Dating app Bumble will roll out networking functionality this fall.
Called BumbleBizz, the networking feature will work just like the dating app and Bumble’s friend-finding functionality, BumbleBFF. Users will swipe right or left on potential networking connections. If it’s a match, a woman in the pairing will have to reach out within 24 hours, or the match will expire.
Users will, however, be able to create professionally-geared profiles on BumbleBizz that are kept distinct from their dating profiles.
“Our users were already using our platform to network. So, we decided to introduce that curated section of the app to give them a distinct place to do this,” Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe told Tech Insider. “This isn’t us introducing random new features. This is us listening to our users, and really inching toward our grand vision, which is to be the place for people to meet.”
Wolfe expects that BumbleBizz will populate itself with already-active Bumble users, but they are rolling out an extensive marketing campaign in the months before launch to encourage users to sign up. That campaign will include pop-ups within the app and a social media campaign with career networking success stories.
Wolfe said she expects the app’s hyperlocality and informal nature will set BumbleBizz apart from career networking giant LinkedIn or Swipe, a job search app billed as the “Tinder for jobs” upon its release.
“Sometimes when you get on a platform like LinkedIn or similar to LinkedIn, you feel like you have to go in the door with very formal wants or needs,” Wolfe said. “We don’t want you to have to put forth very robust terms about what you’re seeking because a lot of the times, you don’t know what you’re looking for. And oftentimes, success comes from spontaneous connections.”
And another thing that could set BumbleBizz apart is that it shares Bumble’s feminist ethos by giving women the power to make those networking connections at a time when women still frequently face sexism in the workplace or hiring process.
“Just like in dating, we as a company firmly believe that women and men don’t get treated with equality in business,” she said. “We’re doing our very best to be a feminist product. Are we absolutely 100% perfect? No, absolutely not. We know that we have a long way to go.”