The app, started by chief executive officer Whitney Wolfe Herd, originally began as a place for dating that flipped the script on the process by requiring females to make the first move on the platform. Bumble has since morphed into a space aimed at helping with all matters of connecting people with the additions of Bumble BFF, focused on forging new friendships among users, and the more career-minded Bumble Bizz. The Hive concept propels the whole digital platform one step further with a bricks-and-mortar presence, the first of which was tested in New York and then London last year. Now L.A. gets one on Melrose Place, with the door officially opening Thursday and closing March 25.
The space will be christened with an event Wednesday evening that includes a panel featuring Sara and Erin Foster and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others.
“Whitney wants to give back to her users who are so loyal and I think it’s a really interesting way to give back and try to keep them excited and engaged,” said Sara Foster, who was tapped to be creative director of Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz with her sister Erin. The two are creators of the VH1 show “Barely Famous.”
The space, free to all Bumble users, will be a place to work, network and participate in an ever-changing roster of weekly events, ranging from panels to inspirational talks on health and wellness, entrepreneurship, relationships and more.
“The biggest change with Bumble that’s new is the additions of BFF and Bizz, and I think that’s going to reshape the content and marketing,” Erin said. “I think that Bumble in general is just rounding out to be a full 360 app for women covering their professional lives, social lives and dating lives.”
The Fosters, the daughters of music producer David Foster, are a key part of the company’s further development as content creation and media’s role within the Bumble ecosystem grows increasingly important. That strategy was only bolstered with the hiring earlier this month of former Forbes staffer Clare O’Connor, who is the company’s first-ever editorial director overseeing a new division called Bumble Media.
The point is drawing people in — and that means anybody, Sara pointed out.
“We’re going to be constantly looking for ways to bring the Bumble user in,” she said. “We want people to come to this app, even if they’re not looking for a best friend or a job.”
The Fosters themselves are charged with ramping up the content creation to do just that. One idea: a potential talk show within the Bumble app that could materialize as early as this year, although the timing ultimately is yet to be determined.
“We’re at a company where it’s just limitless,” Sara said of the possibilities. “Everyone’s really open to everything.”