How Working at Bumble Changed One Girl’s Approach to Dating
Chances are, if you’re below the age of 30 and have been single in the past five years, you’ve used a dating app before. But while you’ve been swiping away or cleverly devising the ultimate opening line, have you ever taken a moment to think of what goes on behind the scenes of your favorite dating app?
If you take a look at the Instagram of Alex Williamson, director of creative marketing & brand copywriter at Bumble, behind the scenes looks pretty damn fun.
When she’s not at HQ in Austin, Alex is attending events around the US, like the Bloggers Who Brunch LA event that she attended this past weekend. Bumble x Bloggers Who Brunch is basically the coolest couple ever, plus Alex spoke alongside of surfer/model Anastasia Ashley and lifestyle blogger Sazan Hendrix.
We talked with Alex about how she ended up at Bumble after studying film, how Bumble has changed her dating life, and how Bumble manages to get all the hot guys (because you know you’ve been wondering).
Tell us about the work environment at Bumble
I’m in our marketing hub which is headquartered in Austin, Texas. On a typical day, we have about seven girls in the office. We all work really closely together. Our team has a very startup feel. We’re expanding very fast in terms of our reach. We have part of our team in LA, we have part of our team in London, and we all spend our time in several group chats altogether. We’re all in the office 9-5, but we’re all committed to working on weekends, we answer emails at 1 am, it’s just almost like your team is family. We do team dinners– we’re all going to head out in an hour to dinner. It’s a really fun environment, but we move at a very fast pace.
How long have you been working there?
Before it even launched, I started at the end of September 2014, we launched December 1st 2014.
What’s an average day of work like for you?
I go back and forth in a lot of different areas of the company. I do social media a lot. I run our main Instagram account. I do creative marketing, video content, different events, it all kind of varies. I work a lot with our customer service team as well, making sure that everything as it goes out really embodies and has the voice of Bumble.
What did you study in college? Did you ever envision doing something like this?
Never in a million years. I studied film, so I studied cinema and television at SMU in Dallas. I for sure thought I’d be in the entertainment industry, but if you step back and look at it, the app world really is the entertainment industry. I create content a lot.
How does it affect your dating life?
It’s really interesting working for Bumble because we’re all about female empowerment. I decided that everything I did in terms of my dating life would be empowered. I used Bumble a lot. I now have an amazing boyfriend, but when I was using Bumble, I went on a lot of dates, I made a lot of business contacts actually. A lot of people who we’ve worked with we actually met through Bumble.
When people find out you work for a dating app, it’s almost like you suddenly become a dating therapist. People start telling you about their relationships, their struggles with online dating, or their exes. I would liken it to being a hairdresser or makeup artist. People automatically feel like you’re going to be trained to talk about their personal life, I’ve heard a lot of stories.
Making the choice to practice what we preach in terms of being a female empowerment dating app and really pushing for women to take control of their lives changed my life completely. The way that I date, the way that I view myself, I think working for Bumble in that regard has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Do you see Bumble as paving the way for more girls to initiate contact in their relationships?
100%. My favorite feedback that I get from people is, “I can’t date, I have a boyfriend or I’m married or whatever, but now my girlfriends are going up and introducing themselves to guys at bars or out at night or out in public because of Bumble.” For me, that’s the best feedback we could ever receive. Knowing that we’re helping women date confidently.
You do a ton of things for Bumble, but they all kind of fall under the marketing umbrella. How is marketing a dating app different than marketing something like a pair of shoes or a car?
It’s a lot easier [to market a pair of shoes or a car], I would think. I go back and forth on this. I worked for an accessory store for a while and I think it’s a lot easier to market a physical product. I do believe that dating apps prior to Bumble kind of had a bad rep. We’ve been going against that and debunking the opinion. We’ve been making it normal to be on a dating app, making it something that’s not embarrassing or shameful in any way. You’re not just marketing a product, you’re marketing a whole idea.
How does one get a job at Bumble?
We’re still so small! I think it would be doing something off the wall maybe, something that really got the company’s attention. We’ve had some people come in and do freelance and then we work with them more. I’m sure we’ll be growing and expanding from here, it’d probably be better if I could answer that question in a few months or a year from now.
I think the women who work for our company are all incredibly bright and innovative and willing to think outside the box. Everyone who’s come in says that our team is very strongly opinionated. That’s what’s great about our founder Whitney is that she’s always open to everyone’s input. One of the most fascinating parts of our team is that there are so many women in our company and we don’t have much drama that happens and I think that’s really rare. I think that’s kind of a stereotype that’s unfair. You can safely say that women might be less dramatic then people think that we are.
Alright, we’ve all been wondering, how does Bumble get all the hot guys?
Don’t we though? When I was single that was a really fun aspect of working for the company. Being one of the first Bumble users, you got to see every hot guy come onto the app. I have to say, where the women go, the men follow. Our female users are very intelligent and beautiful and that is so rad that we have such incredible women using our app.
It’s hard to make the first move all the time, there’s such a societal pressure for men to make the first move. You’re giving them this opportunity to sit on their hands and sit back and maybe some of these really attractive men are shy and they’re single because they don’t have the gumption to go up to a woman. We want women to feel empowered but if you’re normally shy, it’s okay! The circumstances are forcing you to make the first move and guys know that. They’re privy to that information and they know that’s part of what Bumble is.
I also think something interesting about Bumble is that when the girl makes the first move it takes away any feelings of aggression on either end. The guy doesn’t have to peacock to get her attention. The conversations come a lot easier. The guards are down a little bit more, people feel more at ease to have a conversation.