What Is Coffee Meets Bagel? Is It A Good Dating App? How Does It Compare To Other Dating Apps? App Review.
Coffee Meets Bagel has been around since 2012 and famously appeared on Shark Tank where it declined an offer to be bought out by Mark Cuban. It’s been widely marketed as a relationship focused app with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Despite the odd naming, CMB has done well for itself and the latest series B funding has allowed it build out the product, grow the customer base and make a name for itself in the crowded dating app market. It’s gained a solid reputation among its users and it’s one of the top apps I recommend to clients in addition to Hinge and Bumble.
With that said, there are a few things I often hear from clients when using the apps.
Coffee Meets Bagel operates on a bean currency kind of like Monopoly money. This approach has a gaming element to it which may cater to the young demographics of the app. While the basic service is free, it costs beans for certain premium features like read receipts, extra bagels and more. CMB offers free beans if you do certain activities in the app if you refer people, follow them on social media and provide feedback on matches. I think these are great but the underlying recurring focus on using the bean, bagel and coffee lingo is a bit odd.
The terminology is a bit nauseating. CMB refers to people in the discover tab as “the schmear on top.” There is no explanation given and a bit confusing. If people who appear as bagels are your most compatible, are those in the discover tab out of one’s league, beyond arm’s reach, eye-candy or just something you add to a bagel?
Activity Reports and Read Receipts
The premium version of Coffee Meets Bagel offers additional perks including activity reports that note how many times someone initiates a first message, read receipts so you can see who reads your messages. These features nudge users to rely on apps to help make decisions and further distances users from analyzing queues, asking questions, taking risks and putting oneself out there – the pillars of dating that have worked for ages.
Communication skills and reading people are life-long skills, offline and online and dating apps that suggest you trust them to make these decisions is unsettling. There is no need to know if someone read your message. If someone is interested they will reply back, promptly. There is no need to know what percentage of the time someone messages first (it could be they are proactive and send a high number of messages or it can mean they are super popular and receive tons of messages first). There is no context provided with this metric.
Prompts for bios can be great, they can inspire creativity, quirkiness and random anecdotes. They also can encourage people to be brief or unoriginal. If you Google CMB prompts you will get lists of suggested answers to use. If you are brave, you can really create a stellar bio and answers but if not, you can look like every other profile on the app given the limiting 3 question prompt of I like, I am, I like it when my date.
As for the bios themselves, I have noticed Coffee Meets Bagel profiles are a bit thin especially at the free level (especially compared to Hinge and Bumble). Many people have incomplete bios, vague answers or lack important details that are essential in evaluating a potential date. I am all for not pouring out your life story and every detail about yourself including job title, company, etc but there bare minimum amount of information users need to provide to be thorough and interesting and CMB does not encourage this minimum threshold.
Demographics, Customer Base
The most notable things I have heard from people using Coffee Meets Bagel is the lack of profiles on the app, not enough men or the amount of Asian users on the app. Coffee Meets Bagel has a high level of women on the app compared to Tinder but the limited number of profiles has led some users to rely more on Hinge and Bumble. This chart was from 2014 and although it is dated, it is likely the similar story today.
Coffee Meets Bagel is a great app and the relationship focus mantra is great for those that prioritize something meaningful in their lives but please note the traction is not as high as other app alternative and the discover vs suggested, bean currencies and limited information on profiles might be too much for you to put up with.