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The app was actually inspired by her own real-life experiences.
“So many times I’ve been out with my girlfriends, and there’s always that cute guy who catches your eye,” she says.
The matriarchal twist is that a man can’t message a woman unless she decides to message him first. If the woman doesn’t reach out in 24 hours, the match evaporates, never to be seen again.
Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe says she made the stakes high on purpose.
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“What’s really interesting is as much as it’s a stereotype to say women like to sit back and want men to come to them, it’s also a stereotype that men want to be the aggressor,” she says, adding that many men tell her they find the app a relief. The woman-first messaging approach doesn’t apply to gay, lesbian and bisexual users in quite the same way.
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Those who identify as non-binary and use gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they,” must still check off the M or F box.
Wolfe says Bumble is working on changing this so that “someone of any gender, or any orientation, can find the words for them.”Wolfe reiterates that the app’s goal is to enhance equality in online dating.The rules are clear for heterosexual men and women who want to play the game. For these matches, either person has a chance to make a move within the first 24 hours.