Bumble App Review: Prompts, Features, Costs. Is It A Hookup App? How Does Bumble Work? Is Bumble Free? Costs, Is Bumble Any Good? Is It Safe? Bumble Review
Bumble is a mobile app (founded in 2014) for meeting new people that is composed on three services: Bumble Date, Bumble BFF & Bumble Bizz. Their motto is: Date, Meet, Network. In it’s early days, it catered to those 25-45 from larger cities with college educations.
Now it’s opened up quite a bit and more popular in suburbs and smallers towns around the world. It’s viewed as the more mature, grown up Tinder but that doesn’t mean you can’t mean people who are insincere, lie about their age or are lookign for something casual. In theory, most people are professionals looking for relationships but that doesn’t mean everyone is always honest or is even in a rush to settle down.
Below is an overview of the app and what to expect from it.
If you are are familiar with the workings of the app and have questions about the app, check out this Bumble Frequently Asked Questions guide I put together.
Bumble.com: Meet New People – Bumble Date, Bumble BFF & Bumble Bizz
Bumble is a mobile app that uses your phone’s GPS to introduce you to others in your area based on preferences, deal-breakers and other demographics. Each section of the app one has it’s own set of bio/prompt requirements, preferences, radius settings etc.
This article is focused on the dating part of the app BumbleDate. It’s one of the more popular apps as it verifies profiles, typically has more info in user bios that the Tinders of the world and has a much greater balanced ratio of men to women.
It draws a strong overlap of users with Hinge and is one the apps I recommend to many clients depending on their age, location, lifestyle etc.
A recent update placed the Bumble valuation at $6-$8B with preparation to go public. Along with Coffee Meets Bagel, it’s one of the few dating apps that is NOT owned by Match Group (which owns Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge, Tinder, Plenty Of Fish etc).
What is Bumble? How Does Bumble Work? BumbleDate, the Anti-Tinder
Bumble is one of the most popular dating apps on the market today primarily for the way it markets itself as being pro-women and women-first dating app. Traditionally, women have had poor experiences on dating apps because of unwanted messages, bombarded by low-quality men and being catfished by users.
Bumble puts women in control by allowing who can communicate with them rather than letter anyone messages them. Women have to message guys first to allow them to reply back to messages.
This can be a bit uncomfortable as some women hate making a first move or coming off as desperate or even vulnerable (some even go as far to adding their IG account to avoid having to message first). It’s why a lot of women prefer The League or Hinge dating apps (more info on that below).
Bumble positions itself to reduce the side effects of traditional dating apps like Tinder to improve the user experience for women as well as men. Bumble is in a position to radically change the way people view and use dating apps – it is one of the top apps I (as an online dating photographer and consultant) recommend to clients more than any other.
Is Bumble A Hookup App, Site? Is Bumble For Dating, Serious Relationships? Do Guys On Bumble Want Relationships?
Like all dating apps, Bumble is an introduction app. Most people seek relationships on the app but some people use it to hookup. Writing “no-hookups” in a profile does nothing as some people view it as a challenge. If you sleep with someone after one date it’s possible they will ignore you after or assume that’s all you want.
It’s best to take your time and get to know people than assume the words of a stranger are truthful, honest. People can change their mind about you after you sleep with them or say they are looking for relationship but also are open to hookups.
Similarly, just because they are on Bumble seeking relationships doesn’t mean they have a hookup profile on Tinder.
The ability to screen profiles, ask questions, be patient, read people are absolutely crucial if you want to get to know someone, understand their intent and hope to build a relationship with them. Dont’ expect dating apps to serve as background checks for you.
What Age Group, Average Age Is Bumble For? What Kind Of People Use Bumble?
I would say the largest demographic for users are in the 27-42 year old range but more so popular in larger cities, suburbs.
You can definitely find people older than that but it starts to get slim. Most people are professionals (tech, startups, nurses, attorneys, marketers, business professionals, small business owners, etc.) Many college-educated folks make up a large proportion of users. More on demographics here.
Is Bumble Dating Free? Bumble Coins: In-App Currency for Bumble Spotlight and Bumble Superswipe
Similar to Coffee Meets Bagel’s bean currency, Bumble uses a coin currency for certain paid services like Bumble Spotlight and Bumble Superswipe. These are non-subscription based services that are more like a-la-carte offerings.
Usually a dollar amount is listed next to the coin amounts for conversion purposes. Coin cost as of June 2020: 5 coins / $7.99 ($1.60 per coin); 15 coins / $19.99 ($1.33 per coin); 30 coins / $34.99 ($1.17 per coin).
The idea here vs a flat rate subscription is to allow people to use these as as they please however it can encourage addictive behaviors to allow for simple things like seeing more profiles, expediting who sees your profile and improving visibility.
I am not a fan of these gamification efforts and encourage folks to focus on building a great profile rather than spend on these bells and whistles.
How Does Bumble Work? How Does Bumble Algorithm Work?
People set up a profile on Bumble (photos, bios, demographics) and swipe right on profiles (served up via the Bumble Match Queue) they are interested in and left on ones they are not interested in. If a mutual right swipe is made, both users will be notified (with a boom) and the woman will have 24 hours to send an introductory message (also know as the First Move Privelage).
Profiles are served up one at a time to users and there is no search function on Bumble like Match.com. It’s not uncommon for women to list their Instagram profile on Bumble to circumvent having to send the first messsage on the age.
For profile ideas on Bumble, read this. Men cannot message first but can extend windows for response through upgrades. In addition to a like, users can also send an emoji reaction to a photo on Bumble. These are not visible unless a match is made (mutual likes, emoji reactions).
Bumble, like many other apps aims to hook new users by displaying attractive profiles and over time regressing to the mean. Once hooked, users are tempted to upgrade to allow for more profiles to be viewed before running out. Not all profiles are shows to users and certain filters are available for premium accounts.
Bumble takes into consideration your demographics and displays somewhat relative profiles based on preferences and your attractiveness.
The more desirable you are the more you will be shown to others. This is not to mean that you need to be a model to do well on Bumble but self-sabotage efforts can definitely limit your ability to be successful.
Bumble Reactions: Bumble Emoji’s. What Are They, What Do They Mean?
Recently Bumble launched a react to photo button instead of a simple swipe action. Users cannot see the reaction unless they match.
Bumble 24-Hour Window + Bumble One Time (Daily) Extend, Bumble Extend, Extension
The 24-hour is rather a short window for anyone to be bound by. Just as I predicted back in 2014 that HotelTonight would need to extend their booking window (they did 2 months after I interviewed with them), Bumble needs to extend the response window to at least 72 hours. Hotel rooms are interchangeable, people are not.
Although the ability to extend the response window is available as a paid product, it is not always effective or ideal solution. Bumble either forces women respond instantly to matches, pay to extend windows to initiate conversations or wait for men to extend windows by paying a fee. These options sort of go against Bumble’s motto of putting women in control.
I don’t recommend clients log into dating apps all the time – it is exhausting and mentally and emotionally draining. I typically recommend no more than 20 minutes a day, 3 times a week. This limit encourages people to not abandon the offline approaches to meeting people organically.
Pro-Tip: Free users get one daily extend so use this wisely with matches. To do this, open an expiring match and select ‘Extend This Match’. Use it toward the 23rd hour as some people wait to the last minute to message matches. The Bumble daily extend is a great way to extend the window for someone you are interested in given that one should not expect others to log into the app daily.
Is Bumble A Good Dating App? How Does Bumble Work For Guys?
View the profiles, swipe right on those you are interested in and have a realistic chance with (age, height, location etc.).
You have a finite number of swipes a day so unless you want to pay for more likes, be honest with yourself. Additionally, swiping right on users outside your league or those you are not interested in will likely lead to more left swipes and hurt your visibility and ability to match.
If you don’t reply to messages from women, you will not get a badge stating you reply often (women take note of this). If you get matches but don’t get messages, it’s likely they were not that interested in you or someone else came along.
Always work on your appearance and profiles so you can afford to be more picky. Adding detail to bios, looking more approachable and filling out your prompts more thoughtfully will increase your chances for success given you are not able to send women the first messages on the app.
Bumble Profiles: Bumble Bio, Bumble About Me, Bumble Prompts and Bumble Love Language Profile Badge
A Bumble profile consists of biographical information (location, age, education, height etc), about me section (short free form space); and prompts and answers (questions and prompts for users to answer) and photos.
This information is used to allow users to filter profiles by, get a sense of who they are, what they like and ideally values, passions, interests and more.
The latest addition to the profile is the Bumble My Love Language Badge. If you are not familiar, the 5 love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
I think this helps to filter out people who are not good at taking hints and/or being good at fulfilling your love language but with that said I think this is overkill. What’s next? Is Bumble going to ask if you like to be on top or bottom? What about if you like to be spanked? Or maybe there should be a badge for E.D.? Do you like thumbs in your bum?
I am in the camp that some things are better off to be discovered in person like they would if you were meeting people offline, the traditional way.
Introductory Messages, Openers & Responses On Bumble
I get it, men are awful with introductory messages — the number of hi, hey, what’s up, yo etc. Is mind-boggling and also sad in today’s society.
Women have been tormented and flustered with these messages for years and when Bumble first came out I figured more women would take this opportunity to take control and put more effort into their first messages to matches. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
In an effort to send a quick message to avoid the 24-hour window closing, women are more likely to use such messages to connect with men.
These messages although better than being shut out are super anti-climatic and given the better female to male ratios on Bumble vs other dating apps, men are more likely to move on to the next match that seems more excited and enthusiastic.
Putting in effort and sincerity will go a long way, especially if you focus your energy on quality people rather than superficial characteristics.
Bumble SuperSwipe: What is Superswipe and Does Superswipe Work?
The SuperSwipe features allows users to see you like them before matching or swiping on you. I get why this exists but it preys on people’s insecurities. Love, flirting, dating etc. requires a leap of faith – it should require some vulnerability. Also, it feels kind of desperate to many people.
These days people want assurances and want to minimize rejection but I strongly suggest not paying for such a feature – do you only want to match with someone because he she made a first move?
Would that person have swiped right on you if you didn’t indicate as such? With Bumble SuperSwipe, you will never know.
What is Bumble Boost? How Much Does Bumble Boost Cost?
Bumble imitated Tinder’s subscription product with the Bumble Boost product. It allows one to see who has right-swiped you, allows you to extended matches by 24 hours and rematch with expired matches.
I initially viewed Bumble as a grown up version of Tinder but features like ‘see who has right-swiped you’ is preying on psychological tendencies of users.
I understand Bumble needs to monetize but limiting the number of profiles shown or limiting number of active matches at the free level would not only create a better user experience that focuses on quality over quantity but allow for paid features that are in line with encouraging reasonable, mature behavior.
Anyone that does not get back to you at a reasonable time perhaps is not worth your time – no need or the 24-hour match extension. Creating excuses for others is not necessary at this part of the courting stage.
Same thing goes for the rematching with expired matches. Dating requires you to be present, engaged if you are serious about it. By interacting in the parameters of the free version of the app, there is no need to pay for the premium features here.
Bumble has done so much to advance the quality of users on its platform and significantly improve the user experience that these last few steps to bridge the gap would definitely further distance themselves from the rest of the pack.
Bumble Boost costs ranges from $2.99 per day to $9.99 per week, to $24.99 per month to $119.99 per lifetime account.
What is Bumble Beeline? Is Bumble Beeline Accurate? How To See Who Liked You On Bumble
The beeline is a feature that Bumble has that allows you to view who has already liked you (but you have nit matched with yet). These people are hidden unless you pay. Many people only like people in this queue which can be efficient for some folks but you will unlikely match with people utilizing the same strategy.
Over time, those in the Bumble Beeline may dissapear (delete profile, hide profile etc.). Similarly, many of those in your beeline may be from out of town, undesirable age range etc. Paid subscribers can apply filters to users in the beeline. Beeline visibility requires a subscription to Bumble Boost (legacy users).
If you are in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, or the UK, the Beeline will only be available in the Bumble Premium subscription.
What is Bumble Spotlight? Does Spotlight Work On Bumble? Best Time To Use Spotlight?
Bumble spotlight is a premium feature in which your profile is shown to the top of the stack enabling you to be seen by more people. Bumble Spotlight is not a miracle worker. Buying the product will not guarantee more likes or matches.
Only better photos, bios, prompts and demographics (location, age, height, education etc.) can help you. To cancel, you will have to access Google Play or Apple Store subscriptions and cancel there.
As far as the best time to use the feature, it’s not that obvious. Clients of mine receive this information with a profile review, critique service.
Bumble Photo Guidelines, Bumble Photo Rules: Bumble Profile Moderated
Most dating apps and sites follow the same technical requirements for dating profile photos. With that said, Bumble has a more stringent set of photo guidelines more so than most other dating apps including no photos in underwear, bikinis, topless mirror/bathroom selfies, no guns and more.
You are read the full list here: https://bumble.com/en-us/guidelines. If your photo violates one of these items, it will be marked as being moderated by Bumble.
How To Use Bumble Video Chat and Voice Line
After matching, the woman can initiate a call or video using the icons in the upper right of the screen. Men can do so as well but only after the woman makes the first move. More on video dates in dating apps here.
This feature allows users to re-engage an expired match. Most matches that expire are not meant to be. Very rarely do people have a legitimate excuse not to message someone. At the very least a quick note explaining that you are busy, had a tragedy etc. is provided.
With that said, this features preys on insecurity of users – what if (s)he ran out of time? If someone is on your mind and of strong interest, that person will find a way to convey this.
Is Bumble Better Than Tinder? Bumble vs. Tinder
That depends on what you seek, your gender, location, photos and effort. Different demographics + different people means a different strategy is required. You can find hookups on Bumble just like you can find significant others on Tinder.
Tinder is a lot more immature, casual and filled with more scammers. It’s not uncommon for people to have a Bumble account for serious relationships and another for casual hookups.
Bumble maybe a bit thin outside major cities and suburbs and also for folks under 25 and over 50. The best thing I recommend is to ask people around you what apps they use and just try apps out and see what works for you.
But before you create a profile, read this post about new profiles on dating apps. You will not want to overlook the registration as new users are boosted and received a lot of visibility so always put your best foot forward.
Unmatching On Bumble: Bumble Ended The Chat – Reporting Users On Bumble
In an effort to reduce harassment and bad behavior, Bumble is now allowing users to report profiles after a user unmatches them on the app.
In the past, people would unmatch people they met up or went on dates with to prevent them from reporting them to the app or to local authorties. Now you can go to the chat, select ‘Need Support’ and then ‘Delete From Chats’ or Report User.
This is a great feature as some guys on other apps will unmatch you after getting your number to avoid being reported to the app or authorities or free up their queue to talk to more women.
Bumble vs. Hinge: Which Dating App Is Better? How Is Hinge Different From Bumble?
The other dating app Bumble gets compared to the most is Hinge. It’s a rather similar app but more diverse user base, allows men the abilty to send a message along with a like vs waiting for the woman to make the first move. You can read more about the app here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/hinge-dating-app-review/
There is a lot of overlap in users across both apps, some women prefer Hinge to avoid making the first move and some men prefer Hinge because they can send messages with likes. Hinge has better prompts but Bumble has a bio/about me section to allow for more creative, personalized information about you that is hard to capture in scripted prompts.
Bumble vs The League: What Is The Best Dating App For Professionals?
A number of people who use Bumble also use The League. It’s only available in select cities and there is a waiting list.
Some people prefer the League over Bumble for its more exclusive approach to dating apps (not anyone can sign up) and also for features like Linkedin sync which prevents you from being matched by co-workers if you choose to enable that feature.
The League is about 25% Jewish per an article with the founder (see review above). The League also curates matches and forces users to review people more thoroughly than Bumble.
Is Bumble App Any Good? Is Bumble A Good Dating App?
It can be but that depends on your ability to use good photos, have a well-written profile, know how to write good first lines and live in a populated area. It’s one of the most used and recommended apps next to Hinge.
It’s merely a tool and introduction app and requires users to use good judgment, ask questions, not rush things, be self-aware, have realistic expectations and approach it thoughtfully. Trying to rush a relationship or or use it as an ordering app is the wrong way to use this or any other dating app.
Is Bumble A Feminist Dating App? Why Women Don’t Like Using Bumble App: Bumble Female Empowerment Fail
Several women I have worked with hate using Bumble. The combination of 24 hour windows gives them anxiety and they hate looking desperate by making the first move. They like controling who can message them but not at the expense of having to send the first message.
They also don’t like the fact that it’s harder to gauge interest by men as with Hinge, you can received a comment with a like whereas Bumble, likes are ambiguous and hard to tell effort (it’s not uncommon for men to volume swipe right on women only to focus on a select few).
The latest feature of Bumble (allowing profiles to to remain hidden unless they like a profile) makes it easier for people to cheat on their partners (which is more likely to be used by men).
Other safety and quality control aspects like blocking shirtless selfies on the app prevent women from using this self-sabotaging feature that outs men easily as an automatic left-swipe. It makes it harder for women to screen profiles and read people on the platform.
All these aspects of Bumble give men an unintended advantage – they can just volume swipe right and let the women compete for them.
Bumble Best Photo: What Is Best Photo On Bumble? How Does Bumble Know Which Photo Is Most Popular?
Bumble Best Photo is a new feature similar to Tinder’s Smart Photo that helps you decide what is your best photo by running tests on your photo order. It’s better than not getting any feedback but it could result in people seeing your worst photo first in a profile. Can you risk that?
What Is Bumble Like For A Woman?
Lots of matches, not as many responses nor effort in messaging.
Many guys don’t get messages after replying nor can they send the first message so they instead focus on the volume approach of swiping right on everyone and focusing on women that exert the most effort and are the most attractive.
Similarly, despite what some guys say, not everyone wants a relationship. Some guys will take what they can get including a quick hookup and ghost or just want to date casually without commitment.
What Is Bumble Like For A Guy? Is Bumble Any Good For Guys?
Matches never send a first message. Lots of women with IG handles in their bio to avoid having to send the first message on the app.
Many women under estimate how many likes and messages they receive and thus only message a few guys at a time (timing is everything).
Similarly, some women will unmatch or not send a message if they find something unflattering about you on the internet after matching.
Should I Buy Bumble Stock? Is Bumble A Good Stock To Buy?
Online Dating Critique, Makeover For Men & Women
Strategy (App Choice + Timing + First Messages), Photo Critique, Photo Order, Bios + Prompts + Photo Captions, Wardrobe Feedback, Grooming Suggestions, Clothing Recommendations, Hairstyle Recommendations, Body Language, Smiles & More
-As seen in the NYTimes, Wall Street Journal & More
Additional Reading: Bumble Frequently Asked Questions, Bumble FAQ Guide, Bumble Dating App Review, Bumble Review, Bumble App Review, Bumble App Pros And Cons, Is Bumble Worth It, Bumble vs Hinge
Bumble Profile Prompts Tips (Including How To Delete Bumble Profile Prompts)
Bumble Opening Line Tips (Best Openers To Use On Bumble)
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.
In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally.
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