Does Bumble Automatically Update Your Location?

Posted by Arch on November 6, 2018

Dating apps that triangulate the user’s location and then make the information public receive mixed reviews all the time. Although dating apps generally have nothing to do with ensuring privacy, very accurate geographic location readings aren’t viewed by many people as a safe approach to speed dating strangers.

So how does Bumble handle this, and does it work like any other dating app? Can you make your own location settings or are you at the mercy of the app in regards to when and how much information it reveals about you and your whereabouts?

Geographic Settings

Unlike a lot of other apps, Bumble is less invasive and less energy-consuming to run or to use. The app doesn’t keep running in the background if you’re not using it. When other users see your profile, they’ll be given your last known location. This is usually displayed just by using the city’s name.

The distance in miles is not shown if you’re not online. That’s because Bumble needs you to be logged in for it to update your location. Each time you go back online and open Bumble, the app will take its information from your Wi-Fi info and from your phone’s GPS data.

This will allow users to see just how close they are to you, and it will also make the other person’s data available to you.

How Do We Know That It Works?

There has been plenty of speculation regarding whether or not Bumble is accurate with its geographic data display. Is it only used after swiping right on a profile picture or is it also used to filter out search results? Well, if you’ve used it for a while, the answer should be obvious.

The top profile results tend to be filtered by proximity. The first photos you’ll get to swipe at any given time you log in are from the people closest to your location. However, these results are filtered even further. After proximity is taken into account, the ranking or popularity of the profile becomes another important filter.

Just how important it is isn’t always easy to determine. There are plenty of users who complain about popular profiles popping up well-before profiles in closer proximity. Others seem adamant that the geographic location is the top priority when selecting profiles for you to see.

Because there’s very little, if anything, known about Bumble’s algorithm, we’ll have to wait and see what the developers choose to disclose about this feature. However, there’s little interest from the dev team to disclose such information to the public.

Automatic vs. Manual Settings

Should Bumble give you more control over your preferences, more specifically, the option to choose a specific geographical location? People have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, Bumble is a dating app that should work much like speed dating.

Finding someone who is close and has similar interests is key for the app’s success. The faster the users get satisfying dates out of the app, the more successful the app is and the more money it rakes in.

But what about people that travel a lot? Maybe they’re not looking to meet someone on the road but rather back home. How is that addressed?

Bumble actually doesn’t endorse this option. You don’t have a setting that allows you to manually set a location and keep it. However, there is a way around this if you use a simple trick.

First you’ll have to access the Settings menu and then find the geolocation option. If you uncheck it or disable it, moving from one city to another won’t prompt Bumble to update your location. However, for this to work you need to make sure that you turn the geolocation tracking feature off in the area you want to be seen in.

This should also change what type of profiles you see, and not only which users have seen you. At least it should work in theory. Because the algorithm is mainly unknown, it may not affect the results you get at all.

Final Thought

Bumble appears to be gaining a lot of popularity due to how it shifts the balance of power between men and women. In regards to information sharing, the app really isn’t all that different from most other dating apps.

Apart from the fact that it doesn’t run in the background if you’re not logged in and that it doesn’t always send out your location information, there’s not a lot to say. You can trick the app into staying set on a certain location if you disable the geolocation tracking feature. Then again, you can also do the same thing with other, more popular and well-established dating apps.

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