We are living in a time where everyone has instant access to anyone they have ever met through the power of the internet and social media. One would think that because of this it would be easy to meet people and form close friendships, however, that is not always the case. Social media can help people stay in touch with others, but doesn’t necessarily help in the form of meeting new people within their communities. This is where dating apps can prove to be helpful, they match up those within the same vicinity with similar interests and allow them to form connections with people they may have not had the chance to meet otherwise. Now Bumble, a popular dating app, has extended its reach one step further with Bumble BFF – an app where you can potentially meet your new best friend.
Bumble, the dating app, released in 2014 after its founder left Tinder (a company she co-founded). Shortly after in 2016 Bumble BFF was created with the hopes of connecting people for the purposes of friendship. The app is very similar to other dating apps; first, you create a profile with photos and a description of who you are, provide your location, the distance you’d be willing to travel for a connection, and a list of activities you’d be interested in. Then, once your profile is complete, you are given the opportunity to match with those in your area. After looking through the profile of someone in your list of options, you can either swipe right to add them to a queue of people you could match up with, or swipe left to remove them from your options. If both you and another person swipe right, you will have 24 hours to start a message thread with someone. Once one person initiates a message, the other person only has 24 hours to send their initial reply before the conversation goes inactive. However, if you accidentally let a conversation go inactive with someone you felt would be a good option for friendship, don’t fret – you will return to each other’s list of options with the opportunity to match again!
The Bumble BFF app was brought to my attention by an influencer I follow on Instagram whose handle is @balancedmissbailey (she is a great person to follow if you are looking for healthy recipes, cute dogs, and general lifestyle content). Bailey used Bumble BFF to match up with women in her local area of DC after realizing how difficult it can be to meet friends organically as an adult. Through Instagram stories, she has outlined the few meetups she attended for her followers and has said she is still good friends with one of her matches. It was inspiring to see that someone with a great social media presence and influence was also in the same boat as many of us – mid to late ’20s, married or in a relationship, and having difficulty finding a group of close-knit girlfriends in her area – and that she had success with an app that though it’s been around for a while, isn’t the most talked-about social connection option on the internet.
While there are definitely more options for women, Bumble BFF is also a great option for men to find social connections. It would be nice if they could push for men to use their BFF feature because when my husband Devin used it, he struggled to find any connection at all. Devin explains “half of the guys using BFF were trying to use the dating platform and picked the wrong part of the app by mistake. The other half weren’t really people I could relate to well or they hadn’t completed their profile. It would be cool if they found a way to make it more popular with men looking for friendships.” When I personally used BFF, I started and held conversations with multiple women who were in a similar life stage as I am, and we did talk for a decent amount of time, however, the conversations never advanced to a meetup. That’s not saying the app doesn’t work by any means, I just wasn’t in the place (location-wise and in life) to create the opportunity to meet up.
Everyone who finds meeting new people in their 20’s and 30’s difficult should consider trying Bumble BFF – you may be surprised who you find a connection with!
Media by Ashley Chaney.