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“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.One of Wolfe’s major contributions to Tinder was her ability to get college students to download the app.“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.“I would say ‘I’m just going to go up to him,’ and all my girlfriends were like ‘Oh no no no no, you can’t do that,'” she says.’ And wouldn’t it be nice if there was no way he would think you were desperate or weird if you did?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.
“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.On a sunny May morning in NYC, Whitney Wolfe smoothes her hair (golden) takes a sip of her iced coffee (black) and points across the leafy patio at a handsome guy sitting with a friend.“You swiped right in your head just now,” she says.“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?