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Bumble's new CEO is rethinking whether women should be required to message first

Jordan Hart   

Bumble's new CEO is rethinking whether women should be required to message first
  • Bumble CEO Lidiane Jones told investors the dating app will look different when it relaunches.
  • Jones said it's reconsidering whether women will have to make the first move anymore.

Bumble might work differently for female users when the dating app relaunches later this year.

With Lidiane Jones as the new CEO, Bumble could be axing the feature that made it stand out from its competition. During a Q4 earnings call, Jones told investors that she's not so sure about women "making the first move" on Bumble anymore.

"It feels like a burden for a subset of our customers today," Jones said on the call.

Since it was founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, the app has boasted its female-focused mission. Talks of removing the feature began under Wolfe Herd, but Jones began overhauling Bumble when she took over in November.

Now, a relaunch is expected in the second quarter of 2024 as Bumble tests out new ways to let its users connect without women having to message first. Some of the potential changes could include allowing men to message first or letting women choose pre-written greetings.

The changes Bumble is considering as it looks to relaunch underscore the competitive landscape of modern dating apps, as the companies behind them regularly experiment with new payment structures and features to entice people to choose their product, such as offering increasingly expensive tiers.

In late February, Bumble slashed 350 jobs as part of a series of moves to "transform our organization and accelerate our product roadmap," Jones previously said in a statement. Around the same time, she began building out a team of executives at Bumble made up of people who once worked with her at Slack.

Meanwhile, people who once relied on dating apps have flocked to social media with complaints and stories about deleting their profiles. Some have looked to alternatives, such as writing date-me Google Docs.

One user told Business Insider that Bumble was initially a better alternative to Tinder before it was oversaturated with people looking to hook up.

A Bumble representative told BI to expect more details on the relaunch in the coming months.

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