Here's What Users Dislike The Most About The Bumble Dating App

Gone are the days of awkward blind dates, at least for the most part. Since online dating burst onto the scene in 1995 with the invention of, dating apps have become a go-to method for finding a partner, whether you're hoping for a long-term relationship or a casual connection (via Fox Business). From platforms that pair couples based on music preference to NUiT — an app designed specifically for astrology buffs — there's no shortage of ways to find that ideal person behind your screen.

Bumble, founded in 2014, brought something new to the table. The strategy? On Bumble — specifically in the case of heterosexual couples — women message first. It can be something as simple as "Hi" but if a message isn't sent out within 24 hours, Business Insider reported the new match expires. Though the rules are steadfast, they're meant to help women feel more comfortable on dating apps, platforms notorious for harassment. As co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd told GQ in a 2021 interview, "I've seen the detriment when a woman is treated as second-tier in a two-part equation and it's devastating. In 2014 — and today and tomorrow — I wanted to change that." Bumble made Herd a billionaire, but it also revolutionized the tech world, sporting a leadership board where women vastly outnumber men. Despite Bumble's notable achievements, some users have found faults with what the app has to offer.

Bumble can feel disempowering

Though making the first move is a pro for some women tired of receiving "u up?" messages on Tinder — just one of the things users dislike the most about the app — others find it difficult to begin a conversation. As one user told Bustle, "Sometimes it's hard to think of a good intro message that isn't just, 'Hey.'" For some women, the pressure of making the first move just isn't worth it. University of Washington professor and researcher Riki Thompson notes the pitfalls of Bumble rejections, explaining, "women may be given the control to take the floor first and direct the initial topic of conversation . . . However, when men fail to respond or unmatch after receiving that opening message, the women in my study reported feeling dismissed, rejected and, ultimately, disempowered," per The Conversation.

As explained by Business Insider, matches disappear within 24 hours if a conversation isn't initiated. So, if you forget to check the app, tough luck. However, Bumble has a history of heeding criticism. In July of 2022, they expanded gender options to be more inclusive of nonbinary users, lifting heavily-criticized messaging restrictions that prevented users without "she" or "her" primary pronouns from messaging first (via NBC News). As reported by NBC, founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd noted, "it's important that we continue to update our platform to help create an inclusive community where everyone can feel comfortable."

Profiles mostly focus on physical attraction

Compared to platforms like Match and eharmony, Bumble doesn't require much in the way of profiles. PC Magazine equates Bumble with Tinder, a platform known for its reliance on initial physical attraction. Ultimately, though Bumble provides the option for open-ended prompts like "Most recent act of kindness . . .," finding things in common with a match beyond their vaccination status may prove difficult. In an essay for Literary Hub, bestselling author Nancy Jo Sales considers the "gamification of dating," and how apps like Bumble encourage addictive swiping rather than focusing on more meaningful points of connection. Reliance on instant gratification has become all the more prevalent since the onset of the pandemic, and more and more people have joined the mindless-swiping movement (via Fortune). You may be surprised by what dating apps really do to your love life.

To some, Bumble is just a money ploy. Like many apps, users are asked to pay for bonus features like undoing accidental swipes or seeing who's already liked their profile. Bumble Premium costs $24.99 a month, quite the investment compared to Tinder Plus, which costs as little as $4.99 a month, per Business Insider. As one customer noted via Consumer Affairs, "without purchasing Bumble upgrades/services — you become invisible."