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Bumble Dating App Founder Steps Down

The founder and chief executive of Bumble, one of the biggest dating apps in the world is stepping down after nearly 10 years in charge. She is handing over to the Slack boss, Lidiane Jones in January.

The Bumble dating app on a phone scree. Photo/Courtesy

Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of bumble, created the company in 2014, will soon become Bumble Inc’s executive chair. She has agreed to step down despite making millions from the application.

The founder said that she was passing over ” the baton to a leader and a woman I deeply respect”.

She was the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire after she made Bumble public in February 2021. The company was created in 2014 and immediately stoop out from all other applications previously initiated.

Bumble stood out from its rivals by putting women in control of the interactions within the application. In other apps, the men are the ones to swipe left or right and initiate conversation with the women. Bumble on the other hand, the woman and man may swipe left or right, but it is up to the woman to decide whether she’d like to have an interaction or not.

This interaction looks like sending the first message to the guy and waiting for a response from them. In instances where the recipient is of the same sex, then either can initiate the interaction. According to the founder, it was about time for women to have some level of control when engaging with the dating apps.

Inspiration behind the App

Ms Wolfe Herd has said she was inspired to create a platform where women “make the first move” by her frustration with archaic gender norms controlling dating. Historically, it has been a predominant fact that men are the ones who ought to make the first move and not the woman. She wanted to change this stereotype and allow women to also have an opportunity to make the first move.

Immediately after its initiation, Bumble Inc’s shares hit a high of $75 but could not maintain that standard. The shares have since tumbled and, following the announcement that Ms Wolfe Herd is stepping down, they dropped to an all-time low of $12.77.

On the positive side, it’s not only Bumble whose shares have dropped, but also Match Group, which owns Tinder and Hinge. Match group has been Bumble’s largest rival.

Ms Wolfe Herd said she was “incredibly optimistic about the future”. According to her, the inception and use of AI would have a massive impact on the growth of the dating app.

“I believe in Bumble Inc’s significant potential today more than ever before,” she added.

Bumble Inc is the parent company to the Bumble dating app, alongside other friendship and business networking apps. These applications have created spaces for different people to connect on the online space and even form business connections.

Ms Jones’ Take Over

Ms Jones is taking over as the boss of the company. She has been the chief executive of Slack, an instant messaging platform. The platform has gained popularity among the workplaces since January 2023. She was previously working for Slack’s parent company, Salesforce and Microsoft.

“As a woman who has spent her career in technology, it’s a gift to lean on my experience to lead a company dedicated to women and encouraging equality, integrity and kindness, all deeply personal and inspiring to me,” Ms Jones said in a statement.

Ms Jones mentioned in an interview that she wants to integrate more AI features into the Bumble Inc products.

“AI can play such a big role in accelerating people finding the right person, finding the right friends and the right community,” she said.

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Fight for Women’s Causes

Bumble has been known for backing women’s safety campaigns, such as calling for cyber-flashing to be made illegal in the UK and EU. Cyber-flashing became illegal in the UK as part of the Online Safety Act in October.

Bumble says it bans users who body shame others, and similar to other dating apps, it uses AI to detect nude photos sent in private chats and lets the recipient to choose to view or block the images.

Read Also: From the Streets to Online Dating: Somalis Turn to Marriage App to Find Love


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