The First Move on Bumble Is Anyone's Game Now

It's no longer required that women make initial contact after a match is made on the dating app
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2024 10:15 AM CDT
The First Move on Bumble Is Anyone's Game Now
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Urupong)

Ladies, the pressure is off. Women who are reluctant to make the first move after matching with someone on Bumble can now sit back and wait for their potential partner to send an initial message. The dating app's new "Opening Moves" feature allows women to create a question that people they match with can answer, "creating a new way to engage with connections while keeping women in control," per a release. Previously, once a match was made, women only could make first contact. For users who are nonbinary or interested in same-sex relationships, either party can create an Opening Move or respond to one.

The question used can be one of Bumble's standard entries, or users can make up their own. Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd tells the New York Times that women had griped over the past few years that being the person tasked with reaching out was "a lot of work" and a "burden," so she began brainstorming about how to take some of that pressure off while still offering a modicum of safety and privacy for women. CNN notes that the change comes amid a tepid time for online dating (earlier this year, Bustle called it the dating app "flop era"), with many users succumbing to frustration and burnout, opting to simply meet people the old-fashioned way instead: in person.

Bumble itself hasn't escaped the downturn, posting a $1.9 million net loss in 2023. It's made other changes, too, to help draw users back, including highlighting common interests for potential matches, as well as its new "Dating Intentions" badges, which allow users to indicate if they're interested in a more casual or more serious relationship. "We're seeing a greater need for authentic human connections," Bumble CEO Lidiane Jones tells CNN. "I don't anticipate that the number of people using online dating is going to go down, quite the opposite, but there is a higher bar. ... So we're taking it as a great call to action to center ourselves on our mission." AdWeek has more on Bumble's new ad campaign for "exhausted" women. (More Bumble stories.)

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