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Bumble CEO Lidiane Jones on dating app relaunch

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Mar 14, 2024
a photo illustration of bumble CEO Lidiane Jones surrounded by circles and the bumble logo

Lidiane Jones. Photo illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios; Photo: Kristen Kilpatrick

Bumble's relaunch, coming next quarter, is part of a larger initiative to introduce more changes to the nearly 10-year-old dating app and its sister services, CEO Lidiane Jones tells Axios.

Why it matters: The new investments come as Bumble's stock is down 45% over the past 12 months and represent part of the CEO's plan to reignite growth of and enthusiasm for the company.

Zoom in: Jones says her interest in joining Bumble stemmed from the dating app industry's stagnation.

  • "I was just amazed by how things hadn't changed. No wonder consumers are feeling fatigued. Lack of innovation, massive customer base, incredible mission, I can do a lot here," Jones says, speaking last week from the lobby lounge of the Mandarin Oriental when she was in New York for Blackstone's CEO conference.
  • Bumble has been testing changes on how women make the first move — the app's signature offering. One new option lets women and nonbinary users choose a prompt for potential matches to answer.
  • "Our Q2 launch is the beginning of much more of a regular cadence of new experiences," Jones says.

Between the lines: Gen Z and others have dropped dating apps. Jones says the shift may come from the apps being "very transactional."

  • "Especially for younger users, there's greater need of flexibility ... innovation ... that doesn't put everybody in the same box," she says.
  • Addressing fake accounts, Bumble recently released Deception Detector, an AI tool for identifying spam. It also plans to scale verified profiles.

What we're watching: The stock. Already in a downtrend, shares fell again following Bumble's Feb. 27 earnings report.

What's next: Jones says her team is also looking to improve its other services — Bumble for Friends, Badoo, Fruitz and Official.

  • Her goal is for people to easily access the entire portfolio, such as transitioning from Fruitz (a Gen Z-focused dating app it acquired in 2022) to Official (an app for couples it acquired last year).
  • Jones says she is open to more acquisitions that expand its portfolio to serve other parts of people's lives.
  • "It has to be a company that has a great tech stack that we could integrate effectively, that would add to the customer experience, not be a friction point in terms of our customers," she says. "The bar is really high for a great experience."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say Bumble's relaunch is coming next quarter, not in the current quarter.

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