New study examines socially conscious dating apps

Friday, November 27, 2020

Couple walking downtown in evening

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and Bumble have partnered to study how interacting in a space that promotes justice and social equity affects dating.

Corey Johnson and Diana Parry are leading the work as co-directors of the Collaboratory on Digital Equity Research (CODER). Both are professors in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

“This project seeks to understand how socially conscious dating apps are changing the dating app market and also, how they are changing dating,” said Johnson. “We are interested in the research as a way to make dating apps more equitable for all users.”

As a social networking app that aims to empower women and help people make safe and equitable connections, Bumble looks forward to uncovering how their mission-driven approach is impacting the way people connect online today.  

CODER projects take an intersectional women-focused approach to analyze how the experiences of Bumble users who identify as women change based on their race, class, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, class, mental and physical health and religion. 

The research builds on CODER’s previous work in this space, which has focused on how dating apps have changed dating, how the internet has changed women’s consumption of pornography, and how self-perception has also been affected by the internet. Parry and Johnson also have a new book on Sex and Leisure with Routledge.

About Bumble: 

Bumble, the women-first social networking app, was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. Bumble connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). No matter the type of relationship, women make the first move on Bumble. Bumble recognizes the importance of relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They've built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their community plays an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and has zero tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying. Since 2014, Bumble has facilitated over a billion women-led first moves and over fifteen billion messages sent.

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