One of the co-founders of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe has moved on to develop an entirely new dating platform that she bills as “100% Feminist” – Bumble.
Cofounded with Badoo‘s Andrey Andreev, who encouraged Whitney to stick to what she knows when she first began forming a new venture, the company is the fourth most popular dating platform (Tinder is #1). Whitney founded the company at the age of 24 in december 2014.
Her dating platform, like other similar apps, still utilizes the swiping controls of other apps, but has a twist: only women can make the first move.
Inspiring this change is the growing complaint that when men contact women on apps, they sometimes get very aggressive, insulting, and vulgar. Women flinch at verbal assaults disguised as icebreakers. The more outlandish propositions have even generated a sort of cottage industry on YouTube where comedy groups read graphic, NSFW conversations out loud
(men and women representing the original writers). Though some of the conversations are hilarious, reading them aloud really puts across how wildly inappropriate it is to speak to anyone this way, ever.
Thinking about the fact that men are traditionally expected to make the first move, a stressful situation, you can see how guys get frustrated. There are millions of users on these dating platforms, so one man alone can be rejected a TON of times a night, if he keeps at it. The resulting aggression defeats the entire purpose of the exercise.
In Whitney Wolfe’s female-first Bumble, women initiate all interactions. So rather than facing dozens of rejections a night, men get to be flattered at being chosen. Wolfe has commented that women who later actually meet up with these men on dates find them to be respectful, engaged, and genuine on the whole. Since whoever makes the first move sets the tone, having this female first restriction puts women in charge of laying the emotional foundation for the first and subsequent interactions, rather than being put into the place of reacting to a man’s advances. Men do not build up this aggressive resentment that leads to incredibly insulting, fruitless interactions, and women feel empowered and safe to choose a person they’d like to get to know.
Bumble has its base in Austin Texas, a choice that keeps them away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, where the pressure to make appearances and compete with the boys can be distracting. Her central crew of six women focuses on making Bumble a platform where new connections – romantic or otherwise – are made in a friendly, with interesting people from all over in a happy environment with a bent towards spreading good feeling and positive energy.