What is the most unusual thing that you have been entertaining yourself these last weeks? What do you think about after having two glasses of wine? What do you dream about often? These are some of the questions suggested by the Bumble dating app to break the ice between two people who have liked each other. Both must respond, and neither will see the other’s response until both have answered. For Tariq Shaukat, president of Bumble, the parent company that owns Bumble and Badoo itself—, the “big challenge” of apps dating is precisely finding a way to get two users to start talking.
“How do you normally meet new people? I think the most popular way in Western Europe and America to find a partner is by dating on-line. Second, there is meeting through friends. Someone introduces you to someone and you meet in a social environment where it is easier to have informal and fun conversations, “he says. Generating an environment in which the user can have this type of conversation is the objective of the app.
But if the application is characterized by something, it is because in heterosexual connections only girls can begin to speak. “The conversation is in your hands. You have 24 hours to take the first step, ”he tells the women. If the girl does not talk to the boy in that time, the chat expires and you can only talk to him again if you pay a subscription. Shaukat says that the goal of only women being able to take the first step is “to create a more equitable, friendly and inclusive environment”: “Bumble is about giving women control of the relationship.”
Shaukat says that Whitney Wolfe, the founder of Bumble, “is very fond of saying that the way a relationship begins is the way it ends: if you start with respect, there will continue to be respect throughout the relationship. This is not only for women, it is also for men who want to be in that type of relationship and feel that that is what matters. ” Is sexual harassment a problem on dating apps? “Undoubtedly, there are women who are being sexually harassed and who are experiencing aggressive behavior. Part of the design of Bumble was trying to put an end to that, ”she responds.
After a Bumble campaign in Texas a law has come into force that penalizes those who send nude photos without the consent of the recipient – whether on a dating or messaging app. “Users of different apps of dating say they are receiving unwanted images and that they feel that it is inappropriate and unjustified harassment, “says the president of Bumble. Badoo recently launched a tool called “private detector” that identifies photographs of male genitalia, giving users the option of viewing them or not.
Finding love online
Badoo was born in Spain in 2006. The founder, Russian businessman Andrey Andreev, He lived in this country and experienced how difficult it can be to meet people when you live abroad and don’t know anyone. It has been more than a decade since then. Now both this app and Bumble, launched in 2014, are available in more than 150 countries, and finding love online is more common than it was then, according to Shaukat.
“In 2006 there were no such smart phones that today are surgically attached to our skin. Online behaviors have become normalized. Everyone has gotten used to living in a world on-line Y offline at the same time ”, he maintains. To this is added that more and more people know people who have found love in these apps: “I joined the company a few weeks ago [antes trabajaba en Google Cloud] and when I announced it on Facebook, it was amazing how many people from my private sphere wrote to tell me that they had met their partner in these apps. Everyone knows someone who has met their partner through an application ”.
The company does not offer specific data on how many users use both applications, which in addition to a partner allow you to find new friends. But Shaukat assures that the Spanish market is “a rapidly growing market.” Bumble plans to open a new office in Barcelona soon – the first in Spain. The company plans to start hiring up to 40 engineers in the coming weeks to handle the back end and mobile development on iOS and Android. “We will not necessarily open a physical office until it is clear that it is safe from a public health point of view,” he says. The goal is for new workers to join, either physically or virtually, before the end of this year.
As in other apps Like Tinder, users around the world have been more active on Bumble and Badoo during the pandemic. Shaukat assures that “the quarantine has exacerbated the need to connect with other people.” There are more and more “slow dates”. “Since you can’t meet someone in person, you spend more time chatting or making video calls before meeting at a bar or going to a show on a date. Users get to know their potential partner better before dating. They develop deeper relationships and have conversations that they normally wouldn’t if they could get together in a bar quickly, “he concludes.
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