Airbnb and Bumble push virtual first dates to stay relevant

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer
Young woman at home drinking red wine and using tablet

With travel and dating impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbnb and Bumble have been struggling to adapt and stay relevant. Now, the two companies are joining forces. Today, Airbnb is introducing a collection of Bumble-approved online experiences -- “perfect for spicing up virtual dates.”

Last month, Airbnb created online experiences, making things like tours, classes and workshops available via Zoom. And Bumble added a Virtual Date badge for users who are open to dating via video chat. Today’s announcement is a mashup of those offerings.

The partners are encouraging users to, for instance, take a virtual wine class together, visit an Amsterdam jazz club, join a tarot reading, learn about coffee from a professional taster in Colombia and more. Of course, since these are public experiences, other people may join your date, but you can request private bookings.

To celebrate this new offering, Bumble is sponsoring a contest where 100 Bumble users will be selected to go on virtual first dates through Airbnb’s online experiences. New and existing Bumble users can sign up through the app until May 28th.

The collaboration feels a bit desperate, but given the state of the world, it’s not surprising that Airbnb and Bumble are working together to remain useful. And at the very least, this might give users something to talk about, other than how they’ve been handling quarantine.