Since 2012, when Tinder first introduced that satisfying swipe into our lives, it feels like we’ve gone through new dating apps faster than a girl will swipe left on a guy who immediately compares himself to The Joker.
The world of online dating moves at an unbelievable pace, changing the way we meet new people before we even have the chance to say ‘Hey, you up?’
So whether you’re coming out of a relationship and are psyching yourself up once more to meet people, or you’re making your first journey into the world of online dating, it can be difficult to know where the cool kids are doing their swiping now. Is Tinder so five years ago? Is Hinge for has-beens? Does anyone still use Bumble in 2023?
The good news is, you’ll still find plenty of people on Bumble in 2023. In fact, it appears as if the app is only growing. Last year, Bumble reported an average monthly user base of 42 million people, an increase of 7 million from the user numbers it reported the year previously.
This makes it the second biggest dating app in the US. So, it is the perfect time to get to grips with the app and start meeting all those wonderful people (alright, maybe not all 42 million.)
However, while these numbers are incredibly impressive (and a promising sign for anyone looking for love), not all of those 42 million people are using the app to find their next great romance.
With the addition of features like Bumble BFF and Bumble Biz, allowing you to make friends or find your next business partner, respectively, Bumble has managed to sort of transform what it is.
It’s not just for dating. It’s for making connections, whatever those connections might be.
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Who Uses Bumble?
Bumble is an app created by women, for everyone. Bumble was founded by Whitney Wolf Herd, a cofounder of Tinder, who saw the toxic culture of online dating for women (that in some way Tinder was contributing to), and decided that something had to change.
The app’s central innovation was to mandate that women send the first message, meaning there was no chance of conversations starting with unwanted pictures of you know what, or the kind of abuse that is all too common in the online dating world.
Its target users were young, heterosexual women, with feminist ideals who were looking for a lock, but had a lack of patience for the stuff they’d had to put up with on Tinder.
Bumble is now used by pretty much everyone, not just young, heterosexual women. Hence the slogan: ‘By women, for everyone.’
For one, men now outnumber women on the app, with an estimated 67% of users identifying as male. Its user base also doesn’t skew as young as it once did, with more and more older people trying out the app. And, thankfully, it’s no longer just for heterosexual users.
If a match occurs between two people that don’t fit the traditional male/female relationship dynamic, either one of them can message first. On top of that, a growing number of people are turning to the platform to meet friends and business besties with their BFF and Bizz services.
This openness and innovation may be the reason that Whitney Wolfe Herd was able to launch Bumble as an IPO, and balloon her fortune to an astronomical $1.5 billion. So now, not only is Bumble an app that everyone can use, but it’s also an app that everyone can invest in.
What Age Group is Bumble For?
Dating apps can, from the outside, seem a little intimidating. Particularly if you don’t feel like you’re the target audience.
If you’ve only heard Bumble, Hinge or Tinder mentioned in passing, it’s easy to think that these apps are exclusively for beautiful, college-aged kids.
Unless you know who Lil Peep is, and have fond childhood memories of Minecraft, it could feel like the app isn’t for you. That maybe you, who can only somewhat remember what college was like at this point, might stick out like a sore thumb.
Let me reassure you, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Bumble is for almost any age. The only requirement, age-wise, to use the app is that you’re over 18. As long as you pass that pretty straightforward criteria, you’re free to use the app to meet whomever you like.
Its adjustable age filters allow you to seek out people of whatever age you find attractive and allow others to find people of exactly your age.
But remember that while you might want to exclusively meet those beautiful, college-aged types, they will also be able to filter someone of your age out of their feed.
Yes, the median age of Bumble users is between 25 and 34, and only 8% of its users are over the age of 45. BUT, scroll back to the beginning of this article and look at how many people are using Bumble.
8% may not sound like a lot out of context, but 8% of 42 million leaves anyone interested in meeting someone over the age of 45 with plenty of options.
What is Bumble Really Used For?
So yes, we know 42 million people are on the app, but what are they even doing on there? (By the way, we’ve got a few thoughts on actually answering that question on dating apps). We know they’re swiping, looking at each other’s profiles, and desperately hoping for a match. But do they want something serious from that match, or something a little bit more casual?
The answer is, honestly, it could be either. Leaving aside Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, the app is great for meeting people who want to date. Some are looking for something for one night, some for the rest of their life.
According to Bumble, 85% of users on their site are looking for marriage or something steady, so even if those numbers are a little massaged it definitely skews a little more serious than some of its major competitors.
It’s easy to be quite transparent with what you’re looking for on Bumble. When setting up your profile, you’ll be asked to indicate what you’re looking for with a choice of:
- Something casual
- Don’t know yet
And that information will be displayed on your profile. If you’d like to search specifically for someone who is looking for a more serious situation, you’ll have to update to Bumble Premium in order to use their advanced search filters.
Does Everyone Pay For Bumble These Days?
There’s no better sign an app is for serious dating than if users have to pay for the privilege of matching with other people. That’s one of the reasons why when you meet someone on a site like eHarmony, you can be much more confident that they’re looking to settle down, or at least find something long-term.
While Bumble is a free service, it does offer a premium experience for a slight cost. Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium provide daters with enhanced tools like advanced search options, unlimited swipes, and the ability to see who has already liked your profile.
And while not essential, it has proved to be pretty popular. In September 2019, Bumble grossed $20.2M in one month from premium memberships alone. So, you can be rest assured there are plenty of people taking this app seriously, who are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
However, if it still seems a little too casual for you, and you’re much more in the market for someone to spend your older years with, why not take Dude Hack’s free quiz to determine exactly what app best meets your needs.
How Do You Use Bumble 2023?
If you thought that the world of online dating had changed quickly over the last decade, then the pandemic brought about an almost lightspeed transformation. While Bumble still works more or less the same as it always has, without the opportunity to meet up in person, the kind people at Bumble HQ have had to find new ways to get people swiping.
Over the last two years, they’ve added features such as Night In. Night In is a sort of replacement date feature, and a great way to get to know your match.
Once you’ve connected with someone, simply click on the Night In icon within the chat function, and if they’re both keen you can play a game of virtual trivia over video chat. It’s not quite a romantic dinner, but at least you’ll find out how much they know about state capitals
They’ve also added Video Notes. Think voice notes but with video. Do I have to say more?
The whole point is to try and put more of that face-to-face dating experience on the app, so you can really get to know someone, see if there’s a real spark between the two of you, and, most importantly, avoid catching the spicy cough.
Of course, going on a dating app for the first time can be intimidating. They do, let’s admit it, have a bit of a reputation for being shallow places.
However, Bumble’s commitment to a more open dating app experience, one that tries its best to police harassment with its new Safety and Wellbeing Center, and that’s open to people of all ages and sexual orientations should put your mind at ease.
As the second biggest dating app in the world, and still growing, it’s undeniable that people are still using Bumble. But what’s so fascinating is that the WAY they use it has developed.
Whether that’s using BFFs to find friends, looking for business partners on Bumble Biz, or playing a game of virtual trivia with someone they’ve just met to try out a romantic connection.
So, go on, 42 million people are waiting to meet you (ok, again, maybe not all 42 million).