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 Breakdown: AI & UI

One of the best aspects of Bumble is the app design, which is simple and clean. There is a fair amount of white space when needed and the perfect use of images. When users intend to quickly swipe through potential matches, the app needs to have clarity and avoid clutter. Speed and immediate gratification is expected on a platform like Bumble.

When exploring competitor apps, I noticed the most attractive and user-friendly platforms were the ones with an intuitive design and neatness. The ones that were difficult to use and immediately deleted were the ones with an overload of images and information and the ones that were difficult to navigate. With a combination of a high-end design and user interface and a sophisticated audience, Bumble ranks superior among online dating apps.

The following flowchart, which I made on canva.com (highly recommend) breaks down each page of Bumble:

Bumble map

The flowchart represents how simple and comprehensive the app is, which promotes the ease of online dating. There are no useless pages; each direction on the app has a purpose that is straightforward. Wolfe wanted to create an application to make it easier for women to talk to men, and she accomplished that beyond a conceptual level. Not only do women have the power to initiate a conversation, but they also have a basic app to do it on.

Another aspect to emphasize the simplicity of Bumble is the minimal information needed and displayed to connect with other users. All a user sees about another user is up to six images, the occupation, the education and a brief biography of the user. Bumble also allows users to connect their profiles to Spotify to show other users what they are listening to, but it is optional and does not clutter profiles.

My Experience:

There was a day when my friend and I decided to download multiple dating apps to see which was the best. We deleted most of the apps we downloaded because of the types of people we were connecting with, which ranged from rude to boring to inappropriate. Some apps had few users, so few connections were made altogether. The final straw for the apps was the design and usability of each app. I immediately deleted a few that were impossible to look at, but Bumble ranked at the top of our list overall for interface and users.

A Few Swipes Ahead: Tinder

With over 100 million downloads and 26 daily matches, Tinder is Bumble’s greatest competitor. Although the apps have similar swiping capabilities and concepts, Tinder consists of 62% men, which is over 10% more than Bumble. 45% of Tinder users are between the ages of 25 and 34, and another 38% of users are between 16 and 24. All of these statistics and more can be found at https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/what-to-know-about-tinder-in-5-charts.

While Bumble focuses on attracting women and has been called a “feminist dating app,” Tinder is known for being a “hookup app.” Unlike Bumble, Tinder users have an unlimited amount of time to message each other without any restrictions on who messages first. The apps seem to be almost identical, but those minor differences put the two apps in separate categories in users’ minds.

One of the best aspects of Tinder is the ability for people to use the app for social experiments. Most of the experiments I have seen on Tinder relate to attractiveness and involve setting up multiple profiles to see how people will react to different looks. Others go beyond looks and present a number of different personalities to see how users will react. One girl even used Tinder to attract a pedophile and have him arrested! There are various types of experiments that use Tinder as the testing platform that couldn’t be done on an app with connection restrictions like Bumble.

“The number one fear for men [when online dating] is that the woman they meet is going to be fat” begins this social experiment, where a woman dresses up a fat suit to see how men react to meeting a woman that is larger than she presents herself in her profile:

The social experiment was then redone with a man in a fat suit instead of a woman:

Because of the ease of data accessibility on Tinder, users are able to use the app for social experiments like the one shown in the videos. Although the experiments use the app for an alternative purpose beyond dating, the concept of using a dating app for social experiments is creative and entertaining at a minimum. Most of the experiments don’t seem to analyze the results, but the concept gives a new perspective for dating and human reactions.

If you are as interested in Tinder experiments as I am, check out “8 Intriguing Experiments on Tinder” here: http://www.oddee.com/item_99435.aspx