Millennials love their apps, so it makes sense that a growing number of millennials are using their first love, to find their one true love.
Online dating started well before the modern craze of swiping apps took over the industry for younger singles. 1995 was the year mainstream dating came to the internet in the form of Match.com, which was soon after joined by JDate, eHarmony and many others. It was the creation of Tinder, though, that really blew open the market for users, especially amongst the coveted 18-25 demographic.
Tinder’s revolutionary concept was the “swipe” based platform, where a picture would appear of a person of your desired gender, age, and geographical location and you would simply swipe right for yes or left for no. Following that, another face popped up to swipe, and so on and so forth. At the same time you are swiping, someone else is seeing your profile picture and swiping as well. If a match is created by both parties swiping “yes,” a chat is opened and the rest is up to the budding lovers (or not). Launched in 2012, by 2014, the app was already up to 1 billion swipes a day.
Many variations of this hit technology came along in subsequent year, but perhaps none as unique and socially important as Bumble. Initially released in December of 2014, Bumble was the brainchild of Whitney Wolfe, a Co-Founder of Tinder, looking to improve the app dating process, specifically for women who often felt materialized on Tinder and the like. The key feature? After a match was created by mutual positive swiping, it was up to the woman to make the first move to begin the chat. The man cannot do anything but wait. If the woman did not say anything within 24hours, the match expired and both individuals would be back to the swiping game.
Whitney Wolfe was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah and has been a serial entrepreneur, beginning at age 19 while studying international affairs at Southern Methodist University. After cofounding Tinder and serving as the VP of Marketing, Ms. Wolfe left the company and later filed a suit of sexual harassment, which she won for reportedly more than $1 million.
Bumble went on to not only become a hugely successful business, but aimed to redefine the perceived gender roles in all dating, but especially dating apps. Previously on apps like Tinder, women felt compelled to let the man make the first move in conversations. Ms. Wolfe and the creation of Bumble gave that power back to the girls by making it entirely on them to initiate. While some women use this as an additional way to screen accidental or unwanted matches simply by saying “hi” to open the dialogue, others use this opportunity to show their ability to lead, make the first move and to drive the direction of the conversation by picking interesting, flirtatious, or humorous opening lines. The average age of bumble users is 26, and in a very impressive static, 59% of users are female, which is key to the success of any dating apps.
Bumble’s ability to attract women and promote gender equality and feminism in a fun, successful dating app fits perfectly with the younger, progressive generation.
eHarmony estimates that 40 million Americans use online dating, and Bumble has a growing percentage of that market share. Currently the fourth most downloaded dating app, Bumble hosts above 7 million users and has inspired more than 80 million matches, all this after only a little over two years on the market. Look out for Bumble and dating apps to become evermore popular, innovative and prevalent.
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