What Is Bumble? How This Dating App Works

Hand holding phone with Bumble app on it.

With so many dating apps available, you’re probably wondering what is Bumble and what makes it so different. Instead of just swiping endlessly, Bumble’s all about making genuine connections. In fact, it’s for more than just dating, which may be one of the reasons it’s so popular.

What is Bumble?

Bumble is part dating app, part social network. Unlike most dating apps, you’re able to find dates, friendships, and even career networking opportunities (sort of like LinkedIn). It’s designed to help create new connections throughout all aspects of your life.

Bumble’s divided into:

Choose which one(s) you want to use, then start making connections.

Bumble's three main options for meeting new people.

It’s important to note that one thing that really sets Bumble apart is that it’s a women-friendly app. Women get to make the first moves, not guys. There might not be as many matches, but you’re likely to get far more genuine messages and connections, versus unsolicited pics that no one really wants.

Is Bumble Free?

Bumble premium pricing along with what you get with it.

Yes, the base version of Bumble is free. As with most platforms, there is a premium version. Upgrade for as low as $6.99. This gives you extra features, such as unlimited likes, more filters, spotlights, and more. You can also pay for one-off features, such as spotlights and SuperSwipes, to make more matches without a weekly or monthly subscription.

How Bumble Works

Sometimes you’ll see Bumble compared to Tinder, and that’s mainly thanks to the swiping aspect. But to answer “what is Bumble,” we need to dive into the basics of how it works and what sets it apart from the competition.

Like most dating apps, Bumble asks you to first set up a profile. You’ll need at least two pictures, along with selecting some interests and the type of people you want to meet. Some of the answers will vary, based on the reason you’re using the app, such as dating or networking. You’ll also need to turn on location services to ensure that you match with people in a certain radius of your location.

Choosing interests on Bumble.

Once you go through the initial process, you can finish setting up your profile with more details about you. The more details you provide, the more likely you are to match with someone.

The free version of Bumble gives you some basic filters, like age range, gender, and location range. The premium versions give you access to more advanced filters, to help you filter out matches by smoking, drinking, kids, exercise, religion, astrology, and more. You can set as many or few as you want.

Bumble free filters

When two people match up, conversations can begin. But, make sure you have your notifications on. You only have a set amount of time before matches expire.

Viewing Profiles

As soon as you’re ready, it’s time to start viewing profiles on Bumble. Tap the three lines at the bottom of the app to view profiles. You’re shown a large profile image, name, age, and occupation. Swipe up to view more details, including a bio, what they’re looking for, details about their life, interests, and much more.

Viewing a profile on Bumble

The amount of detail varies greatly from person to person. Of course, you can always try to match with them to learn more.

By default, profiles are within 50 miles of your location, but you can change this to 100 miles. Plus, if you run out of profiles, the app automatically extends the area slightly to help you find more potential matches.

Which Way to Swipe on Bumble

Pay careful attention to how you swipe on Bumble. The last thing you want to do is miss a potential match by quickly swiping the wrong way.

Swipe right to like someone. Swipe left to pass on a profile. The app reminds you with a large checkmark and X to make sure you’re certain.

After You Match

Much like Tinder, a match happens when two people swipe right on each other. What makes Bumble significantly better, at least for women, is that women get to make the first move.

In a match between a woman and man, the man can’t message women first. The woman must send the first message within 24 hours of the match, then the man has 24 hours to respond. If the time limit passes, the connection expires. However, you can pay to extend this time period if you want.

In a same-sex match, either woman may make the first move. But the same time constraints apply.

The idea is to give women more control than the usual free-for-all on most dating apps. Plus, it’s a good way to empower women to start making the first move. There’s even a feature called Private Detector that uses AI to automatically blur potentially nude images. You decide whether you want to open them or trash them.

Once the other person has responded to the first message, you can message back and forth as much as you want, with no time constraints. If you decide the person just isn’t right for you, unmatch with them and move on.

Bumble Your Way Through Dating

The general answer to “what is Bumble” is that it’s a dating app that puts women first. Yes, the 24-hour restraints can be a pain, but there are many benefits, too. If you’re looking for more dating apps, try these mobile dating apps. Or, if you’re a single parent, try these dating apps. If you just want to make friends and try something different, consider finding a pen pal.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *