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From Tinder and Bumble to Grindr and OkCupid, there are dating apps galore for those who want love at their fingertips. Hinge is a lesser-known app that can easily get lost in the sea of options, but it’s still worth taking note of its special approach. Who knows? Maybe Hinge is the dating app for you.
For starters, Hinge is swipe-free. Focused less on mindlessly flipping through options and more on cultivating relationships, this app isn’t intended for casual hookups. It is, as the website states, “designed to be deleted.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the Hinge app and how it works.
What is the Hinge dating app?
Most dating apps are more or less set up the same way but with minor tweaks. However, Hinge boasts a pretty unique interface. Here’s a breakdown of all its features.
Beyond the pictures
The dating app experience is nearly synonymous with swiping—so much so that “swipe left” is now slang for finding someone unattractive. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, mechanically swiping on human beings (often solely based on their looks) can be a little dehumanizing and lonely. It certainly isn’t the most ideal way to find a partner. That’s why Hinge ditched the classic swiping mechanic in 2015 in favor of scrolling through profiles. The app encourages users to focus more on personality traits rather than just photos. Judging from the fact that Hinge got more shoutouts in the New York Times wedding section in 2017 than Tinder and Bumble, this method seems to be working.
Furthermore, Hinge collects a lot more data than, say, Tinder. It allows people to emphasize which “filters,” or traits, are most important to them (e.g., religion or height). This allows the app’s algorithm to find more personalized and suitable matches. Once per day, this algorithm will pick out your “Most Compatible” match, ideally making it a teeny bit easier for you to find your soulmate.
Beyond the screen
Hinge also tries to combat the difficulties posed by a tech-based experience. The impersonal feel of an app makes it far too easy to ghost whoever’s on the other end of the algorithm. To discourage this kind of behavior and to aid the forgetful, Hinge introduced an anti-ghosting feature. “Your Turn” reminds users to respond to messages they’ve left sitting in their inboxes. The developers also made an effort to consider life beyond the app. The “We Met” feature allows users to provide valuable feedback on actual dates they went on with their matches, which aids the algorithm for future pairings.
All in all, Hinge is for people looking for a more personal dating app experience. Here’s how to actually use the app.
Is the Hinge app free?
You can use many of the Hinge app’s features and browse profiles in your area for free. But if you want to get the most out of the app, you’ll want to consider upgrading to the Preferred Hinge membership. The higher-tier option gets you all the features of the free app, plus lets you apply filters on potential matches including “height, whether someone has children, whether someone wants children, politics, drinking, smoking, marijuana, and drug use.” The paid version also saves time by giving you unlimited likes and the option to see everyone who liked you at the same time.
Preferred Hinge membership is offered for $9.99 per month, $19.99 for three months, or $29.99 for six months.
How does the Hinge dating app work?
After setting up your basic profile and photos, you’ll be given an array of personal questions to look at. Choose three of these to answer and display on your profile—keep in mind that these are what will be drawing people in, so pick wisely!
Then, choose all the filters that match up with the type of person you’re looking for, like gender, age, ethnicity, and more. While Hinge is free for everyone, paid tiers offer more filter customization if you have a specific set of desired traits in mind. If there are some filters you’re dead set on, mark those as “dealbreakers” to ensure you come across the right profiles.
Now, it’s time to actually start searching. Go to the “discover” tab on the bottom left of your screen to check out your suggested matches. Then, peruse people’s profiles, liking and commenting on what sticks out to you. If someone doesn’t float your boat, you can choose to pass. Otherwise, you can strike up a conversation and see where that takes you.
Here’s to hoping you find your happily ever after!
Anna Maria Ward is the social media editor of the Daily Dot. Her work focuses on the intersections of entertainment, pop culture, and social justice. She previously contributed to the Houston Chronicle and Orange magazine.