Hinge Rebrands And Relaunches To Defeat The ‘Dating Apocalypse’

Hinge
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 The new Hinge

A year ago, Vanity Fair ran an article dramatically called Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’. It caused a major stir in the media - everyone was debating whether the swipe made love easier to find or wiped romance from the equation completely.

The article wasn’t just a catalyst for discussion amongst daters and writers. Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of the dating app Hinge, was also struck by what it had to say.

“It was the first among many realizations that Hinge had morphed into something other than what I originally set out to build (an app for real relationships),” McLeod said in an email to the Vanity Fair writer, Nancy Jo Sales. “Your honest depiction of the dating app landscape has contributed to a massive change we’re making at Hinge later this fall.”

That change has finally arrived, and it is definitely massive. In October the app has undergone a head to toe overhaul complete with a rebrand, an updated app, and a shiny new advertising campaign. The two biggest changes? A $7 monthly fee and no more swiping.

That wasn’t a typo: Hinge has officially said sayonara to the swipe, the most iconic symbol of dating in 2016.

According to the company’s post on Medium, swiping apps are “staggeringly ineffective at helping people find relationships.” They’re excellent at maximizing user engagement and advertising revenue, making them useful for the business. When it comes to the customers, however, it’s a losing bet. Swiping dehumanizes users and encourages mindless interaction. Or, as Hinge puts it, “swiping is an addictive game designed to keep you single.”

Over the course of nine months, the Hinge team developed a new service that did away with swiping, matching, timers, and games. Today’s Hinge is designed to better promote meaningful connections and pave the way for a new normal in dating culture, one that helps those seeking relationships find what they’re really looking for.

Instead of swiping, users now engage with each other immediately, as they do on social media. You can like a photo, leave a comment, or respond to one of the questions they answered. When you engage with a profile, you show up in their impressions sections. If there’s mutual interest, you’ll see a ‘Connect’ button and can start a conversation.

As for the new monthly membership fee, McLeod hopes it will weed out individuals who are not interested in serious relationships, thereby improving the experience of users who pay and are looking for love.

Hinge reports that beta testers have seen twice as many initial connections, five times as many connections turn into conversations, and seven times as many conversations turn into phone number exchanges.

Could these bold steps herald the start of a new, swipe-less era for online dating? Time will tell. For more information on this app, you can read our Hinge review.