One of the best things about dating apps is that you can admire others from afar, with relative anonymity, and without getting caught up in a web of complicated feelings. On the other hand, one of the most controversial aspects of dating apps is that you aren’t entirely anonymous. In essence, the apps use GPS data to record the user’s location, and then they make that information semi-public. This functionality does make sense, to an extent. Without location information, the whole concept of the app wouldn’t work. Most of us aren’t interested in trying to start a relationship with anyone who lives far away. Despite the necessity for the information being out there, people concerned about their privacy are legitimately worried about misuse of this data by stalkers, angry ex-lovers, or the government. All of these are very valid concerns!
In this article, we will look at how Bumble handles geographical information, and contrast it with the other major dating apps out there. Can you set your location in the app, or are you at the mercy of your GPS indications? Do you have any control over how much information Bumble reveals about you? These answers and more are found below. 
Unlike a lot of other apps, Bumble does not continuously run on your device. Once you exit the device, it shuts down, and it doesn’t start up again unless you view a new match or message, or just start it up. For that reason, if you are offline, the only location information the app has on you is your most recent location from the last time you logged in. This information is displayed in the app using your city name. Other users will see the distance from you that is based on the last time you launched the app. The users don’t know whether you are online or not. When you do go online again and open Bumble, the app will take its information from your Wi-Fi info and your phone’s GPS data. This fact means that Bumble will always set your location based on where you are physically located when using the app.
How Do We Know That It Works?
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the accuracy of Bumble’s geographic tracking. It’s abundantly clear that not all GPS locators are created equally. However, the app has good location tracking and “knows” where you are with some reliability.
How will you know that Bumble has correctly spotted you? First, check your profile results. Your top profile results tend to be filtered by proximity. The first photos you’ll see when logging in are from the people closest to your current location, in partiality, of course.
However, these results are filtered even further. After proximity is taken into account, the ranking or popularity of the profile becomes another essential filter. Profiles with more views from users tend to get shown more often and sooner than profiles that encountered a lot of rejection. If you’re in a location with very few Bumble members, this might be a confusing way to track location.
Can You Turn Off of Geotracking?
No. Although you can block Bumble from knowing where you are (see below), the app will always at least think it knows where you are and will put you in the card stack for that area of the world. There is no way to effectively block Bumble from knowing your location and still get to use the app to match, chat, and meet with local people. While Bumble used to allow users to turn off geolocation temporarily, that is no longer an option in the latest version. The app will not work at all if your smartphone’s location setting is turned off.
Automatic vs. Manual Settings
Bumble does allow you to set your acceptable distance range for prospective matches, from 3 miles to 100 miles. However, Bumble does not allow you to set your location manually. Competitors like Tinder have premium tiers that let you state where you are, which is useful for people who are going on vacation or a business trip. However, there is a way around this limitation in Bumble if you use one simple trick.
First, you’ll have to access your smartphone’s Settings menu and find your location option. If you disable the location option, then moving from one city to another won’t prompt Bumble to update your location, but the app won’t work until you turn location back on. However, to specify where you truly are, you need to make sure that you turn the location feature off in the area you want to be seen in, which will make Bumble maintain that last location status without change. The app’s status should also change what type of profiles you see, and not only which users have seen you.
Bumble’s Travel Mode
Though Bumble is strict about location, the team behind the app understands that humans are rarely stationary. The Travel mode allows users to set their position to a different city for up to seven days. Unfortunately, you don’t get to set an exact location. Bumble will “set you down” right in the middle of the city. Your profile will also display an indicator that lets other Bumble users know you’re in Travel mode.
You will need to pay in Bumble coins for the privilege, but the process of setting Travel mode is pretty simple:
- First, tap the gear icon to open Settings.
- Scroll to the Location settings at the bottom, and tap “Travel to…”
- Search for and select the city.
- The timer will start on your Travel period right away!
While in Travel mode, you can change your location as many times as you wish, but you can only choose one location at a time.
In regards to information sharing, Bumble isn’t all that different from most other dating apps. Many people find it very helpful to be able to look at prospective matches in the immediate vicinity.
While some users are nervous about how sharing their location impacts their privacy, Bumble has stringent guidelines regarding consent. You should never hesitate to click the “Block and Report” option or contact Bumble  if you’re feeling uneasy about another user’s activity.
Want more information about getting the most out of Bumble? Find out if Bumble notifies other people when you snapshot their picture .