Bumble was founded in 2014 by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who wanted to create a dating app where women make the first move. Today, Bumble is one of the most popular dating apps, with 100 million users across six continents.
Until recently, only women were allowed to message first on Bumble. However, in an effort to be more inclusive, the app now allows anyone in a same-gender match to message first, as well as non-binary people who match with other non-binary people and men.
Bumble has a free version, 1-day membership trial, and a quick and easy sign up process. Try Bumble now for free >>
Here’s what you need to know about Bumble:
- Is Bumble legit?
- How does Bumble work?
- How much does Bumble cost?
- How many free swipes do you get?
- Is the Bumble app any good?
- What age is Bumble good for?
- Is Bumble full of fake profiles?
- Is Bumble worth getting? Pros and cons
- Bumble reviews
- Bumble alternatives
Is Bumble legit?
Just like any app or website you give your personal information and photos to, it’s important to determine the credibility of the company first before signing up.
But, rest assured, your information is safe with Bumble: It’s a publicly traded company that was founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder founder, who at the time was 26 years old. Bumble is backed by entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, and Bumble is today valued at $8 billion.
How Bumble works
Bumble for dating
With Bumble, however, there’s one big caveat: It’s on the woman to start the convo.
While that might seem somewhat unsettling (wait, I have to be the one to make the move?!), having control of the conversation (and potential relationship) actually works in a single mom’s favor, says certified dating coach Melissa M. Snow.
“I find that many of my clients who are women, especially successful, emotionally intelligent, mature women, like Bumble better than the other dating apps,” Snow explains. “It was created with the intention of leveling the playing field and empowering women.”
Bumble claims that there are 94,000 new users added daily (including 23 million new matches). The app also has a friendship feature for platonic connections.
As Snow adds, dating is a highly personal venture—and one that requires a bit of trial and error. “I always recommend my clients try several different apps when they're first getting started,” she says. “The vibe on each one is a little different and the app your friend loves might not be the one you love.”
Bumble can be found in either the Apple Store or on Google Play. Once you download the app, you’ll sync your profile to one of three things: your Facebook account, your phone number, or your Apple ID. (This verification helps to solidify that you are actually you––and that the people you swipe across are legit humans, too, instead of a bot.)
Here’s how the process for setting up a profile works:
- Provide your name and an initial photo. You can add up to five more photos to your profile, but Bumble allows you to complete this step later if you prefer.
- Add your birthday. It’s important to note that, if you didn’t sync your profile to your Facebook account, you can, theoretically, choose any age you prefer.
- Confirm your identity. Bumble prompts you to confirm if you’re a woman, a man, or are non-binary by checking a box.
- Pick matching preferences. Bumble allows you to choose from three options: Date, BFF, and Bumble Bizz. Naturally, if you’re looking to date, picking the first option is key, while you can find platonic friends with the BFF function, and professional contacts with Bizz. You’ll also be asked whether you prefer men, women, or everyone. (FYI: If you select same-gender preferences, there’s no restriction on who can message who first.)
- Email address for account recovery.
At this point in the setup process, Bumble informs you that, when you match with someone, the onus is on you, the woman, to make the first move. You have 24 hours to connect with a match or the match will expire entirely.
Once you’re in the app, matches appear immediately. You can filter matches, but only two at a time in the free version:
- Astrology sign
You can also limit your matches to “verified” profiles only. This means, according to the app, that someone who works at Bumble has verified that the person is who they say they are via a photo taken in real time. You can do this, too.
The last step before you start swiping? Setting up your profile. Bumble allows users to add up to six photos of themselves (with the option of verifying their profile via a photo) as well as a section or a short bio, interests, work and education, and various convo-starting prompts (i.e. what a perfect first date might look like, or what one might do in a zombie apocalypse.
Note that Bumble works for guys the same way it works for women, except that only women can initiate a chat. This means that both a man and a woman can “swipe right” on each other, but if the woman doesn’t message after the mutual connection is made, the match won’t go anywhere.
How much does Bumble cost?
Although Bumble is free to download and use, you can add two additional filters to your match search (besides distance and age) before you have to pay extra for a premium membership.
If you opt for a premium membership), you are granted access to unlimited filters. These include the extent to how much a person exercises, their preferred alcoholic drink (or none), whether they smoke cigarettes or use cannabis, if they want children, their religion, their political preferences, and, ultimately, what they want from their Bumble date (i.e. a one-night stand, long-term relationship, or friends-with-benefits).
Premium membership costs as of May 2023:
- $16.99 for one week
- $34.99 for one month
- $59.99 for three months
- $99.99 for six months
- $199.99 for a lifetime
A Bumble Boost membership costs:
- $9.99 for one week
- $21.99 for one month
- $39.99 for three months
- $69.99 for six months
You can also highlight your profile to make it stand out with Bumble Spotlight for:
- $6.99 for one day
- $16.99 for five days
- $39.99 for 15 days
- $69.99 for 30 days
You can show someone you are interested with a SuperSwipe. SuperSwipes cost:
- $4.99 for two
- $9.99 for five
- $19.99 for 15
- $34.99 for 30
Pros and cons of Bumble
Should you download Bumble? Here’s a rundown of some of the major pros and cons associated with the app, including experts we interviewed:
Pros of Bumble
- For heterosexual matches, the control is in a woman’s hand, eliminating an inundation of (potentially) unwanted messages.
- You have the option of matching with only verified profiles (and verifying your own profile), leading to more authentic matches.
- You can customize your profile with fun, unique prompts and sync your Spotify and/or Instagram for a more personal touch (and potentially stronger matches).
How to choose the right pics for your dating profile
Cons of Bumble
- You don’t technically have to verify your profile, opening up your swiping journey to potentially fake matches.
- Although this can be framed as a positive, the onus is on women to make the first move on the app, which can feel overwhelming or one-sided if you’re not prepared to put in the work. “The biggest con with Bumble is that many men who understand how Bumble works just swipe right on every woman and don't bother reading their profiles until you send them a message,” says Resnick. “As a result, there's no dating app with a higher rejection rate for women daters than Bumble.”
- Matches expire within 24 hours if you don’t message the person.
- Rachel Gabrielle, a licensed therapist in Seattle, notes that while it is empowering that women can make the first move, it also puts all the responsibility on one gender (sexist?).
Bumble rating with the BBB
Despite having a trove of users, Bumble has closed 359 complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website, with the vast majority of grievances related to billing issues. The BBB gives Bumble an F rating.
Bumble’s Trustpilot rating
TrustPilot, on the other hand, has less-than-favorable reviews of Bumble, with a 1.5 rating out of 5 stars, with complaints about being over-charged, as well as a sense that profiles are fake.
Bumble reviews on Reddit from men
Sometimes the best way to determine if a particular dating app is suited to your needs is to comb through Redittors’ takes. Here are some top reviews:
- “I realize there are a lot of women who are assertive romantically, but the reality is that most want the man to initiate the process, even if it's simply him saying that he likes something about her profile or photos. At least, that's been my experience with online dating. I've had somewhere between 3 and 4 dozen “matches” on Bumble and only 1 conversation, which lasted less than 2 days.” – u/DocHolliday780
- “If you're a guy on Bumble, [it’s] better in the sense that the girl has to message you first. Tinder is more of a casual app. I’ve rarely met girls who wanna date, and if you do start talking, they usually stop. Bumble is more stable in the sense that if you find someone, it’s more likely to last longer and actually have a decent conversation and maybe go further.” – u/OsirisxThird
Bumble reviews on Reddit from women
“The real value of Bumble, far as I can tell, is that it skews slightly more professional vs. Tinder, and slightly more toward serious dates vs something casual. Though of course mileage may vary.” – u/heartsmasher
Bumble got some bad press in 2021 for supposedly granting users the ability to geolocate other members:
Bianca’s Bumble review:
Bumble is one of my favorite dating apps out there, but I’ll be the first to admit the app could use some improvement. Yes, it’s user-friendly, and they have great prompts to help you show off your personality, but two things bug me:
First, how it’s not mandatory to fill out the prompts (I've seen plenty of profiles with just photos).
Second, the 24-hour window to message others is sometimes not enough. There have been many times where I matched with someone later on and completely forgot to message.
Still, I’ve had many positive experiences with men on Bumble. They’ve for the most part have been open and transparent on what they’re looking for.Bianca Mendez is a dating app expert whose work has appeared in Woman’s Health, Bustle, Latina, Refinery29, and many other publications. She also served as a sex and dating editor at Elite Daily. You can check out her other dating app reviews here.
These are some other popular dating apps and how they stack up against Bumble:
Bumble vs. Tinder
Bumble and Tinder were actually founded by the same millennial female entrepreneur, Whitney Wolfe. They are both among the most popular dating apps, have great tech, are mobile-friendly and are great for meeting new people.
Is it better to be on Bumble or Tinder? Which is better? And what's the difference? Here’s what else Bianca had to say about Bumble:
From my experience, Bumble is a lot better than Tinder. Not only do I have several friends who’ve met their SOs on this app, but I also find the quality of men on this app to be better.
When I used Tinder, it sometimes felt like I was playing “How many likes can I get in a day.” I was left with lots of likes but no conversations. On Bumble, (as much as I wish the window to make the first move is longer), I like that it weeds like all the guys who were just liking to like. I will admit, the 24-hour window is helpful when you do go on a liking spree and realize later that you’re not interested in a profile.
Another reason why I think Bumble is better than Tinder is its straightforwardness both with the actual app and the people. The app’s interface is clean and user-friendly; using it feels very second nature. I also like that there are prompts to help users fill out their profiles.
Tinder’s interface over the years has gotten clunky; there’s just too much going on where there have been many instances where I’ve Super Liked someone too many times. And they don’t have prompts; you can just list a bunch of interests and your Spotify profile, but that doesn’t do much for me.
“Dating these days takes a lot of luck and perseverance, and even though Bumble mitigates some issues for women, there’s still the slog of wading through lots of people who won’t be right for you,” she explains. “With Bumble, you also bear the burden of needing to start the conversation and that can be anxiety-provoking for some people.”
To mitigate that anxiety, Gabrielle recommends having a handful of opening lines ready to use for your matches––that go beyond the simple “hey” or “how are you.” “Try asking them a question about something in their bio or photo,” she notes.
“I always recommend that, when you reach out, you reference something on his profile and ask an open-ended question,” Snow adds. Is there a particular style of movie he loves (that you do too), or do you both have teenage daughters? Bring it up, says Snow. “This shows you're serious enough that you actually read his profile and it gets the ball rolling for your conversation.”
Ultimately, your best bet in finding the perfect dating app is to try each and see how you like them.
Bumble vs. eharmony
Bumble, similar to Tinder and Hinge, is exclusively a swiping app. Bumble allows users to write a small bio, add photos, and fill in a profile complete with their interests. Bumble’s dating algorithm is largely based on your Facebook profile, which you are asked to connect upon Bumble signup. Bumble is for all types of relationships — serious, casual, and hookups.
eharmony, on the other hand, is a site devoted exclusively to serious, committed partnerships. When you join eharmony, you’ll answer an extensive questionnaire about yourself and your desired match, which takes about 20 minutes to complete. eharmony then shows you matches based on an extensive algorithm.
One bit of advice: Each dating site attracts different types of people in different geographic areas, so ask your single friends which sites they like best in your city. Also, eharmony’s free version is a good way to check it out without commitment — even if romantic commitment is your ultimate goal.
What sets the female-founded Bumble apart from other dating sites is that women must message first, shifting the balance of power. However, there is an unintended result; some women do not message at all, leaving men unable to start the conversation and a loss of potential matches all around.
Bumble is app-only and does not offer a desktop version, which many users prefer for the added information a desktop site offers about matches and a larger field for viewing photos. Many users prefer to use both an app and desktop version, making eharmony the platform with the most flexibility and options.
How many free swipes do you get on Bumble?
Although Bumble doesn’t publicly say how many free swipes you get, on my profile, I moved through 105 swipes before the app informed me I needed to upgrade to a premium membership before I could acquire more.
What age is Bumble good for?
Although women of any age can use Bumble, Snow believes that the app is positioned perfectly for women who are looking for something serious. “If you match with someone and reach out to them, they have 24 hours to respond or the match expires,” she explains. “I love this feature because it weeds out the guys who only check their dating apps on Friday nights when they want to hook up.”
“I want a boyfriend but a good man is hard to find.”
Is Bumble full of fake profiles?
As noted earlier, although the option exists to verify your profile, you don’t technically have to provide your true identity while using the app (when I created a fake profile for this article to better understand the swiping process, I was able to build a profile without my real photo or age).
However, Wilson notes there’s another feature (besides verification) that can help you weed out catfishes: “I love that Bumble has a feature that allows you to video chat in the app,” she says. “This lets you confirm the other person's identity without giving out your personal information, too.”
Should I use my real name on Bumble?
If you want to foster legitimate connections, both the experts we interviewed say that using your real first name (minus your last name, of course) is key.
Bottom line: Is Bumble worth it?
If you’re looking to date or meet friends in your area, Bumble is worth trying out. Even though women hold the power on Bumble, Bumble is worth it for guys who are tired of making the first move and being ignored or rejected. Although you may not be able to message with as many women as you would on an app like Tinder, the women who actually connect with you may be more likely to want to engage and eventually meet in person.
Other dating app reviews from Bianca:
|Elite Singles||Adult Friend Finder||Tinder|
|Plenty of Fish||OKCupid||SingleParentMeet|
|Catholic dating sites||Seeking Arrangement||Coffee Meets Bagel|
Founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas by Whitney Wolfe, Tinder founder, who at the time was 26 years old. Bumble is backed by entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, and Bumble is today valued at $8 billion.
Although Bumble is free to download and use, you can add two additional filters to your match search (besides distance and age) before you have to pay extra for a premium membership, which starts at $16.99 for one week.
Although Bumble doesn’t publicly say how many free swipes you get, on my profile, I moved through 105 swipes before the app informed me that I needed to upgrade to a premium membership before I could acquire more.
Despite having a trove of users, Bumble has closed 344 complaints on the Better Business Bureau’s website, with the vast majority of grievances related to billing issues. The BBB gives Bumble an F rating.
If you’re looking to date or meet friends in your area, Bumble is worth trying out, but it’s not the best dating app for serious relationships in our opinion.
I’m a paying member, and I’ve been on for a month. I’ve had several women like me, and converse with me. I’ve had one date. So there are real women out there. However, not one of the women who liked me was responding to a like I sent, or even a “super swipe.” In fact, none of the women who liked me had ever appeared on the list of profiles that members are given to scroll through. Not one. And I’ve scrolled through hundreds of profiles. As I indicated, I’ve sent out many, many likes and clicked on the “super swipe” button numerous times. I mean, 60 to 70 times. These are women of all types, from near and far—a good variety of personalities and appearances. Not once—not one single time—have I received a response from any of them. Which leads me to believe that most, if not all, of the profiles that are offered for the perusal of members are fakes.
I think Bumble is Full Of Crap! Fake and misleading profiles, guys looking to control women, and gain Citizenship in the US. DANGEROUS FOR WOMEN WITH LOW SELF ESTEEM and New To The Dating Scene. Should be shut down!!!
I have been on Bumble for some months. In spite of the fact that I indicated my preferences when I signed up, I seem to get wrong types of men only. Am I wrong to have assumed that Bumble had underlining matching mechanisms? If Bumble just line up everyone based on locational distances, it is hardly a useful tool to find a date. I don’t want to spend time looking at men who are outside of my my preferred categories. That the women can make the first move is nice; a friend right-swipes many men and see who bites. Good for laugh.
I’ve complained to Bumble about their shady practice of baiting customers to become paying Premium members, but, unsurprisingly, received no response. It is unethical of Bumble to advertise/present my profile to potential matches that are hundreds of miles beyond my preferred radius of 45 miles, then tease me with 11 women in my “Hive” that have liked me, but I can’t see unless I become a paying member. Eventually I made the mistake and paid for a one week Premium membership to see who’s in my hive. Of the 11 women, all but one were out of state, hundreds of miles away. The only one in my state was hours away and several times my filter of 45 miles. CAUTION!! Bumble will do whatever it takes to trick non-paying members to become paying Premium members.
I loaded a photo of me with my buck i shot. They keep taking it down. I see MEN with their deer in their pictures no problem, but apparently as a woman it goes against their standards which if you read it does NOT. That’s a big part of my life and they monitor it like a dictatorship and it’s pathetic. I won’t support someone who tells me which part of my life I’m allowed to share because I’m not a man.