Bumble Founder Says The Future Of Dating Is Having An 'AI Dating Concierge' Go On Dates For You -- But People Are Not On Board

Bumble’s exciting rebrand with AI technology has sparked a massive debate in an ever-faltering online dating landscape.

Bumble app on a phone over an AI-generated background. Diego Thomazini, Matthew25, Peshkova / Shutterstock

Bumble, the dating app once hailed for putting the power of “first messages” in women’s hands and opening up the “platonic dating” scene, is now being condemned for its tone-deaf and frankly “disappointing” rebrand.

After the dating app deleted all its social posts in early April, users anxiously anticipated something refreshingly progressive to improve the faltering online dating scene. That culmination of excitement quickly fizzled, however, with the launch of AI concierges as the app's response to “healthier and more equitable” connections.


Bumble’s founder said the ‘future of dating’ is AI technology that can offer everything from flirting advice to a ‘dating concierge’ who goes on dates for you.

During a Bloomberg Tech conference in San Francisco last week, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder and former CEO, discussed how the app would be “innovating and embracing AI” to stay ahead in the dating app industry.


Seemingly focused on creating a more “equitable space” for people to connect and form relationships online, Herd revealed that Bumble is launching a “dating concierge,” an AI-generated version of you that could date and communicate with others. 

woman using online dating app studioroman / Canva Pro

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“You could, in the near future, be talking to your AI dating concierge … it could give you productive tips for communicating with others,” she explained, “[or] it could go and date for you … then you don’t have to talk to 600 people.”

While there might be a buzz around AI technology in other industries, Bumble’s entire rebrand — coupled with Herd’s acknowledgment of potential for additions like "dating concierges" — feels tone-deaf. 

“Is anyone actually listening to the conversation that’s happening online right now?” marketing expert Sam Ogborn asked in a TikTok, alluding to Gen Z’s general distaste for dating apps.

@marketingwithsam bumble’s latest campaign is backfiring. their billboards have set fire to internet conversation and their announcement of AI personas is getting torn up. the bigger question is - what will it take to change or improve the modern world of dating and dating apps? #dating #bumble #datingapps #datingapp #moderndating #hinge #tinder #datingadvice #marketing #billboards #OOH ♬ original sound - Marketing with Sam

Not only are more Gen Zers — over 90%, according to recent data — admitting to being “frustrated” with dating apps, but they’re actively seeking more in-person alternatives to meeting people. Unsurprisingly, because of Gen Z’s yearning for in-person connection and organic “meet-cutes,” there’s been a decrease in dating app usage and a surge of interest in “in-person events” like speed dating.


Alongside backlash regarding Bumble’s ‘AI dating concierge,’ many people are critiquing their ‘distasteful’ new billboard campaigns.

While Bumble’s initial rebrand stirred controversy with “Open Moves” and the option for men to now message first on the app, nothing touched the discourse sparked by the first look at their new billboards. “You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer,” one billboard exclaimed, seemingly about a recent empowered movement of women “re-evaluating” their relationships with men, sex, and dating.

“Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun,” another reads, “mocking” the embrace of celibacy and singlehood many straight women have adopted. While some argue they’re a lighthearted riff of common dating jokes, others struggle to accept their idiocracy.

Creators like Michelle Khouri on TikTok coined the app’s new rebrand “Bumble Fumble,” noting, “Because love is so nebulous and chemistry is so ethereal, there’s no number of algorithms or questionnaires that can pinpoint the secret sauce that helps everyone find who they’re looking for.”

@arayofmk The Bumble fumble is just another sign that our little online dating experiment has failed. I wonder what we’ll try next?#bumble #bumblefumble #bumblebillboard #4b #onlinedating #dating #love ♬ original sound - Michelle Khouri

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Instead of accepting that dating apps are addictive and focusing on addressing that, Bumble seems to be ridiculing those who have ditched them. Instead of accepting that many people are leaving dating apps behind, as a whole, they’ve amplified witty slogans that shame, blame, and target those embracing singlehood and celibacy (or, at the very least, in-person organic connection).

The infamous dating app once deemed “radical” for embracing women’s choices is now being condemned for the opposite — it’s definitely not a good look.

“[They’re] specifically targeting women with messages essentially pushing them to have casual sex or ‘live a life of a nun’ (as if those are the only two choices we have in life),” social scientist Katie Jgln shared on Threads. “Mocking those who choose to be celibate is gross. There’s a very good reason why so many straight women are swearing off dating men and using those apps: they view us as a product/object to be used for their benefit only.”

Bumble’s rebrand and vision of the future of dating have users seeking authenticity.

Studies on connection and dating, alongside Gen Z testimonials online, are important reminders that despite their generation’s tech-savvy nature and progressiveness, they’re still looking for genuine connection. Especially coupled with unforgiving marketing slogans and billboards, Bumble’s AI focus completely deviates from what its largest user demographic is looking for.


Dating app bumble on phone screen. Boumen Japet / Shutterstock

Not only is this disappointment exemplified in their distaste for Bumble’s rebrand but also in their adoption of Hinge, the newer app that’s now the second most popular online dating option (a spot once held by Bumble itself). 

What are they doing differently? They prioritize in-person connection; after all, they’re marketed as the “app designed to be deleted.”


New waves of dating app distaste and the need for online dating reform stem from far more than this poor marketing campaign and its attempts at technological innovation. Safety concerns, stereotypical gendered norms, and debates about authenticity also deserve discussion.

Despite that, it’s impossible to ignore just how ignorant Bumble’s attempts at technological innovation and witty marketing remarks are — accurately summed up by a TikTok user writing that we’re, “Apparently, choosing bears over bees now, too.”

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.