Bumble is one of the most popular apps out there for singles looking for love. It gives you a feel for the other cute people living in your area, and it also requires women who date men to initiate the conversation, which can often feel empowering. But how it does this specifically is somewhat of a mystery. How does Bumble’s algorithm work? And how do you up your chances for success on the app?
I spoke to a Bumble representative to try to figure this out. While the company is pretty secretive about the algorithm itself, it did provide Elite Daily with a list of tips to help users increase their number of matches. And IMO, this gives us some fresh insight into the elements the algorithm might prioritize.
First of all (literally), that first photo is a pretty major deal. “Make sure it’s only you in this first photo,” the Bumble rep says. “It’s great to include photos with your friends too, but you want your potential matches to know just who it is they’ll be swiping right on when they land on your profile.” This might seem like a no-brainer, but how many profiles have you seen where someone starts with a photo of them and a friend? I see this all the time and find it totally confusing. Choose a photo where your face can be seen clearly, and you’re making eye contact with the camera. This will show your potential matches that you’re confident and ready to make connections IRL.
Also, the more detail you put into your profile, the better. “Don’t leave your profile blank!” the Bumble rep advises. “This is your opportunity to show off your amazing sense of humor and let your next potential match get to know a little bit about you. Everyone loves a funny, unique profile.” Be specific when it comes to your interests. If you love to travel, what’s your favorite place you’ve been? If you cook a mean breakfast dish, what’s the meal, exactly? This will give potential matches a glimpse into the little things that make you you.
It might seem logical to put up only the best photos of yourself, but keeping your profile authentic will help people feel more connected to you. “Keep your highlight reel real,” the Bumble rep suggests. “Your photos are all about showcasing slices of your actual life, especially the slices you’d like to share with someone.” Include photos of you doing your favorite activities or spending time with people you love. This will attract people to you because it’s clear you have a full and multi-faceted life.
What these tips tell us is that Bumble likely rewards users for putting the work into their profile. If you leave your bio blank or only include one blurry photo of yourself, your profile may not be shown to as many people. It’s been theorized on Zoosk that Bumble puts popular users early in the queue (users that have received the highest number of right swipes), so it’s certainly useful to make yourself as attractive and unique as possible.
Another rumor going around on the dating advice sites Dude Hack is that Bumble doesn’t show you people based on who you’ve previously shown interest in. According to this theory, doesn’t learn “your type,” so to speak, so just because you may go for a certain type of guy or woman, you’ll still be seeing people of all shapes and sizes.
It’s also pretty clear that Bumble does not punish inactive users (a common theory about its number one rival, Tinder). Even if you haven’t been actively swiping in weeks, your profile will appear in the queues of other people in your area. This is helpful when you forget to use the app for a while, because you’ll still be able to match with others at the same rate as usual.
Overall, while it's not clear exactly how this super-secret algorithm works, I’d say there are some pretty strong indicators of the things you can do to help yourself succeed. Keep it real, keep it genuine, and don’t be afraid to show off your humor and personal style. After all, dating should be fun and creative, and you’re more likely to stand out when you’re sharing unique facets of your personality. If your profile makes you feel sexy, fun, and happy, it’s almost certain your potential matches will feel the same way.