Rumblr is an app that is billed as Tinder, but you use it to set up fights instead of casual encounters. According to the creators, users can also find nearby fights to spectate, and even communicate, via a built-in chat function. If that sounds too ridiculous to be true, keep reading. Rumblr may have actually started as a hoax, but the creators of the app have maintained throughout that the app is a real thing.
One of the first publications to report on Rumblr was Venture Beat, which described it as “like a dating app, except the dates happen in parking lots… and they culminate in throw-downs.” That report shone a light on Rumblr that resulted in numerous other outlets picking up the story, including local television stations around the country.
Although little information was available about Rumblr when Venture Beat went to press, the team behind the app proved very willing to talk about their product. While doubts circulated about the existence of the app, the team assured reporters and journalists that it was a real thing.
For instance, the Rumblr team told The New York Daily News that while the app wasn’t ready for primetime yet, it was definitely real, and had funding ready to go. “We have raised relatively substantial funding from private American investors,” the team told The New York Daily News. “And the app is fully developed.”
The team also filmed interviews with local television stations, like Tucscon’s Tucson News Now, where they explained the thought process behind creating the app.
“We’ve always fought for the entire life of humanity, so why can’t we just provide a way for them to do it more efficiently?”
Dozens of news outlets have covered Rumblr since Venture Beat first brought it to light, and the mere existence of the app has manufactured a lot of outrage. Attitudes on social media ranged from bemused indifference to disgust.
Billed as “Tinder for fighting,” Rumblr helps you to punch strangers in your area. (Swiftian brilliance or the end of civilization?)
— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) November 8, 2015
A new phone app called Rumblr is just like Tindr but for fighting… Well, just like Tindr I expect a lot of swiping left on the black guys.
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) November 9, 2015
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) November 9, 2015
When Business Insider talked to Jack Kim and Matt Henderson, the so-called creators of the app, they maintained that it was a real thing, and that it had been denied by Apple’s app store. In lieu of releasing it via the app store, they said that they decided to make a web version of the app.
The site is now live, and it looks real. You can log in via either LinkedIn or Tinder, which definitely makes sense, or make a local account, and it even includes a long bit of legalese that you have to click through. Cleverly, Kim and Henderson made sure that just in case they get sued, their liabilities, “shall be limited to (A) fifty pounds sterling (£50.00).”
That’s where it breaks down. After creating an account, you are provided with a series of pictures you can swipe left or right on, in the common parlance of Tinder.
The Rumblr web app then presents you with someone who supposedly wants to fight you as much as you want to fight them. Being a tremendous physical coward, I played the situation off as if I was trying to order a pizza, and had somehow ended up in the wrong place.
Once your opponent also proves to be a tremendous physical coward, the app redirects you to the punchline. Rumblr isn’t real, and it never was. It was, in fact, a portfolio project that was misconstrued as a real product, which Kim, Henderson, and a third partner decided to just run with.
“Rumblr started as a portfolio project to help us launch our creative consulting agency, von Hughes. We’re a team of college dropouts with backgrounds in marketing, design, and engineering.”
In the end, Rumblr isn’t actually the Tinder for fighting, or really much of anything at all.
[Image via Rumblr]