Bumble dating app no longer requires women to make first move

Bumble is moving away from its defining feature that previously required women to make the first move, underscoring the company’s desire to evolve with its consumers. 

On Tuesday, the dating app announced it would be expanding upon its signature "Make the First Move" functionality with the launch of "Opening Moves," which gives women more choices in how they make romantic connections. 

With the new feature, women have the option to set a question that their matches can respond to, creating a new way to engage with connections while keeping women in control. They can choose one of the questions Bumble offers or create their own. 

In nonbinary or same-sex matches, either person can set or reply to the question.


File: The Bumble app on a smartphone. (Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a recent Bumble survey, nearly half of women (46%) said that having more ways to start a conversation would make their dating app experience better. 

"We’re excited to offer more choice in how women make the first move with our new Opening Moves feature," Lidiane Jones, the CEO of Bumble, said in a statement. "We have always believed that when you make dating better for women, you make it better for everyone. In listening to our community, many have shared their exhaustion with the current online dating experience, and for some, that includes making the first move."

During a testing phase, Bumble found that Opening Moves improved meaningful conversations on the app by increasing chat initiation and reply rates, as well as lengthening the time spent in a conversation.


Dating app Bumble is expanding upon its signature Make The First Move functionality with the launch of Opening Moves to give women more choice in how they make romantic connections. (Credit: Business Wire/Bumble)

"We want to evolve with our community, shifting from a fixed approach to giving women more options in how they engage," Jones continued.

Beyond the Opening Moves feature, Bumble is also changing its look with a redesign, one of many changes it's made since Jones took over as CEO in January. 

When Bumble launched in 2014, women had the control of their dating lives by flipping traditional gender roles and challenging the antiquated rules of dating. 

RELATED: Tinder, Hinge unveil new safety features for users: Here’s what to know

But recent Bumble research showed women’s experiences have evolved – especially regarding empowerment in online dating. 

In a survey by Bumble, equality remained a priority in relationships with the overwhelming majority (92%) of women stating it was a top marker in romance. However, the way women defined equality evolved with almost 9 in 10 (88%) of single women surveyed on the app stating that equality was about personal choice and autonomy to decide what’s right for you.

This news follows Tinder and Hinge’s recent rollout of new protective features to make matching and dating safer for users

Last week, the popular dating apps announced they would launch safety features including Tinder’s "Share My Date" and Hinge’s "Hidden Words." 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.