What you need to know
- Bumble has launched a new app, Bumble for Friends.
- The app is a standalone version of the Bumble BFF mode found on the app primarily used for dating.
- Bumble BFF aims to make it easier to set up group meets.
- Current Bumble BFF users can move their profiles over to the new app by logging in with the same credentials.
While it’s primarily known for finding dates, Bumble actually has two other modes that aim to help users network or make friends. However, per an announcement this week, Bumble has now spun off its BFF mode into a standalone app dubbed “Bumble for Friends.”
The new app functions much like the original one, allowing you to upload multiple photos, fill out various prompts, and highlight your interests and what you’re looking for in a friend. The app will try to match you with others based on mutual interests, and you can either swipe right or left on their profiles.
I was a big fan of the BFF mode in the original app, and I even highlighted how Bumble BFF helped me escape the Seattle freeze when I moved to a new state where I knew almost no one. I never used the dating or networking modes, and having a standalone app for Bumble BFF keeps them fully out of my eye line with a targeted app for anyone just looking for friends.
One benefit of the new Bumble for Friends app is that it wants to make it easier to plan and execute real-life meetups, particularly with groups. From the conversations list, users can start a group chat with at least two other members they’ve matched with, which can help bring even more people together to chat, plan, and meet.
Bumble also helps things along by suggesting activities you can select from, or you can make your own. And the person who creates the group chat can also create a title for the chat.
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The app remains free to use, although the paid premium offering is still available for users that want to get more out of the app. That lets you see who has liked you, lets you backtrack on swipes, gives you unlimited likes, and more.
Bumble also makes it easy to transfer your profile over if you already used the BFF mode; all you have to do is sign in with the same login information. Keep in mind that if you transfer your Bumble BFF profile over to the new app, you can’t move it back. However, it doesn’t appear like transferring to the new app is mandatory if you want to keep things on the same app.
So far, the experience seems generally the same as what I’m used to. However, I have noticed that current matches are appearing in my carousel of potential matches, which makes things a little confusing. The app still seems to only recommend people of the same gender identity, which limits the experience a bit for people who are open to making friends of all sorts, although the company seemed to suggest to TechCrunch that this could change down the line.
Bumble for Friends is available now on iOS and Android.