The second app on my list to review was Hinge. I’ll admit that I’d been intrigued by the concept of this one for a while. Its advertisers have claimed that it’s the “dating app designed to be deleted” and that users were more likely to go on second dates. Apparently, this is due to some sort of Nobel Prize winning algorithm (that’s been around since the 60s) that’s designed to match people based on “best possible” scenarios – commonality – rather than leaving the match percentage based on the user’s discretion (i.e. – endless swiping).
Like before, I took out a 3-month subscription, just so that I could make sure that I had all of the features available to me. Or, at least, all of the features I wanted to pay for. You can pay for extra boosts and things along the way as well, but I decided early in this experiment that I’d pay for the base level, but no add-ons on top of that.
I spent most of the 3 months on the site, I went on a few dates. None (despite the claims of Hinge, saying that I’d be more likely to have a second date) resulted in a second date. Granted, maybe that’s on me. Maybe that’s on them. I don’t know. What I ran into were a lot of people who said we’d go out again but never called… and I don’t chase people. So there’s that.
Anyway, as I’ve already said in an earlier post, this series isn’t going to be about the dateability of the people I’m matching with, but about the quality of the site and the overall consumer experience.
So first, the Pros:
- It’s very local. As-in, the site is designed to run based on your general location. The parameters don’t extend out very far (indeed, mine didn’t even encompass my entire state), so you’re really looking at the people who are within your general driving distance. In that regard, if you’re someone who believes that dating is best when you’re more accessible to each other and you don’t have to drive a lot of distance to get together regularly, then this is a win for you because it doesn’t even at its maxed-out level, you’re not getting more than a few hundred miles away.
- The emphasis of this site is on the icebreaker questions it asks you. If you’re someone who constantly complains about having to write about yourself, this is awesome for you because here, you don’t have to. You simply choose which icebreakers you want to answer, you write your answers, and boom. Your ad is online. Your questions and photos appear throughout your “bio” section. You can start matching.
- It actually does a really good job of sticking to your preferences. Unlike other sites that will honor your preferences in terms of what YOU see, while splashing your profiles to others who don’t fit those parameters, Hinge’s preferences and parameters seem to be reciprocal. I didn’t see anyone who fell outside my preferences… and since I never got any likes from anyone outside of those preferences, I assume that others I wouldn’t have been interested in didn’t see me either. The only exceptions to this that I found were the age preferences – where the Hinge bots took it upon themselves to match me with people older or younger than my stated age preferences.
- The FAQ says that they do this when there’s a particularly high match percentage.
- If you decide to cancel your subscription, they actually do offer you a discount to extend that subscription to give you a little more time. This didn’t have much of an attraction for me, because I’d already looked through all the profiles I’d bene matched with, and other than the ones I’d talked to and screened out (or who had screened me out), I wasn’t seeing any more recommended matches. So I didn’t see the need to extend that any further.
- If you live in a more rural area, and you aren’t that close to a larger metro area, this can be very limiting. I can see where Hinge might be a more popular option in a bigger city where you’d likely have a larger ratio of users. However, I don’t have a lot of that here – or if I do, they’re college students who fall well below my preferred age group (rightfully so). So as I said in the number 4 paragraph up there, my options were always going to be limited. Despite the fact that Hinge is pretty well advertised, the adoption rate, at least where I am, seems to be fairly low.
- The Icebreaker questions don’t leave a lot of room for detail. With no general bio required, and no minimum text requirement for the questions, this app is a dream come true for minimalists who don’t want to put a lot of effort into a profile. But if you’re someone like me, who is seriously trying to find someone that you’re compatible with, and who really likes to prescreen your potential matches before you message them (especially so that you don’t spend hours talking to several people at the same time that you don’t end up meeting for one reason or another), that minimalist mindset is not convenient.
- Also, I found that men were more likely to simply reply to one of the photos and tell me how attractive I am rather than actually read the things I wrote in the icebreakers – so if the thinking here was to give people less to read so they can start the conversation, then this really didn’t work out any better here than it does on the apps that encourage more profile development.
- There is a free version. I think most people (at least here) use the free version. The problem with the free version is that you don’t get unlimited “likes” (and suggested matches expire after a set number of hours… supposedly… mine hung around a little longer than they were supposed to), so unless you buy more likes or become a subscriber, you run the risk of not being able to communicate with someone who really piques your interest. You can also buy Boosts that make your profile more visible for a certain amount of time – and that’s fairly standard across all sites, that I’ve found – but if the market is already limited, I don’t see how this increases your odds of finding a match here.
Bottom Line: It’s not a bad app. In fact, as far as sticking to the parameters and making sure you get only what you’re looking for, it’s a pretty solid choice. But if you live in a more rural area, where adoption of this app is lighter versus the more popular apps, your matches will be limited. Admittedly, this is probably different if you live in a city. If I actually move to a city in the summer (I’m considering it), I might try it again, just to see if I have a different experience.
But for now, in my case, this app was not worth the money, and the “free” subscription features were so limited that I decided to cancel it altogether and delete the app when the subscription ended because I figured I was not likely to get anything new from it.
They say this is the app that’s “designed to be deleted.” And I guess it is, because I deleted it, but not for the reason that their marketing executives had hoped.