‘Bumble’ may aim to give power to women, but Tillie Adelson sees it as a boon for men.
Remember the Sadie Hawkins dance in middle school: where the one time each year, the girls are given the opportunity to ask the boys to be their dates to the dance? Fast-forward to 2015 and you have Bumble: Sadie Hawkins reincarnated (in the form of a swipe right or swipe left dating app, naturally). Created by a disgruntled and still hungry former Tinder employee: Whitney Wolfe, Bumble brings together the user-friendly attributes of Tinder and Hinge. With its similar lay out it creates an easy transition for its users and it’s almost as if Tinder and Hinge never existed (insert wink face emoji!). However, Bumble does have one new feature that makes it a game-changer in the world of app dating: the ladies must reach out to the men within a 24-hour period of matching on the app. The men cannot reach out. With other dating apps, once two people match, either person can start the conversation but here, the woman really has the freedom to decide if their match really is someone with whom they want start a conversation.
With this quirky dating caveat, Bumble is determined to take the control from the men and let the girls have their fun (because girls just wanna have fun, Cyndi Lauper style). (Not to mention the app was created by women so it makes sense with the ethos of the brand.)
Bumble is presenting a whole new ideology around dating and its social norms—which truly changes the dynamic of the initial interaction. Something that I have noticed from dating men is that they typically seem reluctant to make the first move. I think it is because they are nervous about being rejected or shot down—which is a natural feeling everyone encounters as were bumbling along in this dating world (pun intended). So in many ways, aside from giving more control to the women, Bumble is helping to create confidence in men. When it comes to dating or finding a life partner, many women know what they want or if they don’t they do once they meet the right person. But many men don’t have a checklist—or a dream type. So an app like Bumble, is actually relieving men of that initial responsibility to interact and it, in turn, instills confidence in them. With Bumble, men know the woman is interested, because she reached out. However, once the first interaction is made there are no more rules, the men are now fully involved and can chat with the woman as often as they want, they could even ask to meet them in person—gasp!
One feature that Bumble does offer for the men is an extension on a connection. For example, if you match with someone but the lady hasn’t reached out within the 24-hour period, the man then has the option to extend that match. Personally, I am more inclined to reach out to the men who have extended—which is almost waiting to give them back the power of showing interest, but a lot of times it does come down to timing, 24 hours is a short window and when you know you have some extra time it does help you re-think the candidate. The nice part about this feature is that, either way, the woman still gets to decide. I have the power to swipe right (which means I an interested) without the guy immediately reaching out to me. On other apps, such as Tinder or Hinge, if you swipe right the guy can message you if he would like (which isn’t a bad thing) but it does mean you have to be more picky with your swipe right candidates. Bumble allows woman to cast a wider net and easily swipe right.
So far, Bumble has led to some fun interactions and only 2 dates (it’s early!) but I think the app is on to something here and it truly is changing the dating dynamics between men and women. Men are able to be confident when a woman reaches out to them and thus move faster towards an in-person interaction. Women can swipe right all they want then decide later if they really are interested and want to reach out. It’s a win, win and since everyone knows the rules of the Bumble game, it should alleviate any shyness the women have in terms of being the first to reach out.
So what do you think? Will you try Bumble?