'Feminist' seemed to put guys off, but now I realize, who cares?
July 29, 2015 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Bumble, founded by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, is a dating app where women call the shots.

Whitney Wolfe left and settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with Tinder out of court (previously). Now has started over again, partnering with Badoo founder Andrey Andreev and a team comprised mostly of women to create Bumble. The initial matching still requires two people to swipe right at each other, but for straight couples, only the woman can initiate conversation.
posted by halifix (79 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
This seems just fine. A question: Do people use Tindr et. al to just make friends, as is suggested on Bumble's about page?
posted by Going To Maine at 7:00 PM on July 29, 2015


If it puts off the right people, then it's a good thing.
posted by inturnaround at 7:02 PM on July 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


As a guy who is anxious about the (apparent) social pressure to always be the initiator, this sounds amazing.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:03 PM on July 29, 2015 [76 favorites]


As another guy who is anxious about the (apparent) social pressure to always be the initiator, this sounds ama--oh, an active Facebook account?

I guess I'll just go cry alone into my body pillow again.
posted by OMGTehAwsome at 7:07 PM on July 29, 2015 [41 favorites]


It sounds interesting to me, and I'd give it a shot, if it weren't, like so many apps these days, centered around having a facebook profile.

I'd be up for an app that cut out everyone who sold their privacy to Zuckerberg.
posted by bswinburn at 7:10 PM on July 29, 2015 [30 favorites]


Do people use Tindr et. al to just make friends, as is suggested on Bumble's about page?

No.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:15 PM on July 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah. Were I single, bumble would be my first choice for online dating. Although I guess that depends on whether or not women actually want to use it. And men, I guess! Though if there are no men that's cool too. No reason women have to date men.
posted by dis_integration at 7:17 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the pendulum swings thus....
posted by HuronBob at 7:21 PM on July 29, 2015


Do people use Tindr et. al to just make friends, as is suggested on Bumble's about page?

My theory is that dating sites make decent platonic-friend-finders, but only when they're brand spanking new — because if you're the sort of person who's inclined to be an early adopter, you'll probably have stuff in common with the other early adopters even if you don't want to date them. It's like how back in the early days of the web, the mere fact that someone had a website meant they had an above-average chance of being someone worth interacting with.

OkCupid definitely worked that way during its first few years. In my city, it was basically a who's-who of young, nerdy, queer-and-poly-friendly people. I didn't ever have a successful date on it, but I made several LIFE-ALTERINGLY IMPORTANT friendships and had a bunch of cool conversations. Now that using it isn't such a badge of nerdhood, its utility as a friend-finder has diminished.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


On the surface, it doesn’t seem all that different from Tinder. Profiles are connected to your Facebook

Ok, someone clarify for me: in what way do dating apps like Tinder "connect" to facebook? Do I have to use my facebook photos? What about my name? Does dating stuff ever show up on my facebook account? That's the thing that turns me off of these apps, so I've stayed on OkCupid. Facebook is where I'm friended with my family, coworkers, former professors, classmates, etc. It's where (I assume) prospective employers and such will end up finding me after a search, and I don't exactly want any of these people remotely aware of my dating/sex life.

Siren looks like it addresses some of the concerns I have, but what about the other ones?
posted by picklenickle at 7:27 PM on July 29, 2015


OkCupid definitely worked that way during its first few years.

TheSpark was pretty great, I agree.
posted by dis_integration at 7:28 PM on July 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hmm

Why do men use the app? “Because girls like it,” says Bryan Oltman, a 28-year old Bumble user and software engineer who used to work at OKCupid. “And girls like it because it gives them more control over the conversation than other dating apps.”

but

the company is considering adding a time limit to encourage guys to respond more quickly to messages

Hmm
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:29 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


other new dating apps:

Fringe
Kindred
Banter
Treble
Trollop
Impetigo
Dwindle
Gretchen
Fester
Gadfly
Pulp
posted by threeants at 7:32 PM on July 29, 2015 [45 favorites]


All of my relationships have been made in the time honoured method of getting just drunk enough in public to reveal the multi-faceted and beautiful gem of my personality hidden beneath the manifold layers of slag that is also my personality, without revealing the weird soul-flaying horrors that underly the pretty gem part. It's about two vodka tonics.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 7:34 PM on July 29, 2015 [200 favorites]


Ok, someone clarify for me: in what way do dating apps like Tinder "connect" to facebook? Do I have to use my facebook photos? What about my name? Does dating stuff ever show up on my facebook account?

Tinder makes a point of not posting to Facebook -- it would be death for their app if they did. It will show you how many mutual friends you have with each person you see within Tinder. You make your own tinder profile but the photos have to come from within Facebook. You have to use your real name. You basically don't get to see anything on Tinder without a Tinder account, and there's no search functionality, so in that sense it's somewhat more private than a regular dating site.

The reasons for demanding Facebook accounts are twofold: 1) MONETIZATION, 2) makes it harder for people to lie about their age (the real issue isn't people rounding down by a couple years, it's minors rounding up).
posted by vogon_poet at 7:41 PM on July 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Facebook connection helps them ensure that people are who they say they are.

However, I used to be on FB and they wanted me to send them copies of my passport to prove I was who I said I was (after being on there for 4 years without issue). When I refused, they deleted my account.

So now I just get messages every day telling me I have new matches on Tinder or messages on Tinder that I can't log in to get or log in to delete my account so I'm not wasting people's time. Very lame.

Haven't tried Bumble but sounds up my alley as my Tinder profile made it clear they'd have to break the ice anyway. Since it's IOS only, won't be using it anytime soon.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:47 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Do people use Tindr et. al to just make friends, as is suggested on Bumble's about page?

Personally, I've made a couple of really amazing friends from Tinder. I have also gotten lots and lots of dick pictures. So... wait - I forgot where I was going with this.
posted by lilnublet at 7:48 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like this must work not so much in the mechanism per se but in the way the mechanism puts off all the right people.
posted by Gymnopedist at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


On RTFA I also really like the way it sets aside the stigma around a woman taking the initiative. I mean, men complain all the time about having to take the initiative, but nowadays I always shoot back about how much it must suck to risk being seen as "too forward," "desperate," etc etc just for making the first move. I think this will be educational for everyone involved!
posted by Gymnopedist at 8:18 PM on July 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is so completely necessary. Curious to see what the demographics end up being. It could very well be the first online dating service with more women than men signed up, with a higher quality userbase all around.

Aside from the horrible messagers/spammers being taken care of, a significant number of men will be discouraged by their lack of messages, and will end up preferring Tinder. That's perfectly fine. As the saying goes, "dick is abundant and low value."
posted by naju at 8:28 PM on July 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm really happy for Ms. Wolfe that she is so visibly taking back her narrative, and continuing to create new things. I am also glad that there are women who are being served in the dating space that otherwise would be opting out.

And yet. Damn it. I am about to sound like such a harpy. From the article:
Speaking to Oliver, 26, he recounted how he had been sitting with a friend who, flicking through Tinder, had matched with two girls in quick succession. Instantly he sent them both a pornographic message. I’m appalled, I say. What kind of person is he? “Oh, a really nice guy, just come out of a seven-year relationship. He’s really quiet and likes krautrock,” says Oliver. Why the messages then? Oliver shrugs. “Because he can, I guess. It’s horrible, but no one’s going to call him out on it.”
Oliver, you were sitting right there. Right. There. How do you not have the words to call him on it?

Men. We need your help on this. Stop letting your dude bro acquaintances and friends ruin nice things for us and for you. Tell them that you think this shit isn't cool BEFORE you even see them do it. You don't need to make it a big confrontation. Just send every man you know a link to this story and tell them you think it's a shame that Oliver's friend ruined Tinder for guys who don't behave like shitheels. You can even start your email by saying "hey man friends, I know you would never do this, but there are still some men who do this. So let's join together to stop them. But you don't get to expect a medal for helping.

Please. Let's give some breathing space for women to create new and awesome things that Don't Have to be workarounds for other awesome things that have turned into cesspools of porny and otherwise offensive messages. Stop leaving it to us to solve this bullshit whack-a-mole problem that we didn't cause. Sure, #notallmen, and the patriarchy hurts everyone. But you have the power to help clean up small pockets of these apps and video games and streetcorners.

If you cannot manage to send the link to even a single man that you know, please at least don't suggest that you "don't know any" men who behave this way. And also stop describing guys who do this as "nice guys."

Please.
posted by bilabial at 8:31 PM on July 29, 2015 [100 favorites]


This is so up my alley and I will totally try it out.
I may or may not report back.
posted by flaterik at 8:55 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can women contact each other on Bumble? For friendship, comparing notes, or even for dates if so inclined?
posted by wonton endangerment at 9:16 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can women contact each other on Bumble? For friendship, comparing notes, or even for dates if so inclined?

the only way is to message men that you think might appeal to her, in desperate hopes of finding someone you have both contacted and can relay messages back and forth

it's like heteronormative battleship

plus sapphic telephone
posted by threeants at 9:29 PM on July 29, 2015 [31 favorites]


Connecting through facebook solves a bunch of infrastructural and onboarding issues. As an app-maker I don't have to figure out a registration process, or store images anywhere. As a user you don't have to take new photos or type in additional personal information. Basically, you use facebook to make the app instantly useful to the user, and lightweight for the developer. It's a win-win.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:56 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This piece says the notifications and time alerts are anxiety-inducing. I tried ‘feminist Tinder’ and all I got was a bunch of weird push alerts. I'm frankly surprised by all the "Hurry up, message him!" alerts and stuff. I thought the app would've been more relaxed about that.
posted by naju at 10:14 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm also surprised that it's so creepily pushy. My guess is the design is aimed to combat the phenomenon where two people like each other and are too shy or whatever to send a message. I don't think pressuring shy people into interacting is necessarily a good idea, but I think that's the purpose of the design.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 10:36 PM on July 29, 2015


Aside from the horrible messagers/spammers being taken care of

I don't see how this takes care of spammers.
posted by dogwalker at 10:58 PM on July 29, 2015


other new dating apps:
...
posted by threeants at 10:32 PM on July 29


I'm a little glad they didn't go with the time honored "drop the e and add an r" formula. Although there'd be a certain reassurance in the fact that if you're a Bumblr you're no longer pressured to make that first move.
posted by mcrandello at 11:06 PM on July 29, 2015


A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
--WOP
posted by locidot at 12:41 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Remember guys, you're nothing but a picture and a job description, so push 'em up and push 'em together.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:25 AM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just because the CEO is female doesn't mean she's not a pushy marketer, naju.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:53 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been using Bumble for a few months now (I think I actually heard about it from AskMe). The user density isn't there yet, since you can exhaust available profiles pretty quickly. If you get a match, the woman has 24 hours to make the initial message, otherwise you are unmatched. I've had this happen a few times, but at least it feels less annoying than sending a message and never getting a reply. It does have a feature that allows you to upload additional photos -- unlike Tinder, which only allows photos from Facebook. I too hate the social-media-account-for-authentication, but sadly, it's more and more standard (because as mentioned above, someone else is doing the heavy lifting of account management).
posted by bonje at 2:14 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The reasons for demanding Facebook accounts are twofold: 1) MONETIZATION, 2) makes it harder for people to lie about their age (the real issue isn't people rounding down by a couple years, it's minors rounding up).

I don't think that's the main reason. The practical benefits of letting anyone who's not you handle login/identity problems are pretty huge for somebody trying to ship a product on a deadline, not to mention the risk and liability mitigation over the long term.
posted by mhoye at 6:53 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a guy who is anxious about the (apparent) social pressure to always be the initiator, this sounds amazing.

PSA to all guys who want women to initiate: as a woman who has no problem initiating, please try to be on the lookout for how you may be subconsciously or otherwise penalizing women who make the first move by thinking of them as slutty or desperate. This is an actual thing, and women are well aware of it, which is why a lot of them won't initiate, even though guys say they want it.

I know guys on Mefi are going to be more enlightened wrt this than the general population but, it is definitely an issue and worth mentioning, I think.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:03 AM on July 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


I am so unfucked if OKC or some of my other dating sites ever require FB. I don't want to be some lonesome Luddite who can't use social media like the kids do nowadays.

Maybe I can link to the shadow account FB has made for me in my absence?
posted by Dreidl at 7:07 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lol, this is never going to work for people into butch dykes. They display their interest by ignoring you, or running away when spoken to. /s
posted by Dreidl at 7:16 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like I'm going to be roasted for asking this, but as someone said upthread, isn't Tinder's primary function to be a hook-up app? If people are using the app to get laid, what's wrong with more explicit messages? It's a bunch of horny people messaging each other. If people are looking for intelligent conversation and lasting, meaningful relationships, it seems like Tinder is the wrong place for them.

I feel like these complaints about Tinder come from expectations that it's something other than what it is.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


No android version yet which is disappointing.
posted by onya at 7:31 AM on July 30, 2015


isn't Tinder's primary function to be a hook-up app

Nah. It's pretty much a regular dating service like OKCupid or Match. It might have had ambitions to be the "straight Grindr" but I'm not sure such a thing is really possible.
posted by The Lamplighter at 7:34 AM on July 30, 2015


If people are using the app to get laid, what's wrong with more explicit messages?

Women who want casual sex often want to have it with people who view them as people instead of walking vagina-guardians. Men who send pornographic messages as their first contact with complete strangers have MASSIVE overlap with men who think women are trophies instead of people.

"Hey do you want to hook up?" is not the kind of explicit messages women have a problem with. "hay gurl I wanna [****] your juicy [****] until u raw bitch" is the kind of explicit messages women don't tend to love getting. But a LOT of men love sending those messages, because they are displays of dominance-- and, in the case of the "nice guy who just got out of a long term relationship", a way to punish strange women for his anger at one particular woman.

It isn't prudish to want to make sure a potential sex-partner views you as human before you meet them in person. It is basic safety.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:37 AM on July 30, 2015 [81 favorites]


Now I'm wondering about just generating new dating-site rule-sets. Like, if you're going to do the Facebook account thing to handle the heavy-lifting of user verification, would it be possible to make procedurally-generated dating sites and see which ones take off? Or maybe procdural generation is too much, but more like someone making a bunch of twitter bots, they could pump out a new dating site every week?

Scramblr will randomly change the order of words in your messages.
Tymr requires that you respond within 24 hours or you'll be blocked from messaging each other ever again.
EavesDroppr will B.C.C. your conversation to a randomly chosen site member.
posted by RobotHero at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


A fiendish thingy, I want to favorite your comment forever and ever and ever until my computer buckles under the weight of all the clicks.

Sangermaine, no. "intelligent conversation and lasting, meaningful relationships" is a nice way to purposely overstate the value of "hi, i see we have x and y in common. want to get a drink?" in lieu of "nice tits, here's a blurry photo of my terrible penis." Why is this difficult to understand?
posted by witchen at 7:52 AM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I recently got out of a relationship and so I've been playing around with different dating sites and apps, primarily OKC and Tinder. One thing that I found interesting is that, at least in my college town, there is a lot of cross over between the two applications. I see the same people with the same pictures and pretty similar (at least as much as you can get with the character limits on Tinder) descriptions on both apps. I find it interesting since my general impression is that most people see OKC as primarily a dating app and Tinder as primarily a hookup app. I'll also note that now the user base I'm interested in (males age 25-30, generally) is MUCH larger on Tinder than OKC right now. This has definitely changed as when I first moved here as Tinder wasn't a thing and I could find significantly more matches on OKC than I can now.

My goal with using OKC, Tinder, or similar apps isn't necessarily to date or have casual sex. I'm trying to expand my social network and meet people. If a friendship or relationship comes out of it, so be it, but it isn't something I try and stress myself out about. I imagine many other people are like that. I want to meet up with people, but the second that there is a red flag I'm going to cancel. In some instances that means before we even have a chance to exchange pleasantries online, seeing as they've already emailed me an inappropriate picture or sent a lewd or disrespectful message.

Anyways, now it's time to download Bumble! I'll be interested to see how large the user base is in my town.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 8:03 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


There is explicit (dtf? which means "Down to fuck?" or questions about one's availability for mid-day trysting) these are not as nice to receive as "hey, I read your three line blurb and you seem like a fun person. We should have coffee and see if we have chemistry!" That sentence usually translates to "I think I want to have sex with you, but let's be sure we want to have sex with each other before we do that.)

DTF is also not as terrifying as "I am going to pound your ass until it bleeds, bitch" or "I bet you'd look good with a wad of my cum in your eyes." I'm paraphrasing because not only did I lose my phone the other day, I uninstalled Tinder months ago. It was a terrifying experience and the bar is so low.

Even the guys who start with innocuous messages like "hi" (that's it, the total first message is just two letters) often veer into really scary territory quite quickly.

This is a problem and telling us that "this is what we should expect when we look for casual sex, part of the price of admission" you are doing some very serious victim blaming. Please don't tell us that we should know that this is what we're in for as though nobody has told us that before, as though this is the first time we've experienced this. We do know. And we want it to stop.
posted by bilabial at 8:04 AM on July 30, 2015 [29 favorites]


I feel like these complaints about Tinder come from expectations that it's something other than what it is.

no. what a fiendish thingy said. if you don't understand the difference in those examples then you don't understand what makes a sexual proposition threatening. it's kind of like metafilter-- when text is all you have, then you better try to sound normal and not like some creepy subway flashing catcalling shitstain.

but you're right that a lot of men (quite deliberately) don't understand women's expectations when it comes to basic decency and respect, things that aren't automatically thrown out the window for fun, safe casual sex. you're basically saying "but casual sex! what's with all these crazy standards all of a sudden?"
posted by twist my arm at 8:08 AM on July 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Lulu was the absolute bomb when it automatically uploaded your Facebook guy friends (with images) and invited all women to rate them, numerically, anonymously.
posted by colie at 8:35 AM on July 30, 2015


So which app's the most effective for finding friends? Because I really want more friends who actually live in the same state that I do... sigh.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 9:05 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm also curious about Bumble. I do see how only allowing and making it easier for women to initiate would help with the stigma of women messaging first. But, I don't know if it would cut down a huge amount of sexually explicit messages or creeps, unless there's some moderation system or penalty system built in. Because Tinder already requires mutual "swiping right" based on a person's profile, and sexually explicit messages and harassment occur during chat (after the approval by both parties).

One way I think they would be able to kill creeps would probably be to simply ban Facebook profiles and phone numbers of creepy guys.
posted by FJT at 9:19 AM on July 30, 2015


If you cannot manage to send the link to even a single man that you know, please at least don't suggest that you "don't know any" men who behave this way. And also stop describing guys who do this as "nice guys."

I think this is a crux (one of many, certainly) of the problem with social movement like this. I wouldn't willingly interact in a friendly way with the kind of guy who behaved this way. And I hardly think that's unique to me, I imagine the people most likely to grok the need to disseminate this kind of thing are the people least likely to have "nice guys" as friends or even recurring acquaintances. Because I have absolutely distanced myself from several people based on how they interacted with the opposite sex. Since I don't talk to those people any more, I have to assume they would take my linking them this out of the blue (heh heh, the blue) as some kind of emotional sniping or worse.
posted by Phyltre at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do people use Tindr et. al to just make friends

As a woman on Tinder whose profile specifically states that I'm looking for casual hangouts and maybe makeouts with other women, I've hung out with several ladies in non-date scenarios. I've also noticed quite a few other profiles that are looking for cool pals, too. Compared to meeting dudes online in the past, there's much less pressure to only contact someone for dating or hookups; there's been a few people that are just so darned cool that I can't swipe left on them, and I usually drop them a message to tell them so.

I also check out the r/tinder subreddit sometimes and thank my goddamn lucky stars that I'm not on Tinder as a woman seeking men, because my experience has been overwhelmingly positive so far.
posted by brisquette at 9:42 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh, the whole "but ladies, if you're looking for casual sex, you need to expect introductions via dick pics and strings of messages from the same guy, all sent within the span of a couple of hours, that say nothing except 'hi lets fukc' 'hi' 'hi' 'HI' 'DID U Get my last mmessg' 'HI LEST FUCKK'" thing is such an insulting crock of shit.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly understand that most dudes in this particular market truly believe they have some kind of god-given right to approach any woman they find attractive, tell her in no uncertain terms to hop on his dong, and if she thinks he's cute, she's just gonna be like, "All right, good to go!" But considering the fact that women are routinely blamed whenever we're sexually assaulted, harassed, stalked, whatever -- because obviously, we should have known that the guy was a Bad Apple! -- the "I am hereby refusing to offer any indication of what kind of a person I might be except to let you know that I intend to stick it in" approach isn't really a recipe for success.

A lot of us are indeed interested in casual sex, but the more pressing matter is trying to ensure the dude we want to hook up with probably isn't a serial killer, or one of those men who seems totally normal when you're making small talk with him at the club but then gets super weird (and/or scary) as soon as he gets you alone. I sincerely wish I could have the kind of super-fun NSA encounter those dudes are dreaming of, but damn, bruh, it's dangerous out there.

That said, I would probably make a fake Facebook account and download Bumble if I had even a shred of faith left in humanity. Siren sounds even better -- the turning point for finally killing off my OKC account was so many random dudes feeling the need to message me to say that I sound cool, so it's very unfortunate that I'm so ugly. Like I don't know? I have to look in the mirror every day, am I supposed to walk around with a bag over my head or something? Although only revealing my hideous visage to men I'm nominally intrigued by might be even more awful. My kingdom for widespread acceptance of the idea that a woman who makes the first move isn't an irretrievable harlot, in any case. Viva Crone Island.
posted by divined by radio at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


"I wouldn't willingly interact in a friendly way with the kind of guy who behaved this way."

And I'm trying to be really clear in saying that "the kind of guy who [behaves] this way" doesn't always wear a sign that says he does.

For usually one of two reasons. Either he thinks every guy does it and so discussing it is patently unnecessary, or because he knows that you don't do it, and doesn't want to get shamed for it.

So seriously. Send this to all the guys you know, and ask them to help you spread the word. Like I said, you can start the message by assuming good faith and cooperation on their part. Sure, some of them will out themselves as being guys who behave this way. And it's uncomfortable to know that you will be pruning your social circle in this way. I get that.

But you have to make it abundantly, bludgeoningly clear that you will not tolerate this behavior BEFORE you see it. And when you do see it, you have to do some of the lifting for us. Don't just ghost on these guys without telling them why. Because as women, we have been trying for centuries to make all men understand that we are people. They aren't listening to us, and they won't. But they might listen to you.
posted by bilabial at 10:11 AM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I feel like I'm going to be roasted for asking this, but as someone said upthread, isn't Tinder's primary function to be a hook-up app? If people are using the app to get laid, what's wrong with more explicit messages?

What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don't have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:29 AM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


What a cool concept. I will sign up for both a ghost FB account and this when it's available for Android.

As for the women who ask to be treated like there's more to them than their sexuality, I want to say that having had the experience of eliminating all the mysoginist fools from my life and it was extremely hard - partially because the entitled guys are usually adept at hiding it, especially once they get a hint that I don't feel the same way, and largely because it's just shitty to suddenly not have nearly as many friends. I had close friends who I have spent years building relationships with - people who outside of that attitude, do some amazing things for the world - so the act of excising your friends, even if they hold a worldview that doesn't serve them, is extremely distressing and uncomfortable.

That is an aside from the topic of this particular dating app though.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 11:44 AM on July 30, 2015


Is there a reason why fake FB accounts are used to sign up? I admit I don't use FB a lot, so there's not a lot of info to glean from it anyways.
posted by FJT at 11:50 AM on July 30, 2015


No option for student or unemployed? Well then I'll just lie. It is a dating app, after all.
posted by sacrifix at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2015


Bumble appears to have many more matches than OKC in the demographic I'm interested in. Too soon to tell if it's more or less than Tinder, but it's interesting.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 1:36 PM on July 30, 2015


OkCupid definitely worked that way during its first few years. In my city, it was basically a who's-who of young, nerdy, queer-and-poly-friendly people. I didn't ever have a successful date on it, but I made several LIFE-ALTERINGLY IMPORTANT friendships and had a bunch of cool conversations. Now that using it isn't such a badge of nerdhood, its utility as a friend-finder has diminished.

Perhaps it's time for a text-only friend-finding site. Give it a ssh interface for geek cred and some kind of retrostyled HTML5 terminal interface for those who don't know what ssh is. Play on the golden-age-of-nerdiness aspect of bulletin-board culture without being explicit about it. Possibly even take the mickey with something that mimics the swipeable-duckface-gallery feature of modern dating sites using entirely ASCII art (with some kind of drawing editor).
posted by acb at 1:47 PM on July 30, 2015


Also, I thought that bumbling was like vajazzling only applied to the buttocks.
posted by acb at 1:50 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also check out the r/tinder subreddit sometimes

Wow, that sub is chock full of misogynistic shitlords. And on reddit of all places! I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!

If you crave the hilarity of first impression/contact road accidents try /creepypms. Its wonderfully moderated safe-space sub and does not tolerate the bros actively judging/shaming pregnant women profiles for the audacity wanting to be sexual being while caring a baby to term.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:24 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey, bilabial, I'll go ahead and share the article around like you suggested. Thanks for all your posts here; they're insightful and helpful.
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:20 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Regular PSA for the socially anxious guys out there:

Many of the ladies have severe social anxiety too. So we empathize.

But.... The "solution" presented by an app that only allows women to message first has an inherent drawback: your social anxiety is now her problem. Which means a lady that you might really click with has to do all the work of managing her anxiety and your anxiety. This multiplies her difficulties exponentially. And not just now, but for all the rest of the time y'all are dating.

That's not equitable, fun, or likely to yield good results for anyone involved.

So maybe, maybe, examine a few things that you could do to work on that social anxiety and don't just foist the problem off on the ladies.
posted by susiswimmer at 4:12 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Like, if you're going to do the Facebook account thing to handle the heavy-lifting of user verification, would it be possible to make procedurally-generated dating sites and see which ones take off? Or maybe procdural generation is too much, but more like someone making a bunch of twitter bots, they could pump out a new dating site every week?

Oulipr
posted by threeants at 4:25 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how women messaging first will change the entire nature of the relationship. Speaking for myself, once I get that first message I'm prepared to do the heavy lifting from there on, including the asking out. I just don't see it as a huge deal to shoot 1-2 sentences at someone you like, whether it's the man or woman doing it.

Possible way to get around the "women have to message first" problem: I had an idea for a dating site recently that involved avatars to go with each user. If users behave badly and spam likes or send awful messages, there are mechanisms (automatic, or triggered by other users) where you lose points and your avatar changes accordingly. If you're trash then your avatar changes to a trashcan. It warns other users about you, and shames you into good behavior. Conversely the stellar users get to choose nifty upgrades and style their avatars how they want. There's also a date reporting mechanism to encourage non-trash behaviors when you meet IRL. (The biggest challenges would be preventing gaming of the system, and preventing retaliatory downvoting from bitter/rejected people. That requires some thought.)
posted by naju at 4:39 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just don't see it as a huge deal to shoot 1-2 sentences at someone you like, whether it's the man or woman doing it.

Exactly!

And in an ideal world, it wouldn't be an expectation that this particular task be done by one gender or the other.

In the world we live in, however, this is troubling and a little bit of a red flag. If the social anxiety is still enough of an issue that one can't write a quick 1-2 sentences to someone who has already indicated their interest with a match, how is the "heavy lifting" going to be possible? It might involve having to call a restaurant, negotiating scheduling snafus, calling the restaurant again, actually being an active rather than a passive participant in conversation during the date, discussing how to split the check, hailing a cab, etc.

And that's not even getting into what an ltr is going to look like, where ideally the partners confront issues together. If one curls up into a ball at the first sign of trouble, the other is left holding the bag.

I'm not saying social anxiety is a deal breaker, it's most certainly not. But throwing up ones hands and making it someone else's problem is.
posted by susiswimmer at 5:08 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I look forward to another one of these swiping apps, although they don't seem to last very long. I finished Tinder in three days, only playing for about 15 mins per day.

More seriously, I don't mind having to come up with an introductory sentence or two when initiating a conversation on a dating site. It does take me 10-30 minutes per message and I get a reply maybe one in twenty times though, so it is time consuming. I don't know if that is a higher or lower success rate than those who send two letter messages. Reading and absorbing a whole profile probably takes me another 10 minutes or more, so if I manage to find four women and send four messages in less than two hours I am pleased. The amount of time per day that I have to spend online dating is limited, so if I get one reply per month I am doing well. If the conversation lasts more than a couple of messages then there is a chance of meeting up, which I would say occurs once every three months. All in all it is pretty soul destroying, but not engaging at all with online dating means removing one potential avenue to a relationship. I have friends who have married people they met through online dating, so I know it works out sometimes.
I know from speaking to female friends that they get a lot of messages every day. I know from experience that all of the women I have met via online dating said that they responded to my message because they liked the fact I could do a sentence or two of words and even punctuation, so I don't think I'll change to the two letter approach.

However, Tinder I can go through swiping left or right a lot quicker. It's like a condensed version of proper online dating, more soul destroying but at least it's quick! Most people don't even write words in their profiles.

If the Bumble ever manages to get onto the Android platform I'll be interested to see if it manages to be more full of joy than Tinder, although that is a pretty low bar to set.
posted by asok at 5:46 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oulipr

A particular glyph is missing, not only from its URL, but from all words input by its chatting patrons. Nobody shows any sign of finding this at all unusual. Still lots of dick pics, though.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:22 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oulipr

Ok, I'll bite. What is this mysterious “Oulipr”?
posted by Going To Maine at 6:54 PM on July 30, 2015


Imho, there should be a huge difference between women and men messaging first, naju and susiswimmer. Women are more selective about initiating the conversations, so conversations should be more likely to lead to dates.

As asok described, it's mostly a pure numbers game for men on a typical dating site : Just talk to as many women as possible without sounding like a spammer to too many. It's awful because women must read a lot of spam and men must send a lot of spam to land any dates.

Tindr works by simplifying the initial interaction to swipes, i.e. moderating women's initial expectations. If women initiate though, then your forcing men to focus their attention on a smaller pool of women, resulting in interactions from which the women can draw more information. Sounds good for everyone.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:31 AM on July 31, 2015


You make your own tinder profile but the photos have to come from within Facebook. You have to use your real name.

Personally, I've made a couple of really amazing friends from Tinder. I have also gotten lots and lots of dick pictures. So... wait - I forgot where I was going with this.

Um...is the obvious inference here correct, or does this happen when the conversation moves off of Tinder?
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:11 AM on July 31, 2015


mostly a pure numbers game for men on a typical dating site : Just talk to as many women as possible without sounding like a spammer to too many. It's awful because women must read a lot of spam and men must send a lot of spam to land any dates.

As far as I'm concerned, this is exactly the problem. It isn't the platform or the technology, it's the behavior.

It doesn't have to be a numbers game. And being treated like a number instead of a person is exactly what turns so many women off.

Go back up and re-read the comments from bilabial, divined by radio and a fiendish thingy.

Tinder was supposed to fix this by being an expression of mutual interest. Bumble now takes it a step further and makes women message first.

But the technology isn't going to fix anything when it's the underlying assumptions and behavior that is the problem.
posted by susiswimmer at 8:16 AM on July 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


Tindr works by simplifying the initial interaction to swipes, i.e. moderating women's initial expectations.

Why should women have to moderate expectations that men actually act like decent human beings?

If women initiate though, then your forcing men to focus their attention on a smaller pool of women, resulting in interactions from which the women can draw more information.

How are women possibly getting more information from these interactions? As men have made it well known they play the numbers game and swipe right on everything, women don't have more information by messaging first, they have less. The men in this situation are the only ones with more information.

Sounds good for everyone.

Not really, no.
posted by susiswimmer at 8:39 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


What is this mysterious “Oulipr”?

It's the beta version of Calipr, where instead of having a profile picture you're only allowed to represent yourself via the validated length of something important to you. It allows dick pics for follow-up messages, but strangely no one sends them.
posted by psoas at 9:39 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


IMPORANT TO NO ONE BUT ME BUMBLE EXPERIENCE UPDATES
Living in LA means there are a crap ton of users of pretty much anything nearby, which is nice.
Four "connections". Zero messages so far, though not all of the connections have expired.
A large number of people have not filled in any of the 300 character info section, which I told the app developers maybe they should add a prompt for.
The woman who fit that her life goal was to own a pig named "Ann Porkins" in those 300 characters connecting with but not messaging me may count among my life's greatest tragedies.
One person managed to work that they hate burning man into that space, which was useful info for me given how many times I've gone, but someone devoting half of a small space to things they hate was kind of saddening.
posted by flaterik at 4:32 PM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


(Alternate reply: Ou lipr. Ou broughtr.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:41 AM on August 1, 2015




I'm sad I missed this discussion because my girlfriends and I are all about Bumble - have been since earlier this year. Definitely the best dating app, if a little buggy sometimes.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:31 PM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I missed half the discussion until someone else linked to my own fpp. So no worries!

I realize that the issues with online/mobile dating are endemic to our culture. Guys will put in some initial effort to be appealing, but drop off after getting sex/commitment because emotional labor is so hard when you never do it, and society lets you get away with being an emotional deadbeat. Women who would not be on tinder if they didn't have sexual drive may feel forced to do so, but get shamed if they point out sexism.

But I feel that Bumble does one thing nicely: it lets you limit how much assholery you get from it. Swipe right early in the day, then return later and decide after some reflective time: how much do I want to risk dealing with shits today? It's a lot easier to make that decision when you don't need to fear everyone you swiped right on and got matched with immediately peppering you with harassment.
posted by halifix at 6:52 PM on August 27, 2015


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