The Bumble dating app may not be the first place small business owners and professionals go to expand their professional networks. However, since October 2017, Bumble Bizz has been in the business of transforming networking into a more relaxed and conversational experience.
We’ll explore how Bumble Bizz works and how to evaluate if it’s suitable for your business and professional networking needs.
What is Bumble Bizz?
Bumble Bizz is an extension of the popular dating app Bumble that aims to help users forge professional relationships. Bumble Bizz uses the dating app’s “swipe left or right” interface and useful filters to help users find valuable connections.
Bumble Bizz isn’t trying to replace sites such as LinkedIn. Instead, the app is designed to fill a gap in the networking space by making it more natural, seamless, low-pressure and fun to form professional connections.
How did Bumble Bizz come about?
Bumble’s founder and CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, was a co-founder of the infamous dating app Tinder and one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018. After leaving Tinder, she took what she learned from the experience and created Bumble, a dating app where women make the first move.
Although Bumble started as a dating app, personal and professional networking was always on the company’s roadmap. Along with Bumble Bizz for professional networking, Bumble created another offshoot called Bumble BFF for people looking for new friends.
The idea is that all crucial relationships and experiences – dating, meeting new friends, starting new jobs and finding mentors – share common elements. We want to meet people who share our goals and values and with whom we can build solid connections.
To empower female leadership, women make the first move on Bumble Bizz; men can’t message women first. However, in same-sex matches, anyone can make the first contact.
How does Bumble Bizz work?
To use Bumble Bizz, you’ll need to download the Bumble iOS or Android app to your mobile device and select Bizz Mode. Your Bizz Mode public profile features your career experience, professional goals, passions and education.
As with Bumble, you’ll see a “swipe deck” with the names and profiles of people who match your profile elements. These can be recruiters, potential employers, industry experts, thought leaders and other professionals with whom you may wish to connect. You’d swipe right or left depending on whether you want to pursue a professional relationship.
Because Bumble is a location-based service, Bumble Bizz uses the app’s built-in geolocation features, making it easier to find professional connections in your local area.
How closely is Bumble Bizz connected to Bumble?
Although Bumble Bizz uses the same functionality as the Bumble dating app, it won’t look like you’re trying to find a life partner while seeking a professional mentor. Although it’s housed in the same app, you can use Bumble Bizz without appearing on the dating site.
In fact, you can hide the dating app completely by following these steps:
- Go to the app’s mode-switching menu, and navigate to Dating Mode.
- Click the X, and you’ll receive a confirmation prompt.
- Once you confirm, the Settings menu will show Dating Mode as disabled. You can reenable it whenever you want.
Is Bumble Bizz right for small business owners?
Bumble Bizz can be a valuable networking solution for small business owners. Here’s why:
- Small business owners can get attention on Bumble Bizz. Small businesses don’t have the name recognition of larger companies, and small business owners’ networks may be limited. On sites such as LinkedIn, others may overlook small business owners as job seekers and corporations vie for attention. However, on Bumble Bizz, small business owners have a chance to make connections and forge relationships.
- Bumble Bizz helps small business owners network. Bumble Bizz focuses specifically on individual connections, so networking is integral to the experience. For small business owners, this is ideal. It’s easy to network directly with other business owners in your area who are looking for mentors or mentees. Small business owners can also network with other entrepreneurs or find people with specific skill sets.
While Bumble Bizz focuses exclusively on networking rather than recruiting or job searching, you can add verified photos, digital resumes, a skills section, and examples of your work, which can lead to professional opportunities.
What are the pros and cons of using Bumble Bizz?
Entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals use Bumble Bizz to network and connect. However, the app has upsides and downsides.
Pros of Bumble Bizz
- The app interface is easy and fun to use. Bumble Bizz offers an exciting and novel way to network. The swiping experience taken from Tinder and the Bumble dating app is likely familiar for some users. This design choice also helps to reduce some of the most stressful aspects of networking. Instead, you’ll get an almost gamified networking experience likely to appeal to a younger audience.
- There’s less networking pressure. Networking via Bumble Bizz is a much lower-pressure experience than attending in-person networking events. It’s decidedly casual, and you can peruse other users’ profiles ahead of time.
- You can forge valuable new connections. By allowing users to indicate the industries they’re interested in and filter by networking relationship type, the app helps drive valuable connections. Unlike LinkedIn, Bumble Bizz is meant to be used to grow your overall network, not just connect with people you already know. This can be particularly helpful for small business owners and professionals who are looking to expand their networks.
- Bumble Bizz supports women. The continuation of Bumble’s focus on allowing women to make the first move also helps to provide a more equal playing field for users. This cuts down on the spam messages or social media harassment women may experience and helps to empower women in the workforce.
- Bumble Bizz is inclusive. Bumble Bizz promotes diversity and inclusive communication, partnering with GLAAD to ensure it’s providing an experience where everyone feels safe and seen. You can register as male, female, or nonbinary and select additional categories to further express your gender identity and sexual orientation.
Cons of Bumble Bizz
- It’s associated with the Bumble dating app. Some of the very things that make Bumble Bizz so attractive – its focus on networking, dating app functionality and casual feel – also may hurt the app experience. Users may be turned off by the requirement to download the Bumble dating app; this alone reduces the overall number of people using it.
- It lacks name recognition. Bumble Bizz doesn’t have the same name recognition as LinkedIn. That means fewer people are drawn to the app, and fewer valuable connections are available. And while LinkedIn is not intended for blind networking, people can and do use it that way, raising the question of the value of Bumble Bizz’s core offering.
- You’ll get relatively few matches. Like the Bumble dating app, Bumble Bizz focuses on matching users within a provided geographic range. While this may work well for small business owners in cities or popular fields, others in niche fields or areas with smaller populations may find very few potential matches.
Use your alumni network to get a new business off the ground, find a mentor and increase your LinkedIn connections.
Should you use Bumble Bizz?
The Bumble Bizz app can be a valuable tool for small business owners and professionals who are looking to expand their networks. The app’s focus on low-pressure interactions, range of filtering options and easy-to-use interface provide an easy addition to existing networking tools and opportunities.
However, some people may avoid using Bumble Bizz due to its deep integration with the Bumble dating app. Even so, Bumble Bizz provides a fresh space where professionals can find or provide mentorships, talk shop and make actual connections, in conjunction with using other tools, like LinkedIn, job boards and networking events.
Dawn Kuczwara contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.