Online dating is a billion-dollar business, and it’s growing every day.  Apps like Tinder, where users can quickly find singles in their area, make matches, and start a conversation are extremely popular, but not without their drawbacks.

One of the original founders of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, left the company after getting an over $1 million settlement from her sexual harassment lawsuit.  Looking for a better way for women to connect with a potential date, Wolfe launched Bumble.

Just what is Bumble?  It’s a female-friendly dating website that is very similar to Tinder.  You create a profile and then browse through other users in your area.  You swipe right if you’re interested, and left if you’re not.  However, there is one main difference between this app and other dating services – ladies make the first move.

Here, we’ll give you a rundown of the basics of the app and its features.  Then, we give you expert tips for both guys and gals to make the most of the technology.  Finally, we share our Bumble hacks to help everyone have the best chance of finding love fast.

What is Bumble App?

Bumble is like the refined big sister of Tinder with a feminist twist. Experts in the online dating world believe that the average Bumble users are more serious about finding a real connection, and they also skew towards better educated and more attractive.

Some users report Bumble to have a more curated feel than Tinder, giving the app a high-quality feel.

The most significant difference between Bumble and its competitors like Tinder is that it is exceptionally female friendly. Only women can send the first message in the app, which eliminates the number of sleazy spam messages and inappropriate photos that come thru on other sites.

This is also good news for guys, as it ensures that if you match and get a message, the lady on the other end if interested.

One additional point to note, the caveat of ladies first only applies in male to female matches. If you have a same-sex match, whether it be women to women or men to men, either person can initiate contact.

What is Bumble App?

Using the Bumble app is simple, and the standard version is completely free.  There is a paid upgrade called Bumble Boost that gives you access to premium features, but it’s not required to search, match, or contact other users in your area.

Bumble has a pretty straightforward list of terms and conditions to use the service.  You need to:

  • Have an active Facebook account. Bumble will use information linked to your account like your name, job, age, and school when you set up your profile. This helps to ensure that the information supplied on users is correct and legitimate and that they are real people.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be legally allowed to use the app based on the local laws in your home country.

Getting set up to use the app is easy.  Here are the basic steps.

  1. 1
    Download the app for your iOS or Android device.
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    Set up your Bumble profile. It will automatically pull information from Facebook, and you will also need to select six pictures already posted to your account that will display in Bumble. You’ll also need to write a 300-character bio that’s compelling and gives a little snapshot into you.
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    You have the option to link your Instagram account to your Bumble profile. Although you can’t control which photos are displayed at the bottom of your profile, it will show the 24 most recent images to give other users a broader glimpse into your personality. Don’t worry, your Instagram handle won’t be displayed, and your privacy will be protected.
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    Finally, use the “Settings” section in the app to set your match preferences. Here you can choose their distance, age range, and gender so that when you browse profiles, the people you see align with your criteria.

Browsing and matching profiles based on your criteria is also a simple process.  When you pull up your potential matches, you’ll either swipe left if you’re not interested or swipe right if you feel like the person might be a good fit.

If both of the users swipe right, a match is created.

Once you’ve matched with another user, you’ll then have an opportunity to communicate.  Women have up to 24-hours to send the first message and begin a conversation.  After that 24-hour period, the connection is lost.

Men will see a timer displayed with a clock that ticks down on your matches.  If there is one that you really like, you can extend the connection for an additional 24-hours.  This feature is only allowed once per day, so choose wisely.

Browsing and matching profiles based on your criteria is also a simple process.  When you pull up your potential matches, you’ll either swipe left if you’re not interested or swipe right if you feel like the person might be a good fit.

If both of the users swipe right, a match is created.

Once you’ve matched with another user, you’ll then have an opportunity to communicate.  Women have up to 24-hours to send the first message and begin a conversation.  After that 24-hour period, the connection is lost.

Men will see a timer displayed with a clock that ticks down on your matches.  If there is one that you really like, you can extend the connection for an additional 24-hours.  This feature is only allowed once per day, so choose wisely.

Bumble Hacks and Tips

Now that we’ve covered just what is Bumble app and how it works, we will drill down into how to get the most out of the dating service. We’ll give you our top three tips for ladies and gents, as well as our “don’t” list to help you avoid any Bumble stumbles.

3 Must-Do Bumble Tips for Ladies

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    Choose a high-quality photo that is just you solo. Don’t use a group picture or an image with other friends or family.
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    Don’t limit your pics to just your face. To increase your chances of making a match with someone who is genuinely interested, include a picture that shows your body and physique. It doesn’t (and possibly shouldn’t) be revealing, but should give potential matches an idea of your body type. This saves time and energy if your possible match isn’t looking for sporty, curvy, or something in between.
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    ​Send a compelling message that makes your match want to answer. Since it’s your job to get the conversation started, you’ll want to set the tone and make it easy to continue chatting. Try using a piece of their bio or something in a picture to start, and then end with a question to encourage a response.

​3 Must-Do Bumble Tips for Gents

  1. 1
    Ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. If you’ve received a message from a woman and you want to respond, make it easy to continue talking. Ask her questions that prompt answers to learn more and make it feel natural.
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    Get more matches by testing out your pics first. Ladies are known for being great at taking photos and selfies, but men aren’t always as skilled. Sites like PhotoFeeler give you specific written feedback on your images before you put them on a dating site. Do a test run and then choose the pictures that most closely match your characteristics to ensure you get quality matches.
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    Ask for a date. Remember, just because Bumble allows women to be the ones to start the conversation doesn’t mean that they will also be comfortable initiating the next step. If you feel like you click and want to meet up, it’s totally acceptable to be the one to ask her out. A no-pressure question like “do you want to grab a coffee or a drink sometime” is an easy way to gauge if she’s serious about pursuing something beyond a casual chat.

Avoid These Bumble Fumbles

Knowing what to do on a dating site is almost as important as knowing what not to do.  Be sure to avoid these common Bumble pitfalls when you use the app.

Don’t Wait Too Long to Talk with Matches

Unlike many other dating apps, Bumble puts a time limit on how long you have to start a conversation with a match. If you’re a woman, you only have 24-hours to reach out before the match disappears.

One easy way to ensure you don’t miss out on an opportunity is to set up notifications on your phone. You can be alerted when you get a new match, as well as when one is about to expire.

You can always un-match down the road if it’s not a good fit, but by responding quickly, you won’t miss out on the chance to talk with a potentially perfect person.

Don’t Skip the Bio

While this tip isn’t exclusive to Bumble, it carries more weight given the caliber of users on the app. Although your swipes are based on quick judgments about their pictures, when the time comes to start a conversation you’ll want to take a minute to read what they have to say.

This can help you find a good conversation started or common interests, as well as get a better feel for the personality of your match before you take it to the next step.

Don’t Treat Bumble Like Tinder

Yes, Bumble and Tinder are nearly identical in how they operate. If you use both apps, it might be easy to treat them the same, but that would be a mistake.

Unlike Tinder, Bumble isn’t about racking up matches and getting a self-esteem boost (though it can be used for that), it is more about making a meaningful connection. Because your matches won’t be there 24-hours later, so if you want to find dating success, you need to take action beyond just swiping left or right.

​Don’t Use Dead-End Conversation Starters

While it can be nerve-wracking to make the first move in a conversation, Bumble is just about the friendliest place you’ll find to do it. To make a great impression, don’t send a message that simply says “hi.” Not only is it unoriginal and boring, but it doesn’t give your match a lot of incentive to respond.

Don’t feel the pressure to be overly creative or engaging, but try to start off with an open-ended question that makes dialog feel and flow naturally.