Unlike other dating apps that feel more like video game than a means to find a partner, Hinge’s tagline says it all: ‘Designed to be deleted.’ As one of the most popular swiping-like downloads daters can invest their thumb in, Hinge sets itself apart by being a resource and destination for those who are serious about finding a relationship. When it was founded by Justin McLeod in 2012, his idea was to develop a pool of singles that was were on the same page as Match or eHarmony, but wanted a more modern approach. When they first launched, the premise was based on friends-of-friends on Facebook, attempting to recreate old-fashioned matchmaking. As it grew in popularity, they developed a more targeted algorithm to recommend matches based on preferences, and eventually, were sold to Match.com. For those who are ready to take their romantic pursuits to the ultimate level, Hinge is an exciting—and promising—app that hopefully, you won’t need to have for very long. Before you download and dig in, here’s what you need to know:
How to Sign Up:
Since Hinge is mobile-only, you’ll need a smart device to become a member. Whether you download from the iTunes App Store or Google Play, you can either sign up with Facebook to instantly pull in your info, or use a mobile number to verify your info. From here, you can expect the basics of nearly every single-and-looking platform, including education, height, ethnicity, alcohol/drug/pot use and some others. But then, Hinge acts how you’d like every first date to act by asking you interesting questions. These could be ‘two truths and a lie’ or ‘your ideal vacation’ or something else that gets to your values, perspectives and pastimes. None of it is too tricky, so don’t be worried, but try to be as creative—and honest as possible. Once you’ve finished these inquiries, you can add images, and then potential dates can match with you based on your responses or your handsome mug.
It’s also important to note there are two types of Hinge memberships. The first one—which is free!—allows you to interact with members, filter by basic preferences and message. However, you’re limited a certain number of ‘likes’ a day. With the ‘preferred’ Hinge membership, you’re free to roam as you please and show attraction to an endless number of folks. You also are given more filters, including whether or not someone has or wants children, if they smoke, drink or use drugs. You can also see who has liked you before matching wit them, and you’re given access to the Hinge experts. These professionals give advice on how to make your profile more eye-catching and effective, as well as guide you through the dating process. This membership is affordable, starting at $7/month.
What to Expect With Hinge
There are plenty of reasons to dig Hinge—and plenty of reasons it might not be your style. With any dating app or website, it’s important to understand the nitty-gritty before setting up expectations. Here, the best and the worst of Hinge:
Pro: Hinge is award-winning.
Dating expert Lisa Holden isn’t just handing its members a random batch each day. In fact, it’s far ahead of the curve in terms of matching, if you compare their data to other industry standards. “The company recently launched a ‘Most Compatible’ feature, created from a Nobel Prize-winning algorithm, that uses advanced machine learning to understand someone’s preferences over time and pair that person with other members they are most likely to like and who are most likely to like them back,” Holden explains. While this might not be too important in terms of your hands-on experience with the app and its functionality, it’s a nice peace of mind to know your investment of time (and perhaps money) is stretching further.
Pro: Hinge requires context with matching.
On most swiping apps, you merely move to the right and—boom!—you could be matched. Hinge requires you to go a step further and articulate specifically what caught your eye. Perhaps it was a skydiving photo or a funny response to a prompt. Whatever the reason, Holden says getting specific allows you a window into what your potential match is interested in. “This gives the other person context when they get ‘liked’ and offers both parties a bit more fodder for conversation starters,” she adds.
Pro: Hinge makes suggestions.
As part of their award-winning algorithm, a cool feature of Hinge is how they make suggestions for you. Sex and relationship therapist Courtney Geter LMFT, CST says by analyzing how you interact with other users, Hinge grows smarter about what matters to you, attracts your attention and well, keeps it. “This is helpful as it may lead to a quicker connection with someone more compatible instead of having to go through match after match,” she shares.
Con: Hinge can be nagging.
Like many features on online dating, some are intended to solve an issue, but end up causing another. As Holden explains ‘Your Turn’ was meant to decrease how often people ghost on conversations, but in turn (no pun intended), it can actually be annoying. How’s it work? If the ball is in your court to keep the convo going, Hinge will nudge you if you don’t turn off your notifications. And when you log in, it’ll display it’s ‘your turn’ to message. “If you’re trying not to seem too eager on the dating apps, you’re going to have to deal with letting those notifications sit there until you’re ready to continue the conversation,” she shares.
Con: Hinge takes more time.
Holden notes if you’re someone who is very new to online dating or not exactly sure what you’re looking for, Hinge might not be the best option for you. Since it requires more energy and thought to comment and match, it could be a time-waster for those who aren’t quite certain on where they’d like to head. “Hinge users have to spend a bit more time per profile to make their selections. While many daters just want to go through the motions on a dating app as quickly as possible, Hinge requires more attention to detail,” she explains.
Con: Hinge shows your last name.
If you’re concerned with privacy with online dating, Geter reminds singles that Hinge does show your full name. Though this only happens once a connection is made (and could be seen as an authentic approach)—it could be a deal breaker for some. “Showing your last name does show vulnerability though it could lead to unwanted off app contact since finding people is much easier these days with social media and information posted online,” she continues. With an upgraded memberships, users are allowed to change how their name is shown and Geter recommend doing this sooner than later to prevent possible unwanted contacts.
What Users Are Saying
Plenty of couples have found success on Hinge—and are more than happy to shout their experiences from the rooftops—or er, digital platforms. Here, a few to consider.
Tips For Success On Hinge
If you find yourself becoming more and more Team Hinge these days, use these expert-backed strategies for getting the most out of your membership:
Give more information—but not too much.
A little mystery goes a long way, even if you’ve never met another, according to Holden. She says success on hinge is about giving your audience info to work with—but not so much that they have no need to talk to you. “Leave them wanting more by sharing photos, but not revealing the location of those photos unless they ask. It’ll give your potential suitors something to chat with you about,” she suggests.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality.
Since hey, Hinge users want to be in a relationship—and not just play around—they’re interested in knowing who you are, what you’re about and what matters to you. Holden recommends illustrating your love language, being yourself and not being afraid to dig a little deeper. “The biggest mistake I see on Hinge is that folks use generic answers that don’t show any context or give the other person anything to ask questions about,” she continues. “If you’re funny, go ahead and let that show, but don’t panic if you’re not. Sharing specific, interesting things about yourself can be just as beneficial as being witty, so be who you are and let it shine through.”
Include at least one video.
Fun fact, Hinge’s algorithm prioritizes profiles with a video component, according to Holden. This means to really stand out, including a clip within your profile could make a big difference in how many matches you receive and see. “Use a quick boomerang of you opening champagne, or a clip of you singing karaoke to provide more context for your potential dates, and optimize your profile to be as discoverable as possible,” she adds.