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Bumble’s New Feature Allows Men to Make the First Move: A Shift in Online Dating Dynamics

Bumble, the dating app known for its female-centric approach, is introducing a significant change to its platform. The app is introducing a new feature, “Opening Steps,” that allows men to initiate conversations, breaking away from the app’s long-standing rule that women must make the first move.

This new feature allows female users to set a prompt that male users can respond to, thus starting a conversation. This change is part of a larger redesign of the app that includes updated colors and a new logo. The redesign is seen as a response to the evolving needs of the online dating community, as well as a strategy to maintain the app’s relevance in the face of increasing online dating fatigue.

 

“Bumble was started with the idea of empowerment in mind when it came to online dating,” said Lidiane Jones, CEO of Bumble. “But as the online dating world has evolved, Bumble has found that women’s definition of equality has also changed. Today, 88% say the app is about personal choice and the autonomy to decide what’s right for them.”

The “opening moves” feature works by allowing women who opt into the new model to choose a question to send to each potential match, allowing them to learn more about the person beyond the information in the dating profile. Once men respond, women have 24 hours to decide whether to continue the conversation. For nonbinary users or those looking for same-sex matches, each person can set and answer the pre-selected question.

The new feature is optional and women don’t have to turn it on. They can continue to use the app as they have since it launched in 2014 if they want.

The changes come at a crucial time for Bumble, which posted a net loss of $1.9 million last year and has seen its stock price plummet 86% since its IPO in February 2021. However, Wall Street analysts expect Bumble to report a profit of $12 million when it reports results for the first three months of this year on May 8.

“We’re very fortunate to have very healthy financials to be able to invest in growth for the company, and still deliver profitability for our shareholders,” Jones said. “We’re at a really great inflection point of, we have enough scale and we also have a lot of room to grow ahead, where we can balance both of those goals together.”

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