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How Does the Bumble Dating App Work?

Online dating apps help people meet others virtually. Bumble is one of these apps and one of the most popular choices out there. Considering the overwhelming number of dating apps available today, Bumble must be doing something right to be so prominent.

Here’s a look at how Bumble works, what makes it unique, as well as how matches happen on the app.

How Does Bumble Work?

Most dating apps have a fairly straightforward premise: match singles. Bumble shares many similarities with other dating apps, but it adds an unusual twist.

You’ll find a selection of profiles on the app, just like you would on other dating apps like Tinder. You can swipe right on people you like or swipe left to skip them. In order to be a match, both parties must swipe right on each other’s profiles. This is a useful feature since it indicates mutual interest and makes things a lot less one-sided or awkward.

Users can also “Super swipe” on people they like, which is a feature that’ll alert those people that you liked their profile. It’s not a surefire way to land a match, but it does help.

Bumble doesn’t only match singles looking to date, but also provides a BFF mode for meeting platonic friends, and a Bizz mode for users looking to network. If you’re interested in more detail, here’s a quick explainer of how Bumble modes work.

Since Bumble has mostly garnered attention as a ‘feminist’ dating app, you might have guessed that it’s somehow woman-focused. And you’d be right.

How Does Bumble Work for Women?

After a heterosexual match on Bumble’s Date mode, the woman on the other end of the match must begin the conversation within 24 hours. The man must also respond to the message within 24 hours or the connection is lost. Once both parties have sent a message, the 24-hour time limit is removed, and the conversation can continue at its own pace.


By allowing women to initiate all conversations, Bumble gives women more control over the whole process. It creates a safer dating space for women, and reduces the chances of getting unsolicited messages, lewd pictures, and crude comments—all of which have become the reasons for why online dating sucks, especially for women.

Some women may not feel confident enough to start a conversation—and Bumble obviously thought about this. The app supplies creative ice-breakers like GIFs and Question Games, which help women to kick things off on a light, fun note. Some of the questions that Bumble will propose aren’t exactly first-conversation material, but you can always type in a more natural question.

How Bumble Matches Work for Men

There’s not much difference in how Bumble works for men and women. Men also get a feed of several profiles on which they can swipe left or right.

But, when men get a match with a woman on Bumble, they have to wait for the woman to initiate the conversation.

How Bumble Works for LGBT+ Users

In the case of same-gender couple matches or matches for non-binary users, either person can start the conversation, but the 24-hour response time limit remains.

The match will remain if both parties message each other within the allotted time.

How to Use Bumble

You can download Bumble from either Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store depending on the device you have. After installing the app, you’ll need to create a Bumble account.

You can sign up with your Facebook account, your phone number, or your Apple ID. You’ll have to grant access to your public profile, birthday, and other details if you sign up with your Facebook account. If you use a phone number, you will receive a code to confirm the number.

Next, agree to Bumble’s Registration Pledge, which simply asks you to be on your best behavior. You also need to add a recovery email.

After all that, it’s time to set up your Bumble profile. Here’s how:

  1. Enter your name. Make sure to type in what you’d like to be called on the app—you won’t be able to edit it once it’s saved.
  2. Add some photos (at least two and at most six). You’ll have to verify your images with a real-time selfie so Bumble can confirm your identity. Once you do that, you’ll get a blue badge and more verified users in your feed.
  3. Enter your Birthday (only users over 18 years old are allowed).
  4. Select your Gender (Male, Female or Non-binary). You can tap More gender options to pick from an extensive list of gender identities.
  5. Select your Bumble Mode. This bit is not set in stone like the name part—you can switch between modes later, regardless of which you choose now. There are three options here: Date, BFF, and Bizz.
  6. Next, choose which gender you’re interested in. You get three options here, Men, Women, and Everyone.
  7. As soon as you are done with your profile, potential matches will appear and you can start swiping.

Download: Bumble for Android | iOS (Free)

Tips for New Bumble Users

Before you start swiping, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you shouldn’t swipe right on a lot of profiles in a short period of time. If you do, Bumble will think you’re a scammer or a bot, and flag or shadowban your profile.

Also, the app prioritizes profiles who have gotten a lot of right-swipes, and it will show you people who have swiped right on you so that you have higher chances of matching on Bumble.

Once you’ve made a match, it appears at the top of your Conversations page, which is the chat icon at the bottom-right of the Bumble screen. You’ll find your Match queue at the top of the page, which will be a Beeline if you’re on a Premium plan. The Beeline is a list of profiles who have swiped right on your profile but you haven’t swiped right on yet.

Matches will expire after 24 hours, and Bumble will fade each match’s circle as that time runs out. It’ll also push the matches expiring soonest to the left on the row.

Is Bumble Free?

Bumble is free, but it offers more features on two paid plans: Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium. Users on Bumble’s free plan are restricted from most of the features that make the app useful. For example, you can’t ‘backtrack’ on a profile if you accidentally swiped left on. You also can’t see who liked your profile, unless you upgrade to a Premium account.

At least, free users still get the option to set your matches to show you only verified users. This means you are only matched with users whose profile photo has been verified by Bumble.

On Bumble Boost, users get:

  • Unlimited swipes.
  • The Backtrack feature (the ability to undo an accidental left swipe).
  • An option to extend matches past the 24-hour cut-off point.
  • One Spotlight feature per week (Spotlight boosts your profile by increasing your visibility).
  • Five SuperSwipes per week.

With Bumble Premium, you get all the features of Bumble Boost and:

  • Access to advanced unlimited filters that you can use to further tailor your matches.
  • The option to re-match with expired matches.
  • A Travel Mode that allows you to swipe in other locations apart from where you’re based.
  • Incognito Mode, so you are only visible to users you swipe right on.

You can purchase these subscriptions in the Bumble app and the duration ranges from weekly subscriptions to lifetime plans.

Buzz In?

Most people are wary of online dating because of unpleasant experiences or online horror stories. But Bumble has features baked-in to improve the experience, at least to an extent.

The free version isn’t very useful but the app is mostly easy to use (although the user interface is a tad confusing). Also, the option for weekly subscriptions means you can cancel your plan if you end up disliking the app.


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