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An app that gained popularity almost immediately upon launch, Bumble is in many ways a female-focused version of Tinder, most notably because takes much of the online dating burden off mens shoulders by requiring women to make the first move. The dating app is primarily a hot or not style swiping game, in which members must match to communicate, but rather than allowing either party to get the conversation rolling (which in present-day online dating times is still primarily an activity men are tasked with), on Bumble women must initiate the conversation -- a key feature that both makes the app stand out in the crowded hookup app ecosystem, and has attracted a large female user-base. Depending on how much control you like to have over your online dating experience, the dating app is either a godsend, or something that can be frustrating.
Navigating the site is pretty simple. You swipe right or left to show interest and when two people like each other a match is created. At that time, the woman (only) has 24 hours to make the first move by starting a chat, and if she doesn’t, the connection is lost forever. Connections are conveniently color coded, such as red for expiring connections and green for BFF connections. Men have the option to extend one match per day for an additional 24-hours in hopes the woman will initiate a conversation. Simply by how it’s designed, this online dating methodology gives women more control over their online dating experience which has certainly been a draw for women, but, as a convenient side effect for men, also makes women do more work than they would have to on almost all other online dating apps. For men this means no more wasted time trying to craft the perfect introductory message and zero feelings of rejection for sending out messages and not getting responses, but also diminishes how much control men have over their online dating experience.
The hookup app is available in a free and premium version called Bumble Boost, the latter of which was launched in August 2016. The free version, which is the way the app was originally launched, works perfectly fine and provides a typical hot-or-not style hookup app dating experience that easily leads to hookups, casual dating, and, less likely but always possible, serious relationships.
If you want to crank it up a notch, Bumble Boost is available with a variety of purchase options (plus discounts for buying months in bulk), and gives you three main premium features: Beeline, which is pre-populated queue of users who have already “liked” you, so you can skip the swiping and match with them by just tapping yes; Rematch, which, as it sounds, keeps expired matches in your queue; And Busybee, which give you both male and female users unlimited ‘extends’ to extend the the normal 24-hour window of matching, so you can have another day to get the conversation going. In addition to Bumble Boost, the company also recently launched in-app currency called Bumble Coins, which can be used for premium pay-per use features such as SuperSwipe, that, similar to Tinder’s SuperLike feature, allows you to signal a potential match that you want to match before they swipe you, and other paid-per-use features which will be announced in coming months.
Like any swiping dating app, Bumble is very visually focused, meaning it will serve you best to have some good profile pictures if you want to get messages from women. Another approach is to use go into the FriendZone by instead of choosing to swipe like or pass on men, women, or both, you choose to see ‘BFF’. Using the BFF settings, you’ll see others with a variety of intentions for using the site, including those who are single, in relationships, or anything in-between.
Despite its novelty and the fact that the dating site resides on mobile platforms only, the desktop site, Bumble.com receives a continually growing number of visitors, averaging 421,000 per month over the last 6 months plus searches for the organic keyword ‘bumble’ are up 36.47%. In the Google Play store, the hookup app holds a 3.7 out of 5 star rating based on over 37,000 votes and holds the #6 in slot the Lifestyle apps category in the United States, and the #3 slot in the same category in Canada. On iOS the app holds a 4 star rating based on over 11,000 votes and ranks #1 for the App Store when you search the rather competitive keyword of “dating apps”.
Only two and a half years old, Bumble is continually growing in popularity as it breaks the rules of typical gender imbalances even the best hook ups platforms usually put users through. As men become more frustrated with sending out messages and not getting a response, and women feel overwhelmed, sometimes even insulted by an excess of messages from men, both genders have found themselves looking into other options in the mobile dating space to to find sexual and romantic connections, be that a casual hookup or a serious relationship. And while to the outside eye a mainly hot or not style dating app appears to be nothing more than a casual hookup app, Bumble attracts a wide variety of audiences and can be used for a variety of dating motives. With a growing audience, a popular, fully-functional free version, and plenty of activity on the site -- users spend over an hour each day according to the company -- Bumble is certainly an online dating app worth trying.
In January 2018, Bumble added Instagram functionality. Now, as with Tinder, you can link your Instagram account to your Bumble profile so other Bumble users can check out your 24 most recent pictures. Available for both Android and iOS, the feature is fairly easy to activate. Simply select the "Connect Your Instagram" option from the Edit Profile menu. Bumble will then ask for access to your Instagram -- once you've granted it, you'll be all set. For more detailed info and our take on whether this option is right for you, you can check out the AskMen Dispatch article about linking your Bumble to your Instagram.
Other Popular Choices
Zoosk provides a friendly dating atmosphere that more resembles a social media site than an online dating one. The site is inviting with a colorful interface and puts females and males on the same level, meaning each could initiate contact without coming off as weird. It’s easy to use on both desktop and mobile and equally easy to find success using constantly or just occasionally.
Check out Zoosk
Match remains a headliner in the online dating world because it stays up to date with the latest features and most popular online dating trends. The site still has a somewhat of traditional vibe where you’ll find men reaching out to women more so than vice versa, but the atmosphere is so down to earth and low key, any communication method of choice comes naturally. As a paid site, expect to find those a little more serious than on hookup sites, but don’t worry, overall the site still manages to maintain a playful nature.
Check out Match
If discovering others based on data-backed compatibility matching is of interest to you, Elite Singles is the next logical choice. The site matches you based on 29 unique character traits and provides extensive, yet easy to read profile that help you quickly get insight into everything you want to know about a potential match.
Check out Elite Singles
FriendFinder-X lets you fast track the sexual aspect of online dating by providing a sensual, uncensored online dating experience. Expect to jump right into conversations about how to meet up, or even cyber sex shortly after logging on for your first time. The online dating site focuses on sexual encounters and in its own way, rewards more sexually explicit behavior.
Check out FriendFinder-X
Sign-Up & Login Process
Signing up for Bumble is simple as it authenticates you through Facebook in a simple click and gets you swiping right away. Simply register by connecting your Facebook account, and then choosing your app settings such as allowing for geolocating (which you’ll want to do) and push notifications. The dating app will automatically pull in your existing Facebook profile picture and set it as your main profile picture on the app, along with adding your name and age from the social network. After allowing the app to geolocate you, the app will list your location (usually down to the city or town you are in).
Once registered and logged in, you can go to your profile and edit additional settings, including setting your profile to public or private, setting your distance and age ranges, and choose who you would like to see, with selections of Men, Women, Men & Women, or BFF, the latter of which allows you to match with others who looking for friends and may be single, taken, or anything in-between. You can also change your main profile picture from the automatically imported Facebook main photo and add graphics to the photo, much like Snapchat.
Like most other dating apps, Bumble doesn't require you to login every time. As long as you are connected via Facebook, you will not be prompted to log in again -- unless you decide to log out of your account from the account settings screen. If you decide to do so, simply click on the "login using Facebook" option/button (the same way you did during sign-up) and you're back in.
Bumble’s main platform is a hot or not-style swiping game, in which you swipe left to pass or right to like. Profiles in the swiping area are displayed showing the users full profile - which is notably short and visually focused. Profiles consist of a main profile picture, any additional profile pictures which you can tap to browse before making your like or pass selection, along with name, age, job title, company, and school attended.
Like many swiping games, both members must match in order for communication to begin, but on Bumble communication is in the hands of the females and is only available for 24 hours after a mutual match is made - although you can extend this time limit by purchasing a Bumble boost, which is explained further below. By blocking the initiation of communication to men and requiring females to start the conversation, the app saves men time and energy, as they will only (have the option to) communicate with women who make the first move. Members communicate by chatting and all conversations along with a list of your match queue are located in far right chat section. To make the area less cluttered you can sort conversations to first show those that are contain unread messages (the default setting), recent conversations, members nearby, or favorites. Communications are color-coded by type: yellow indicate a match has been made, green indicates a BFF connection was established, blue indicates an extended connection by men, pink indicates an extended connection by females, and red shows expired connections.
Like many free and popular hookup apps, a Boost feature is now available, which ads a paid component to the site. Bumble boots provides premium features that enhance your chances of success on the app. Purchasing Bumble boost gives you three top-tier features: The beeline - which shows people who have already liked you so you don’t have to swipe and wait for matches, a rematch feature, allowing you to rematch with expired connections, unlimited extensions on chats for both men and women.
- Women initiate connections
- Short, condensed, easy to setup profiles
- Quick, painless registration process
- Large, active user base
- Simplistic, easy to understand interface
- Fun photo graphic art options
- Bumble Boost premium feature allows you to bypass some of the site limits, such as time restrictions
- BFF friend zone option to make even more casual, non-presumptuous connections
- Instagram-compatible functionality means you can connect your IG account to your Bumble account
- Time-limited chatting forces women to be more active on the site
Safety & Security
Interesting enough, Bubble was founded by Tinder co-founder, Whitney Wolfe, after leaving Tinder citing her reasoning as sexual harassment by her co-founder and ex-boyfriend Justin Mateen. Recently, the Us Dating Awards (USDA) the Dating App Winner of 2016, as the company knocked out competitors including Hinge, JSwipe, Tinder, and Zoosk. In October 2016, the female-focused dating app make headlines with a positive spin as it raised over $28K for Planned Parenthood using Instagram.