Why is Bumble Ditching "Women Make First Move"?
Why is Bumble Changing its "Women Make the First Move" Approach?

The dating app’s APAC Communications Director, Lucille McCart, shares insights

Think of dating apps as sitcom characters, each with its quirk. One is about casual hookups, a few are for diving straight into something serious, and some are just plain strange. Bumble’s USP has always been its unique approach of letting women make the first move after a match. However, the dating app recently made some major changes, introducing additional features along the way. But why? In a recent conversation with Man’s World, Lucille McCart, APAC Communications Director at Bumble, shed some light



 Lucille McCart- APAC Communications Director, Bumble


Why did Bumble change its approach regarding women initiating conversations? 

Lucille McCart: Bumble began with the goal to better the experience for women online, and a decade later the dating world has changed a lot; now it’s time to usher in the next era of dating. We know that women want to have control over their experience, but we’ve also heard that women feel like they are doing all of the work on Bumble. So, we’re introducing new ways to make the first move which offers more choice in how women connect while staying in control. We believe having new ways to start the conversation also leads to better conversations faster. In fact, during early testing, we’re seeing Opening Moves is improving meaningful conversations on the app by increasing chat initiation and reply rates, as well as lengthening time spent in conversation.  


Can you provide insights into the prominent dating trends of 2024? 

LM: Our annual dating trends report revealed that 2024 is set to be the ‘year of self’ in dating and relationships with more people looking inward at what they value and want. Our research shows that more than half (59 per cent) of Indian women surveyed entered the new year with a clear view of what they want from their romantic lives.  In addition, Indians are focusing on personal prioritisation which is leading to rejecting the constant strive for perfection, and placing more value on their mental health, emotional vulnerability, self-acceptance, and shared priorities. GenZ, in particular, is vocal about values and motivated to go after what they want when it comes to romance, breaking away from traditional dating norms, and challenging outdated relationship timelines and expectations.  


Below are the key findings:  

‘Betterment Burnout’ refers to how single Indians are rebelling against the need for constant self-improvement, with 82 per cent of Indians surveyed, saying they are taking active steps to be happier with who they are here and now 

  1. 74 per cent of Indians surveyed, now emphasise self-needs over constant self-improvement 
  2. 67 per cent of Indians surveyed will now only date people who will not try to change them 
  3. 51 per cent of Indians surveyed say they want to choose the 'slow life'  (acceptance for who you are, being happy here and now) more than hustle culture, while 46 per cent of Indians value inner fulfilment over external validation and 41 per cent of Indians will embrace authenticity over perfection looking ahead in 2024 
  4. 69 per cent of Indians surveyed are more attracted to someone who actively engages in societal issues 
  5. 65 per cent of Indian women surveyed, it is a turn-off if someone they are dating is not aware of current societal issues 






What impact does pop culture have on dating choices? 

LM: Pop culture has a significant impact on dating choices and preferences, especially for younger people who are shaping dating cultures in India. Our research has told us that when it comes to dating 29 per cent of GenZ people in India are looking for someone who cares about the same movies, music, art, and literature as they do. GenZ prefers to watch the same content as their partners, with 70 per cent claiming it to be important in relationships. 


How do you anticipate technology will continue to shape the landscape of online dating in the coming years? 

LM: We have utilised AI in Bumble for many years, and we’re excited by the features we have launched to date, as well as the developments and innovations our team is focused on creating to give our community the best experience possible on the app. For example, to drive better compatibility as Bumble enters a new era of dating, we are continuing to leverage AI by making advancements to our For You algorithm, which is a daily set of four curated, relevant profiles based on your preferences and past matches. The latest algorithm updates provide more tailored and dynamic recommendations taking into account things like your preferences & past matches to suggest the most compatible profiles. 


Deception Detector 

Our most recent AI-powered feature is Deception Detector, which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help identify spam, scam and fake profiles, aiming to take action before members even see them. The model introduces a fast and reliable machine learning-based approach to assess the authenticity of profiles on our platform. This technology is used in conjunction with dedicated human support to prioritise a safe and empowering community. 


Private Detector 

In 2019, Bumble launched Private Detector in response to a member survey that found that 1 in 3 women had received unsolicited lewd images. The industry-first feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and blur lewd images, giving the recipient agency to decide if they want to view the image, delete it, or report it to our team. This significantly reduces the ability to share unsolicited nude images on Bumble. In 2022, we announced an open-source version of Private Detector available on GitHub, allowing other tech companies to adapt and create features that help enhance safety and accountability against online abuse and harassment.  


Partnership on AI  

In 2023, Bumble partnered with Partnership on AI to help create a first-of-its-kind Framework for the ethical and responsible development, creation, and sharing of synthetic media. This Framework is a set of guiding recommendations for those creating, sharing, and distributing synthetic media – also known as AI-generated media. Setting these boundaries early on in the AI lifecycle can help Bumble continue to create a safer, kinder internet. 

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