The blogophere has been abuzz recently about Bumble, a dating (or as they call it, “social discovery”) app brought to you by former Tinder executives. Without getting into the details of the executives’ acrimonious split that gave rise to the spinoff, I will say that Bumble is intended to be exactly what Tinder is not: a safe, not-creepy, and not-shallow app for meeting people.
It doesn’t take an apiarist to see that Bumble is hitting the bumblebee connotation soundly on the head. And bees have brilliant connotations—from an attraction to flowers to “Birds and the Bees” to “Busy as a bee” to, of course, nature’s most salient and sexy epithet for your sweetheart, “Honeybunch.” (Or just “Honey” for those crunched for time.)
But stripped of the honeycomb background and other bee-related copy and visual accouterments, the name conveys something else entirely: to speak or move awkwardly. And you can bet your bippy that Bumble wants you to keep that in mind. Why? Well, Bumble’s explicit intent is to be a safer dating app with less superficial pressure, less judgment, less creepiness—all told, simply more human. Awkwardness is human and it undeniably comes with meeting people for the first time, trying to communicate, trying not to reveal your two left feet or let slip about how your roommates are actually your parents. It’s a name that says it’s OK to bumble—people shouldn’t judge you for it, and whether you bumble or not, your dating life shouldn’t suffer.
Furthermore, Bumble’s name, with the positive and awkward definitions all rolled into one, is a great name for a challenger launching in a crowded space—it stands alone in being refreshingly unromanticized to some degree. Moreover there are just so many readily available channels for interpretation that it invites serious thought, which in turn enhances memorability. What a sweet decision not to close down the name (and avoid the awkwardness) by calling it, for example, “Bumblebee” or just “Bee.” I give it a big ole swipe right.