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Bumble is making a highly anticipated change to one of its signature features

Bumble is making a highly anticipated change to one of its signature features

Popular dating app Bumble is making a highly anticipated change to one of its features.

Since its launch, women on Bumble have been required to message their male matches within 24 hours, in order to get the online conversation up and running. For women who are seeking those of the same gender or people who are non-binary, either person has 24 hours to message first.

However, now Bumble is offering a new feature that will give men the nudge to start messaging the women they match with first. With the feature, “opening moves,” female users can now pick a prompt to send to men to respond to, in order to initiate the conversation.

Speaking toCNN, the CEO of Bumble, Lidiane Jones said that the goal of the redesign is to help the wide variety of people on the dating app form genuine connections with their matches.

“We’re seeing a greater need for authentic human connections,” Jones explained. “I don’t anticipate that the number of people using online dating is going to go down, quite the opposite, but there is a higher bar … So we’re taking it as a great call to action to center ourselves on our mission.”

According to Jones, the “opening moves” feature is one way for women to feel more empowered on the dating app. Although women still have the opportunity to start the conversation first, the new feature allows them to ask men to make the first move, with prompts included questions about who a match’s dream dinner guest is.

For non-binary couples, the usual protocol stays the same, with either person being able to message first. However, they can also choose to send a prompt, which their match will have the opportunity to respond to.

The change to Bumble comes as dating apps have been hit with immense criticism. On social media, many dating app users have expressed how difficult it is for them to find someone they are compatible with and want to form a relationship with. Often, women have expressed their challenges when messaging first, claiming that men wouldn’t put the effort in to maintain the conversation when responding.

Jones specified to CNN that Bumble will be making some other changes, including an update to its “dating intentions” badges, where users specify what they’re looking for on the app, from a “life partner” to “casual dates”. In addition, the app will require users to include more photos and information in their bios. It will also highlight the common interests that matches share, to help people connect with others that they’re compatible with.

Last month, Jones first teased that she’s reconsidering having women initiate interaction on Bumble. Speaking with Fortune in March, she noted that while women making the first move has “obviously been our signature”, it still “feels like a burden for a subset of our customers today”.

Since it first burst onto the app store, Bumble’s whole gimmick has been that it is an app specifically created so that women “make the first move”, defying the social construct that men must always initiate conversation when pursuing someone they find attractive

After Bumble’s founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, stepped down as CEO at the start of the year, Jones took on the mantle and continued Wolfe Herd’s research into alternate options that could improve upon the company’s signature feature.

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