What do People Hate About the Bumble Dating App?

This is the first post on a series of the things people hate about some of the hottest dating apps. It is there that we can find very interesting insights on how the dating market operates, and how it can be improved.

During the last 12 months, a total of 948 Bumble users from USA wrote 1105 1-star reviews at the Apple AppStore. So in the spirit of constant improvement, we at Soul (mBaaS for dating apps) analyzed each and every one of them. It was a funny process, but also painful at times.

Now, it’s important to mention that we did this not to blatantly trash Bumble, but to shed light on some of the issues that users are experiencing with the app. Hopefully, this will allow the community of developers in the dating market, or social apps in general, to know what mistakes to avoid and what the current big players in dating apps are doing.

As far as I know, no one is actually doing this kind of analysis and publishing their findings. So we went ahead and did a thorough review of all the negative stuff people are saying about Bumble, then summed it up into the following issues.

Technical Issues

The large majority of negative comments, 48% to be exact, were on technical issues like the app crashing, freezing, taking too long to download, too long to load every time it’s opened, and other glitches.

Reportedly, there were quite a number of issues around getting matches at all. A total of 117 reviews were about problems related to matches, which is 11% of all the reviews.

In general, these commenters said that even swiping only right does not result in matches. Some stated that there must be something wrong with the matching algorithm or formula.

There are various examples such as this one:

“…….Everyday I swipe right 250–300 girls and no luck?? Something fishy.”

I know I know, perhaps there are people out there that may be… uhm, not so attractive? But come on! No matches out of 250+ swipes?? And that happening to 177 people who actually decided to review the app? Let alone those who just erased the app and moved on…

But anyway, another common complaint with matches was deleting those that expired:

“The recent bumble “upgrades” are terrible. I can’t imagine why anyone wants to see expired matches or at the very least why you can’t delete expired matches. It’s cluttered and I plan to delete the app.”

Additionally, 7% of the 1-star reviewers mentioned that they’re not big fans of the Bumble differentiator that makes messages from new matches disappear after 24 hours. The most common reason being that they might not get around to seeing messages within the 24 hour limit, since they reportedly don’t use the app that much.

Some users even complained about their match disappearing before the 24-hour limit, or even being matched to a person they hadn’t swiped right to, or even seen their profile. This sounds more like a bug or programming mistake.

Facebook and profile moderation

Another common flaw highlighted by users is that being on Facebook is a prerequisite for using Bumble. The logic behind most of these comments is that not everyone is on Facebook. As one user put it:

“Not everyone has or wants a facebook profile…there are other ways to verify I’m a real person. This is so stupid”

Additionally, among those that do have a Facebook profile, several claimed that the Facebook login doesn’t work and that the app often crashes when attempting to do this.

Others complained about Bumble providing too much of their Facebook’s information to people they hadn’t met. But I mean come on, the app won’t do everything for you. Take the time to configure the privacy settings people!

Some users had issues with uploading pictures on their profile or updating profile information. Some claimed that their profile was deleted when they added a new profile image. 10 persons stated that their profile was eliminated for no apparent reason.

“…….I posted a very modest photo from a photo shoot of me with a lacy bralette on. No nipple was showing, yet the moderators flagged my photo and removed it from the app for being obscene. I have seen numerous guys in speedos with bulge on display, multiple women’s profiles with bikini pics and even thong backs, but yet for some reason my photo is one that isn’t allowed. I will NOT be using this app again because they have a very skewed perception of what obscene photography is. Absolutely ridiculous and further perpetuates a rape culture where the victim asked for it. I’m appalled.”

Some even said their profile was still live even after voluntarily deleting it.

“If there was an option for a zero rating, I would’ve used it instead!!! I only used this app for a day. I deleted the app and also from the Facebook app settings (to be sure) several months ago. I was notified by a friend that my profile is still live in the app this week!! This is very unprofessional of Bumble to use information from deleted profiles. I contacted their feedback email and have gotten no response. Unbelievable. Don’t use this app!!”

User base

What really makes a dating app thrive is the people that are in it, but the general impression with those that left negative reviews for Bumble wasn’t too keen about the user base. A total of 248 comments complained about something related to the quality and motives of some users, both male and female.

For example, while most agree that there are a lot of beautiful men and women on the app (if they are not fake profiles), many said most of them have no quality, in terms of not being able to hold a conversation or being shady in their motives. Shockingly, some commenters reported coming across men soliciting drugs on the app.

What the hell, right? I mean who in the right mind thinks that a woman one approaches on a dating app might be a good person to buy drugs from?

Additionally, some users complained about a lack of diversity or inclusiveness within the app. With some commenting that only white men get matches on the app, others stating that there is simply no diversity and one going as far as to say that the app only works for straight people.

Various other reviews about Bumble mentioned something about fake profiles. More specific, 172 reviews focused entirely on that.

Commenters stated that people on Bumble do not exist with some estimating that up to 90% of the profiles they encountered seemed fake to them. Let’s take a look at some of those comments:

“I’ve talked to many people- both guys and girls- about their frustration with this app. It seems as if the app shows you a bunch of insanely attractive people, but there’s just one problem- they don’t actually exist, so you’ll never match with them.”

Others even speculated as to Bumble employing fake women to send the first message to people they match with in order to keep them interested.

“…….Because Bumble has a silly rule that women write first, Bumble employees actually write from the fake profiles to keep you interested, but only write once. They never write again. And every time you search, the first 10–20 women will ALWAYS be fake models, with well-written fake bios, and then they send you 1 fake message so you think you have a chance with the hottie…….”

It is worth mentioning though, it’s much more likely that this sort of experience is the result of having some bots in the platform, rather than Bumble employees using fake profiles (which sounds kind of like a conspiracy theory). Either way, the fact that there are people who have this perception certainly diminishes value from the app’s overall experience, wouldn’t you agree?

As you probably know, one of the main differentiators that Bumble has going on in terms of user guidelines is that women are the only ones that can initiate conversations. Some stated that it has its downsides because women are not naturally “initiators”. Even a woman seemed to have a negative opinion about this:

“At first I liked this app. However, after a while I realized it’s really geared to benefit men. They are inundated with women reaching out to them so they no longer need to put effort into finding a mate. In short, this app gives them the “it’s a squirrel!” syndrome. Sad to say, no longer a fan of Bumble.”

In the digital age, no business can survive long without a good customer service, but 22% of the most negative comments were about service-related complaints.

Those commenters stated that they had gotten no response at all when soliciting assistance. Some are convinced that the site has no actual human beings working in customer service.

As one of them said:

“If you have an issue don’t bother emailing them. They do not respond. I paid for bumble boost and it’s gone although my subscription is showing as active in iTunes. First email sent over a week ago with no response. Sent several follow ups and have received…no response.”

Another person mentioned that what little customer service there is, it’s often poor or ill-informed:

“…….When I contacted customer service the first time, they gave me completely unrelated advice, then once I called them out on it, they told me to delete the app and then reload it. I did that and still had the problem. So I told them again, and they blamed it on me. Customer service 101 — do not blame technical problems on your customer……”

Charges and subscription

Although downloading the app and using its basic features is still free, a lot of people are obviously not happy with the fact that they have to pay to see who has liked them. Some allude that it’s not an entirely free dating app like others out there. In their words:

“This whole withholding matches thing is terrible. I’d rather have a free app with ads than have one with limited capability. There are too many free options out there for this to work. Find another way to monetize before you decimate your user base!”

Though a lot of people complained about the introduction of charges, lots of others went ahead and paid the subscription. Nevertheless, 67 users reported that they still had issues with the app after subscribing.

Out of those, 27% stated that their matches still disappeared after they paid for subscription. 10% said the paid version did not lead to more matches. 10% could not unsubscribe afterwards and some claimed they were still charged after deleting their account.

“Bugged. I am subscribed and it just keeps telling me to subscribe when I try to use it. Fix please.”

Finale

So this is what those reviewers that gave the app 1-star are saying. It is worth mentioning that although many of the negative things people said about the app were the result of people misusing it, (which is all about the user base really), developers should tackle this sort of problems and create user experiences that can modify behaviors and prevent this sort of things from happening.

In the end, that was the whole point of looking at the far end of the negative-opinion spectrum for an app like Bumble and analyzing what people said. By shedding light on those issues, we can learn from what most likely were honest mistakes in the first stages of the app, so we can develop better and more effective dating app experiences for people to benefit from.

awesome illustrations were made by Anna Goncharova from Kyiv, Ukraine.

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I’m the guy behind PURE hookup app and SOUL, mobile backend for dating apps. Drop me a line if you want an advice on starting your online dating business.