Uni Students Dump Dating Apps as Bumble CEO Steps Down

Uni Students Dump Dating Apps as Bumble CEO Steps Down

Young people are breaking up with dating apps, according to a new poll from Axios, showing that 79% of college students don’t use any dating apps. A decline in interest from dating apps’ core demographic is wreaking havoc across the industry, as Bumble’s CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe Herd steps down a day before the company reports earnings, says the Wall Street Journal Monday.

College students hook up less than they used to, and 71% haven’t hooked up with anyone in the last three months or ever, according to Axios and Generation Lab’s survey of nearly 1,000 people. Over half of respondents, however, went on a date in the last three months, just likely not from an app.

Bumble will report its earnings on Tuesday in a tough environment for these dating apps. Tinder’s stock plummeted 15% last week after reporting a decline in paying users. Sorry dating apps, but college students may be looking for a genuine connection.

Over half of college relationships begin with in-person connections, according to the survey. College students rank personality as the most important factor in dating, with only 15% citing looks as the most important, which is bad news for apps that allow users to swipe on hot pictures of each other. Respondents said Tinder was the most popular dating app, with only 8% of respondents using Bumble in the last month.

Wolfe Herd, who also cofounded Tinder, started Bumble to create an app where women could have more control by initiating conversations with men to reduce the unwanted and creepy messages that plague dating apps. She’s succeeded by Lidiane Jones, a former CEO of Slack, who’s looking for opportunities to use artificial intelligence in dating app algorithms.

“AI and generative AI can play such a big role in accelerating people finding the right person, finding the right friends and the right community,” Jones told the WSJ.

The resurgence of organic relationships deals a major blow to Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, and other dating apps that have profited off the boom of hook-up culture. Hinge users said back in August they were algorithmically blocked from getting better matches. Though the company says this is not the case, frustrations with dating apps have percolated through user bases and many are opting for meeting partners the old-fashioned way.

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