Is it really written in the stars? This week, Bumble launched weekly customized astrology content in-app, with astrologer Aliza Kelly taking on the task of helping you find a star-crossed soulmate.
Dubbed “Astrology Tuesdays,” Bumble users in the U.S. can go to the new astrology channel within the conversations screen in Bumble’s Date mode. There will be weekly updates giving users content such as dating guides based on zodiac signs, advice on how to deepen relationships, what your astrological chart really means, the exploration of your big three placements: sun, moon and rising, and more.
Plus, users who engage with the astrology content will receive complimentary access to Bumble’s Zodiac Filter every Tuesday, allowing them to filter out people with zodiac signs that are incompatible with theirs.
The company also told TechCrunch that there will be content around specific astrological events and how the different star signs can navigate them, as well as a chance to receive a personal compatibility reading from Aliza.
Brands have grabbed onto astrology as an easy way to connect with consumers. The company's partnership with an astrologer is Bumble's attempt at enhancing dating and relationship experiences.
Selby Drummond, Bumble’s chief brand officer, said in a statement, “As of May, 78% of active Bumble members in the U.S. adopted a ‘Zodiac’ badge on their profiles, which tells us that there is a tremendous appetite for more insights about potential connections that come through astrology.”
Over time, as members become more engaged, Bumble will explore "deeper features focused on compatibility," the company revealed to TechCrunch.
However, while the new astrology content is trendy, it’s not really accurate when it comes to relationship compatibility.
In 2019, Bumble introduced Zodiac Badges so people could list their sun sign on their profile and filter matches based on whether they want to date confident Leos or compassionate Cancers.
When the feature first launched, Allure’s resident astrologer Sophie Saint Thomas argued that Bumble seemed to be capitalizing on the trending interest.
“This does not improve the odds of finding someone you really connect with … to cross out all Libras just because you once dated one who left a bad taste in your mouth slices away one out of every 12 potential matches for a pretty arbitrary reason. Most of us are in a place where we could use more chances for love, not fewer, so let's not cancel people based on their sun sign alone," Thomas wrote.
Despite the critics, the company boasted that Zodiac Badges had taken off.
Bumble said adding your zodiac sign could increase your number of average monthly matches, per its U.S. data. In 2021, one of the most popular profile badges on Bumble globally was astrology, the company added.
However, skeptics — or astrology atheists — took to Twitter to express their annoyance with the Astrology Tuesdays launch:
@bumble what in the world are you guys thinking with this “astrology Tuesday” junk? Offensive pseudoscience garbage. Just stop.
— Tyler (@TylerHarris_216) July 13, 2022
Astrology is a controversial topic, and while it may seem like fun and games for some people, experts say that making relationship decisions solely based on your sun sign is a bad move.
When the average person thinks of astrology, it is usually a super basic version. Your sun sign is only a tiny aspect of a much more complex natal chart. In an interview with Vogue, certified astrologer Diana Brownstone said, “You should never dismiss a romantic relationship with someone just by their sun sign, moon sign or ascendant — because they could have other planets in line with yours. It's a whole science, and the longer you study it, the more quickly and precisely you can come to conclusions.”
According to Aliza Kelly’s site, the celebrity astrologer, columnist and author has years of experience with astrology and has consulted thousands of clients on their birth charts. Getting Kelly on board as Bumble’s resident astrologer could be the company’s attempt to educate members who may be misinformed about their zodiac signs.
All that is to say, if you are told that Geminis aren’t compatible with your sun sign, maybe talk to them first instead of ruling them out with a dating app filter.