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Bumble manages to make heavy inroads in India's dating app industry

Bumble is now the third-most popular dating app in India in terms of user base.

February 13, 2020 / 08:48 PM IST

It looks like Priyanka Chopra Jonas made the right move by backing online dating platform Bumble.

Within a year of its launch, the American dating app has made over two million Indians fall in love with the platform and with that it has also become a competitor to reckon with, in India's online dating market.

Here's why. Tinder is considered to be the market leader in the country. The platform that came to India in 2013, however, does not share its user base.

Standing at the second position is homegrown platform TrulyMadly, that has managed to garner six million users since its launch in 2014.

Other popular online dating platform include OKCupid which started operations in 2019 and saw around a million users coming on board.

French dating app Happn attracted two lakh users when it launched in India in May 2016. The company had then set a target of a million users in the country by the end 2016. It is unclear if it met the target.

Going by these numbers, Bumble is now the third-most popular dating app in India in terms of user base.

"Bumble is an app whose time has come. While Tinder started it all, Bumble brought gender positivity to it all. When women make the first move, it means the world has come a full circle," said brand strategist and founder Harish Bijoor

Bumble allows only women to make the first move in heterosexual matches.

Along with this, the platform is focusing on women safety.

"During our research, we heard from potential users that they wanted us to give them safer and more comfortable environment," said Priti Joshi, VP, Bumble India.

So they launched in India with a feature that allows women to show only their initials and not full name to avoid online stalking and harassment.

"Other feature is private detector which is an in-app feature that does not allow sharing of unsolicited rude images without the other person's consent. In case such a photo is sent, it will be blurred until the other person accepts it. There's also an option to block the photo and also the person,” she added.

While the online dating scene is hot in India, Indians are looking for more than romantic relationships online, said Joshi.

"Indian users are excited about social networking platforms. They are getting on Bumble to connect for platonic dates as well as professional relationships," she added.

The platform offers three modes to its users--- Bumble date for romantic relationships, Bumble BFF for friendships and Bumble Bizz to form professional relationships.

"Bumble today is more than a dating app. Bumble bizz for instance offers those opportunities that women have craved for a while," said Bijoor.

Sharing an interesting data, Joshi, said: "Women in India continue to be empowered and are making the first move. They made their first move six million times on Bumble and are sending two times the messages when compared to women in rest of the world. Also, women in India are making connections in all aspects of life. So, we see 40 percent of women in India use more than one mode on Bumble."

While Bumble may have cracked the urban market, it still has to show its worth in rest of India.

"Bumble has done well in the big cities of India for sure. Its key challenge will be to position itself as much more than a dating app for small town India," said Bijoor.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Feb 13, 2020 04:15 pm