A year after she was ousted from Tinder and nine months after she sued the company for sexual harassment, Wolfe is back with a dating app of her own, dubbed Bumble.In essence, the app is an attempt to answer her train of questions above.
Their Austin-based office has only six employees—and five of them are women.
Wolfe was a co-founder at Tinder and widely credited with boosting that app’s popularity on college campuses.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get up and say ‘Hi?
’ And wouldn’t it be nice if there was no way he would think you were desperate or weird if you did?
“This isn’t necessarily a tech problem, this is a society problem,” she says.
“I don’t think it’s been socially acceptable for women to drop out of college and start a tech company.” Wolfe is adamant that “Bumble has nothing to do with Tinder,” but the comparisons are inevitable—they have similar matching mechanisms (the swipe) similar designs (Tinder designers Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick also designed Bumble) and similar marketing on college campuses.It works just like other dating apps—users see pictures of other users, swipe right if they like what they see, and get matched if the interest is mutual.But there’s one essential difference: on Bumble, only women can send a message first.For Wolfe, 25, that key difference is about “changing the landscape” of online dating by putting women in control of the experience.“He can’t say you’re desperate, because the app made you do it,” she says, adding that she tells her friends to make the first move and just “blame Bumble.” Matches expire after 24 hours, which provides an incentive for women to reach out before it’s too late (the women-message-first feature is only designed for straight couples—if you’re LGBTQ, either party can send the first message.) Wolfe says she had always been comfortable making the first move, even though she felt the stigma around being too forward.She was fired in the midst of a breakup with Justin Mateeen, the service’s chief marketer.