What is the Bumble app and is it appropriate for my child?
Here are 5 FACTS every parent needs to know about Bumble:
#1 Dating App
Bumble is a free location-based dating app similar to Tinder. Users assess profile pictures of potential suitors populated on their feed. They swipe right if they like the look of them, and left if they don’t.
Bumble also distinguishes itself as FEMALE driven, where ladies make the first move. A match is made if two people swipe (“like”) each other. In order to connect through conversation you have 24 hours and the woman must make that first move.
#2 Creating Your Account
You can use your Apple ID, Facebook account, or a phone number to create your profile. Bumble will pull your name, age, school, and job from Facebook if you log in this way. You can then select up to 6 pictures from your camera roll or Facebook to represent you.
Bumble has a fairly strict set of rules when it comes to acceptable photos. Photos are moderated for obvious things like erotic content and a non-visible face.
After picking photos, you can write a 300 character-or-less bio to describe yourself.
To narrow down your search, you can apply filters such as distance, gender, age range, education, political views, smoking/drinking habits, etc. Keep in mind, though, if you want to screen your matches with a particular filter, you must first answer that question in your own profile. So if you only want to date singles who are over a specific height, you must provide your own height first.
#3 Free, but Upgradable
Bumble is free to download and unlike Tinder, Bumble offers unlimited swiping with the free account. There are some handy paid features that make it easier to get matches.
Starting at $8.99, you can upgrade to “Bumble Boost,” which gives you access to three premium features:
- BeeLine – according to many, this feature alone makes the monthly cost worthwhile. In this section, only profiles of women who have already liked you is seen, so a match is guaranteed. That will save you a ton of swiping time.
- Rematch – reconnect with past matches for an extra 24 hours.
- Busybee – allows you to extend the 24-hour match window.
- Filters – add as many refining filters to your profile as you want.
For a small per-use fee, Bumble users can get their profile in front of more local singles by activating the “Spotlight” feature. This means for 30 minutes, your profile is one of the first shown to anyone who logs on.
Some functions, like “SuperSwipes,” which shows someone you are really interested, also cost around $1.99 per use. If you buy them in bulk, you’ll pay a bit less.
The Bumble app has an “undo” feature, called a “Backtrack,” if you change your mind – just shake the phone and it undoes the swipe. But you’re limited to only three Backtracks a day.
If you’re a man, and you see the clock ticking down on a match you really like, you can extend the connection for an additional 24 hours. You can only do this for one match per day unless you upgrade to Bumble Boost.
#4 Not Just Dating
There are three different modes:
- Bumble Date – exactly what you’d expect it to be (and what we’ve so far described).
- Bumble BFF – place to meet new friends. Perhaps you are new to the neighborhood, or want to meet friends before you get to college.
- Bumble Bizz – is for professional networking.
Each mode has its own separate profile, so your dating profile will only be visible within the Date mode, etc. To create a Bumble Bizz profile, you must go through the profile verification process.
App Store: 17+
Google Play: Mature 17+
Brave Parenting: 18 + a few years
It’s easy for us at Brave Parenting to keep with Bumble’s age requirement of 18 years old. We could extend it further to out of high school but we’ve heard of many young women using the Bumble BFF to connect with future roommates or friends as they prepare to leave home. While connecting with strangers always has it concerns, we haven’t heard of nor could find stories where this connection went horribly wrong.
We recommend talking about dating apps as your child begins driving. Once they can drive somewhere to meet up with someone (and we must acknowledge teens know how to hide their location) they need to be aware of the dangers of connecting with older men. At 16-17 years old, girls are still vulnerable and innocent enough to be taken advantage of. As boys in their high school can become boring and immature, they may easily desire an older, more mature man they can find on Bumble.
We have met several young people who met, dated, and even married through the Bumble app. It has the potential to be a great match maker but we must acknowledge that it requires wisdom and prudence to discern between creeps and catches. It is our job as Brave Parents to help our daughters develop these virtues.