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"Bumble App on iPhone" text
Type Mobile Dating Application, Social Networking Service
Launch Date December 2014
Status Active
Product Line Service
Platform iPhone or Android Application
Website Bumble Inc Official Website

Bumble is a free, location-based dating application that allows users of the application to swipe through the various profiles of other single users in the same location, swiping right if they are interested and left if they are not interested. [1] If two people swipe right on each other, indicating that they are both interested, then a match occurs. The application allows users to choose filters based on their sexual orientation. In heterosexual matches, women are required to initiate the conversation. This feature of the application was created to encourage women to make the first move when seeking a partner. [2] According to the Los Angeles Times, Bumble is considered a "Feminist Tinder" because of the requirement that women must start the conversation between themselves and their match. This is different from Tinder and other dating applications because most first messages are sent from men and can often be offensive, often bordering on sexual harassment. [3] In homosexual matches, either party can initiate a conversation. Once messaged, a match has 24 hours to reply until the original message disappears. Bumble aims to be a safe mobile dating application by requiring its users to connect their Facebook account to their Bumble account.


Whitney Wolfe Herd created Bumble after leaving Tinder, which she also co-founded. Wolfe sued Tinder for sexual discrimination and sexual harassment and settled her lawsuit for over $1 million in September 2014. [4] Looking for a professional rebirth after receiving much backlash from her trial, Wolfe set out to create a woman-centric application where a woman could have the power to initiate a connection if she found one.

With the help of her co-founder and one of her biggest supporters during her trial, Andrey Andreev, former CEO of Badoo (a dating website with more than 250 million users), Bumble was created with the purpose of giving women the chance to make the first move and avoid any aggressive, endangering, and raunchy pickup lines that Wolfe had personally witnessed while at Tinder. [4] The name of the app captures the female-centric organization of bee societies: a queen bee is in charge, and the rest of the colony works together to support her [5].

After recruiting two more Tinder cofounders, Chris Gulzcynski and Sarah Mick, Bumble was launched in 2014 and was marketed to young adults and college sororities. [6]. According to Business Insider, 60% of matches on Bumble are turned into conversations. While using Bumble, women are encouraged to feel more comfortable to start matches with people and men are not inclined (or enabled) to make the first move.

As of 2017, Bumble has more 20 million users worldwide, with more than 50,000 new members joining every day. It is worth more than $450 million and is continuing to grow. [7] As the application continues to grow, it disrupts common hetero-patriarchal dating habits and places further emphasis on women-identified folks having more power in dating dynamics, as opposed to the traditionally slanted gender standards.

Screenshot of user interface

How Bumble Works

Bumble is a freemium application available for both iOS and Android. The app was first introduced to college campuses and was marketed by developers to be a safer, more effective way of meeting young singles. In order to use the app, users are first required to log in to the app by connecting their Facebook profile. This allows users to gain access to photos and information on their Facebook profile. Bumble automatically pulls a user's name, age, and occupation after the user connects their Facebook profile. Users can finish crafting their profile by uploading up to five photos of themselves, writing a short biography, and connecting to their Spotify account. This is essentially the same process required by Tinder, another major mobile dating application. In differentiating itself, Bumble prides itself on being a safer dating application by being the first app that allows users to submit a photo to verify their account. Once a profile is created, the user is brought to a filter page where they can narrow down singles in their area by filtering based on different criteria such as age, gender, and distance from themselves.

The Feminist Component

Bumble has retained its initial label as "Feminist Tinder" and is widely considered to promote a feminist approach to modern internet-based dating. Instances of sexual harassment and general misogyny have become commonplace on Tinder, and public disapproval rises as Tinder users continue to address problematic bios and inappropriate/unsolicited messages that they encounter on the app.[8] In contrast, Bumble demonstrates that online dating and hook-up culture do not have to be mutually exclusive from self respect and feminist theory. This platform intends to empower women by allowing them to control the nature of their matches and conversations and by refusing to tolerate misogynistic behavior. Like Tinder, if two users mutually express interest in one another, then a match is created. However, unlike Tinder, (in the case that the match is heterosexual in nature), the female is not subjected to unlimited and unregulated messages from the male; instead, on Bumble, the female has 24 hours to reach out and make the first move, if she so desires, or the connection is lost.[9] With this process, there is no tolerance for harassment and a woman is enabled to control the nature of her matches. When speaking of Bumble, founder Whitney Wolfe claims that, "We [Bumble] are 100 percent feminist. We could not be more for encouraging equality."[10]

The Free Version

When using the free version of the application, users can scroll through several profiles of different people within the distance they allotted, and swipe through photos in order to see what their potential match looks like. Users also have the option to "SuperSwipe" their matches which indicates to their potential match that they have an increased level of interest. [11]. Additionally, users have three chances per 24 hours to go back to the profile of someone they have swiped left on, which allows users to change their swipe decision if they so choose. Once a match is indicated in the heterosexual setting of the application, the woman has 24 hours to message her match. In matches where both users are the same gender, either user can message first. After the 24 hour time period expires, unanswered messages result in the match disappearing. Men and women have the option to increase the time on a match they are interested in by using the 'extend' option, which extends the match and message by another 24 hours. The settings page allows users to change which gender they are interested in along with other features such as occupation and location[12]


Bumble now offers a feature called Spotlight. Spotlight allows users to bring the profile to the top of people's swipe pages for 30 minutes. In order to use this Spotlight feature, users must use two of their Bumble coins, roughly equivalent to four dollars. Bumble makes sure that other users do not know that someone is using the Spotlight feature. This Spotlight feature takes into account an insecurity that many people on dating apps have - are people seeing my profile and just not swiping, or are people just not seeing my profile. With the Spotlight feature, users can be sure that their profiles are being seen [13]. Since the Spotlight feature only works for 30 minutes at a time, when Spotlight is activated, users will see stars across the top of their app, but other users will not be able to see this. The founder of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe, stated that the best time to use the Spotlight feature is when the most amount of users are on the app which is supposedly on Sunday at around 6 PM. In addition, more users tend to use Bumble when the weather is bad, therefore the Spotlight feature would be useful during these times [14].

Bumble Boost: The Subscription Service

In August 2016, Bumble launched a subscription service - Bumble Boost- for $7.99/month. [15]. The subscription service adds three features: Beeline, Rematch, and BusyBee." Beeline will allow users to see an archived list of users that have already liked them. This allows the users to reconnect with past matches to spark conversation again. Rematch allows users to rematch with users that they did not message after 24 hours for an additional 24 hours. Busybee provides unlimited extensions the 24-hour timeframe, giving users unlimited time to message a match.

Users can also purchase Bumble Coins. Users can pay a fee of $1.99 per coin to buy a SuperSwipe. Users can SuperSwipe a person, which notifies that person that the user SuperSwiped his or her profile. [16]

Ambassador Programs

Bumble is meant to be an app that empowers women and in doing so they have created two ambassador programs.

Bumble Honey Program

The Bumble Honey program is for students currently enrolled in a college or university who are looking to gain marketing experience as a brand ambassador while also building a Bumble community on their campus. Each campus has one Director who leads all of the marketing efforts and works more closely with Bumble to serve as a leader for all of the Campus Ambassadors.

Queen Bee Program

The Queen Bee Ambassador Program allows for women to help ormolu Bumble in their respective cities, and these women are not currently enrolled in an undergraduate university program. In addition, it creates a community for women in different cities. The ambassador programs also help women get marketing experience as they will help to spread the word about Bumble. The ambassadors help to create partnerships in their cities, put together events, and start talking in their cities with women who are struggling. Bumble makes it clear that they are working to create communities that empower women while also marketing for Bumble [17]. For Queen Bees, Bumble is often a full-time job for them, depending on their experiences level and their desired level of involvement. In order to become a Queen Bee Ambassador, women must apply on the Bumble website.

Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF

In addition to the standard dating use of the app, Bumble has released features that appeal to broader audiences. Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF are two versions of the original app geared toward professional and social networking.

Bumble Bizz is designed for networking and mentoring. It takes on the same concept as the original dating version in which women are required to make the first move and message matches for professional connections. Bumble Bizz was designed in order to give women confidence in networking situations and take control of their professional lives. Users can submit their resume, skill section and examples of their work. Developers intended for this feature to help women simply network, and get used to the processes associated with initiating and maintaining networking conversations, not specifically to find jobs. [18].

Bumble BFF is designed to allow users to meet other users of the same gender and develop friendships. This part of the app works in a similar way to the dating portion, except that either party can initiate conversation. Similar to Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF allows users to interact with many people in a given amount of time. With the free flow of conversation between users, connections and friendships can be made easier and quicker. This application also provides the user with a biography of the other Bumble users and their location. [19]

Bumble Mag

As Bumble's business has grown, they have decided to cultivate a magazine. Over the course of their development, the company has found that many online daters are turning to the company for advice on relationships, careers, and how to meet new people. In conjunction with Hearst Magazine, Bumble will generate a print magazine. Contributors include Serena Williams, Erin and Sara Foster, Leandra Medine, Jennifer Meyer, and Jen Rubio. The first cover features a Bumble user focused on women's empowerment through her plus size clothing line. The magazine intends to continue to focus on feminism and women's leadership.


Bumble currently has over 22 million users as of November 2017. [20]. Females make up 55% of users and the most popular age range of users is between the ages of 18-25. The app has also been moderated so that obscure faces, mirror pictures, and gun pictures or other inappropriate pictures are banned from the app. This allows users to showcase their true identity and not deceive their potential matches. Bumble has more than 10 million matches and 800 billion swipes per month. [21]

According to statistics, users with six of more pictures on their profile are more likely to receive a swipe right.[22] Females on the app average about ten matches per month while males average about eight.

General Consensus

Many users opt to use Bumble because of its female friendly business model and because of its success rate. Bumble claims to have facilitated more than 5,000 engagements and weddings! Additionally, users appreciate the convenience of signing up through Facebook -- the last thing anyone wants to do is create yet another online profile -- and the added security a Facebook authentication gives to Bumble profiles. Additionally, Bumble's twenty-four hour policy, after which they delete matches, coaxes otherwise nervous users into reaching out quickly, and eliminates some of the well known "wait three days to respond" dating habits. Features that users find less appealing include: the inability to conveniently search through matches, the limited profile filters and resulting undesirable profiles that end up in your swiping pool, and the lack of enforcement of a detailed profile which can result in matching with someone who is actually unappealing.

Ethical Implications


One of the main problems that Bumble users have experienced is the use of fake photographs in profiles. Deception is a problem for Bumble users because often times users are apprehensive to connect and meet with their matches because they are uncertain about whether the person in the pictures is really the person in real life. 54% of users of online dating apps believe they have encountered a profile with false information.[23] Bumble is aware of this safety issue and introduced photo verification. The photo verification process involves a user taking a selfie based on a picture given by the application. These pictures are unique and involve a pose of some sort that a user has to imitate. Users cannot upload a photo for this step and as such, must take a selfie from inside of the app. This security measure verifies that the user is actually who they say they are and is not forcing a different identity on their account. A feature like this also ensures the validity of not only Bumble but the users interacting with the application. The picture is not displayed on the user's profile, but a symbol in the top left corner will appear to signify that the individual is a verified user. Bumble will verify users in seconds to make sure that their profile is efficiently verified. Although it is not required to verify an account, if a profile is reported as being fake, users must verify their profile within 7 days or their account will be deleted. [24] Security precautions like this one ensure Bumble users that their potential matches, networks, or friendships are real people who do not have the intention of representing a false digital version of themselves. The ethical implications of this practice of posting false photographs of oneself and claiming an alternate identity, referred to popularly as "catfishing," have become prevalent questions in modern society.


Safety has become a major concern when using online data apps, such as Bumble. Bumble users, especially women and LGBTQ+ members have felt unsafe using Bumble and other online dating apps. In fact, one third of users of online dating apps have reported feeling harassed or uncomfortable after an encounter on online data platforms.[25] This online harassment can lead to unsafe behavior such as stalking and harassment in real life. In fact, the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has reported that 'online dating-related rape have risen by more than 450 percent in six years'[26] The NCA reported that these rapes usually occured during the users' first face-to-face meeting in real life. The NCA reports that "the number of reports of people raped during their first face-to-face meeting following initial contact online rose in the UK from 33 in 2009 to 184 in 2014" and "71 percent of alleged rapes that occurred on the first face-to-face meeting following online contact were committed at the victim's or offender's residence."[27]

In August of 2018, David Gabrielli was arrested on the allegations of raping a 26-year old woman that he met on Bumble and agreed to meet up with. Gabrielli, using the name Doctor Dave on his dating accounts, is a father of two who posing a doctor on Bumble in order to meet women. The woman claimed that the two agreed to meet then, Gabrielli took her to his apartment where he proceeded to engage in unwanted sex. After his public appeal, two more women that he also met on dating apps came forward to accuse him of rape as well. In December of 2018, Gabrielli was charged with two counts of indecent assault, one count of sexual assault and was refused bail [28]

Another problem with Bumble is the fact that when someone decides to meet up with another person, on a date, for example, they have absolutely no idea who they are meeting. When users create online profiles, they are not always telling the truth about who they are. As a result, an ethical concern is construed and the safety of the Bumble user is questioned. The person they are meeting could potentially be a dangerous person, and inevitably impact his/her entire life.

Dating apps have been linked to more than 500 crimes in England and Wales, with figures showing that nearly a third of them are sex offences. More than 500 people have been alleged victims of crimes including murder, rape, and child abuse as a result of using popular dating apps. The figure comes after Stephen Port, a serial killer, was convicted of murdering four men he met on gay dating websites and apps a month prior. Data compiled by police forces across England and Wales listed 523 crimes from the last five years where official logs include the keywords Tinder or Grindr. Among the highest rates of crime linked to the data, 98 incidences of crime were recorded in London, 58 in the Greater Manchester area and 49 in Merseyside. Across Great Britain, officers reported at least 162 sex offences connected to Tinder and Grindr, including 63 rapes. In 2016, Greater Manchester Police recorded 12 rapes. [29]


When a user signs up for bumble they are required to provide their name, a username, an email address, mobile number, date of birth, sexual preference, photographs, location, and their Facebook account. The user also has the option to connect their Instagram and Spotify account. Privacy concerns have arose because of the connection that the Bumble application makes to a user's Facebook profile. Bumble extracts information such as, age, place of employment, education, common friends with other bumblers, from a users Facebook and makes these elements part of a users profile. It is possible that this is more information than a user desires to make public on their account. When users upload pictures of themselves to the platform, more personal information is made available to other users. While this is at the discretion of the user, pictures can expose location data and other private information.


Tinder filed a lawsuit on March 16th claiming that the former Tinder employees stole trade secrets and violated patent laws in the creation of Bumble back in 2014. [30] One of the features Tinder claims was stolen is the backtrace feature, allowing users to go back to profiles they swiped left on. This lawsuit has instigated an ethical controversy surrounding the two dating applications and whether or not the lawsuit is an attempt to get Bumble to stop competing with Tinder. On March 29, 2018, Bumble initiated a lawsuit against the Match Group, the Tinder parent company, seeking 400 million dollars. This countersuit by Bumble is a retaliation to what the Bumble called a fraudulent campaign that the Match group started against Bumble after rejecting the Match Group's offers to invest in Bumble. [31]

Heteronormative Precedent

Because Bumble was created with the intention of empowering women to reach out to the man first and eliminating the misogynist behavior of men on alternative dating apps like Tinder, the platform has received criticism for defining and prioritizing their audience in a heteronormative manner. Many potential users are left wondering how/if the app will ever truly cater its features to the needs of LGBTQ community.[32] Especially with the female-centric design, there has been a certain degree of confusion among gay men in regards to whether or not Bumble is of use to them, or if the platform is reliant on the presence of a female in its matches. However, upon further inspection of Bumble's policies, a user will learn that in the case of same sex matches, the app comes to closely resemble Tinder: it does not matter who messages first; there are no restrictions.[33] Therefore, based on initial gender identity and sexual preference settings that a user can set, the app can recalibrate, and the 'women-first' policy many no longer apply.[34]

See Also


  1. “What Is Bumble & How's It Work? [Here's Bumble Explained!].” ViDA, 26 Jan. 2018, www.virtualdatingassistants.com/what-is-bumble.
  2. Segel, Alison. “Why Women Should Always Make The First Move In Dating, According To Bumble's CEO.” Elite Daily, Elite Daily, 20 Mar. 2018, www.elitedaily.com/dating/women-bumble-dating/2003863.
  3. Kelley, Sonaiya. “No Luck on Tinder? Here's What to Expect from Some of the Other Dating Apps.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2017, www.latimes.com/style/laaffairs/la-he-users-guide-dating-apps-20170209-story.html.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Garcia, Ahiza. “Bumble Founder Created the App after Experiencing Online Harassment.” CNNMoney, Cable News Network, 19 Sept. 2017, money.cnn.com/2017/09/14/technology/business/bumble-whitney-wolfe-fresh-money/index.html.
  5. Zarinsky, Natasha. "Whitney Wolfe will get you a date." Esquire.com. Hearst Digital Media. 26 Nov. 2015, https://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/sex/interviews/a39872/whitney-wolfe-bumble-2015-breakouts/
  6. Shontell, Alyson. “What It's Like To Found A $750 Million Startup, Go Through A Sexual-Harassment Lawsuit, And Start All Over By Age 25.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 27 Jan. 2015, www.businessinsider.com/tinder-co-founder-whitney-wolfe-and-bumble-2015-1.
  7. Flynn, Kerry. “Here's How Bumble Plans on Winning the Dating App Wars (and Why They Just Passed on $450M).” Mashable, Mashable, 24 Aug. 2017, mashable.com/2017/08/24/bumble-450-million-offer-match-group-decline/#UI1ER5Ot.Sqx.
  8. "Towle, Max. “Why Tinder Is Such a Horror Show for Women.” Radio New Zealand, 28 Mar. 2017, www.radionz.co.nz/news/the-wireless/374531/why-tinder-is-such-a-horror-show-for-women?utm_source=redirect&utm_medium=wireless.co.nz."
  9. "Anwar, Mehak. “What's The Buzz With Bumble Aka ‘Feminist Tinder’?” Bustle, Bustle, 17 Dec. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/72235-bumble-dating-app-is-essentially-feminist-tinder-and-heres-why-you-should-download-it."
  10. "Yashari, Leora. “Meet the Tinder Co-Founder Trying to Change Online Dating Forever.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, 7 Aug. 2015, www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/bumble-app-whitney-wolfe."
  11. Welch, Chris. “Bumble Copies Tinder's Super Like with New ‘SuperSwipe’ Feature.” The Verge, The Verge, 12 July 2017, www.theverge.com/2017/7/12/15961410/bumble-app-superswipe-super-like-new-feature.
  12. Hartmans, Avery. “How to Use Bumble, the Women-Focused Dating App That Just Turned down a $450 Million Buyout Offer.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Aug. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/bumble-dating-app-walkthrough-photos-2017-8.
  13. Carman, Ashley. “Bumble Now Lets Users Pay to Bring Their Profile to the Top of the Match Stack.” The Verge, 11 Feb. 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/11/18220073/bumble-spotlight-feature-coins-launch.
  14. “Bumble Spotlight: What It Is & The Best Time To Use It!” Vida Select, https://www.vidaselect.com/bumble-spotlight/.
  15. Vincent, Brittany. “Bumble Is Adding Paid Features to Help Find Your Perfect Match.” Engadget, 15 Aug. 2016, www.engadget.com/2016/08/15/bumble-is-adding-paid-features-to-help-find-your-perfect-match/.
  16. Hartmans, Avery. “How to Use Bumble, the Women-Focused Dating App That Just Turned down a $450 Million Buyout Offer.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Aug. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/bumble-dating-app-walkthrough-photos-2017-8.
  17. “Queen Bee Ambassador Program: We Want You!” Bumble, https://bumble.com/the-buzz/bumbles-queen-bee-program-we-want-you
  18. Lee, Dami. “Bumble Launches Bizz, a New Mode for Professional Networking.” The Verge, The Verge, 2 Oct. 2017, www.theverge.com/2017/10/2/16396502/bumble-bizz-networking-mentoring-dating-app.
  19. Hartmans, Avery. “How to Use Bumble, the Women-Focused Dating App That Just Turned down a $450 Million Buyout Offer.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 25 Aug. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/bumble-dating-app-walkthrough-photos-2017-8.
  20. O'Connor, Clare. “Billion-Dollar Bumble: How Whitney Wolfe Herd Built America's Fastest-Growing Dating App.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Nov. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2017/11/14/billion-dollar-bumble-how-whitney-wolfe-herd-built-americas-fastest-growing-dating-app/#4c27661c248b.
  21. Bennett, Jessica. “With Her Dating App, Women Are in Control.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Mar. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/03/18/fashion/bumble-feminist-dating-app-whitney-wolfe.html?_r=1.
  22. “Bumble Releases User Statistics for 2017.” Global Dating Insights, 22 Dec. 2017
  23. Geld, Natalie. “The Science Behind Catfishing: How To Detect Fake Profiles and Create Real Connections.” The BeeHive, The BeeHive, 7 Sept. 2017, thebeehive.bumble.com/bumbleblog/the-science-behind-catfishing-how-to-detect-fake-profiles-and-create-real-connections.
  24. Tepper, Fitz. “Bumble Will Soon Let Users Get Verified in an Effort to Squash Impersonators.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 22 Sept. 2016, techcrunch.com/2016/09/22/bumble-will-soon-let-users-get-verified-in-an-effort-to-squash-impersonators/.
  25. Geld, Natalie. “The Science Behind Catfishing: How To Detect Fake Profiles and Create Real Connections.” The BeeHive, The BeeHive, 7 Sept. 2017, thebeehive.bumble.com/bumbleblog/the-science-behind-catfishing-how-to-detect-fake-profiles-and-create-real-connections.
  26. Wells, Miriam. “Reports of Rape Linked to Online Dating Rise 450 Percent in Five Years.” VICE News, 8 Feb. 2016, news.vice.com/article/online-dating-rape-reports-rise-450-percent-in-five-years.
  27. Wells, Miriam. “Reports of Rape Linked to Online Dating Rise 450 Percent in Five Years.” VICE News, 8 Feb. 2016, news.vice.com/article/online-dating-rape-reports-rise-450-percent-in-five-years.
  28. “'Fake' Doctor Accused of Raping His Bumble Date Is Hit with More Dating App Sexual Assault Charges after Two More Women Come Forward with Similar Claims.” MSN, 12 Dec. 18AD.
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  32. "Timan, Roxanne. “Strong Reactions: Swipe Left on Heteronormativity.” The Leader, The Leader, 14 Mar. 2017, ecleader.net/2017-spring/2017/3/13/swipe-left-on-heteronormativity."
  33. "Rocky. “Can Gay Men Use Bumble- The New Dating App?” The Rocky Safari, 2 Dec. 2014, www.therockysafari.com/2014/12/02/can-gay-men-use-bumble-the-new-dating-app/."
  34. "Langley, Edwina. “All You Need To Know About Bumble: The Feminist Dating App.” Grazia, Grazia, 16 June 2016, graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/need-know-bumble-feminist-dating-app/."