Bumble has come up with a new way for its dating app and related businesses to generate revenue. The company this week launched filters — a way to sift through potential matches by a set of specific criteria. For example, Bumble Date users can now filter matches by astrological sign or relationship type, among other things, while those on Bumble BFF or Bumble Bizz can filter matches by interests or industry, respectively.
The new feature is meant to save users time by limiting their selection of potential matches to those who are more relevant to their own interests.
A dating app user may want to filter out those who are only looking for casual situations, while a business user may want to filter matches based on whether they’re looking for a job, mentor or collaborator, Bumble explains. And on Bumble’s friend-finding platform, Bumble BFF, people may want to filter for people who enjoy the same things they do — like fitness or photography.
“We’ve been working internally and with our users to create just the right mix of filters that allow for deeper, more meaningful connections and we’re very pleased with what we’ve developed,” said Alexandra Williamson, Bumble chief of brand, in a statement about the launch. “Whether you’re looking for a new job in media, a new mom friend or a date with a Sagittarius who loves live music, Bumble Filters enable you to tailor your experience in a way that ultimately gives you more control of the kinds of relationships you’re looking to build,” she said.
Filtering matches by specific criteria isn’t anything new to dating apps. Other more traditional dating sites, like Match and OkCupid, have offered ways to filter matches, too. But Bumble’s more direct rival Tinder has focused less on filtering and more on speed of moving through matches. It doesn’t let users specify preferences beyond some basics — like location, distance, gender and age.
Whether or not filtering actually helps in delivering a good match, however, is less clear. But it’s certainly something people want.
Today, many women on dating apps ask men for their height, for instance — so often, in fact, that men began volunteering this information on their profiles, even if the profile doesn’t have a field for height. Often, sober people don’t want to match with people who say they drink regularly. Non-smokers generally want to date the same. And so on. But over-filtering could lead to users missing out — after all, how important is the star sign, really, or whether they have pets? (Allergies notwithstanding, of course.)
On the dating side of Bumble, the new filters include height, exercise, star sign, education, drinking, smoking, pets, relationship type, family plans, religion and political leaning.
Bumble BFFs can filter for drinking, smoking, exercise and pets, too, as well as type of friendship, relationship status, whether they have kids or if they’re new to the area.
And Bumble Bizz users can filter by industry, networking relationship type, education and years of experience.
Bumble hopes filters will be an additional stream of revenue for its business, which it said in September was on track for a revenue run rate to $200 million per year. Bumble now claims 46 million users.
The company says all users will receive two free filters in Bumble Date, Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, but additional filters will have to be purchased through Bumble Boost — the premium upgrade that also allows you to see who liked you, extend your matches and rematch expired connections. (Boost’s pricing varies based on the time frame — a week, a month, etc. Its weekly plan is $8.99/week, currently.)
Bumble’s filters are available on both iOS and Android.