Dating apps are a dime a dozen. We’ve previously covered some of the best free dating apps for youngsters. But there’s one growing in popularity that offers something unique compared to its competitors: Hinge.
Hinge aims to get away from the mindless swiping culture by matching you based upon interests and preferences, and inspiring conversations from that. Hinge claims that 75 percent of first dates that happen as a result of the app turn into second dates.
Sounds good, right? Here’s a short introductory guide to Hinge for those who are seeking a different kind of dating app.
What Is Hinge?
Hinge is a dating app that launched in 2012 around the same time as Tinder arrived on the scene. At the time both apps were similar, focusing on swiping through vast amounts of profiles, though Hinge tried to pair you with friends of friends on Facebook.
The company found that only one in 500 Hinge swipes led to a phone number exchange and they wanted to change that. Thus they pivoted in 2015, rebranding as an app for people after relationships and “meaningful connections” rather than people only looking only for friends or one-night stands.
Creating a profile on Hinge is about more than just your photos. They’re obviously important, but so are your virtues, vitals, and vices. This encompasses things like your religious beliefs, political leanings, height, ethnicity, whether you have kids, if you drink or smoke, and more.
You also have the opportunity to answer three questions from a predefined list. This includes stuff like the next vacation you want to go on, your most embarrassing Spotify song, or something you’re legitimately bad at.
The purpose of all this is that it creates a well-rounded profile that reveals your personality and preferences. You don’t swipe on the entire profile, but rather a specific element. It hopefully leads to better matches and sparks conversation. Just remember to avoid the classic online dating mistakes.
Beyond the more detailed profile, Hinge has a number of approaches to try and drive quality connections over quantity.
On other dating apps it can sometimes be tempting to swipe “like” on everyone just to see who has done the same for you. However, whether it’s curiosity, ego, or something else, it’s not conducive to meaningful matches.
Hinge does away with that. It specifically tells you how many people have liked you. When you get to their profile, a message will appear at the top showing what it was about you that they liked. You can then immediately hop into a chat with them, if you wish.
As you use Hinge, the app is learning your preferences. Occasionally, it’ll serve you someone that it rates as Most Compatible. It’s based on the Gale-Shapley algorithm, which originated in the 1960s, that pairs everyone in a group together with who they most prefer.
It’s by no means perfect, but Hinge claim that that you are eight times more likely to go on a date with a Most Compatible match than anyone else.
Your matches won’t go anywhere if you don’t chat with them. In an effort to reduce ghosting, Hinge tags chats with “Your Turn” to prompt you to begin chatting or when you haven’t responded.
Chats that remain inactive for 14 days get collapsed down into a Hidden Chats section. You can still respond here to unhide them, but the aim is that you don’t have countless chats running at once that you’re not invested in. Since its introduction, Your Turn has reduced chat abandonment by 13 percent.
If you share your phone number with a match, Hinge will follow up a few days later and ask if you went on a date and whether you’d meet them again. The data will be used to improve any future matches to try and pair you with similar people.
It’ll also link this data with cues like inactivity in the app or deletion of an account to signify a successful relationship. All of this improves Hinge’s formula—their aim is not to find people who like the exact same things, but pair you off based on related interests.
How to Use Hinge for Dating
The app guides you through the process to create your profile. You upload up to six photos, answer three questions, then submit further information about yourself. The more information you provide, the more detailed the matches. You can also hide certain aspects from your profile if you like.
You can then set your match preferences based on age range, distance, height, ethnicity, and religion.
The paid service lets you specify on other preferences like family plans, education, and drugs. It will also let you see a full list of everyone who likes you (without going through each profile in turn) and give access to “Experts” to answer your dating questions.
Hinge then shows you one profile at a time, mixing together their photos, answers, and personal info. Press the “heart” icon next to something on their profile to comment on it and then hope they match back with you. Alternatively, press the red cross icon to move to the next profile.
Moving On From Hinge
It might sound counterintuitive at first, but Hinge doesn’t want you using the app for long. Tim MacGougan, Chief Product Officer at Hinge, told MixPanel that he wants people to quit the app because of a relationship they formed on it:
“Those people are out in the real world constantly answer the first question most couples get: ‘How did you two meet?’ When they say Hinge, that is the most authentic marketing, referral, and driver of growth that there could be.”
With conglomerate IAC (owners of Match, OkCupid, Tinder, and more) recently buying a controlling share in Hinge, and Facebook announcing its own dating service that works similarly, it’s clearly doing something right. So why not give it a shot and see how you get on.
To increase your chances of dating success, check out our article detailing the perfect online dating profile picture, according to research. Or if you’re over the app world, there’s many traditional dating websites that might work for you.