They’re all wildly popular dating apps – but is Bumble the right choice for you? This Bumble review has everything you need to decide!
Head straight to what you're most curious about, or start at the top:
- Pros & Cons Of Bumble
- Bumble Basics
- How The Bumble App Works
- Bumble Cost & Premium Features
- Setting Up Your Bumble Profile
Bumble Pros & Cons
PRO: Women aren’t overwhelmed with unwanted messages. Since she opted to contact you, it’s relatively easy to move things off the app.
PRO: According to one of the app’s founders, 60% of matches result in a conversation.
PRO: The app’s gender demographics are roughly equal, with 55% of users being male.
PRO: Setting up an account is easy, because your bio can’t be longer than 300 characters.
CON: Men can’t send the first message – only women can initiate a conversation. So if you’ve got some great icebreakers in your arsenal, you won’t get a chance to use them.
CON: She only has 24 hours to initiate contact with you once you’ve both swiped right. So if a woman you’re interested in doesn’t send you a message, the match is lost. (But keep reading for a way to extend the deadline!)
VERDICT: If you can stomach the idea of waiting for her to make the first move, give Bumble a try… especially if you’re a reasonably handsome guy with strong pictures. It can be nice feeling like the pursued instead of the pursuer every once in awhile, and Bumble makes that possible!
Everything You Need To Know About Bumble
Bumble is a free dating app built on the same model as Tinder, but with one unique twist. Women are in the driver’s seat when it comes to starting a conversation.
Bumble aims to cut down on the number of sleazy messages women often get bombarded with on other mobile dating apps. That's the main reason why men can’t send the first message.
If you’re the guy whose standard approach to messaging consists of “Hey baby, nice ___” this probably isn’t the app for you. (And if you are that guy, you should definitely read this article for some Tinder pickup lines that actually work).
Interesting Tidbit: After one of Tinder’s founders, Whitney Wolfe, filed a highly controversial sexual harassment lawsuit against Tinder and its parent company (at the time) IAC, she decided to start a more “women-friendly” app.
The just over $1,000,000 settlement and embarrassing scandal apparently wasn’t enough vindication for Whitney. She also decided to take a big bite out of Tinder’s market, and successfully built Bumble, one of its biggest competitors.
How Bumble Works
You can swipe right or left to indicate your interest level, or let someone know you’re really interested by using a SuperSwipe.
Bumble also has a Reactions feature that lets you choose a piece of content in the profile of a potential match, and react to it with an emoji chosen from a selection of 9. The emoji Reaction is revealed if the two of you match.
Women have the option of sending a comment as a Reaction too. Sending a comment counts as the first move if a match results, so this feature makes it easy for women to start a Bumble conversation.
To send a Reaction, tap on the smiley face icon displayed on the piece of content you want to react to.
When you both swipe right a “connection” is made. Once that happens, the woman has only 24 hours to initiate a conversation or the match is lost.
Bumble gives users the option to go beyond the usual back and forth messaging and move to a voice or video call within the app.
That feature appeals to a lot of women, as you don’t need to exchange phone numbers in order to talk to a match.
Here is how Bumble’s Video Call and Voice Chat works:
Once you’ve matched with someone, you’ll see a phone and a video icon on the messaging screen:
Simply tap one of the two icons and your match can accept the incoming voice or video chat, which launches the call within the app:
For women, initiating a call of either type counts as the first move. Men will only see those icons once a match has reached out, either with an icebreaker or by tapping the phone/video icons.
Bumble's video and voice chat feature is available across all three modes, Date, BFF, and Bizz (more on those coming up!)
Users can also use the Snapchat camera for both video calling and video messages, with AR lenses accessed directly in Bumble. In addition to effects like fox ears and hearts, you can also add one of 6 virtual backgrounds including an outdoors setting with a campfire to a Ferris wheel, a gondola ride in Venice or a “dinosaur valley”.
There's also an option to simply blur your background.
While virtual backgrounds are an option, Bumble representative Charley Webb said in an interview that retouching filters are not available, as the goals is to showcase your “unfiltered and authentic” self.
You can add a “virtual dating” badge to your profile so that your matches will know you’re interested in video chatting. (Not sure how to look good in a video call? Check out these expert video dating tips!)
The “virtual dating” badge can be added or removed at any time by changing your status in the Advanced Filters menu. Showing the badge does not count as one of your 2 free filters.
Expert Bumble Tip #1:
The best time to message on Bumble is between 8 and 10 pm.
For guys, Bumble is all about the photos and bio – after all, she’s got to feel compelled to start a conversation with you. Unfortunately, that awesome opening line you’ve been crushing it with on Tinder isn’t going to help.
Some guys can do VERY well on Bumble. So if you’re fairly easy on the eyes, you may discover Bumble is better than Tinder for you.
Expert Bumble Tip #2:
According to in-app data, users with 6 photos get the most right swipes.
Like Tinder, Bumble allows you to search for matches based on distance, age range, and gender. Profiles can include up to six photos, a short About Me section, and some background information like education and job title.
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Bumble fake profiles aren’t all that common, at least compared to Tinder or a free dating site like POF. That’s largely due to Bumble’s verification process. It prompts you to take a selfie while copying a specified gesture, like this one:
If a match notices you're not verified yet, she can also send you a verification request:
Take the time to verify your profile, because one of the Bumble Filters allows people to screen out unverified profiles.
To change modes, simple tap the Bumble logo at the top of the page, and toggle between all three.
Is Bumble Free?
Yes – you can use it effectively without spending a cent.
But there are some handy features that make it easier to get matches with a paid subscription. Bumble offers two levels of paid membership: Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium.
Here is what you get at each level:
Bumble Premium Features & Cost
Comparable to Tinder Gold as far as features go, Bumble Premium allows you to:
- See your Beeline, which is everyone who has already liked your profile
- Be visible only to people you swipe right on in Incognito
- Use Travel to match with people in different locations
- Access all the Advanced Filters
- Use all the features that come with Bumble Boost
Bumble Premium costs $17.99 per week, $32.99 for 1 month, $66.99 for 3 months, and $199.99 for “lifetime” access.
Bumble Boost Features & Cost
Starting at $7.99 a week, you can upgrade to “Bumble Boost,” which unlocks these features:
- Rematch – you can now reconnect with past matches for an extra 24 hours.
- Extend – allows you to extend the 24-hour match window.
- 1 Spotlight per week, which shows your profile to more users in your area
- 5 SuperSwipes per week
- Backtrack – undo your last swipe
- Unlimited swiping
How much Bumble Boost costs depends on the length of your subscription. If you buy a 3 or 6-month subscription, the price is discounted:
To see if paying for Bumble makes sense for you, check out this Bumble Boost review.
If they are still available in your area, you can also use “Bumble Coins,” the in-app currency, to purchase SuperSwipes. Similar in concept to Tinder’s Super Likes, using a SuperSwipe lets her know you’re serious about wanting to make a connection. If Bumble Coins have been phased out in your area, you can purchase SuperSwipes outright.
Bumble SuperSwipes cost anywhere from $3.99 for 2 to $26.99 for 30.
You can also purchase Spotlights, with each one giving your profile increased exposure for 30 minutes. Bumble Spotlights costs range from $1.66 to $3.99 each, depending on the quantity you purchase at once:
To learn more about this premium feature, including the best time to use it, check out this Spotlight review!
Users in some markets can still spend 5 coins to change their location in Bumble. You can activate Bumble's “Travel Mode” for one week, and select whatever location you'll be going to.
That means just like with Tinder Passport, you can start swiping and messaging matches in your destination city before you actually get there.
However, users in most countries will now have to upgrade to Bumble Premium to use the Travel feature.
Step By Step Guide To Setting Up A Bumble Account
New users also have the option of creating an account with a mobile phone number. So you can use this popular dating app without Facebook, and enter all your details manually.
You can add up to six photographs, and she has to scroll through all of them in order to see your Bumble profile. You don’t want to lose her at your third shirtless mirror selfie, so make sure to choose strong pictures.
Select a range of photos that really showcases your lifestyle. She’s going to imagine herself with you as she’s scrolling through them, so you might want to get feedback on your photos from some female friends. Only use the pictures that they rank the highest.
You can also connect your Instagram account, which will show the 24 most recent pics from your Instagram feed on your Bumble profile. The downside is you can’t control which pictures are shown – so make sure your IG pics are worthy of a dating site.
Next up is the “About Me” section, and it’s short – 300 characters or less. That’s not a lot of space to grab her attention, so be creative. It’s worth filling out – if she’s wavering about which way to swipe based on your photos, a profile that makes her smile will make up her mind.
Bumble profiles also have space for answering 3 prompts, called “Move Makers.” Each one has a 120-character limit, and topics range from your greatest travel to what you'd want your superpower to be. You can choose from 0ver 30, the selection of which rotates periodically.
Want an irresistible Bumble profile? Check out these Bumble profile tips and tricks!
Bumble Interest Badges
To give potential matches even more insight into your personality and hobbies, you can display up to 5 “Interest Badges” on your bio.
There are over 150 choices in 10 categories:
- Going Out
- Staying In
- Film & TV
- Food & Drink
- Values & Traits
- Bumble Values & Allyship
To add interests to your Bumble profile, go to the profile editing screen and scroll down to “My interests”. Tap on the badges you want to include by scrolling through the categories at the top of the screen:
When you've made your selections, tap “Save” and the badges will display on your Bumble profile.
Bumble Search Criteria & Filters
Before you can start swiping, you have to set your search criteria. Basic criteria include distance, age range, and gender.
Free users can choose an additional two Bumble filters, which let you screen for more attributes like education, political views, smoking/drinking habits, and more.
Upgrading to Bumble Boost gives you access to all the Bumble Filters.
Keep in mind, though, if you want to screen your matches with a particular filter, you must first answer that question in your own profile. So if you only want to date singles who are over a specific height, you must provide your own height first.
When you’ve both liked each other, a connection is made and the waiting begins. She has 24 hours to send you a message before the match expires.
But if she doesn’t make the first move, all is not lost. Guys have the ability to extend the window of conversation for an additional 24 hours for one match per day. It’s kind of like the “Super Like” function on Tinder – it lets her know you really want to hear from her.
Expert Bumble Tip #3:
Skip the swiping on Fridays, as that’s when users spend the least amount of time on Bumble. Remember, that countdown clock is ticking, so why start it when she’s probably not checking the app?
As with any dating app, the goal is to move things off the app as soon as possible. Don’t wait too long to ask her out – you don’t want her to lose interest in the conversation and move on to the next guy. For some expert advice on when and how to get her to say “yes” to a meet up, click here.
How To Get The Best Results On Bumble
If you’re serious about starting a relationship with someone special, putting some effort into choosing your most attractive photos and writing a compelling Bumble bio is essential. She’s making the first move, so your profile needs to compel her to message you.
So you could do a bunch of research on how to write the best Bumble profile, or you can meet incredible local singles without doing any of the hard work. Here at VIDA Select, our dating consultants handle everything for you, from writing your profile to messaging the women you like best. You just show up to your date and have fun!
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