Bumble, the dating app created by former Tinder VP of Marketing Whitney Wolfe, has released a feature called Backtrack that is identical to the rewind feature in Tinder Plus, allowing users to reverse accidental left swipes.
Unlike Tinder, however, Bumble users each have three free backtracks, which refill after three hours. If a user needs more than three backtracks, that user can share Bumble on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and automatically refill all three backtracks immediately. Users only have one social share refill per day.
This unpaid feature is obviously positioning itself against the recent launch of Tinder Plus, which asks users to pay anywhere between $10 and $20 a month for the same capability, alongside other features like an ad-free experience and PassPort, which lets you travel anywhere. At the same time, the social “currency” Bumble is asking for in exchange for Backtracks is a sign that the company wants to grow.
Remember, there are many dating apps out there. What has made Tinder so dominant is not necessarily the feature set, though giving all due credit, the premise of putting the game of “Hot or Not” on mobile was genius. Instead, Tinder’s current success now comes from ubiquity. There is no other dating app that offers the same density of users on such a widespread geographic and demographic level.
This is where Bumble is way behind, and it has yet to be proven that truly niche dating apps (like one where the women have all the control) are going to be able to split up the dating pie in a valuable way for everyone.
Still, Bumble has some unique features. For one, women are in charge of messaging on the app, as they are the only ones who can initiate a conversation after a match has been made. But beyond that, Bumble is also one of the only dating apps to offer direct photo messaging, using blur effects and profile picture/name watermarks to maintain some level of privacy and regulation.
Plus, Bumble is being led by a team that comes directly from Tinder, including Whitney Wolfe, Sarah Mick and Chris Gulzcynski, which gives the app a bit of an edge in terms of experience and competitive knowledge.