We Asked Women How They Act on Bumble vs. Tinder

"When messaging guys, your opening line can just be, 'Hey,' because all you have to do is say 'hey' and they’ll send you a dick pic."

|
Jun 28 2017, 3:55pm

Images courtesy of author

We've all been there at our local wifi-equipped cafe, swiping left after left on guys named Chad. And even the guys who get a right swipe can fire off countless sexist and degrading comments, (and unasked for dick pics) leaving you questioning the possibility of finding non-trash anywhere within dating apps.

Bumble, often branded as the "feminist dating app," was supposed to change this with its second-wave feminism/Sadie Hawkins dance mentality. Still, cheesy lines asking to prove a dinosaur called a "tri-Sarah-topless" haven't quite gone extinct yet.

Is there really any difference between 2017's go-to mobile dating apps or is it just marketing? I asked a number of women to compare their experiences and give me the lowdown on how they give out their right swipes on each platform.

Maggie Sun, 20

Maggie Sun | Image courtesy of author

Do you use different pictures/bio on Bumble than on Tinder?
I use the same pictures, but I'm not using Tinder anymore so I put a really funny picture on Tinder of a character from a Chinese TV show, but you know what's funny, I get a lot of matches. They're really desperate. I put a funny and ugly picture and I still get matches. They look normal, I wouldn't say they're good-looking, they're decent, I was really surprised that I still got matches. Someone still asked me out even though. One said it hurts my eyes and asked what kind of drugs I use because he wants to get to my level. I don't believe in Tinder anymore. Honestly, I think guys and girls are more good-looking on Bumble than on Tinder.

Are you looking for something serious or casual? Which app is your go-to?
Casual. Mostly if I talk to someone on Bumble, I'll just exchange Instagram or something and that's it. So I wouldn't ask them out but they wouldn't bother to ask me out. I would kind of hope when I got matches in real life I would start to talk to them, but they never mention anything about asking me out.

What's your technique or strategy to strike up a conversation?
I don't really have a strategy, just, try to find some things we have in common. I tend to check people who go to our school so we have stuff to talk about, like events coming up, or someone we may know like, "do you know this guy from your department?"

How do you decide who to message?
Read their profile, look at pictures, social media. If there are a lot of selfies, it'll give me the impression that they're narcissists. Or pictures of them flexing, they're really dumb. I tend to message those people that give me the impression that they're fun, not narcissistic.

What tips would you give to a guy who wants someone to message them on Bumble?
Work on your profile. Don't put flexing pictures. And don't put group shots, I can't really tell which one is you, if there's a good-looking person and an ugly person. Just a normal picture, don't try too hard.

People call Bumble the feminist dating app. Thoughts?
Feminist? I don't think it works that way. Even if you take the initiative, it's still up to the guy if they're willing to chat with you or not. It's a two-way communication.

Are you the type of person who reaches out or takes the initiative to ask the person out?
Sometimes. It depends. With girls I reach out a lot, with guys, i just hope they come talk to me.

How do you feel about messaging first?
Because I'm from China, here I'm kind of socially awkward. I'm trying to find a subject to talk about. That's the main problem for me, it's a lot of anxiety. I have no trouble talking to people with the same background as me. Here, it's just a cultural thing. I run out of things to talk about.

Recount your best Bumble anecdote.
I've only talked to two people. [One] person was a guy, really good-looking, in a band. So I was trying to ask what's your favourite type of music? And we exchanged information, and I said I like this band, and he just ignored me. I was like, is this the band that you don't like? I met one guy from my school [on Tinder], we see each other everyday and then we matched. He's in visual arts, and he said 'Girl, are you a painting, because I want to draw something on you.'

Oh, ew.
I was like, no.

Paula Aiko Watanabe, 19

Paula Aiko Watanabe | Image courtesy of author

What do you do when you accidentally swipe right or super-like?
When I accidentally swipe right I give the person another chance by looking at their profile a second time. I use my personal filtering system… first, looks for initial chemistry. Second, a bio that really describes who they identify as a person, or gives me ANY sort of hint of intelligence. Third, age, I'm currently in the market for 21-27. Fourth, perspective. I really appreciate when pictures are taken with good perspective.

Do you use different pictures/bio on Bumble than on Tinder?
I used different pictures on Bumble than I did on Tinder. My Tinder only lasted one night, because I felt safer on Bumble. Tinder makes me feel like I'm swimming in a river without a raft.

Are you looking for something serious or casual? Which app is your go-to?
If I'm looking for a hookup or something serious, either way is through Bumble. I am most comfortable and familiar with Bumble's layout. I choose to use it for either a hook-up or something serious, because it's like my neighborhood grocery store. I can grab a snack, or get a full meal. I know where the app is, and what to do.

What was the weirdest bio you saw on Tinder and which was the weirdest on Bumble?
The weirdest bio I've ever seen on Bumble is the kind where the person pretends their bio is like the back of a DVD, and lists all of the awards they've pulled out of their ass. For example: "Person of the Year: my best friend. The Most Handsome Man—my mother."

How do you feel about having to message first?
I feel like I should message first if I need to. I do this because women or men are people, and should do what they feel is right. Men don't have to always start conversation, women can too. I think men who can't message first should remind themselves if they don't do anything, the women might not.

What's your technique or strategy to strike up a conversation?
If I meet someone in person I tell them about how they make me feel, and on apps I begin a conversation based on their bio.

How do you decide who to message? What tips do you have for the men who can't message first?
I message whoever I'd like to when I feel the timing is right, or when I'm feeling lonely.

Do you think Bumble is a heteronormative environment?
I'm not entirely straight, and I've looked at women and thought I'd like to date you and you. But I've also looked through apps like Her, and I think that Bumble and Tinder are used predominantly by straight people. I think there's a huge opportunity for more apps to be made for people within the LGBTQ community. But if you are LGBTQ, you can use Bumble and find results.

Which setting do you prefer?
When I'm single, I use the men and women option to find partners for relationships. I use, now because I'm not single, the BFF section for finding friends, but I find it hard sometimes. I can find friends who are looking for friends, under a certain age group, under a certain distance, I can see their profession, I can filter out things. But a lot of people don't know how to express themselves in their descriptions and they do themselves a disservice. We have to learn to write about ourselves and communicate about ourselves the same way we dress ourselves everyday.

Brenda Gomes, 19

Brenda Gomes | Image courtesy of author

What do you do when you accidentally swipe right or super-like?
Usually if I accidentally superlike or swipe right on someone I'll wait to see if it's a match. If it is I'll check out their profile and if I'm not interested in them I'll probably wait a day or two to unmatch them.

Do you use different pictures/bio on Bumble than on Tinder?
My photos on Bumble and Tinder are the same, but I have an extra photo of my dog on Tinder.

Are you looking for something serious or casual? Which app is your go-to?
I don't really look for hookups, but Bumble seems to be good if you're looking for a threesome. I'd have to say that Tinder is probably better for something serious, mainly just because no one seems to really start conversations on Bumble.

What was the weirdest bio you saw on Tinder and which was the weirdest on Bumble?
Not sure which bios have been the weirdest, there's quite a few. However, I did come across a profile on Tinder where the bio clearly stated it was a couple looking for a third, and it turned out to be the fiancée of a well established Toronto DJ.

How do you feel about messaging first?
Usually I wait, but if I'm bored I might send a message to someone if they haven't sent one to me yet. Or if I notice something in their profile like they like the same sort of music or something like that, I might send something first.

Do you have a go-to opening line?
No, I'm horrible at it. Just a simple 'hey,' and that's about it. I don't go in with any sort of a plan, not really any high expectations. A lot of the times the conversations just fizzle out. Might talk about music, might talk about photography. Typically I don't get an answer back after a while and I'm like, 'oh OK.'

What tips do you have for guys who want someone to message them?
First of all, don't do the whole group photos thing. It gets difficult to tell who you are. I like to say keep it simple. Don't write too much but write just enough so people get a the gist of who you are. Not too many photos, I think I have three on Bumble and that works fine. But more than one definitely, because are you a catfish? I don't know.

Suneet, 23

Image courtesy of author

How are your bios different on Bumble and Tinder?
I do try to update cool pictures but it's not as often. Bio on Bumble I keep updating so I can find more like minded-people, which I do. I'm talking to amazingly nice guys on Bumble. Tinder I don't care because there's just too many people. Tinder is more diverse too I guess because it so famous which isn't the case with Bumble yet and that's a con.

What do you do when you accidentally super-like?
So if I like someone on the app accidentally I usually leave my phone on the bed and go to the balcony and cry and then I come back and unmatch. I cry a little more afterwards and then move on, I can't bullshit and I think it's fair for the other person too.

Are you looking for something serious or casual? Which app is your go-to?
Hook-ups is Tinder for sure. It's almost a synonym at this point, although I don't use it for that. Bumble sounds kinda cute so I can think of it as a finding-love app. But again there's not a lot of people so I'd say it's more cleaner so far. Although, I know people who've had long term relationships through Tinder as well. Personally I still prefer the traditional "Bumping into each other" kinda meetings though.

How do you feel about having to message first?
I feel it gives me the power to start a conversation that I want to have, then let the person decide if he likes it or not. But I don't have to deal with bullshit.

How do you decide who to message?
I'd do right if he's good looking and some clever bio such as this: 'Lawyer from New York, new to Toronto. Let's argue about something and settle it over karaoke.'

What is your go-to move to talk to somebody?
I just look at a girl's bio and text her accordingly. With guys it would be just 'hey.' Because all you have to do is say 'hey' and they'll send you a dick pic.

People call Bumble the feminist dating app. Is that true?
Honestly, I don't understand the idea behind Bumble. Because the way they've put it is it's a feminist app. But I don't think so, as far as my experience. Because a person will still send you a dick pic after you text them, right? It's not stopping people from doing that. Also, when you look at human behavior, in fact it just makes it worse. Because then the man thinks 'Oh the girl wants to talk to me, she needs it, let's just Netflix and chill.' And the only reason it's clean so far is because there's not a lot of users. Like a lot of times in BFF, I always run out of people. What we can say is Bumble is just different, but there's nothing revolutionary or feminist about it. [The BFF setting] gives women a platform to connect with like-minded women who want to be friends with each other. There's plenty dating apps out there, Bumble BFF gives women a chance to embrace each other as friends and soul sisters, which is really important because only a woman can understand another woman. I say women, since there's only one percent guys on BFF.

What tips do you have for guys who want to be messaged?
It could be something intelligent [in the bio,] no grammatical errors please, and just be honest and say a nice line.

Zara Rizwan, 21

Zara Rizwan | Image courtesy of author

Are you looking for something serious or casual? Which app is your go-to?
If you're looking for something serious, OkCupid is definitely what I would recommend [over bumble or Tinder]. The personality questions and match percentage will let you know if you're compatible with someone. But if you're searching for something casual, hit up Tinder. It's got a reputation as a hookup app for a reason.

Do you use different pictures/bio on Bumble than on Tinder?
I'm not on Tinder so this doesn't apply to me! Since I'm only on BumbleBFF, my photos aren't anything special, just some clear shots that show what I look like. No need to appear super sexy or anything. Same thing applies to my bio—just a quick description of my interests.

What was the weirdest bio you saw on Tinder and which was the weirdest on Bumble?
This one Bumble girl's bio said that she loved asses. Like that was it. Aside from that, Bumble girls seem relatively average. Their bios are usually something about how much they love wine.

How do you feel about having to message first?
I'm pretty neutral about it. I think that there's a little bit of pressure because I never have a good opening sentence. I usually just say 'hey what's up' or something like that. I found that anytime I give a compliment as an opening message, the conversation just dies. I'll be like, "I love your hair," and she'll be like "Thanks," and the conversation will just die there. It can be really hit or miss. But I don't mind messaging first, a lot of people just make a big deal out of it when it isn't really a thing. If it doesn't go anywhere, it doesn't go anywhere.

What's your technique or strategy to strike up a conversation?
I'll try to pick something out of their profile, like if I see that a lot of girls are into yoga, so I'll be like, how did you first get into it? If there's nothing in their profile to go off of, I ask for a TV recommendation or something like that to go off of to at least get it going somewhere. If it doesn't go anywhere from that, I'm not on there for dating right, so I'm not going to chase after someone who doesn't really want to be friends. If after a few messages they still don't sound very interested, I'll just let the conversation die because I'd rather have someone be as invested in the conversation as I am.

How do you decide who to message? What tips do you have for the men who can't message first?
If someone is about to expire, I'll usually message them because I wouldn't want it to go to waste over something like "Oh crap, I forgot to message them." Aside from that, it's not really much of a priority, usually as soon as I make the match I'll send someone a message and respond to whatever comes up first. For me it's like, I'm on here to make friends, I'm not playing a relationship kind of game. Even with relationships, the whole hard-to-get thing, if I'm interested in someone I want someone to know that I'm interested so they can put in the same effort that I put in.

For getting messaged, make your profile really nice. I find that a lot of guys just don't know how to take photos. You don't have to be the most attractive person in the world because beauty is subjective and all. But guys put the most pixelated photos because it's a really small photo and the resolution blows it up, or they'll have it taken from a really low angle and suddenly they get like five double-chins. I also hate blank bios, because I don't know if I have anything in common with them, you know? To actually see if you'd be compatible in any way. Like any shows you're watching or if you like to go hiking, because at least it's something to go off of instead of a blank bio or a random pickup line.

When did you start using Bumble and why?
Literally like, four days ago. I was looking at my iMessage and I realized the only people that I've talked to in the past two weeks are my boyfriend, his family and my family. I was like 'Wow, I have no friends.' It's always hard making friends because you can't just go up to a random stranger on the bus or street and be like, 'Hey what are you doing?' I've had good luck with online dating in the past so I thought I might as well give it a shot and see if I can find a friend.

People call Bumble the feminist dating app. Thoughts?
I don't think it would be called feminist necessarily, but I do think it's really dope that women get to message first. I don't think it completely filters out creeps, but it gives women the power and also it kind of pushes them forward to be the one to message first. I know so many girls who just won't message first, I don't know if it's a pride thing, but they just won't do it. So this way you get yourself out of your comfort zone, and maybe you'll meet someone who's cool.

How do you feel about having to message first?
I'm pretty neutral about it. I think there's a little bit of pressure because I've never had a good opening sentence, I usually just say 'hey what's up' or something like that. I find that any time I give a compliment as an opening message, the conversation just dies. I've mostly been using the BFF setting, so she'll be like 'thanks' and the convo will just die. I feel like it's really hit or miss. But I don't mind messaging first. A lot of people just make a big deal out of it. If it doesn't go anywhere, it doesn't go anywhere.

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity purposes.

Follow Sarah Krichel on Twitter.

More VICE
Vice Channels