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(Credit: Merlas/iStockphoto)

Women in committed relationships needn't fear any longer--the Bumble app (iOS, Android) is giving users the ability to turn off the "dating mode."

The Bumble app lets women make the first move in the dating realm, but the app also offers friendship and networking. The trouble was, even if someone wanted to find a friend or mentor, the dating feature couldn't be turned off. Now the Sadie Hawkins style app can be purely platonic.

SEE: Tinder, Bumble, and Chappy apps are the least preferred ways to date, says the data

Bumble creators wanted to make the app a larger experience than just dating. In addition to the dating feature, the app includes Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz. Bumble BFF focuses on friendship, while Bumble Bizz, which launched in October 2017, is for networking. The app's developers wanted women to be able to help network all aspects of life.

"We didn't want to alienate people who just want to come to Bumble for business and friendship," Sara Foster, head of creative of Bumble BFF and Bizz, told POPSUGAR.

Foster tells potential users to keep it authentic on their profiles.

"Female friendships are the backbone of everything," she said.

While it's a good idea to customize the app to user preferences, there's no perfect recipe for friendship and meeting someone online (romantic or otherwise) is a hit-and-a-miss.

Marie Claire writer Liz Presson said she found her best friend on Bumble BFF after using the app strictly for dating. The BFF option in Bumble is more open in that women don't have to deactivate their account after finding "the one." Presson said her new BFF, Chantal, introduced Presson to her own BFF matches. And lo, a girl squad was formed.

Others haven't had such a positive experience. Huffpost's Emily McCombs tried out Bumble BFF after a breakup, hoping to build a support system. She noticed something quickly though.

"At some point I realize that this is actually worse than dating on apps, because I'm not just trying to win these girls' approval, I'm actively comparing myself to them," McCombs wrote. "I get the feeling that instead of looking for new friends, these girls are curating them―which friend is going to send the perfect message about me? Which one is going to look just right on my social media feed? It's like Instagram BUT WITH REJECTION."

Finding friends via apps might not be for everyone, but Bumble is one of the options for women. Whether meeting new friends or dating, users should exercise reasonable caution with any social meetup apps.

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Takeaways

  1. The Bumble app lets users turn off "dating mode" so users can only access Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz if they want.
  2. Finding a best friend or girl squad on Bumble has seen equal parts of success and failure.

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Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.