New Female-Focused Plum Dating App Aims To Pick Up Where Bumble Leaves Off

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Plum Dating App

Bumble took the dating industry by storm when it launched in 2014. As a bold departure from its competitors, Bumble required women to make the first move. Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd made it her mission to create a platform rooted in kindness and respect, where outdated heterosexual norms are challenged and gender equality is championed both online and in the real world. It proved to be a winning formula. Bumble is behind 4 billion swipes and 850 million matches to date, and a rumored IPO could value the company at over $1 billion.

So would you be crazy to take on Bumble in the female-centric dating sphere? Perhaps, but that’s exactly what Jenna Birch and Dave Brandner hope to do with their new dating platform, Plum.

Plum was born out of a desire to solve two problems in the dating space: reducing sexual harassment and hostile messaging that is too often instigated by men toward women, and giving women a customized user experience based on their communication preferences.

“We’ve designed Plum with connection and real relationship-building in mind, and we’ve really thought about the female experience in the process,” Birch told Bustle. “So many swiping apps are tailored toward quick-hit matching that doesn’t stick — which can be good for a certain type of goal, but has made online relationships harder to achieve than it feels they should be with all those options. So many apps feel chaotic or overwhelming. Plum won’t be.”

Unlike Bumble, where women must initiate conversations, Plum offers women a choice. Female users can choose whether they want to initiate or receive the first message, and easily swap back and forth between the two options, using a toggle feature. After communication begins, women are given the opportunity to rate male matches in three categories - Profile Authenticity, Communication and Follow-Through. The rating tool is available for a limited period of time and may only be used once.

Men who have higher ratings are rewarded with a boost in the algorithm that increases the number of women they are shown to in the match deck. Everyone, in theory, benefits - the system gives respectful men with high scores an increased chance of matching, while women receive crucial information about male users’ character they cannot get on any other dating app. Birch and Brander hope the rating system will incentivize men to “bring their A-game” by making Plum a place where nice guys actually do finish first.

Beta testing for Plum is currently underway. Follow Plum on Instagram for updates.