Wolfe was a co-founder at Tinder and widely credited with boosting that app’s popularity on college campuses.She was fired in the midst of a breakup with Justin Mateeen, the service’s chief marketer.“Guys found it to be ‘desperate,’ when it wasn’t desperate, it was part of a broken system.” Like many startup founders, Wolfe has big ambitions for the service: “It’s not a dating app, it’s a movement,” she says.“This could change the way women and men treat each other, women and men date, and women feel about themselves.” Bumble launched about six months ago and seems to be catching on.“So did I.” Wouldn’t it be nice, she continues, if there were a bubble over his head listing his job and his education?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?
For Wolfe, 25, that key difference is about “changing the landscape” of online dating by putting women in control of the experience.“I felt like I was being punked or something, because all the guys are really good looking and had really good jobs,” explains Lauren Garzon, a 32-year old hotel manager in NYC.“So I was like, ‘Ya, I do want to date all of you.'” She says she was disappointed that few of the guys she messaged wrote back, but Jen Stith, a spokeswoman for Bumble, says the company is considering adding a time limit to encourage guys to respond more quickly to messages. “Because girls like it,” says Bryan Oltman, a 28-year old Bumble user and software engineer who used to work at OKCupid.In essence, the app is an attempt to answer her train of questions above.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.“It’s important to me that nothing we do harms Tinder,” she says. It’s my baby.” But that doesn’t mean she’s not using similar tactics to get it off the ground.