According to a tweet, Bumble, the self-proclaimed feminist version of Tinder is finally going to be making its way to Android sometime in November. I don’t know about you, but I’m throwing my hands up and rejoicing.
@MichaelRob9K we are two months out 🙂
— Bumble (@bumble_app) September 15, 2015
What Is Bumble?
Bumble, much like many other dating apps, uses a fairly superficial means of matching people with one another. Each user is allowed to post 6 photos of themselves (from Facebook only, for reasons) and a short description. In addition, Bumble also adds your profession and education to the mix, hoping that those bits of information might sway the process slightly away from superficiality.
Once people get matched, however, is when things actually become different than the rest of the pack. Bumble uses a “modern day Sadie Hawkins concept,” by giving the women the chance to make the first move. When a match is made, the woman has 24 hours to say something first or the connection disappears forever. The only control that men have in this is that they can extend one match per day by an additional 24 hours.
“Since the app was designed to counter problematic and antiquated hetero dating norms, the above rules do not apply to same sex or friend connections. In these cases, either person has to make a move within 24 hours before that connection disappears.”
The founding of Bumble is rather interesting, as well. CEO & Founder, Whitney Wolfe, was also a co-founder of Tinder. After being the VP of Marketing at that company and bringing it to prominence, she was pushed out by her CMO (and ex-boyfriend). Whitney says, though, that the company culture at Tinder was very abrasive and sexist, and it’s hard to argue with her. A private message from a Tinder executive said, having a “24-year-old girl as a co-founder makes us seem like a joke.” I could pick that apart from here to next Tuesday, but I think we’re all on the same page when we say that he’s an ignorant prick.
That’s okay, though, because Whitney went on to found her own dating app (again) and although they’re only on iPhone at this point, they’re gaining quite a following. “It was never like I was going to go hide in the bushes,” she says. They say that since their launch in December of last year, over 1 million conversations have been had (which is a more valuable number than how many matches have been made).
The Editorial Part
The whole premise of Bumble is so much more attractive to me than Tinder or Hinge because of the fact that Bumble prevents men from making the first move. That isn’t to say that I don’t want to make the first move on those other apps, I do it all the time. But here’s the problem: rarely do the girls answer. Why? Apparently, girls aren’t on any of these sites to actually meet people, they are here to be amused. I say this not because many of their descriptions say, “Make me laugh,” but because there are actually webpages dedicated to helping guys figure out what they’re supposed to be saying to girls on these apps to increase their chances of getting a response.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “this guy’s just mad because he has no game,” and you know what, you’re right. I wasn’t born with that cool guy gene and I’m really okay with that. In the real world, I’m plenty sociable but in the digital world, my sense of humor doesn’t translate well; moving on. On Bumble, of course there’s no guarantee that a conversation will start, but a superficial connection has already been made and the timer is already ticking. That kind of “pressure” helps to instigate a conversation being started and since the woman is starting the conversation, at least for me, that takes a lot of the pressure off of coming up with something they’ve never heard before and will begin a meaningful conversation.
The reason that Bumble did it this way is not to help out awkward or lazy guys, though. More of it has to do with the ways that many women are greeted on the other applications. In her article entitled, “Tinder fearmongering won’t erase the underlying problem of porn culture,” Meghan Murphy cites two women and their experience with OKCupid and Tinder:
“They start out with ‘Send me nudes,’” says another woman.
“Hi,” a woman named Amy reads. “I’m looking for a cute girl like you that has a bit of a kinky side, so I’m curious if you fantasize about rough sex. Do you think you would like to get choke-fucked, tied up, slapped, throat-fucked and cummed on? I think we could have a wild afternoon together but I am happy just to share brunch with you.” This is yet another introductory OkCupid message.Meghan Murphy
As a cisgender straight male, I’m personally disgusted by those opening lines. Unfortunately, those types of messages aren’t the exception, they’re fairly common. I don’t want to get into a great big political discussion right now, but if you’re the type of guy that opens with those lines on dating sites, seek help. The bottom line, here, is something had to change and Bumble is a fantastic way to mitigate that problem.
That’s obviously a symptom of a much larger problem, but this isn’t the Washington Post, so we aren’t going to get into that here. However, feel free to read this article on the Washington Post if you’d like to explore the issue further.
So, for those in favor of promoting equality, not getting nasty messages, and not sending them, download Bumble from the Apple App Store today and be on the lookout for it on Android in the next 2 months!