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“And girls like it because it gives them more control over the conversation than other dating apps.” Besides, just as women are sick of waiting for men to make the first move, some guys are sick of always having to come up with a line.“It’s flattering when someone reaches out to you,” says Larry Mahl, a 32-year old New Yorker who works at Yelp. (Wolfe is dating someone, but still swipes and messages in order to get user feedback.) She had messaged him that she was the founder of the company, and asked him for his thoughts.“It’s easier as a guy, you’re swiping and then just letting the girls take the next step.” Plus, he adds, “the women are so impressive.” Wolfe pulls out her cell phone, which is hot pink with a bright yellow bumble-bee decal on the back, and shows me a guy she matched with in Costa Rica, of all places.
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.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.Men post pictures of themselves wearing button downs (not muscle tees) or hugging their moms (not endangered species.) And because they can’t message first, guys can’t hedge their bets by swiping right on every girl they see and messaging all of them to see who bites.Female users say they’ve been impressed with the guys on Bumble.
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“Guys found it to be ‘desperate,’ when it wasn’t desperate, it was part of a broken system.” Like many startup founders, Wolfe has big ambitions for the service: “It’s not a dating app, it’s a movement,” she says.