Bumble Inc. Introduces ‘Bumble For Friends’ Friendship-Finding App
New App Builds Upon Success of its Popular Bumble BFF Mode
New Australian research reveals that Gen Z women champion the idea of friends as soulmates, with 58% believing that you can be “in love” platonically
Three in four Gen Z women in Australia want to make new friends
SYDNEY, Australia (July 27, 2023) - Today, Bumble Inc. announced the launch of Bumble For Friends, a standalone app for finding friends. The app creates a new way for people to grow their friendship circles by discovering meaningful, kind, and fun connections in their local area that is separate from the Bumble dating app.
The new app follows the successful BFF mode that’s been available within the Bumble app since 2016, when it expanded upon the company’s dating offering to enable members to find friends and meet up locally.
Bumble For Friends is expected to be especially popular among Gen Z, who have seen their social lives disrupted profoundly by the pandemic, more so than other generations. New nationwide research from Bumble* reveals that Gen Z women in Australia are recognising the power and intimacy of friendship, with 58% believing that you can be “in love” platonically. Yet 37% of Gen Z women in Australia say they feel lonely every week and 75% say they actively want to make new friends.
The Bumble Gen Z Friendship Research found that 35% of Gen Zs in Australia (those aged 18 - 26) say that they feel less socially connected and that their ability to meet people in real life has worsened since the pandemic, while 73% of Gen Zs agree that friends are one of the main factors to having a happy and healthy life.
Lucille McCart, Bumble’s APAC Communications Director, said: “At Bumble we have always believed that relationships are the foundation of a happy and healthy life. While many people know us as being in the business of romance, friendship is just as important to our mission, which is why we are so excited by the launch of the Bumble For Friends app. The recent Bumble Gen Z Friendship Research has shown us that the majority of Gen Zs in Australia want to make new friends, but they don’t know where to meet people and are intimidated by approaching people IRL. This is where we step in to make it easier, less awkward, and more fun. It has been wonderful to see how apps like Bumble have revolutionised the way people fall in love romantically and removed the stigma around meeting people online. We can’t wait to see how Bumble For Friends has a similar impact on our ability to connect socially and build platonic love in a time when so many of us feel disconnected.”
When it comes to making friends online, 53% of Gen Zs in Australia report having made friends online, mostly through social media or gaming platforms - much higher than the national average of 46%. Of the Gen Zs that have made friends online, 46% said those friendships are as rewarding as those made in real life, but 34% said they weren’t friendships that could be taken IRL (for reasons including they don’t live closeby). Bumble For Friends is well-positioned to connect people online to make friendships that can be taken offline.
The Bumble Gen Z Friendship Research also found:
LOCKDOWNS AND LONELINESS
Because of the pandemic, Gen Z missed out on many right-of-passage experiences throughout their formative years. Remote learning and working from home, as well as the closure of bars and nightclubs, plus travel restrictions, limited their social lives and prevented them from seeing the world.
- 35% of Gen Z say that they feel less socially connected and that their ability to meet people in real life has worsened since the pandemic
- 63% agree that remote learning, working or studying is the main reason why they feel less socially connected and why they find it harder to meet people in real life
There are barriers to making new friends at all ages. But for Gen Z, this is particularly profound at a time when historically they would be the most socially connected - their early twenties.
- 73% of Gen Z agree that friends are one of the main factors to having a happy and healthy life
- 69% say that they are finding it harder to make friends as they get older
- 43% say that they find it intimidating to approach people in person and this is preventing them from making new friends - this is especially true for Gen Z women (54%). A further 40% fear being judged, while 37% don’t know where to meet people who are also looking for friends
- One third (32%) feel lonely every week - this is even higher in Gen Z women at 37%
SHIPPING PLATONIC LOVE
Charlotte York said it first, maybe our friends can be our soulmates. After all, through life’s highs and lows, our platonic relationships are often the most enduring and strongest of them all. For Gen Z Australians, platonic love is recognised increasingly as being as profound and meaningful as romantic love.
- 84% of Gen Z believe that platonic relationships are just as important, or even more important, than romantic relationships
- 60% believe what makes a good friendship is being comfortable to talk about anything together and 62% say that platonic relationships are crucial to happiness
- Two in three (66%) say making new friends has positively affected their mental health and wellbeing
- Over half (51%) believe that you can be ‘in love’ platonically - this is even higher for Gen Z women at 58%
- One in four (25%) say their true soulmate is a platonic relationship
- For Gen Z women, when asked about how their friendships with other women make them feel, 49% said they could be their true self with them, compared to just 33% of Gen Z men who said the same about their friendships with other men
HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS
They say love is a battlefield, and sometimes that applies to platonic connections, too. Friendship politics can be challenging, especially for Gen Z who are often still finding their place in the world and where they fit in.
- When thinking about the longevity of friendships, 50% of Gen Z believe you can outgrow friendships and move on mutually; 40% believe some friendships are meant to be short term and serve a specific need or phase in life; and 28% believe that real friendships should last forever
- Over one third (36%) are dissatisfied with the friendships they have, with 36% stuck in outdated friendships that no longer serve them and 25% saying their current friends do not make them a better person
- 33% say they only have one or two close friends
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, over three quarters (77%) of Gen Zs have experienced ‘friendship breakups’
How Bumble For Friends Works
- It starts with creating a profile that reflects the member’s personality and interests through uploading photos and showcasing hobbies that illustrate where the person is in their life and what kind of friends they’re looking to meet
- Bumble For Friends models a similar experience as Bumble Date where members see profiles for potential friends based on common interests, swipe right on profiles they would like to connect with, and are notified if a match is made
- Anyone currently using BFF mode with the Bumble app who wishes to migrate their profile and connections into the Bumble For Friends app will be able to skip the set-up and easily do so upon downloading and logging in as an existing member
- Once a BFF profile is moved over to the Bumble For Friends app, BFF mode is no longer available in the Bumble app. The Date and Bizz functionality remains
An easier way to plan group meetups exclusively available in Bumble For Friends app
- Now members can chat in groups to stay connected
- Starting to roll out today within the new Bumble For Friends app, it’s easy to get a group together to make a plan to meet IRL
- Any member can create a plan for a group meetup with at least two of their connections from the conversations tab
- A member selects a planned activity from a list of suggestions or creates their own
- Once a member selects a plan theme, they can invite at least two of their matches.
- Their matches receive an invite in their chat that is titled the name of the planned activity, which can be edited
- Anyone who accepts the invite can join a group chat and start discussing any of the meetup details
Bumble For Friends is free to download and is available on the App Store and Google Play in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States with more regions to come.
Notes to Editors
*Research was conducted by PureProfile in July 2023 with one sample of 1,000 Australians aged 18-26 years old and one sample of 2,000 Australians aged 18-58 years old.
Generation X — 1965 - 1980 (43 - 58 years old)
Millennials — 1981-1996 (27 - 42 years old)
Generation Z — 1997-2012 (18 - 26 years old)
For more information on the Bumble research report, please contact email@example.com
ABOUT BUMBLE INC.
Bumble Inc. is the parent company of Bumble, Badoo, Fruitz and Official. The Bumble platform enables people to build healthy and equitable relationships, through kind connections. Founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, Bumble was one of the first dating apps built with women at the centre and connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble For Friends) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). Badoo, which was founded in 2006, is one of the pioneers of web and mobile dating products. Fruitz, founded in 2017, encourages open and honest communication of dating intentions through playful fruit metaphors. Official is an app for couples that promotes open and honest communication between partners and was founded in 2020.
Editorial Director, humann comms
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0481459850