Hily Review

Hily was launched in July of 2017 by Alex Pasykov and Yan Pronin as a online dating and social discovery app. Hily is an acronym and is short for "Hey, I Like You". In a few short years Hily has gathered over 5 million users thanks in part to their stringent approach to profile and photo verification along with the spam protection built into their chat and messaging tools. Hily promotes their artificial intelligence (AI) for not only protecting users but by creating matches that have an 80% chance of each member liking the other.

Surprisingly their website (at hily.com) is extremely vague about the dating app, what it does and how it works. I guess they prefer you install the app and try it for yourself, instead of reading before hand about it. Another surprise is they specify right in the app write up in Google Play, "Our target audience is straight adult people, but same sex people are welcome too". Not sure why the marketers at Hily make it sound like they would put one group of people before the other, I guess maybe the automated matching system is best with heterosexuals? Hily also tends to use images during the account sign up process and in other areas where women are seen more as beauty queens that need to be rescued by a man. A little chauvinistic, especially in this time of the #MeToo movement. It's a little backwards in the industry as well since a number of dating apps are giving women even more control then men.

Once you have installed the app you will find the sign up process to be very short. In under a few minutes you will have created your account and added a few profile details. Your new profile may not get you many likes for the lack of information it contains but you can go ahead and try out the other features of the app. The first thing Hily does right after your account is created, is it will try to get you to sign up for a 7 day free trial. We recommend holding off on the free trial as if you accept it, after the 7 free days you will be started on a weekly subscription which can get expensive (their are cheaper options). So make sure you tap the X button in the top left corner of the subscription page to bypass it. Hilly is what we consider a free dating app. It allows you to use all the features that are needed to find and communicate with other members. They do offer a subscription called Hily Elixir that gives you premium features with no ads, and premium consumables like Boost and Chat Requests (used if you want to message a member who has not liked you yet).

Hily's home page is call Finder and is their main matching tool for members. It uses the same process that Tinder made popular for matching members. You are shown a profile photo and you must swipe right to Like, or swipe left to Pass or Skip. If you like a member and they have liked you, then that is considered a mutual match and you both can message each other. Hily claims that the more you use their app the smarter it gets at predicting what type of members you like, and will show you those more.

Once you have been notified you have a mutual match you can then visit the Events section to find out who it is and then tap on their name to message the member. You can either select one of Hily's helpful icebreakers to start the conversation or create one of your own. You can also include animated gifs and your own photos in the messages. In the same section you can also launch a video call with the person.

Another way to find members is to use the Stories feature. These are short videos uploaded by members. Other members can like these videos which increases them in the rankings, or you can scroll down and view the recent stories from members near your location.

Overall we found Hily to be a well designed dating app that is geared more towards adults in their twenties to early thirties. Unfortunately the Stories section seems to be some what shallow and missing "something" that would make it that killer feature. It is more about looking sexy and hooking up, than finding someone to date.

Hily is free to try, so if you find the app interesting give it a go and maybe you will find that special someone.

Positives of Hily

  • Free to join and message or video call with other members
  • Artificial intelligence is used to block inappropriate messages and photos (it is not fool proof though)
  • In a few short years, Hily has over 5 million members and is a top 10 earner in Google and Apples app stores
  • Simple to use with not a lot of unnecessary features

Negatives of Hily

  • Canceling the Hily Elixir subscription is reported by users to be confusing
  • Customer service phone number is always busy
  • No search features, only matching and filters are limited
  • Photo verification an excellent idea but is not required
  • No relationship status for profiles, so are they all single?

Editors Bottom Line

What should you take away from this review of Hily? Our expert explains:

"Hily" is a dating app for twenty something singles who are looking for a simple way to find other singles in their area. No searching needed as Hily learns as you like other profiles, the type of person you are looking for.

At a Glance

United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia
Member Numbers:
5,000,000 ?
Cost per Month:
Free to $59.96 / month
Membership Types:
Free - Basic + Contact
Paid Upgrade

Average User Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating: 
  Features:  ?
  Ease of Use:  ?
  Popularity:  ?
  Profile Quality:  ?
  Customer Service:  ?
  Cost:  ?
  Searching:  ?
  Matching System:  ?
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Hily Profiles & Sign Up Process

Your Hily Profile

The Hily dating app is available for Android and iOS phones. There is no website version. Hily is much more popular on Android phones and has over 20,000 reviews and a 4.2 star rating (as of this review). After you install the Hily app you have 3 sign up options, you can use your email address, Facebook account, or Snapchat account. After you pick your sign up method and verify your account, Hily will ask you for the following information:

  • Sign Up
    • What are you looking for in Hily (Fun, Date, or Long-term)
    • Specify the age of your preferred partner (18 to 25, or 26+)
    • What is your partner's preferred body type? (Thin, Average, Fit, or Little Extra)

While signing up Hily does use photos to help with selections (like showing the different body types). For this review we used Facebook which automatically pulled our main profile photo. Later you can change this photo and upload others (up to 6) if you choose. Your Story video can also be set as your main profile photo. The next step in the sign up process is, Hily will attempt to up sell the merits of the Hily Elixir subscription (more about this in the costs section below). Then it is on to your location where the Hily app will ask for permission to use your phone's current location. If you don't give Hily permission you then must manually enter your zip code and city.

After your location, Hily takes you to the Finder where you can start liking or passing on members. The whole process only takes a few minutes and only really creates a very basic profile. We recommend tapping the user icon in the bottom bar to complete your profile so other members will know more about you (plus a number of these questions may be considered a deal breaker in a relationship). Completing your profile is a 12 step process and includes the questions asked during sign up. Some of these questions do offer more possible answers than initially during the sign up process.

Hily Profile Question
  • Complete Profile
    1. Describe yourself in a few words
    2. Where did you study?
    3. What do you do for a living?
    4. What are you looking for on Hily? (Long-Term dating, Short-Term Dating, New Friends, or Chat)
    5. Do you have kids? (I have no kids, I already have kids, Grown up kids, I don't want kids, Not ready for kids, or I want kids)
    6. Do you have pets? (No pets please, Dogs, Cats, Exotic, or Other)
    7. What's your religion?
    8. What is your body type? (Average, Fit, Curvy, Thin, Overweight, Full-figured, A little extra, or Not specified)
    9. Which ethnicity do you belong to? (White, Hispanic, Arab, etc...)
    10. Do you drink alcohol? (Never, Often, Socially, or Now and then)
    11. Do you smoke? (Never, Often, Socially, or Now and then
    12. Do you follow a diet? (Omnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Kosher, or No diet)

While in the profile section you will notice a few other options. This includes "My Features" which shows you what the Hily Elixir subscription offers along with any premium feature consumables you may have. From here you can also look at "My Visitors" which includes all the members who have viewed your profile. The photos will be blurred here if you do not have a subscription. You can also verify your account and photos, make a feature request, or get into your Account Settings. Within settings you can:

  • Account Settings
    • Notifications - Enable or disable multiple Hily apps push notifications (they notify you about everything from new Likes to new messages)
    • Contact Support
    • Give us Feedback
    • FAQ
    • Blacklist - See a list of the members you have blocked. Can also unblock a member
    • Disable your account and remove your profile

Verification & Safety

Verifying your Hily Photos

Hily says verification is a crucial part of their service which helps provide the highest levels of safety. So Hily uses ID verification via Facebook, photo capture, email and (soon) official ID. To verify your account, open your profile settings (bottom right icon) and tap on Verification. You can then select one or more of the verification methods and follow the instructions. Photo verification requires users to make a specified hand gesture next to your face. Once the photo is uploaded special software then recognizes the gesture and compares the face with the other photos on file. If all methods of verification are complete users get a "Verified" badge displayed on their profile.

Under Verification it also states that ID verification is coming soon. We are not sure what that entails but I it most likely deals with uploading a picture of your actual ID. When this feature becomes available we will update this portion of the review with the latest information.

As part of Hily's commitment to safety each user is also assigned a private “risk score” depending on the user’s profile (passing verification, complaints, depth of dialogue, activity, etc.). If a person has a high-risk score, the app can block other users from sending their personal information to that particular profile.

Relationship Types Allowed

  • Straight
  • Gay

Your Relationship Status

  • Single

Relationships You can Find

  • Any

Hily Costs

Hily Elixir Subscription

Hily offers a free membership which includes basic features that allow you to use the app for finding dates, but it is limited. There is a monthly paid subscription as well called Hily Elixir which includes a number of premium features. A free trial is also offered that gives you most the benefits of a Hily Elixir. If you do not want to subscribe, some consumable premium features are available to purchase separately.

Hily subscriptions work on a per week basis. We have included per month costs as well to make it easier to compare with other dating services. The prices we have included are the default no savings price. Hily really pushes the subscription on their app. If you continue to use the app, the longer you wait (in days) the greater the subscription savings they will most likely offer you. The subscription page tends to pop up a lot. This includes every time you log in or tap on a feature that is not free. Ads also pop up every now and then and when you close them, the subscription page will appear notifying you that you can have an ad free experience if only you buy a subscription. Hily also make it difficult to see how to close the subscription window making it easier for members to accidentally tap the wrong button, which then takes you to the app store to subscribe.

  • Prices last confirmed August 02, 2019. Please check Hily for most recent pricing. All prices in USD unless specified otherwise. Prices may differ based on location, time of purchase, or access point (this can include device used and/or if accessed from a website or app)
  • Free Membership
    • Includes:
      • Creating your profile
      • Using Finder to view potential matches
      • Limited Likes (swipe rights) and Skips (swipe lefts)
      • Viewing Events. Includes your Matches
      • In Events, you can see when someone viewed your profile or liked you but their photo is blurred
      • Messaging with your Matches
      • Know exactly when someone read your message
      • Send unlimited private photos to your matches
      • Viewing Stories
      • Creating your own Story video
    • Costs:
      • Free
  • Hily Elixir
    • A paid monthly subscription for users who want access to Hilys premium features and premium consumables
    • Includes:
      • Everything from the Free Membership
      • Consumable Premium Features
        • Profile Boosts - 3 per week (Go to the top of the lists)
        • Chat Requests - 5 per week (Send messages without waiting for a match)
        • Unlimited Rollbacks
        • Any unused portion of consumable premium features will be forfeited at the end of the subscription period
      • Incognito mode (Only people you like or message will see your profile)
      • Extended search filters - includes Body Type, Ethnicity, Hot Users
      • Visible Likes and Visitors - (See who has liked and visited your profile, this removes the blur from photos and allows you to visit their profiles directly)
      • Be on top of the lists (Before free members)
      • Watch more hot Stories
      • Advertisement Free (Ads are disabled)
    • Costs:
      • 7 days for $14.99 ($59.96 per month)
      • 3 months for $4.50 per week or $17.99 per month ($53.99 total)
      • 12 months for $2.30 per week or $9.99 per month ($119.99 total)
  • Free Trial
    • A 7-day trial that automatically opts you into Hily Elixir 7 day subscription package once the trial is over
    • Includes:
      • Everything from Hily Elixir except for Boosts. Chat requests are also reduced to 2
    • Costs:
      • Free (but with the Hily Exlir weekly subscription enabled for the next week)
  • All fees are nonrefundable
  • All subscription options auto-renew for the same duration. Auto-revew happens within the 24 hours prior to the end of the current subscription period
  • Subscriptions an be canceled anytime. Upon cancellation the unused portion of your subscription is still accessible until it expires (except for the Free Trial)
  • You must cancel your subscription in the Hily app AND you also have to go to the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and suspend your subscription. If you do not do this 2 step process your subscription will renew

If you want to use Hily as a free member or if a user consumes the given amount of features before the end of the subscription period, they may purchase more consumable premium features. Hily does offer the features in packs which can be purchased with or without a subscription. These features and payment options depends on your location and other factors. They include:

Hily Boost Feature
  • Boosts
    • Boost your profile for 24 hours and see a 500% increase in profile views
    • Tap on the purple circle rocket ship icon in the top right corner to Boost (or buy more). Icon can be found in Finder and Events sections
    • Subscription can be purchased by free members and packs by subscribers
    • Costs:
      • 1 week for $12.99 (a subscription to receive a 3 pack every week, for free members only)
      • Pack of 3 for $12.99 (for subscribers only)
      • Win as a bonus with the Hily Daily Carousel
  • Chat Requests
    • Request a chat with any other member (you do not have to be matched together, i.e. liked each other first)
    • Available to free members and subscribers
    • Costs:
      • Pack of 5 for $6.99
      • Win as a bonus with the Hily Daily Carousel
  • Unblur
    • Unblur photos in the Events section so you can view members who have liked your or visited your profile
    • Only available to free members
    • Costs:
      • Win as a bonus with the Hily Daily Carousel
  • Rollback
    • In Finder undo a previous swipe so you can either Like or Pass on them again
    • Only available to free members
    • Costs:
      • Win as a bonus with the Hily Daily Carousel

Hily Daily Carousel

Hily Daily Roulette

The Hily Daily Carousel (also called the Hilly Daily Roulette) will appear once a day after you have logged in and used the app for a bit. It is a roulette wheel that contains discounts and premium features like Chat Requests, Unblur, and Rollbacks. To play you must tap the "Tap Me" button in the middle of the roulette wheel and wait until it stops spinning to claim your bonus. If you do not like your prize you can defy luck and play the game one more time, tap "Respin", wait and get a different reward. Discounts are visible only to free members. If a discount is received, you must claim it right away by starting the Hily 7-day free trial. Once the free trial is over the discount will be applied to your weekly subscription. Note, subscriptions auto-renew and it is unclear if the discount is applied only once or every time your subscription renews. The weekly subscription is also Hilys most expensive option so if you plan to use Hily for a while,it still may be cheaper and go for one of the longer subscriptions (which are found under your Profile).

Hily Viewing & Communication Features

Hily Member Profile

In the Hily app the bottom menu bar is where you can access everything. This includes Finder (card stack icon), Messages (comment icon), Stories (play icon), Events (bell icon) and your profile and account settings (user icon). When you get a new message, like, or other similar action, the appropriate icon will also show a small highlighted notification icon with a number indicating how many new notifications there are. When you are using the Finder, looking at Stories, pursuing the Events, or viewing a Hily profile there are several dating tools you have access too including:

  • Profile
    • View the members, photos, first name, age, about description, location, and other profile attributes (represented as icons)
    • If you see a green dot at the bottom of the user profile picture, it indicates that user is currently online
    • A purple check mark icon by the name of the member confirms that they have verified their profile
    • Like (Heart) or Pass (X) by tapping the appropriate icon if you have not already
    • Send a message (must have mutual liked each other or use a Chat Request consumable)
    • Report abuse or block profile
  • Photos
    • Click on any photo to view a larger version
    • Swipe left or right to view any additional photos
  • Messages
    • Before a user can message another member they must first be matched with the member (both members like each other). If you would like to message a user that has not liked you yet you can use a Chat Request premium consumable (available in subscription or to buy as a pack)
    • In the Messages section, each member you have sent a message too, or received a message from, is listed under the Dialogs list. A profile photo, their name, and insert of the last message sent is shown in a row along with a notification of how many new messages their may be. Tapping on the row will take you to your conversation/chat with the member where you can add more messages
    • If you send the first message in your communication with another member you have the option to send a Hily predefined message to help break the ice and start a conversation. You also can send a a custom message
    • With a message you can include GIFs, share private photos & video and even your location
    • Tap the Camera icon button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to start a video call with the other member (if they currently are online)
    • Whole chat conversations can be deleted. To delete a chat history, swipe left or tap and hold on the member in the Dialogs list. Deleting the history only deletes it for you, not the other member
    • To unmatch with another user, swipe to the left on the user icon or press and hold. Unmatching will also delete all messages with that member (for both members)
Hily Events Lists
  • Events
    • Where the lists of your Matches (also called Mutuals by Hily), Likes, and members who have Liked you are
    • Lists are either in rows or listed in a photo like gallery format
  • Block / Report
    • Block or report inappropriate profiles, messages, photos, and story videos
    • From Finder, Messages, profile or Stories tap 3 dot icon and then select Block or Report
    • Block will prevent you from seeing and communicating with the member and will also block them from viewing your profile and contacting you
    • Report notifies Hily moderators to take a closer look at the account and take appropriate action. If an account gets multiple complaints it may be banned

Hily has 2 options to find members. This includes the Finder and Stories.


View your potential matches on Hily with Finder

The Finder on Hily is the start page for the app and also can be accessed by tapping the icon in the bottom left corner. The Finder shows you a photo one at a time along with the first name and age of the member. You can either swipe right to Like the profile or swipe left to Skip. When you view a profile directly (to do this in Finder tap the photo) you also get the same options but must click on the heart icon to Like or the X icon to Skip. To communicate with another member on Hily you both are required to Like each other before one of you can initiate communication. The only way around this is if you use a Chat Request (available with the subscription or as a separate purchase). If you accidentally Liked or Passed on a member, you can undo the last swipe by tapping the double arrow button at the top to perform a Rollback.

So how does Hily determine which matches to show you? Hily uses machine learning to analyze your actions on the app. From what profiles and photos you view, members you like or skip, messages sent and replied too, and Stories you watch, Hily identifies suitable matches for you to view in the Finder. The more the app is used, the more information the AI has to base on these suggested matches. Of the profiles which get positive responses from you, Hily also identifies the interests and preferences that seem to spark your interest the most and includes this in the analysis. With all that goes on behind the scenes for matching with Hily, means actual matches (both members like each other) happen more often than in other similar type of dating apps. If you still wish to fine tune your matches, you can modify the filters (icon for it found in the top right). Free members can modify Gender and Age Range filters. Subscribers can modify Body Type, Ethnicity and Hot Users.

The rocket icon in a top right corner of the Finder is "Boost" icon. If you want to increase your profile views and likes you may use this option by tapping on the icon (subscription or purchase required).

To view all your matches, your Likes, and members who have Liked you (subscription required) you can view the Events section (Bell icon on the bottom bar).


Video Stories on Hily

Stories can be accessed by tapping the Play icon on the bottom bar. Stories are short videos members record on their phones. The top row of the Stories section contains the top 10 stories near your location. As you scroll down you will see "Recent Stories" which are more videos uploaded from members near you. Tap on a Story to view the video. While the video is playing you can Like the video by tapping the heart icon in the bottom right corner. To view the profile of the member you must tap on their profile photo found in the top left corner. Once the video you are viewing is finished the next video in the list will play.

To add your own Story, tap the first box within the Recent Stories area called "Your Story Box". Press the record button to record your video. You can then review your video and upload if you choose or retake it. Your Story will be published once it has been approved by a moderator.

Other Hily Information

The Hily app was launched in 2017 and late in 2018 it received its first major update. The video Stories feature was added and the the Hearts currency that free members could earn to buy premium features was dropped. The user interface also received some minor tweaking.

Hily is also one of the few apps that has a Feature Request system built in. You can find it under the Profile section where you can view a list of proposed features (which is searchable) and view a list of the top features. You can like or dislike a feature (and see how many members have liked or disliked it) along with adding your own feature request.

Related Categories

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:55 am| Hits: 4,714 View Printable Version