Bumble Just Made A Major Change For Male Users

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Use it or lose it. That’s the motto men on Bumble will have to live by from now on. The dating app just announced that male users are now required to reply to women's messages within 24 hours or they lose the match.

Bumble has always been unique. At first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for Tinder 2.0 - but look closer and you’ll notice the key difference that has made the app a hit in its own right. Once a pair is matched on Bumble, only the woman can send a message. If she doesn’t do it within 24 hours, her match buzzes off into cyberspace, never to be seen again.

By requiring women to make the first move, Bumble takes a feminist stance and places power firmly in female users’ hands. The new update levels the playing field between the sexes even further by requiring men to respond within the same timeframe.

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe told Mashable that the goal was to make it an “even keel” experience. "She was held to 24 hours to reach out to you,” Wolfe said. “We feel it's only fair you're confined to the same rules." Previously, men had unlimited time to answer messages.

"I know the whole idea is that it's empowering women, but it also just puts the ball in the guy's court and starts a 'wait and see' game," New Yorker Lauren Drell told Mashable. "It means we need to rush but then a guy can take their time in replying back and vetting options."

Wolfe also says that by applying the 24-hour restriction to all users, they can't "rack up" their number of matches anymore - a common practice on other platforms. "It's helping objectify women less," she explained.

A final goal for the new rule is to prevent ghosting, an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in online dating. According to data from Fortune magazine, 80% of Millennials have been ghosted at some point. Bumble has found that the number of messages sent and chats initiated has significantly increased since the introduction of the time limit.

Male responses to female-initiated chats have gone up 18%, and a chat is 70% more likely to continue once there is a reply. The app has also witnessed a 9% increase in women sending the first message since men are replying to their initial message.

Bumble is confident that the good news will keep coming. Along with being the most frequently requested feature, says Wolfe, testing in the UK found that the male 24-hour timer increased response rate by 20%.