of synergies.

  6. Claire, thank you for following up on this as I was very interested in BumbleBizz and how it would take off. I’m still curious on how Bumble Bizz is going to market this as a professional interface in order to gain momentum. I know Whitney Wolfe addressed the natural tendency to swipe right for people they seem attractive, and with advertisements like “Friends with Benefits” I am hesitant to put creditability in it. Also, what if a younger, male professional has questions and hopes to aspire to be like a CEO or President who is a female? I know that this method is to empower women, but it indirectly is limiting women recruiters or successful professionals to be contacted by interested candidates that are male. And because of this, Bumble Bizz is limiting their target audience on purpose which may negatively impact the take off.However, I do think that this may become a less intimidating way to connect with professionals which may be their strongest attribute.

    I know I present a lot of negative assumptions and that Bumble Bizz has chosen these for a reason. I’m just curious about the reasons behind those marketing and targeting choices. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Whitney, I think you raise a really interesting point about power dynamics that don’t inherently exist in relationships. In general, a partner in a relationship is an equal – but if the ranking person in a match is a woman, she may not be as interested in sending that first message. I also struggle a little with the concept that men can’t be trusted to send a single message, even in a professional networking context. If LinkedIn were to tell me I had to message the men first, I’d be pretty unimpressed…

  7. Nice post. Will be interesting to see how Bumble Bizz works out. I actually like the “meeting spot” location. That could be a nice feature in addition to the app, both for dating and Bizz.

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