The online dating game has changed, and largely thanks to app developers and Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe.
Through her mobile phone-based app, Wolfe has set out to reinvent the online dating industry.
After much research and hours of focus groups, Wolfe found that many users, mainly women, complained of abuse from both online misogyny and the actual dating services themselves. Recognizing this, Wolfe developed Bumble, the first dating app that puts women in control.
The app works very much like Tinder in that you can swipe right or left depending on your interest in the user. The difference is that once a match has been established between two people, the woman has sole control of initiating the conversation.
A new feature on the app only gives the men 24 hours to reply to a woman’s message or their connection will be lost forever.
“There’s no online accountability in digital anything. Zero,” said Whitney. “That’s where my idea for Bumble came from — I wanted to start a network that encouraged positive online behavior versus bullying, exclusion and all that nasty stuff — I know, I’ve lived through it.”
In recent years, the stigma surrounding online dating has shifted, and it’s more acceptable than ever before. Gone are the days when couples who met online would be pressured to make up a story of how they “met in a bar” to avoid admitting the internet was their matchmaker.
Contrary to some beliefs, while Millennials make up a big part of the online dating community, they are not the only ones finding partners online. The generations before Millennials have been using the internet to find their next matches as well.
More than half of Americans no longer see a problem with online dating. In fact, 59% of all internet users agree that one way to meet new people is to do so online. It accounts for one in five new relationships and, even more shocking, one in six marriages.