Bumble is the buzzy new feminist dating app that puts women first and the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe, who wants to give women the chance to make the first move, without the social stigma or judgemental comments from men.
The app works on a premise similar to Tinder, with users swiping right to like a photo or left to reject. The biggest difference is that following a mutual right swipe, only women can initiate a conversation and if they don’t start talking after 24 hours, the match disappears. It’s tough love.
This pro-female angle was perhaps born out of Wolfe’s ousting from Tinder in 2014 by Justin Mateen, former boyfriend and fellow co-founder of that app. Wolfe is still restricted about what she can reveal about the fallout following a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against her ex-partner and alleged $1 million settlement.
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That messy breakup is, for the 26-year-old, old news. Her new app already has over one million users and, as Wolfe explains to Metro, Bumble is the Queen bee, a honey pot for women and men alike.
There’s nothing stopping women in making the first move, so what makes your app empowering?
It is not uncommon for women to have the desire to make the first move. There have been times when I was at a bar with my friends and we saw a good-looking guy and we all wanted to go and speak to him. But none of us did because we were scared that he would think ill of us for making the first move. Bumble tells women, “Go after what you want; no one is going to judge you here.”
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You co-founded Tinder: why did you go back into dating apps? Were you not tempted to try something a bit different?
I was very opposed to going back into the dating industry. I almost didn’t, to be honest with you. I was going to create a platform aimed at eliminating bullying on social media. I think it is a huge problem and not enough people are doing anything about it. I was going to start this when my current partner in Bumble, Andrey Andreev, made me change my plans. He loved where I was going but he said, “I think you shouldn’t give up on the dating industry. There is still a big void, so why don’t you just give it another shot?” He thought I should use that passion and shift it into dating, and that’s exactly what we did.
The majority of dating app users are men, so are you not cutting into your figures by giving more power to women?
It’s funny because a lot of people said to me at the beginning, “You are crazy to do this. No guy will ever join this”. And I said, “Oh really? Let me go down the street and set up a party with 100 women and I can bet on my life that the bars in that area will get empty and they will all come to the party.” Wherever the women are, that’s where the men will go.