For obvious reasons, most tech companies won’t add a feature that will decrease their active users. But Bumble announced Thursday that it’s doing just that: launching a new snooze feature that lets users pause their activity on the women-first dating app.
“It’s this really ripe moment for something like this, but not a lot of companies are willing to go ahead and build it into their actual product model or business model in fear of churn or damaging their KPIs,” Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said in an interview with Fortune.
Bumble’s new snooze feature will let users pause activity for a selected amount of time in the app and, if they choose, set an away message to tell any current matches that they’re not checking their messages. Snoozing Bumble will apply across all of its verticals—dating, Bumble BFF and the networking section Bumble Bizz—but its next iteration will allow users to pick and choose which sections to snooze and to snooze specific conversations.
Bumble took inspiration after noticing that users were hacking the system to make their own version of a snooze function. Users would temporarily delete the app or turn off notifications and write in their bio that they were taking a break but would be back. The four-year-old dating app also had an option for users to hide their public profiles, preventing them from appearing for new potential matches but keeping their current conversations alive.
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The snooze feature halts all activity on the app instead of just new matches and doesn’t run the risk of losing existing matches, like deleting the app does.
Bumble is encouraging users to activate the snooze feature if they’re traveling and want to focus on new experiences, if they’re up against a deadline at work, or if they need a digital detox. Wolfe Herd herself recently took a three-week social media break that she talks about in Bumble’s snooze announcement.
Bumble likes to emphasize its values as a company. If more traditional social platforms take note—although Bumble does have an advantage in trying this out as a private company—it could get a lot easier to take a breather from Twitter or Instagram.
“We want to be the ones that are willing to stand up and raise our hands when maybe nobody else will. If we’re sitting in a classroom of 10 social media giants, we’re willing to stand up first,” Wolfe Herd said. “It’s OK. We aren’t scared of damaging our bottom line.”