Contributed by: kellyseal Monday, October 24 2016 @ 06:58 am
Dating app Hinge started out with some stiff competition against Tinder. Since its debut in 2012, several other new dating apps have launched and attracted a growing user base as well as media attention, including female-centric dating app Bumble. Meanwhile, after steady growth since its launch, this year Hinge has seen its numbers declining.
Hinge’s marketing and product development have always focused on attracting more serious daters. The app is geared toward young professionals in their late twenties and thirties who are looking for long-term relationships, as opposed to the hook-up reputation that has followed Tinder since its inception. The app is billed as a “grown-up” alternative to the young users of Tinder, which at first seemed to serve the market well.
For the first couple of years, following a successful launch party in 2012 that was a huge bet by its CEO Justin McLeod, the company seemed aimed for success. It was a risky bet, reported Business Insider, where the party cost $25,000 and the company had only $32,000 in the bank. Still, it worked, and its user base kept growing through 2015. However, in the beginning of 2016, things changed.
Users have turned away from the app in recent months, with reviews on iTunes that speak to its dwindling options for matches and overall customer dissatisfaction, along with a 1.5 star rating.
There was a bit of a user shake-up in 2015, when Hinge revealed a new version of the app which would pull data froom Facebook into user profiles, including their relationship status. This was to create a more transparent and secure environment for users, who would complain of meeting people who were already in relationships. This caused a controversy according to the UK’s Daily Mail, and as a result of this move, over 500 men left the service. According to Hinge, a small percentage – less than 4% are already in relaitonships, compared with Tinder where a survey by Global Web Index revealed that 42% of Tinder users were in romantic relationships.
With dwindling investor funds, McLeod is refocusing the direction of Hinge, determined to raise its visibility and attract singles despite the flooded dating app market. The new app is “pivoting” in a new direction, according to McLeod, and is set to be unveiled in late September. The remaining twenty-four staff members are working diligently on the new version.
McLeod isn’t revealing much as far as what will be expected in the new direction of Hinge. It will be interesting to see if it manages to shake up the dating app market.