According to the New York Times, Bumble and Tinder are at war. The relationship between Bumble and Tinder and their ongoing legal battle highlight issues for women in the world of dating apps. Further, this conflict showcases the business side of dating apps that compete in their industry for customers and profit, which is arguably valued more than finding relationships.
Match Group is the company that owns Tinder, along with Match.com, OKCupid, and Plenty of Fish. Match.com and OkCupid are dating platforms that would draw from a similar pool of customers, but they are actually owned by the same larger company. While comparing these apps, it is interesting to consider that some are allied together in this way. However, as in any industry, there is competition.
Bumble and Tinder share a similar style which makes them natural competitors, but their relationship is actually far more complex. Before she was the founder and chief executive of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd was a co-founder of Tinder. Herd played an influential role in the initial marketing and success of the app. However, Herd left Tinder in 2014 to create Bumble as a safer online dating environment for women. Her new app distinguished itself with its model in which women have to make the first move.
During the same year, Herd filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss, Justin Mateen. After the couple broke up, the lawsuit depicts that Mateen called Herd derogatory names and threatened her position and title as co-founder. He said that Herd “makes the company seem like a joke” as a young female co-founder, according to the lawsuit.
Recently, Tinder has launched a feature that allows women users to only interact with the men they swipe right on, similar to Bumble’s model. Both companies have pursued lawsuits over their unique patents and trademarks. This tension not only points to the issues for women on dating apps, but also the similar sentiment within these companies.