Contributed by: kellyseal Sunday, December 29 2013 @ 10:52 am
Mobile dating apps like Tinder have been getting all the attention because of their hook-up potential. But what if a dater wants the convenience of an easy-to-use mobile app like Tinder but with a little more promise that a meet-up might progress to a relationship?
Enter new dating app Hinge[*1] .
Hinge started in the Washington D.C. area and is now moving to other parts of the East Coast, including New York, Philadelphia and Boston. According to founder Justin McLeod, there are about 110,000 single college graduates in the D.C. area, and about 20,000 are actively using Hinge. The total user base is 30,000 and the average age of the users is 27. It's made about 200,000 matches, which are pretty good odds for a mobile dating app.
Part of the appeal of Hinge is that unlike Tinder, it relies on your Facebook networks (friends and friends of friends) rather than a location - (like who is single within a two-mile radius of the bar where you're having a beer). A good amount of information is pulled from your Facebook profile too, so there is a lot more transparency and more qualified matches than with other dating apps. You can only join Hinge if you already have friends on the app, so networking really works to your advantage. Also, it displays your last name along with your age, workplace, school and mutual friends so there's no hiding if you're behaving badly.
Hinge generates the basic profile but there is a bit of personalization you can do, including adding your height and religion as well as "personality tags." These tags are created by Hinge and offered as a list for the user to choose from, adding a little creativity to your profile ("Zombie Survivalist" and "Lawn Game Champion" are a couple of examples.)
Hinge borrows a bit from dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, where a set of matches appears every day at noon. (CMB offers only one match however, whereas Hinge offers five to seven.) The point of restricting potential dates is to ensure you have enough friends of friends to last for a few months, rather than trolling through all available singles in your network right away. You rate each other with either a heart or an "X," and like CMB and Tinder the hearts must be mutual for you to be a match.
This app might end up attracting more women, since Tinder doesn't really offer the same kind of pre-screening for its potential matches. Hinge is definitely an app to watch.
And I'm sure 2014 will keep offering us better and better options for mobile dating.