This New Dating App is a Response To Creeps on Tinder

August 14th 2015

Last year, Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe sued the company for sexual harassment after ultimately getting pushed out of the business. Following that experience, Wolfe started Bumble, which describes itself as a feminist dating app where women call the shots.

Bumble, a free app, is similar to Tinder in that male and female users swipe left for "no" and right for "yes." Both users receive a notification if there's a match, but the woman is the only one allowed to make the first move. While this could be considered unusual, it turns out that many men are interested. The app has more than 500,000 users and the average user spends more than an hour on Bumble per day. The male-female ratio is about 50/50.

What happens when women don't respond to or turn down men on Tinder and online dating platforms

Wolfe told Vanity Fair in a recent interview that part of the reason she launched the app was to combat bullying and harassment, which many women face when they ignore or reject male users on online dating platforms and Tinder. The wildly popular Instagram account Bye Felipe, which has more than 350K followers, has become a hit on social media for publishing screenshots of exchanges between hostile male users and women on online dating platforms. The Bye Felipe movement was born from the legendary "Bye Felicia" line in the film "Friday."

With Bumble, women are less likely to be subjected to such garbage, as they're the ones who first decide whether or not to message male users.

"I am a huge advocate for anti-bullying in our youth," Wolfe told the publication. "What I have seen with the rise of social media is that children are not facing bullying on a playground, they are facing it on their cell phones. Young girls are facing tremendous pressure on apps like Instagram, Twitter, and all sorts of social platforms... We are 100 percent feminist. We could not be more for encouraging equality."

How Bumble empowers women and also helps men

Wolfe added that she thinks her app is feminist because it empowers women to pursue the men they think might be worthwhile.

"[T]he unwritten rule puts the woman a peg under the man—the man feels the pressure to go first in a conversation, and the woman feels pressure to sit on her hands," she said. "If we can take some of the pressure off the man and put some of that encouragement in the woman’s lap, I think we are taking a step in the right direction, especially in terms of really being true to feminism. I think we are the first feminist, or first attempt at a feminist dating app... For the first time in the tech space, the woman has been encouraged to be on an even playing field."

She added that men also seem to get an ego boost when a woman reaches out on Bumble.

"[B]y having the lady make the first move, [the man] doesn’t feel rejection or aggression—he feels flattered," she said. "That one little shift, that one little change, makes all the difference. It guides the conversation in a very different way, and that sets the tone for that conversation, that relationship, that friendship, whatever that is, to be a confident one."

Tinder's recent meltdown

The interview with Wolfe was published around the same time Vanity Fair ran a scathing article titled "Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse,'" which paints the app in a negative light. The piece depicts the experiences of several Tinder users in Manhattan and college and sends the message that the app makes it more difficult to find a meaningful relationship, as many view it as a hookup service. The article also suggests the app can bring out the worst in people.

The story received massive attention on social media and even provoked Tinder to unleash a tweet rampage (more than 30 tweets) against the writer for what the company perceived as biased reporting. Tinder claims that the writer did not reach out to them for comment and lectured her on how she could have reported the story differently, among other things:

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