Hinge’s New App Wants You To Play Matchmaker For Your Friends

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We normally frown upon butting into the love lives of others, but Hinge has launched a new app that hopes to make it socially acceptable to hook up your friends.

Hinge Matchmaker is designed to let you pair up your pals who are already on the dating app. After downloading the app and logging in, Matchmaker will scan your Facebook friends list for people who have Hinge profiles. The app then presents two of your single Facebook friends at a time, leaving it up to you to decide whether you think they’d be a solid match.

If the answer is yes, you can suggest the match and even add an icebreaker message to get the ball rolling. Your suggested match will see each other on the regular Hinge app, along with your note, and can choose whether to continue the conversation or not. There’s also the option to focus on a specific friend’s dating life by locking their profile, which allows the matchmaker to rotate through the available matches for that person alone.

“We're dedicated to helping our Members find meaningful connections and Hinge Matchmaker is one more way we can deliver on that promise. Since your friends often know your type better than you do, why not give them the power to help you find the one?” said Justin McLeod, Founder and CEO of Hinge.

McLeod describes Matchmaker as a way for people who don’t use dating apps to get in on the action.

“We found a lot of people who felt like they missed out on the dating app craze wanted to be able to participate in some way,” he told TechCrunch. “A lot of times, people will pull out their friend’s phone and swipe for them on other apps.”

In the name of serving a wider audience, Matchmaker is a completely standalone app. You don’t need to be a current Hinge user to sign on. You can also broaden the pool of potential matches to choose from by inviting anyone from your phone’s contact list to join Hinge. Singles who want help finding love can invite coupled-up friends to install the new app as well.

Some have voiced privacy concerns about Hinge’s latest product. While McLeod insists that we’re no longer ashamed to be seen using dating services, there’s still the potential for embarrassment when any of your Facebook friends can run into you on the app. All users with a profile on Hinge automatically appear in Matchmaker, forcing people to opt out instead of opt in.

On the flip side, Matchmaker is perfect for those who love Millionaire Matchmaker and meddling in their friends' business. It also could be a boon for busy singles who don’t have time to dedicate to swiping through profiles themselves.

McLeod is confident that the app's good will ultimately trump the bad.

“Everyone loves the idea of setting up their single friends,” he said. “People play matchmaker in the real world all the time, but there has never been a way to do it properly online, until now. We're excited to see how many more real dates, relationships, marriages and families Hinge can make happen with the introduction of Hinge Matchmaker.”

Update: As of October 10 Hinge removed Matchmaker from the app store. According to their help page the app was only going to be a month long beta so Hinge could receive feed back from members about the experience.