Positioned as online dating’s classier, more grownup cousin, Bumble is the brainchild of former Tinder exec Whitney Wolfe and two other former Tinder employees. Wolfe didn’t leave Tinder on good terms—she has filed a complaint against the company for sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. And intentional or not (and it’s hard to think not) Bumble pretty clearly positions itself as the anti-Tinder on its Facebook page:
“It’s everything you’ve always wanted from a social discovery app with none of the things you don’t. Bumble suggests matches based on more relevant signals than other apps.”
What are those “relevant” signals? It’s hard to tell at the moment as no one at the company is sharing details, but insiders speculate that users will have more info to go on when it comes to matches than simply a person’s appearance.
Moreover, Bumble’s mandate includes cleaning up online dating in the promotion of a “safe and respectful community” in which crude and offensive messages are a thing of the past (that’s part of the user agreement).
Most users will be banking on Bumble showcasing some quality, grade-A matches —the app’s home page displays two very attractive young professionals, one of whom looks like a dead ringer for Kate Hudson in Almost Famous (according to her bio line, she’s a magazine intern and Princeton student, natch).
But can the app truly reduce the pain and suffering that is a constant in online dating? I’m going to say no.
Technology may try but it has yet to streamline the process by which we fall in love, have sex and do everything in between. What Bumble can do is offer singles yet another route to love and sex, another avenue for potential horror or happiness—one that may be blissfully free of crude come-ons and dick pics. And really, that’s not a bad deal.