What makes Bumble different is that ladies always make the first move. According to Whitney Wolfe Herd, the Founder and CEO of Bumble, this is an effort to flip outdated dating dynamics and foster a culture of respect and equality. Once two people show interest in each other by swiping right, the woman has 24 hours to message the man she matched with. If a conversation isn't started, the match expires, though men do have the option of extending the 24-hour window if they're really interested in a user. With same-sex matches, either person can initiate the chat.
Setting up your profile is quick and to the point. You select whether you’re looking for dates, new friends or networking and then the gender of the mate you’re seeking. After uploading photos of yourself and writing a short biography, you’re ready to match, though it does require a Facebook account and a cell phone number. Setup took our reviewers only three minutes, and while it is fast and convenient, it isn’t very thorough. Profiles simply show you a person’s photos, age, location, career, education and a short custom-written biography. Other websites, like Plenty of Fish and eharmony, ask more in-depth questions about your personality and preferences so you’re more likely to be matched with people you’ll click with. But if you aren’t in the market for a long-term relationship and don’t mind looking for a mate based on limited information about them, this app could work for you.
Once you start swiping right on other users, Bumble will tell you if you’ve matched with any of them. For our testing, we swiped right on the first 30 profiles that popped up on the app for each of the three fake profiles we created. On average, we got six matches – what Bumble calls connections – in 24 hours, which was one of the lowest match rates of any service we tested. Of those matches, 5 percent were super swipes or received time extensions from male matches hoping to increase the likelihood of a conversation.
Our profile of a man seeking a woman got 0 matches, bringing the average down. This could be due to a multitude of factors, including location and time of year, but some research shows men generally have less interaction on dating apps. The New York Times reported in 2014 that men are three times more likely to swipe “like” on a dating site than women. On an app like Bumble that requires women to initiate the conversation, this can mean limited results for guys.
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Bumble is only available via smartphone app. There is no desktop version, so you’re limited. Deleting your account is easy to find in the settings, and as Bumble stresses a respectful, appropriate dating environment, reporting inappropriate behavior is also easy to do. Because of its focus on being respectful while still having the modern look and feel of Tinder, this app is a great free option for women who are new to the online dating scene or people just looking to test the waters.