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What is Bumble and how does it work?

One of the most popular dating apps in the world gives women the first-mover advantage.

Published onFebruary 8, 2023

Bumble logo on smartphone
Harley Maranan / Android Authority

The options for single people to meet that special someone have come a long way since the days of lonely hearts columns. Ever since the world of dating apps with a gamified feel emerged in the shape of Grindr and Tinder, the industry has exploded. You can now find dating apps that cater to every social group and every type of liaison, with some more popular than others. Despite such fierce competition, Bumble has emerged as one of the most popular options. But what is Bumble? And what makes it different?

Here’s your complete guide to what Bumble is and how it works.

What is Bumble?

Bumble screenshot 2020
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Bumble is a dating app that was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of Tinder. After leaving the Tinder team, she was keen to create a dating app that empowered women and created a safer, more respectful dating experience.

The app was officially launched in December 2014 and quickly gained popularity among users looking for a different approach to dating. Over the years, Bumble has expanded its offerings beyond dating and now offers modes for friendship and even business networking. The app has also launched several initiatives aimed at promoting equality and inclusivity, such as its #AllyForWomen campaign and its partnership with the Girls Who Code organization.

Related: How to pause or delete your Bumble account

Today, Bumble has over 100 million users and is available in over 150 countries. The company has received several awards for its innovative approach to dating and its commitment to empowering women.

Bumble is available on both iOS and Android platforms and is free to download. The app has two paid levels called Premium and Boost, which offer additional features such as the ability to rematch with expired matches and see who has swiped Yes on you.

How does Bumble work?

Bumble screenshot 2021

Bumble operates on a swiping mechanism where users can create a profile, upload photos, and start swiping to match with other users. There’s a Date mode for romantic connections, BFF mode for making new friends, and Bizz mode for networking.

If two users match, the woman must initiate the conversation within 24 hours or the match will expire. The man then has 24 hours to respond, at which point there are no further time restrictions. This applies to the Date and BFF modes of Bumble — Bizz users on the networking mode have seven days to make the first move and there’s a further week for the response. For same-sex matches, either user can make the first move.

The woman must initiate the conversation.

If the clock is running down, every user is given one Extend move per day, which gives them another 24 hours to break the ice or respond. Premium or Boost users get an unlimited number of these Extend plays per day.

Once a match is made, users can continue chatting through the app. Bumble has other features that everyone can use such as badges, specific search preferences, video and audio calls, a question game, and more.

How is Bumble different from other dating apps?

Lots of dating apps find a niche by having a unique twist. For example, Happn only matched you with people you had crossed paths with. Bumble’s niche is the first-mover advantage of the woman. This feature sets Bumble apart from other dating apps and potentially reduces unwanted messages and advances.

Related: 10 best dating apps for Android

In addition to this twist on dating, Bumble offers a variety of modes for different types of connections, including dating, friendship, and business networking. This makes Bumble a versatile app for users looking for different types of relationships.

While not unique to Bumble, the app also prioritizes safety and security, with features such as photo verification and reporting options for inappropriate behavior. Bumble encourages users to be respectful and considerate in their interactions with others, and it may take action when this policy isn’t adhered to.

How much is Bumble Premium?

The app actually has two paid levels: Premium and Boost. In either case, you can pay for as little as one day, but you save more if you commit to a longer subscription.

Bumble Boost

The price of Boost is $1.99 for one day or $6.99 for one week. One, three, and six-month subscriptions are $18.99, $39.99, and $59.99 respectively.

Boost is the lower tier of the two, but it comes with plenty of benefits. They include:

  • Backtrack — Allows you to reverse a No swipe.
  • Unlimited Extends — Beyond the one per day that all users get.
  • Unlimited swipes — Free users have a daily maximum.
  • One Spotlight per week — Puts your profile to the top of other users’ Swipe Stack.
  • Five SuperSwipes per week — Informs another user that you’ve swiped Yes before they decide.

Bumble Premium

Premium costs $3.49 for one day or $13.99 for a week. One, three, and six-month subscriptions are $29.99, $59.99, and $99.99. There’s also a lifetime subscription to Premium available for $149.99.

Bumble Premium includes all of the perks of Boost, as well as the following:

  • Unlimited advanced filters — Beyond the two that all users get.
  • Beeline — Only see people who have already liked you.
  • Travel mode — Swipe in other locations.
  • Rematch — A second chance to match with a user if you ran out of time to connect.
  • Incognito mode — Hides your profile to everyone except people you’ve swiped Yes on.

Read next: How to cancel your Bumble subscription

Bumble FAQs

No, not even in the Boost of Premium tiers. The closest thing to it is that you can see when the person you’re conversing with is typing.

No. You can take screenshots of the app without the other user being notified.

You have an unlimited number of likes you can give overall on Bumble, but you’re restricted to 25 likes per day on the free tier. After that, you’re prevented from giving any likes for 24 hours from the time of your last like.

Guys can swipe, like, and match on Bumble the same as girls, but once a match is made, the woman has to send the first message within 24 hours. The exception is if two guys make a same-sex match, in which case, either user can make the first move.

Bumble is free to download and use. While it works fine as a free app, the paid Boost and Premium tiers give users a higher chance of making connections.


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