3 Things to Look for in an Online Dating Company
Hinge is a dating app designed to help Millennials develop meaningful, lasting relationships. The company launched in 2012 inspired by founder Justin McLeod's experience dating his now-wife. Online dating giant Match Group began investing in Hinge in 2017 and acquired the company in early 2019.
Although it was released the same year, Hinge is lesser-known than its new stepsister, Tinder, which focuses more on visual attraction. However, awareness (and downloads) for Hinge increased in 2019 when Pete Buttigieg, an Indiana mayor who met his husband on Hinge, entered the 2020 presidential race.
Hinge strives to get users off the app, onto great dates, and into meaningful relationships. Finding a real relationship is more than just having a good profile picture. This dating platform embraces the concept of 'putting yourself out there' and being vulnerable in its profiles, which are much more extensive than other, more superficial dating apps.
Highlight: Hinge is "designed to be deleted."
To solidify itself as the place to meet relationship-minded singles, Hinge even calls itself "The dating app designed to be deleted," meaning Hinge is a tool to be used temporarily, not as an indefinite, never-ending subscription. It aims to help people find loving, committed relationships. It's not an app for serial daters to use and subscribe to indefinitely. There is a goal in mind.
As online daters use Hinge, the app learns their preferences and aims to set them up with the most compatible matches, so there is less swiping and more dating.
Keep reading for pros and cons — plus Hinge user reviews.
Serious online daters seeking a long-term relationship are encouraged to sign up as a premium member. The app states that Preferred Members get twice as many dates because they can send unlimited likes, see everyone who liked them, set advanced preferences (education, family plans, politics, and vices, etc.), and talk with relationship experts who can help answer any dating question.
Pricing for Hinge is as follows:
Signing up with Hinge is a fairly simple and straightforward process. Daters can either fill out the information manually or have the information auto-filled by connecting to their Facebook account. New users can also sign up using a mobile number.
The sign-up process will ask users to fill out personal information in the “My Vitals” and “My Virtues” sections. The “My Vitals” section will ask for your location, gender, and gender preference. Hinge is friendly to those looking for heterosexual, same-sex, or bisexual relationships. Other personal information includes height, education level, religious affiliation, employment, ethnicity, number of kids, and hometown.
The “My Virtues” section will ask you deeper questions related to your personal values. Topics include substance and alcohol habits/preferences, and political standpoint. You will also need to fill out at least one writing prompt. You can choose to answer a full question or finish a sentence. Take time to craft your Hinge profile to ensure thoughtful information and improve your chances of finding a committed relationship.
A free membership allows users to filter potential matches by gender, location, age, distance, ethnicity, and religion. Similar to Tinder, members can start messaging each other once they find a match. Unlike other dating apps, matches and conversations never expire. Most app features are available to free members with limitations.
Free members have access to the following features:
* Users must upload at least six profile photos to start sending likes with a free membership.
Hinge continues to release new app features to improve the user experience. New features are intended to spotlight personalized matches and make it easier to connect.
Members can choose to switch some of their preferences to strict. This means that anyone who doesn’t meet or fit that requirement will not appear in the Discover tool.
Hinge recently introduced a Standouts feed that focuses on questions and prompts. Instead of swiping through photos, users can swipe through popular Prompt answers and start a conversation. Users can send a rose to connect with an individual on the Standouts feed. Every user gets one free rose per week with the option to purchase more.
The “We Met” feature asks for feedback to guide the app to make better recommendations. If you go on a date with someone on the Hinge dating app, you can privately report how the date went. This new feature will help prompt the algorithm to select other matches that are either similar or dissimilar to this match depending on your feedback. No other dating site provides a way to report on your dates.
With their Preferred Member plan, online daters can receive personalized dating advice from a Hinge Expert. Experts can provide adivce on anything, from selecting the best profile photo to great conversation starters when they’re on a date.
Hinge has a special research team designed to help people find suitable matches. The team collects and analyzes user data to find the best way to get people matched and off the app. This is called the Hinge Lab.
Hinge lab analyzes couples who met on the app to identify patterns for success. Hinge is the only online dating site to supply its own research team. In addition to analyzing current user behavior, the team also conducts experiments to see how small app changes affect the matching process. Research findings are shared through Hinge’s newsletter and social media.
One of the team’s most recent studies relates to virtual dating. Hinge provides a video chat feature for users who have sent at least one message to one another. The Hinge Lab surveyed users before and during the pandemic to assess interest in digital dates. While most users hadn’t had a virtual date before quarantine, several users expressed interest in trying it.
The research team found that users who tried a digital date felt that the dates were less awkward than they expected. Researching findings focused on dating can encourage users to try new dating methods and improve their chances of finding a good match.
Unfortunately, online daters who accidentally unmatch someone will not be able to talk to that match again. Members should also be careful as they choose to match and skip profiles in Discover mode. Only the most recent skip can be undone.
Members should know that Hinge does not conduct any criminal background checks (although this is similar to other online dating sites). Hinge authenticates the identity of its members through their Facebook account or through their phone number.
Hinge does not provide a desktop version of the app. Hinge users must download the Hinge app to create a profile and start messaging matches. Hinge caters to a younger demographic, so the mobile app is accessible for most users. The simple platform allows users to quickly find relevant information for making match considerations.
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