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Bumble women no longer have to make the first move| GuyWhoKnowsThings

As the dating apps glow dims, More Americans report bad experiences. in them. Frustrated by bots, subscription costs, and high effort-to-reward ratios, Generation Z is fleeing apps in hopes of cute encounters from real life. Earlier this year, “Bustle” declared that dating apps are in his “era of failure.”

Not all applications are taking this reaction without fighting. On Tuesday, after months of internal shakeups and stock market woes, Bumble attempted to win back hearts and minds with a redesign, including a break from the app's requirement that women make the first move.

A new feature, which the company has called “Opening Moves,” allows women to post a question on their profiles, such as “What is your dream vacation?”, to which matching men can respond. (In non-binary and same-gender matches, both parties can include these prompts.)

The change is important for Bumble. Until now, a man who matched with a woman on the app had to wait for her to message him. If she didn't initiate a conversation, the match would expire after 24 hours.

Whitney Wolfe Herd founded Bumble in 2014 because of her own personal experiences. She said the idea was to give women more control. “I had a series of bad relationships and felt like I was controlled by a man,” she added, “whether it was: Don't wear this or You can't date this person or You need to be home right now.”

But over the years, Bumble received feedback from women who found taking the first step to be “a lot of work” or “a burden,” and Wolfe Herd began thinking about how to release the pressure. Opening moves, she said, are a result of that process, a way to allow women to maintain control without feeling the stress of starting all the conversations.

Since Bumble's IPO in 2021, the company's stock price has fallen 86 percent. Bumble is not alone in this decline; Match Group's share price also took a hit in the same period.

“There are so many dating apps these days,” said Kathryn D. Coduto, assistant professor of media sciences at Boston University. The sentiment, she said, among people she has spoken to in her research is: “Which of these apps can satisfy what users are looking for? Maybe none of them.”

Jones responded that millions of people around the world still rely on dating apps. In 2023, Bumble had 42 million monthly active users across all its brands.

Half of American adults under 30 I have tried a dating app or website.according to Pew, but those users are hardly ever impressed for what they find. An Axios/Generation Lab survey of nearly 1,000 college and graduate students found that most respondents rarely opened their dating apps.

In recent years, competitors have also increased pressure on mainstream players like Bumble. a harvest of new apps use machine learning to help people start and continue conversations with potential dates. At least one dating app goes even further and promises to conduct initial conversations on behalf of its users. through chatbots.

Bumble and Tinder have also used machine learning for years, particularly in their matchmaking algorithms. And, along with the opening moves, Bumble will introduce other features this week that will inform its algorithm. Users can now add two “dating intentions,” such as “intimacy, no commitment” and “ethical non-monogamy” to their profiles. They can also enter character traits they prioritize, such as “loyalty” or “sarcasm,” and add causes they support, such as Black Lives Matter or feminism, to help the app find potential matches.

Wolfe Herd said he envisioned a tool in which AI would function as a kind of personal assistant. “Your AI bot goes out, interacts with thousands of profiles, and comes back with 30 that it thinks are a good fit for you,” he said. Then, he added, the robot could hold basic conversations on your behalf and filter out responses that are rude or not aligned with your values.

However, on the contrary, some online dating companies are fighting app fatigue by trying to get people off their phones, through dinners with strangersforged connections favorite local placesand chaotic singles parties where guests bring a Tinder match as a companion.

“People crave the feeling of spontaneous connection,” Wolfe Herd said. But she doesn't see this desire as the end of dating apps, she said: “The reality is that technology is too good, too convenient and too useful.”

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