Bumble, the popular dating app where girls make the first move, has released an update that may turn the dating app world on its head.
The new feature, called BFF, essentially lets users use the same swiping and matching algorithms for friendship instead of dating.
Here’s how it works:
After switching into BFF mode, users will see their potential dates replaced by people of the same sex that Bumble thinks you would want to be friends with.
Once both people swipe right, both parties have 24 hours to initiate a conversation, similar to how Bumble handles same-sex dating today.
To differentiate between BFF and regular Bumble, conversations in the app will be color coded.
Your conversation will be in green when talking to new best friends, and yellow when swiping for a hot date.
And, while the initial roll out will force users to maintain one profile to be used for both dating and BFF mode, the company is working on releasing a dual-profile feature which would let users tailor the pictures and descriptions in their profiles depending on if they are looking for friendship or romance.
But why does Bumble think that its users want to use the platform to find best friends? Because users have not only been requesting the feature, but have already been using the platform for that purpose, the company explained.
Specifically, they have seen users using Bumble as a means to connect with new friends when moving to or just visiting a new city.
While Bumble wouldn’t disclose the specific algorithmic differences between a regular match and a BFF match, the company did say that they are paying “very close attention to interests and friends,” which they obtain from a user’s Facebook profile.
Implementing BFF makes Bumble the first major dating app to expand outside, well, dating.
It’s a brave move by a company that doesn’t really need to try anything new, at least for now. The startup has added 1.5 million users since January alone, and 100 million messages have been exchanged in the last three months.
The new update is live now, and can be downloaded from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.