An Important Announcement from Garbo

What to Know About Finding Friends on Bumble BFF

July 29, 2022
Rachel DeSimone

Making friends after college and even in your 30’s and 40’s can be really challenging. If you’ve just moved to a new city or even country you’re probably wondering how you can meet people and form new connections. Lucky for us there’s plenty of places online to make meaningful platonic connections and find new friends with similar hobbies and interests.

Apps like Bumble BFF (yes, the dating app Bumble) allow people looking for new friendships to meet others dating app style, but without the romantic parts. It may sound unconventional, but in today’s digital age, plenty of people find meaningful friendships on online platforms.

We’re going to walk you through what you should know about Bumble BFF, so you can be well on your way to making new friends.

What is Bumble BFF?

First released in 2016, Bumble BFF is the solution to making friends in the same way that people find dates – through an online platform with an algorithm that believes you and the other person may be a potential match. Bumble realized their users were already making friends via the dating app, so they created an entirely new BFF feature to cater to those trying to find meaningful connections, beyond romantic relationships.

The Bumble app allows anyone to use the BFF feature and there are no restrictions around gender. So females, males, and non-binary folks can set up their profile to say they’re open to female and/or male and/or non-binary friends. The friend-finding app uses the same format on the friendship side as it does the dating side – meaning that you swipe right on people that interest you, and swipe left on those that don’t.

Bumble BFF and Bumble are both color-coded as well – green is for the BFF feature, while yellow is an indication that your match is from the dating side of the app.

Getting started on Bumble BFF

First things first: you’ll need to download the Bumble app (which is available for iPhones and Androids) and create a Bumble account. Then, select Bumble BFF from the three different options that exist: Bumble, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Bizz. If you’re already a Bumble user, you can switch to the BFF mode through the settings.

Next you’ll get to create your Bumble BFF profile, just like you do on any other dating app, but you’ll want to cater this profile toward what kind of future best friend you’re looking for versus a future partner. Your profile will automatically include your age, gender, and location, and then you’ll be able to add up to 6 photos as well as a bio to tell new friends about yourself. Bumble BFF also lets you link your social media and your Spotify account to give potential friends an idea of what you like to do and what kind of music you like to listen to.

Bumble has some great tips to help you build a great profile. In addition to these, we recommend using their photo verification options to confirm your identity to give others on Bumble BFF peace of mind that you are who you say you are.

How does Bumble BFF work?

Bumble BFF works a lot like most online dating apps. Bumble’s algorithm will show you other profiles that they think you may like, and you’ll get to look at other peoples’ profiles and decide whether to swipe right or swipe left on those that interest you. And in true Bumble fashion, if you match with someone, you'll have 24 hours to make the first move and initiate a conversation between each other before the match expires. However, unique to the Bumble BFF experience,  either match could reach out to each other – regardless of the gender.

Once you’ve found a great match and you’ve chatted back and forth a bit—it’s time to meet up! Your first friend date is somewhat similar to a regular first date. Meaning you may be nervous or feel a lot of pressure to make a good impression. We recommend choosing a casual option, like grabbing a cocktail or coffee, or going for a walk for your first hang out. Or, if you and your new friend connected on something specific, like your love for concerts, or a specific type of food, you could make plans based on these common interests.

What should I know about Bumble BFF?

Now that you know how Bumble BFF works and how to get started, let’s discuss some key things to keep in mind while using the app to meet friends.

  1. It can take some time and effort: A lot of folks have mentioned experiences on Bumble BFF where they would start conversations and either never hear back or get limited responses and the conversation would fade out. Keep in mind that Bumble BFF’s success can depend on where you live - larger cities will have more friendship opportunities.
  2. You may end up not hitting it off in-person: Just like a Bumble date that bombed, you can have a friend date that didn’t go so hot either. You may connect really well with someone online and then find that it’s totally awkward when you meet up in real life. It happens—and if it does happen to you, don’t take it personally. Not everyone is going to be bestie material.
  3. Be wary of fake profiles: Be cautious of who you swipe right on and start chatting with. Look for signs like verifying their identity - and extra points if they have social media profiles linked as well. Unfortunately, just like dating apps, catfishing and online scams still occur on friend finding apps as well.
  4. Safety rules still apply: Meeting friends online may seem safer than meeting a romantic partner, but at the end of the day, this person is still a stranger, and you should still use caution. If you plan to meet up with a new friend from Bumble BFF, make sure you tell someone where you’re going/who you’re meeting and always choose a public place for your first hangout.
  5. Do your research before meeting IRL: While we don’t recommend online stalking your potential new friend, a quick Google search and Garbo check can tell you a lot about a person. You don’t need to know what’s on this person’s mother’s friend’s cousin’s Facebook, but you do need to know if they have a history of harmful or violent behavior. So do your research beforehand, so you can make more well-informed decisions about your personal safety.

And that’s everything! You should know that there’s no shame in making new friends online. It can feel scary to put yourself out there at first, but once you make one great connection, you’ll be grateful you took the leap. Remember our tips, take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe, and have fun!

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