Match.com: Swiper, No Swiping!

Bumble follows a “swiping concept,” where users must physically swipe left (no) or right (yes) to determine whether they wish to match with other users. To give a different perspective of online dating, Match.com is a great example of a successful online dating platform that has a different interface and target market than Bumble. As Match.com has over 22 years of experience, the site has a variety of different aspects than Bumble and should be taken seriously as a competitor.

While Bumble tends to attract people in their twenties, 48.6% of Match.com members are between the ages of 30 and 49, and the group of users over 50 is the fastest growing age demographic for the site. The target audience for each platform affects the method of attracting users and the type of interface available for users.

Users are able to filter the types of people they see on Match.com beyond gender and location preferences like Bumble. Users on Match.com can determine matches based on height, body type, marital status, faith, ethnicity, smoking and drinking habits, education and more. Instead of swiping to match, users can send “winks” or messages to the people they wish to connect with. More information is available for interested parties, as the “about me” sections are not limited to 300 characters. Increasing the amount of initial information on the online dating platform allows users to make more thoughtful decisions when connecting with others.

Another major difference between Match.com and Bumble is the way each platform attempts to attract users. While Bumble focuses on developing interest by promoting confident women, Match.com advertises longevity of relationships. If a user signs up with Match.com, he or she will find the right person and fall in love, which could be a factor in the older age group of users compared to “swiping” apps.

Image result for match.com ad
An example of a Match.com advertisement that promotes the ability to find a relationship using the site.

Although Match.com targets a different age group and promotes using the site to find love and start a relationship, Match.com acquired multiple other sites to increase the threat of the company to smaller companies like Bumble. Match Group, Inc. also owns Tinder, OkCupid and PlentyOfFish, three other major online dating platforms that compete with Bumble. Despite the major differences between Bumble and Match.com, Bumble must remember the size and strength of Match.com and act accordingly.

Bumble and the Bumblebees: Who’s the Target?

After co-founding and leaving Tinder, Whitney Wolfe created Bumble, a dating app intended to make women more comfortable when making the first move. While the app tends to attract college students and recent graduates in their early twenties, Wolfe wants the app to welcome women of all ages, typically from 18 to 35.

Wolfe explained that she and her colleagues wanted to “modernize dating” through Bumble because “there’s this unwritten rule that it’s not ladylike, or it’s wrong, or the guy should go first” (Wolfe). Within 24 hours after matching with a man, or woman depending on a woman’s interests, the woman must contact her match before it expires. After the woman initiates contact, the man has 24 hours to respond before the conversation expires. Of course, women have always had the opportunity to initiate the dating process, but because it’s not society’s norm, it can be difficult for a woman to have the confidence to actually pursue someone first.

Although the app accepts all people of all ages, it seems that dating apps with a mass-population swiping concept (swiping yes or no through many people) typically attract millennials, people who want instant gratification and attracted to this form of social media. According to hellogiggles (http://bit.ly/2mpQdWw), 63.3% of Bumble users are between the ages of 18 and 29, and Bustle (http://bit.ly/2n49Jcq) states that 59% of total Bumble users are women. Because of the women empowerment aspects of Bumble, the app targets younger women, specifically ones that wish to explore the dating world without the pressures of traditional male-oriented concepts. The app also allows women to search for friends through the BFF function, further targeting younger women.

While men are welcome to join the app and are encouraged to do so for obvious dating reasons, the app caters to women and attempts to provide a safe space for interactions between matches. Dating can be intimidating for the average woman, so providing a comfortable platform for communicating with potential suitors is a blessing for some ladies.

My Thoughts:

From my personal experience, Bumble seems to be a more sophisticated dating app than other popular dating platforms. By targeting women and promoting confidence, there’s a valuable respect aspect on Bumble. While women can start a conversation on any dating app, being required to start the conversation takes away the pressure of wondering how a man will react to a woman’s initiation. Most of the “what ifs?” can fade away by giving the women the power on Bumble. The man knows the woman has to contact him first, so there’s no question about who should say something first. I have yet to meet a man who isn’t thrilled by the idea of a woman approaching him first because there can be so much pressure when it comes to making “the first move.”

A boost of confidence for women and a stress-free experience for men? I’ll swipe right to that!

Read more about the original concept of Bumble through this interview with Whitney Wolfe here: http://www.racked.com/2015/3/24/8266243/whitney-wolfe-tinder-bumble