Whitney Wolfe, the ex-Vice President of Tinder, recently filed (and won) a lawsuit claiming that she was sexually harassed and discriminated against while she worked for the app. The story is a long and convoluted one, but she’s left Tinder behind and started a new app: Bumble. It’s easy to guess that her experiences inspired the most striking feature of the app – only women can start conversations with men.
Although it’s sickening, the statistics reveal the truth: “more than 70% of those stalked online are women.” With statistics like this, it only stands to reason that technology in some ways facilitates the targeting of women. Bumble recognizes and seeks to change this.
One of the ways Bumble is keeping itself clean and free of creeps is by attempting to “notify you” if “we learn that another User has captured a screenshot of you.” It works hard to make the app safe and a “community”, according to its website, separating it from increasingly sleazy online dating opportunities. In fact, campus representative and Bumble user Charlotte Niemann notes that Bumble is really “eliminating the creepy picky up lines” that appear so frequently in other dating apps. Additionally, Bumble tries to include a little more information about its users in their profiles, cutting down on more shallow, image-based pairings. It’s working, too. As of late January 2015, 60% of matches on Bumble were ending in conversations.
Guys are also responding positively to Bumble. With men constantly claiming to feel pressure from society to make the first move, Niemann has been “hearing positive feedback from guys who really appreciate the change of pace Bumble has to offer.”
Upon first opening the app, a simple yet powerful message is displayed: “On Bumble, ladies hold the key.”
Similarly empowering messages are spread throughout the app. One comment on my profile noted “the ball’s in your court.” Niemann said it best when she said that women “owe it to [them]selves to take advantage of any app, product or campaign that focuses on empowering women and evening the playing field.”
How does Bumble do this? Even if they want to, men can’t reach out to women. Women always initiate conversation. For same-sex couples, it doesn’t matter who reaches out to whom first. If the woman doesn’t send a message within 24 hours to her man of choice, the connection disappears forever. Visually, it’s a cute, bee-themed version of Tinder, complete with swiping and profile pictures snagged from Facebook.
It’s as easy as that.
And, ladies? The men (and women!) are pretty buzz-worthy.
Bumble is currently available on iPhones, but will be coming to Android soon!
Like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GetBumbleApp
Follow on Twitter @bumble_app
Questions? Contact our campus representative, Charlotte Niemann at firstname.lastname@example.org