Bumble launched a new feature today called Spotlight that brings a user’s profile to the top of people’s swipe page for 30 minutes. Users have to pay two Bumble Coins — or $1.99 — to access the feature, and Spotlight doesn’t call these users out in-app, so no other user knows why someone is at the top of their profile card stack, not that they normally would anyway.
This feature hits on one insecurity of dating app users: whether they’re actually being seen, or just not getting matches because of… themselves. Dating apps often try to rank users based off proprietary algorithms, so Hinge, for example, looks at users’ swipe history and tries to offer up users that are similar to others that they’ve already liked. OkCupid looks at compatibility based on questions that users answer. Tinder and Bumble are more mysterious. Tinder relies on something called an “ELO score” that has to do with how many people swipe right on a user. I have no idea how Bumble’s algorithm works. It’s probably similar to Tinder, but I have no clue.
All of this explanation is to say that dating apps don’t make their methods clear, so users are often left wondering why they aren’t getting more matches. Spotlight seemingly guarantees that profiles are at least being seen, if not liked.