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Are Bumble and Tinder Essentially the Same App?

A screenshot of someone's phone with the Bumble Tinder apps on it.

Dating has completely changed in the past decade or so. When someone is freshly single, or ready to try something new, they’re entering a whole new world of connecting with other people. Whereas there were people who refused to online date previously, it seems that more and more people are hopping over to download at least one of the many dating apps available out there.

Two of the most popular apps, Bumble and Tinder, are among the most commonly downloaded. According to Much Needed, Tinder is used in 196 countries and has about 50 million users. Bumble, on the other hand, according to Forbes, has over 35 million users.

That’s a lot of people and chances are, many of those people have both apps (and then some). But what’s the real difference between the two apps, besides personal choice? Are they essentially the same thing?

The similarities between Tinder and Bumble are clear. They are both dating apps. Both apps utilizing the game-changing “swipe,” meaning you swipe right when you like someone and swipe left when you’re not interested. Both apps can link to your social media profiles. You can set up your Bumble and Tinder through Facebook and both have an option to show off your Instagram feed and Spotify playlists. Each app relies heavily on pictures (quality ones, hopefully) and each allow you to display some information about you—a bio as well as if you smoke, drink, your religious preferences, etc. Both Tinder and Bumble also encourage users to pay for their product, if you feel so inclined to up your dating game even more.

But the differences are pretty major, in fact, major enough that they can’t rightfully be declared the same app. The biggest difference between Bumble and Tinder? On Bumble, women have to reach out first. When you use Tinder and get a match, anyone can reach out to the other person—or neither of you have to reach out at all. On Bumble, you have 24 hours (in the free version) to reach out if you are a woman. If you are a man, you simply have to wait patiently for the gal to message you first. If you are two women or two men using Bumble, the person to swipe last is the one who has to reach out first.

Bumble also is a little more interactive. It will hand you questions to answer—like “What is your go-to karaoke song?” and will also encourage women to be creative in their messages. So if you’re stumped for ideas, Bumble has your back.

While both dating apps are definitely keeping up with the times, there are clearly people who prefer Tinder over Bumble and vice versa. Though there is no data to prove this, it is also undefined knowledge that people who are looking for more of a serious relationship will likely use Bumble more whereas people who may want to just hook up will turn to Tinder. There are plenty of couples who have met and stayed together from Tinder, and people who have just hooked up from Bumble, but regardless, those are the reputations each app has gained.

For the most part, Bumble and Tinder are different animals in the same jungle. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are not the same thing.

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