Bumble’s been hinting for a while that they are getting ready to turn on monetization features in their girl-dominated dating app, and now they’ve finally done it.
Starting today users will be able to pay for a package subscription model that will get them three new features for $9.99 per month, with discounts available if you prepay for 3 or 6 months.
The three features are called Beeline, Rematch and Busybee, and are designed to supercharge the mobile dating experience.
The first feature, Beeline, will pre-populate a queue of users who have already “liked” you, so you can skip the swiping and match with them by just tapping yes. While this takes away the mystery of traditional swipe-based dating (will my suitor also swipe yes?), it makes the process much more efficient.
Rematch is exactly what it sounds like – it keeps expired matches in your queue (Bumble matches expire in 24 hours if no conversation is started), so you can try again to get their attention.
The last one, Busy Bee, lets you extend the 24-hour window so you can have another day to try to match with someone. This was previously available for men in the form of “extend”, a feature that was only available on a day. Now paying male users will get unlimited extends, and the feature and will now be available to (paying) female users for the first time.
For comparison, Tinder’s paid version is also $9.99 per month for most users, and offers additional features instead of a paywall. However the features themselves are different, with Tinder instead opting to let you “undo” a swipe and change your location to match with users in other cities.
Bumble’s new paid features sort of overlap – rematching with an expired match essentially gets you the same benefit of just extending the match for 24 hours. But regardless of overlap the features should still be useful enough for hard core Bumble users to shell out $9.99 per month.
The company is stressing that all of these features are optional editions, and no users will lose any features that are currently free. This makes sense, as new paywalls can often disappoint and turn off users – something Bumble definitely doesn’t want to risk doing, especially because of the very strong engagement the platform is currently seeing.
Another example of the startup closely curating the user experience is the fact that Bumble has still refused to add any advertising to the platform. To date they really have only worked with brands on specific features (like Spotify) but did say they are looking to finally let brands advertise on the platform in some form or another by early 2017.