All around campus are flyers displaying yellow and black beehive symbols with catchy phrases encouraging students to download the Bumble app. But what exactly is Bumble, and who is advertising for it on campus?
The University of Richmond Bumble team, led by senior Michele Lee, gave us the scoop. She and her four team members, Jane Irving, Madeline Miller, Sarah Smith and Jenny Schneider, complete advertising tasks for Bumble, a social networking app that allows users to connect to those around them.
Lee took on the campus director position when Bumble asked her to apply for a college campus program.
"I divide up the different tasks that they give us every month," Lee said. "Then we work together to do some of those event-related things, guerrilla marketing or promoting the features on the app."
The ambassadors work to spread the word about the app around campus using a variety of marketing tactics.
“Mainly it’s passing out merchandise…and writing in chalk around campus about Bumble,” Irving said. “My favorite thing that we do is study breaks. Bumble will fund a study break for us to host a space to relax … in a room in an academic building.”
The group’s promotions encourage students to download the Bumble app and make use of its several features.
“As a bumble user, I think the most important thing that sets it apart is that it has two other features aside from dating,” Miller explained.
Bumble BFF allows people to create platonic friendships, while Bumble Bizz is a networking feature that connects professionals and students alike with people who share their interests. Miller, originally from Texas, has had success with Bumble Bizz, touting its accessibility.
“I was looking for internships all of winter break and I was like, ‘Why not check Bumble Bizz?’ If I set my distance to reach Austin, there are so many people," she said.
Lee added that using the social network is a "casual and a laid-back way of networking, so it doesn’t feel as intimidating."
Although the app’s features are diverse, they all share the Bumble trademark: women start the conversation. As someone who has experimented with other apps, Miller values this requirement.
“On Bumble, you sort of have the power," she said. "I tend to feel a lot safer than I’ve felt on similar apps."
In addition to requiring that women make the first move, Bumble sets itself apart by offering profile verification, which assures users of each others’ credibility. This lessens the risk of encountering a “catfish,” or someone lying about his or her identity.
The University of Richmond Bumble team, which ranked in the top ten nationally for growth, said the local pool had expanded significantly since its work began. Miller cited this expansion as reflecting students' desire to branch out socially and meet new people on campus.
“Bumble is a way to meet people you never would've met, like athletes and non-greeks," she said. "I’ve gotten to form connections through the app and probably wouldn’t have met them otherwise, which is really cool.”
As a reward for their top ten ranking, Bumble will provide the team with a $1,000 bar tab at the venue of their choosing. Students who show that they have the app downloaded will receive drink vouchers for the evening.
Lee anticipates the Bumble team hosting more events this semester.
“I also am going to try to do more things with small businesses and restaurants that are local that will provide discounts for students that show that they have the app,” Lee said.
Lee and her team’s ambition is rivaled only by their passion for the app’s mission and its ability to connect people in our changing world.
“I love Bumble because it has so many different opportunities to socially network, and that’s how our world is developing," Lee said."
Contact features writer Hannah Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.