What Is Bumble?

Discover what makes this dating app so popular

Bumble is a popular online dating platform that can help you discover and connect with potential matches in your local area. It's mostly used via the Bumble mobile app, but it can be used from a web browser, too.

A vector of a heart puzzle via two smartphone screens.
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How Bumble Works

If you're familiar with Tinder's iconic match and swipe system, then you'll probably recognize a similar style used on Bumble. Fun fact: Bumble was created and founded by one of the co-founders of Tinder.

Once you've signed up for a Bumble account, created a profile, and allowed the app to access your location, you can start seeing potential matches. As you browse through profiles, you'll be shown at least one photo, name, age, profession, education, bio description, and potentially more details.

If you're interested in a potential match, you can swipe right, then wait to see if they swipe right on you too. If you're not interested, swipe left to pass on them and keep looking for other potential matches.

When you swipe right on a match and they swipe right on you too, then you officially have a match. A match opens up the doors for communication.

What Makes Bumble Different from Other Dating Platforms

When a match is made between two users on Bumble, only the users who identify as female will be able to make the first point of contact. This is a unique feature to Bumble that makes it really stand out from other dating apps.

Putting the power in women's hands to make the first move is meant to help cut down on excessive and potentially inappropriate messages from interested males—a common experience on other dating platforms. Once a match is made, a female user has 24 hours to make contact and a male user has 24 hours from that first point of contact to respond.

Another aspect of Bumble that makes it stand out from the rest is its extension into serving other meaningful relationships, in addition to romantic ones. Bumble Date mode is what it's best known for, but the platform also offers Bumble Bizz for helping professionals expand their network, and Bumble BFF for people looking to expand their social circles.

Bumble makes it extremely easy to switch between modes when using the app. All you need to do is tap the logo at the top of the screen and then swipe through the three cards to choose between Date, BFF, or Bizz mode.

Bumble's Free Version vs. Paid Subscription

It's free to create a Bumble account and start using its main features. It doesn't cost you a cent to create a profile, browse potential matches, and start communicating with the matches you get.

However, for users who are looking to optimize their exposure and quality of potential matches, there's Bumble Boost—a premium subscription option that can be billed weekly, monthly, quarterly or semi-annually. Bumble Boost offers three extra premium features:

  • See everyone who has already swiped right on your profile before you decide whether to swipe right or left on them.
  • Extend the time limit for communication before a match expires.
  • Rematch with previous matches that expired.

If you go for the monthly subscription, you can expect to pay about $25 per month for Bumble Boost (although it changes periodically and the cost can be different depending on which area you're in). Upgrading could be worth a try for users who live in urban areas where they're shown lots and lots of potential matches, or for users who are busy and don't always have time to be actively communicating with matches.

Additional premium features can be purchased for an extra fee, like the Spotlight feature, which essentially pushes your profile to the top of the list over a 30-minute period for anyone local who's currently active and browsing for potential matches. You can also purchase a SuperSwipe for about $2 a pop, which is a feature that lets a potential match know that you really, really like them.