How To See Active Users in Bumble
Bumble is one of the most popular dating, networking and friend-finding apps on the market today. Since its launch in late 2014, Bumble has attracted a loyal following, with tens of millions of downloads of the signature app and a remarkable (for a dating app) 46% female user base. Often described as “the feminist Tinder”, Bumble puts female users in the driver’s seat of conversations, requiring that the woman be the one to initiate conversations after heterosexual matches.
Bumble offers a variety of features to its users to help facilitate matches, meetings, and friendship. One of the unique aspects of Bumble is that it’s not just a dating app; users can switch to Best Friend Forever (BFF) mode and be matched with people of the same sex looking for friendship, or the networking mode which matches people looking to make business connections. Premium features like Bumble Boost allow users to see everyone who has right-swiped on them, as well as granting the ability to rekindle expired matches.
In this article, I’ll show you how Bumble handles active users, and what you can do to find out if your match has been active on the site.
Does Bumble Let You See Active Users?
The brief answer is “no”.
In the past, Bumble used to let you see when someone you’d matched with last used the app. Some dating sites, usually sites where profiles are available in a public or semi-public searchable library, will have a notation on each profile that shows when that user last logged on to the site. There’s a reason for that; on profile-based sites where you have a fixed allotment of messages you’re allowed to send each month, you don’t want to spend one of your messaging credits on saying “hi” to someone who last visited the site in October of 2007.
However, on Bumble and other swipe-based sites, the “last active” data ended up contributing to some stalking-type behavior. For example, Jane would match with Jack and they’d have a conversation. Then Jane would send Jack a message, and he wouldn’t answer her. Jane would check in and, sure enough, Jack signed in two days later and saw the message…but he never responded. Jane proceeds to freak out and start sending Jack “why are you ignoring me” messages until Jack unmatches. People are already crazy enough without putting this kind of bait in front of them.
Not everyone is comfortable with sharing the information about the last time they’ve been online, so Bumble decided to remove this feature. When you look through your matches, there’s no way to know how long it’s been since they were on Bumble, unless they give it away by sending you a message.
Even though this makes it harder to distinguish active users from those that haven’t opened the app in months, Bumble didn’t want to risk losing their users because they felt uncomfortable sharing this information. Some people also believe that one of the reasons why Bumble is doing this is to create an illusion of having a large number of users. Since there’s virtually no way of saying who is active, the list of users might appear long, even if many of them aren’t even using the app.
What Can You Do?
Just because Bumble doesn’t provide information about a person’s activity directly doesn’t mean there’s no way of getting it. There are in fact several different ways of gauging someone’s level of activity on the site, ranging from the simple and direct to outright stalker behavior.
Simple and Direct: Ask Them
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that, if you have a match with someone and you want to know if they’re around or not, the best and healthiest way to find that information out is to just ask them. So often in our online world we hear about “ghosting” but we generally don’t recognize the extent to which that ghosting is often, if not always, driven by overly needy or clingy behavior by the ghosted party. A simple direct message of inquiry is the best way to request a deghosting.
“Hey, you haven’t answered in a while, and I’m wondering if you just don’t want to talk with me anymore. That’s obviously your choice, but I’d like to know up front so I can know whether I should start directing my own energy in other directions. Thanks!” or “I hope I haven’t offended or annoyed you. I thought we were making a connection but it seems like you’re not interested now. Maybe you’re just too busy, or maybe something else has come up? In any event, I’d appreciate it if you could answer this and let me know what’s up.” are a lot more likely to rekindle a conversation, if there’s a real connection, than any of the following advice.
If that didn’t persuade you, well, read on.
Screenshot the Profile
The easiest way to determine if the person is active is to keep tabs on their profile.
Start out by taking screenshots of your match’s profile. What pictures do they have, what does their bio say, what tags have they added – the whole nine yards. Then on subsequent days, check the profile again and compare what’s currently there to the archived copy you have screenshots of. If something changes, then they must have changed it, and that means they’re active on the site.
Location, Location, Location
Maybe they have gotten their profile just the way they want it and wouldn’t be changing it anyway – what else can you check?
Bumble is a location-based app. We usually think of this as meaning that the app knows what city you’re in, or where you first started using the app, and that’s where it has you located in its vast database of single people. But in fact it doesn’t work that way. Bumble uses your phone’s GPS to know exactly where you are, within the limits of the accuracy of the phone (which is pretty accurate). Every time you log into Bumble, the site recalculates that location and stores it. So how does this help you figure out if your match has been active?
Simple. On day one, look at your match’s profile and make a note of the distance that it shows from you. Then, on subsequent days and from the same location, look at their profile again. If the distance has changed, it means that they opened Bumble in a different location. Note that YOU have to keep opening Bumble in the same location to do these checks – if you check while you’re somewhere else, then of course the distance will change, because YOU moved. This obviously only works if the person uses Bumble in more than one spot, so if your match only ever checks Bumble on their lunch break or at home, you’re out of luck…but most of us use dating apps all over the place, getting in some swiping at the doctor’s office or on the bus or at the park.
Maximum Stalker: Create a New Profile
OK, if all else has failed there is one tool remaining for the truly dedicated (not to say obsessive) lonely heart. This requires significantly more effort but it can give you at least an indication of your match’s level of activity.
Using a second phone, or a desktop browser, or an Android emulator on a Windows PC, install Bumble and create a new, bogus profile. This profile doesn’t have to be any good; you’re not actually trying to meet anyone with it. You’re just checking on your match. However, do make sure that your phony profile age is the same as your own age.
Set your age range to be exactly your match’s age, and your distance setting to cover their usual area of activity. Then start swiping.
How does this help you? Well, unlike Tinder and other sites, Bumble does keep inactive profiles in the card stack. If you keep swiping through the Bumble users who meet your criteria, you’ll eventually see every single person who meets your criteria and whose criteria you meet. (That’s why it was important to have the same age as your real profile – your match, presumably, still has that age in his or her allowable range.)
However, according to Bumble insiders and observers of the platform, users who are inactive are put to the bottom of the stack. You see active people first. So what does this mean? Well, by setting the age range as narrowly as possible, you hopefully are looking at a small fraction of the Bumble users in your area. If your match comes up quickly in the stack, then it’s a good bet that they have been active recently on the site. If they don’t come up until you’ve gone through hundreds of profiles, then they’re most likely inactive.
It’s a lot of work for not very much information, but nobody ever said being a stalker was easy.
The Final Word
Despite not giving you access to someone’s activity status, Bumble still has a ton of features that make it easy to find someone. When you think about it, whether someone is active or not doesn’t really make a difference. If they feel like chatting with you, the only thing you need to do is send them a message. If you don’t get a reply, simply move on. In case the lack of this feature is a deal-breaker for you, there are many other dating apps that you can try out. Many of them offer the ability to see who’s online, so you’ll still be able to do it.
Want more tips and tricks for Bumble? We’ve got you covered!
We’ve got information for you on how Bumble orders profiles.
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Need a fresh start? We walk you through the process of resetting your Bumble account.
We’ve got insights into how the Bumble algorithm works.
Check out our article on whether Bumble automatically updates your location.
Another popular question – does Bumble notify the other user if you screenshot?
Protect your own privacy with our tutorial on hiding your location in Bumble.
Did they drop you like a hot potato? Know for sure with our piece on finding out whether you’ve been unmatched on Bumble.
Want more matches? Up your game with our tutorial on creating a great Bumble profile.