Is Bumble Going to Be the Women-Friendly Tinder We've All Been Waiting for or Nah?

Women of the online dating world, I am back once again with more tales of dating apps that promise you a creeper-free online dating experience. First, there was Mesh. Then, The Grade. Now, Bumble is the latest Tinder-competitor trying to give you "everything you've always wanted from a social discovery app with none of the things you don't." The subtext being that the things you don't want are disrespectful messages from creepy dudes.

“But Sara,” you might be thinking, “A lot of dating apps have assured me they would get rid of creepy dudes and their gross pickup lines, and time and time again, they have failed me. How can I ever learn to trust again?” Well for starters, the app was made by Whitney Wolfe. Sound familiar? She should. Wolfe used to work at Tinder, until she sued the two founders for sexual harassment, so I think she’d know a thing or two about unwanted sexual advances from shady characters.

The app, which according to TechCrunch is launching on December 1st, seems to function similarly to Tinder. From some screenshots on its website, it looks like you have your regular “here’s-a-photo-of-a-guy-swipe-if-you-think-he’s-not-or-not” interface, with some snippets of personal info also included, like profession and education, making it at least marginally less superficial than Tinder.

Even though I'm not exactly sure how well Bumble will do in its quest to remove creepers, we do know some things from its Terms & Conditions page. Namely, that the app promises to restrict content that:

  • Contains language which could be deemed offensive or is likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person;
  • Is obscene, pornographic or otherwise may offend human dignity;
  • Is abusive, insulting or threatening, or which promotes or encourages racism, sexism, hatred or bigotry.

If this is just code for a glorified spam filter, we won’t know until the app launches. Naturally, some people are skeptical — after all, pledging that you’ll never get unwanted messages is a big promise, and we can’t even get rid of real-life scumbags, so how can we stop them online?

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The key seems to be in the power of conversation. In other dating apps, anybody can message first — and if my prolific online dating experience is anything close to the norm, it usually ends up being the guy. Call me old-fashioned, whatever, I don’t like initiating conversation because I can never think of what to say. But on Bumble, I wouldn’t have the luxury of waiting around for a guy to make the first move. The girl has to initiate within 24 hours, or else the connection disappears forever. But, girls and guys have the option of extending one match per day every 24 hours in case the girl is dragging her feet (or is busy doing something else).

I think this is pretty freaking cool. Who knows what could happen — will women just not reach out? Will we all find true love? Will we see a rise in gross, male-directed pickup lines that start with “Hey bro”? Only time will tell. The 24-hour rule seems a bit much — I never got a single match on Coffee Meets Bagel because I never remembered to log on precisely at noon every day, so I don't see it working too well for Bumble either, but that's just my opinion. Skepticism and my own introversion aside, I would definitely give this app a try. It may not eliminate unwanted messages altogether, but it's certainly a great place to start.

Unfortunately, I have no idea when Bumble is coming to Android, so I’ll be living vicariously through all you iPhone users until that day comes.

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Images: Bumble; Giphy (2)