Bumble Is the Latest Challenger Brand Getting Into the Publishing Business

The 100-page Bumble Mag comes out Friday

Bumble released its first magazine. Via Bumble
Headshot of Sara Jerde

Another challenger brand is getting into the publishing business. Bumble, the dating and networking app, is launching Bumble Mag, a lifestyle publication, in partnership with Hearst Magazines’ branded content studio, HearstMade.

The first issue will be available Friday and feature entrepreneur, model and Bumble user Lauren Chan on its cover. The editorial team plans to include actual users of the app throughout the magazine to expand the brand and connect with users offline, said Clare O’Connor, Bumble’s editorial director.

“I dispute the conventional wisdom that print is dead,” O’Connor said. “There’s always room for a print product to stand out if it’s really high quality.”

The 100-page debut issue will include sections familiar to Bumble users: “You First,” “You + BFFs,” “You + Dating” and “You + Bizz.” The magazine features celebrity interviews, product guides and features on hot topics with contributions from the likes of Bumble investor and star of its first Super Bowl ad campaign Serena Williams, Bumble creative directors Erin and Sara Foster, and Away co-founder Jen Rubio.

Bumble Mag’s editors wanted to focus on advice and “real talk” to be a “big supportive sister,” O’Connor said.

“These are questions we get on our channels anyway; we thought we should answer in print,” she said. “There’s no reason not to try this.”

Instead of an ad, Bumble Mag's back page features another image of Chan.

The magazine is another way to extend the brand offline, O’Connor said. Over the past year, Bumble held pop-ups in L.A., New York, Toronto and at SXSW, where it brought users together to participate in panel discussions and meet in person.

Bumble joins other young brands producing a print magazine as they look to expand their reach, including Away (which has Here Magazine), Dollar Shave Club (Mel Magazine), Casper (Woolly Magazine) and Airbnb (Airbnb Magazine, which is also produced in partnership with Hearst).

Advertisers in the first issue include women-led companies like Ellevest and companies that fit the brand’s synergy (like Burt’s Bees), and female-centric movie Booksmart (directed by Olivia Wilde).

Hearst is handling the magazine logistics for Bumble, including connecting the four-person editorial team with other contributors who helped write content for the publication. The exact printing schedule for the magazine is still in the works.

“The magazine is a perfect example of how HearstMade is changing the face of custom publishing with hypertargeted content that reflects the brand’s ethos in the most authentic way,” said HearstMade editorial director Brett Hill, in a statement.

The magazine will be distributed for free to current and potential Bumble users through its Bumble brand ambassadors, more than 3,000 women in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. The magazine can also be requested on the app in the U.S. and will be sent by mail.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.