Hinge’s New App Offers an Alternative to Swiping Culture

  • Wednesday, November 16 2016 @ 02:29 pm
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Hinge just announced the relaunch of its new self-dubbed “relationship app” as an alternative to dating apps, which have garnered a reputation over the years that the people using them aren’t all that interested in finding relationships. Hinge developers overhauled the app's look and feel as well as its functionality, and are now charging $7 per month for members to use it.

Hinge has been working on the new app for a year, though details weren’t disclosed. However, the company did launch a website revealing its escape from the “dating apocalypse” that is now online dating, named for the controversial New York Times article declaring the end of dating culture thanks to apps like Tinder.

Tinder has become an incredibly popular way to meet, but it has led to a lack of serious online daters looking for real relationships. The game-like swiping functionality of Tinder has created several copycat dating apps in the industry, each one claiming to produce better results and cut down on the fake profiles. So far however, nothing has made a significant dent in Tinder’s appeal or market share.

Hinge intends to change that with its relaunch. The app originally launched a few years ago, offering an alternative for more serious daters by connecting friends through social networks. However, while the app did gain some traction, in recent months its userbase declined, and Hinge execs decided to go deep into the original mission of the app: to appeal to those daters who were seriously looking for a relationship.

The most noticeable change to the new app: there is no more swiping.

Profiles have been revamped and reimagined to spark conversation, rather than encouraging the quick decision-making that swiping promoted. Hinge profiles do include a large image, but don’t immediately show the user’s age, name, city, or any other demographic information. Instead, users get prompts to include interesting facts about themselves, like “unusual skills” or “Halloween costume” to encourage more interaction. 

Profiles, or “stories” are also scrollable, allowing users to select other photos and prompts. At each part of a story's feed, users can like or send a message tied to a photo, much like Instagram.

During the testing period for the new app, Hinge execs found that connections turned into full conversations at five times the rate of the old app, and users exchanged numbers at seven times the rate.

Hinge has bet big on the relaunch, which they hope will pay off. If dating app users are serious about an alternative to what’s currently out there, it’s worth giving the new Hinge a try.