Bumble Inc. introduces a new friendship-finding app in the Philippines
Buzz, buzz! Swipe right to meet your newest bestie with Bumble For Friends. Launched last July 27 in the Philippines, the new app builds upon the success of the BFF mode that has been available within the Bumble app since 2016. This standalone app creates an innovative way for people to expand their friendship circles and to create meaningful connections in their local areas.
The need for emotional support and genuine human connections has become greater, as the global pandemic affected everyone and made social interactions more challenging. According to Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder and CEO, “Friendship has always been a critical part of Bumble’s goal to living a healthy and happy life. With feelings of loneliness and isolation at an all-time high, now more than ever is a time to prioritize self-love and friendships for our wellbeing.”
With society putting an emphasis on romantic relationships, the powerful impact of friendship may tend to be overlooked. Adding to this, Herd says, “Having a dedicated Bumble For Friends app that’s separate from the dating experience makes friendship-finding easier for people looking to make meaningful platonic connections.”
Fostering kind connections will improve the quality of your life and establishing healthy relationships will provide you with a strong support system. Among Filipinos, there is an innate yearning to find their own people and to build connections with others. In fact, in a recent survey done by Bumble, they found out that three out of four (74%) people globally are keen to find their “tribe” or a group of likeminded people that they can create real friendships with*. Additionally, more than half (68%) of those surveyed are keen to find new friends in their local area for the convenience of meeting up and doing things together.
So, how does Bumble For Friends work? It starts with creating a profile that reflects the member’s personality and interests by uploading photos and showcasing hobbies that illustrate their lifestyle. They can also share about the kind of friends that they seek to have. Just like in Bumble Date, members can see profiles for potential friends based on common interests—the difference though is that with Bumble For Friends, you can only interact with members of the same gender.
Members may swipe right on profiles that they would like to connect with, and are notified if a match is made. A person has 24 hours to begin a conversation, so if your match interacts with you, congratulations on making a new friend! It is important to note that this just the beginning of the journey. It takes time for friendships to form and deepen, so you need to nurture that new connection.
For anyone currently using BFF mode with the Bumble app, you can easily migrate your profile and connections into Bumble For Friends. Simply download the app and log in as an existing member. However, once a BFF profile is moved over to the Bumble For Friends app, only the Date and Bizz functionality will remain in the Bumble app.
With the Bumble For Friends app, it is faster to reach out and to connect with likeminded friends with the possibility of meeting in real life. “Recent research has shown us that the majority of Gen Zs want to make new friends, but they don’t know where to meet people and are intimidated by approaching people IRL. This is where we step in to make it easier, less awkward and more fun,” says Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC Communications Director.
Any member can select a planned activity from a list of suggestions or opt to create their own. Once a member selects a plan theme, they can invite at least two of their matches from the conversations tab. Anyone who accepts the invite can join the group chat and start discussing any of the meetup details. If you are seeking companions to watch the latest movie, to try a new restaurant or to start a book reading club, it is convenient to plan your group meetups via the app.
Making new friends means putting yourself out there and that can be daunting, especially for those who had traumatic experiences from the past. However, building friendships online can be done safely by practicing mindfulness. The key to connecting with other people is by showing genuine interest in them and by opening yourself up to new possibilities. Focus on making quality connections and in the face of possible rejection, see what you can learn from the experience and be proud of yourself for trying.
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Bumble For Friends is a good platform for those who are shy and who feel uncomfortable approaching a group of people. Exchanging messages via the chat feature allows the members to communicate passively and respond at their own pace, without feeling the pressure of face-to-face daily conversations. By forming deeper bonds with the online friends that they will meet, these individuals may find the confidence to express themselves better in real life.
In addition, the app can also be a safe space for people to share feelings and thoughts without judgments, as they meet new friends who are willing to hold space for them. Studies show that people are more open to sharing their emotional and personal struggles with someone they just met, rather than with those they are familiar with, out of fear of being judged. By opening up more to others, people will slowly build trust and may eventually realize that it is okay to be vulnerable. To quote from the author Brené Brown, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart and the center of meaningful human experiences.”
Online friendships can provide equal love and support as real-life friendships. Being open to forming online friendships and removing the stigma around meeting people online can empower people to make purposeful and lasting connections. At a time when so many of us feel disconnected, Bumble For Friends can help solve the important issue of loneliness while cultivating joy and platonic love.
Bumble For Friends is free to download and is available on the App Store and Google Play in the Philippines, as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States with more regions to come.
*All data was commissioned by Bumble within August and September 2022 with a Global sample size of 10,108 across Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Poland, the US and the UK.
Words Cris Roxas
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver