A right swipe in 2021 has more possibilities than ever and for apps like Bumble that prioritise productive exchange, this is a watershed moment. After a year of anxiety-ridden isolation, people across the world are looking to make connections — romantic or otherwise. At the very least, this makes swiping more significant than just a commute activity.
When it launched in 2014, Bumble’s main priority was to design a safe virtual space for women (in Bumble women always make the first move), but over time the app has managed to de-clutter the idea of socialising with Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz. This compartmentalised approach gave the app an edge over its biggest rivals since it maximised the chances of engagement across friendly and professional networking.
“Globally, we are committed to creating a space where relationships are healthy and equitable for all genders. At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that we were well-positioned to pivot to virtual dating because we already had our Voice Call and Video Chat features in place. In fact, we recently found that 40 per cent of single Indians claim to opt for virtual dating in 2021,” says Bumble India Communications Director Samarpita Samaddar.
Samaddar also revealed that at 47 per cent, Kolkata ranks highest in India, when it comes to virtual dating, with Mumbai coming in second at 40 per cent. Migrating Kolkatans, for instance, favour Bumble because it helps them make friends in a new city. The app is extremely viable as a socialising tool since users can use its versatile design to explore their sexual preferences.
When it launched in 2014, Bumble’s main priority was to design a safe virtual space for women, but over time the app has managed to de-clutter the idea of socialising with Bumble BFF and Bumble BizzShutterstock
“When I moved to Mumbai for my post-graduation, I explored dating girls for the first time. I went out with one of my matches, but we realised that we weren’t romantically compatible. However, we decided to go grocery shopping together every week, as we were both new to the city, and didn’t know many people. This made my first few months in Mumbai less lonesome, as I had someone who was experiencing the same things as me,” said a Kolkattan who wished to remain anonymous.
She also managed to meet someone who shared her taste in twisted documentaries, while another match helped her out with strength training.
At 47 per cent, Kolkata ranks highest in India, when it comes to virtual dating, with Mumbai coming in second at 40 per cent. Migrating Kolkatans, for instance, favour Bumble because it helps them make friends in a new city
Bumble India Communications Director Samarpita Samaddar
“Despite moving out of Mumbai, I still watch documentaries with my match on Netflix Watch Party, followed by enthusiastic discussions (it’s really nice to talk to someone who doesn’t judge me for what I watch). I met another match for coffee and told him that I had never tried strength training and wanted to experiment. He was planning to go to the gym and took me along, which is not something I would have ever done by myself. We worked out for close to two hours, and we still work out together on Zoom sometimes,” said the working professional.
Another user Prachi Goel incidentally reconnected with an old school friend on Bumble and ended up exchanging playlists. She also met someone who taught her hula hooping and treated her to ice cream.
“I used the travel feature once during the pandemic and matched with this guy from Pune. It’s been a year, and we still exchange memes every day, we have also been there for each other’s lows. The thing is, I keep deleting and reinstalling Bumble and tend to match with the same people. It’s actually pleasant to catch up and see them grow over a period of time,” Goel says.
Kolkata couple Ishita and Rishabh met through Bumble
For Kolkata couple, Ishita and Rishabh, things moved rather fast. Samaddar shares that Ishita downloaded the app in 2020 and was enamoured by Rishabh’s idea of pairing homemade mutton curry with wine for a date. The couple first met in October 2020 and by their second date, they professed their love for each other with the fail-safe ‘I love you.’ After around six months of dating, they finally got married in June 2021.
“We are committed to providing a safe space for kind and respectful connections where you can be your authentic self,” Samaddar adds. Lately, the platform has introduced a variety of features to make virtual interactions more interesting, like Night In (one-to-one games over video chat), Video Notes (sending short videos with Snapchat filters to break the ice) and Bumble has even added an option to share your COVID preferences (virtual or in-person dating).