Hinge App Review. What Is Hinge? Is Hinge Free? Should You Use Hinge? Profile Tips, Costs, Prompts, FAQ’s, Login Errors & Issues, Daily Like Limits & Date From Home

What is Hinge? How does Hinge work? Overview: “Designed To Be Deleted”

For additional blog posts about Hinge including best & worst prompts, liking vs. messaging, algorithm questions, most compatible feature and more: https://eddie-hernandez.com/category/dating-apps/hinge/

Hinge has been around since 2012 and in June 2018 Match Group acquired 51% stake in the company with a 12-month window to acquire remaining shares. In February 2019 it did just that. It’s an unfortunate exit from a customer perspective (since Match is where all dating apps go to die) but I am hopeful the some bugs will at least worked out now that it has more resources from a technical perspective.

Hinge is notorious for having a glitchy app. If you are OCD about that kind of thing or always concerned about what does it mean when I do X but Y happens, this is not the app for you. If you can overlook this major con, there is some great hope for you.

Hinge brands itself as the app that is designed to be deleted. Instead of a quick swipe ala Tinder, Bumble, you have to tap an ‘X’ for no and check mark for yes. Sounds great – but that’s where the optimism stops. Not all Hinge data fields are required so you will encounter some incomplete or lazy profiles. If both people select the checkmark, both parties will be notified of a match via double blind opt-in notification (there are paid upgrades to see who has liked you ahead of time).

I get that people want some privacy but there are ways to be a little vague about your job (list industry/job type vs company name and title), but there needs to be more required fields in order to have a better user experience from both sides. Incomplete profiles are viewed as scammers, not serious or lazy – do you want to be viewed as such?

Is Hinge free? How much does Hinge cost per month?

The basic elements of the dating app are free but it costs extra for certain premium benefits such as extra likes, see who likes you and advanced filters. Hinge Preferred Memebership is a subscription based service that costs $19.99/month on a monthly subscription, $39.99/quarter ($13.33/month), or $59.99/6-month term ($9.99/month).

How to use Hinge: Getting Started, Creating a Profile

Even if you manage to fill out all the recommended fields, there are the prompts. Hinge has some cute prompts and some cringeworthy prompts you can view some of my favorites here. You can tell a lot about a person they way they not only choose their prompts but answer them as well. I am all for making it easy to X out any profiles that self-sabotage their efforts on dating apps rather than nudging them to do better. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Hinge Prompts, Answers and How To Respond

When it comes to prompts, one cute, playful prompt/answer is fine but if you don’t reveal anything about yourself, your passions, curiosities, ambitions, guilty pleasures etc. then you can’t expect people to take you seriously. Hinge is notorious for cliche answers to prompts (see if how many cliche profile answers you have by reviewing the dating profile bingo card). Conversely, Coffee Meets Bagel uses standard prompts where people are more thoughtful and detailed in their responses.

So you filled out the fields, added some good prompts and answers now comes for the photos. Hinge (unlike other apps) requires 6 photos. This is a bit challenging for many folks on dating apps who don’t have that many decent photos. Unfortunately, many take the stand of ‘you only look as attractive as your worst photo’ so if you add filler photos to meet the requirement, you can be self-sabotaging your efforts. This seems to be one of the biggest pain points of the apps for users but there are ways around if you know who to ask.

Can Guys Message First On Hinge?

Unlike Bumble, men can message first on Hinge. They actually have several options – they first have to like a photo or answer to a prompt, afterward they can add a message to that like. Typically messages with likes get more responses than likes alone unless the message is cliche, vulgar or lazy.

The Biggest Mistake Girls & Guys Make On A Hinge Profile

Having reviewed thousands of profiles on Hinge, the biggest glaring mistake people make is having incomplete profile fields filled out. Many people fill out the bare minimum – age, location, height and maybe spirituality/religion. You need to fill out more than this. Smoking, drinking, kids, job industry, hometown should all be included as well. If you don’t fill this out, people will not take you seriously.

Browsing Profiles on Hinge

Once the profile is set up you are now ready to start swiping but not so fast. Hinge is popular in many large cities but a little thin in suburbs where Tinder is still King (in terms of # of profiles, engagement). But assuming there are enough people in your area, demographics (mostly used by 25-45 year olds) then the tapping function of Hinge is where many people get flustered.

The main knock on the dating app is that it appears tapping X or the check mark does not register and the profile re-appears. Similarly messages sent to profiles appear to not go through as profiles re-appear. Did it get sent? Was it a bug or did it go through and should I not seem needy. These are all the things going through people’s minds when using Hinge.

Hinge Preferences vs Dealbreakers

Pretty self-explanatory but deal-breakers are those things you select that are non-negotiatable in a partner. Hinge won’t show you anyone who meets the criteria selected. When no dealbreakers are selected, Hinge will prioritize your preferences but also show you people outside those preferences.

Pro-tip: If someone leaves out an answer, it might get filtered in your dealbreakers. It is for reasons like this that I recommend not setting any deal-breakers.

How Does The Hinge Algorithm Work?

Hinge, like many other apps aims to hook new users by displaying attractive profiles and over time regressing to the mean. Once hooked, users are tempted to upgrade to allow for more profiles to be viewed before running out.

Hinge takes into consideration your demographics and displays somewhat relative profiles based on preferences and your attractiveness. The more desirable you are the more you will be shown to other. This is not to mean that you need to be a model to do well on Hinge but self-sabotage efforts can definitely limit your ability to be successful.

How Do You Match On Hinge?

Matching requires both people like each others profiles, photos or prompts. Once this happens, a pop-up will show that you two have matched. Not all match notifications are in real-time nor are you able to see all your matches at once (you may have to clear out your queue). Hinge is for relationships, quality matches not volume usage and casting the widest net possible.

Hinge Boost – Is Hinge Boost Worth It?

Whenever a user creates an account on Hinge, that user will experience a boost on the site where their profile will be shown to an extremely high number of users for the first few hours, days. This is why it is extremely important to wait to create a profile once you have good photos, prompts and answers. More on this new user experience. For the most part, it’s far more effective to invest in your profile and photos rather than paying for increased visibility.

Hinge Demographics

90% of users are between the ages of 23-36. 99% of users are college educated. 400% increase in active users over last year.


The Biggest Complaints: Notifications Not Working

One last pain is account settings and notifications (or lack thereof). Many folks are confused about receiving free premium accounts, others get locked out of accounts and many unanswered questions take forever just to get acknowledge by customer service (a common theme in the Hinge world).

Once you decide who to X and who you like, there comes the decision whether to like or send a message. I wrote more about this here. Even if you manage to send a custom, thoughtful message, there is no guarantee you will get a reply. It might be your biased approach or it could be your skim profile or photos. 

If you have questions about which apps to use or need feedback on your dating profiles, read about my offerings hereOnce you decide who to X and who you like, there comes the decision whether to like or send a message. I wrote more about this here. Even if you manage to send a custom, thoughtful message, there is no guarantee you will get a reply. It might be your biased approach or it could be your skim profile or photos.

Also, Hinge is a buggy app. There are delays of notifications as well as inconsistent interpretations of profiles reappearing, whether likes and comments were sent or read. My advice is to be thoughtful and efficient and don’t rely on volume approaches on the app. Document errors and anomalies and contact customer service with screenshots, timestamps, steps before and results of any efforts you think are buggy.

Hinge Daily Like Limits – How Many Likes Per Day On Hinge?

Hinge has grown in popularity becoming one of the most widely used apps in the 23-36 age demographic. Success stories like from Pete Buttigieg has only made the app that more popular and one of the top rated apps in 2020. Hinge is now one of on the best gay and lesbian dating apps for those seeking relationships. As such Hinge has focused on monetization efforts like limiting daily likes to 10 on the free version and charging more for Hinge Preferred Membership.

Match Limits – How To See Blurred Matches

Hinge limits how many active matches you can view unless you upgrade to Preferred or unmatch other profiles you matched with.

Hinge Hidden Chats

Anyone who is inactive in your match list beyond 14 days will be move out of your active match list and may reappear if you decide to unhide them. Similarly you can hide any chats proactively and those matches will reappear only if they message you.

Pause Mode on Hinge

Pause mode is a feature Hinge offers to allow folks to hide their profiles once they wanted to take a break, met someone etc. Note you might still get a few residual likes because of delay/caching. “You may still receive a few likes while your account is paused.”


How To Block, Unmatch Someone On Hinge

Select the 3 dots in the upper right of the profile and select unmatch. After this is done the person will dissapear from your match queue and you will never see them again*. Unmatching is a permanent action.

*Unless they create a new profile on Hinge.

Hinge Preferred Membership

Like most apps, Hinge offers a paid version that allows for unlimited likes, ability to see who likes you and advanced filters. More about that can be read here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/preferred-hinge-membership/

Hinge is one of several apps I recommend to folks but there are others I recommend as well depending on age, gender, orientation, location, photos etc. Understanding who is on the app, what you are looking for and what you have to offer can dictate how successful you are on dating apps.

Hinge Login Issues, Errors, Can’t Log In (Banned)

If you go on any dating forum, one of the most commonly asked questions has to do with Hinge login issues, inability to login and errors. There are many reasons why this happens (some technical, some user behavior) and at the risk or alerting scammers, creeps to understand how to avoid detection I will not go into detail here but I will provide some tips to deal with this.

Hinge has a very strong set of terms of service. At the heart of it is being an app for relationship-minded folks. If you don’t follow their terms directly or indirectly, online or offline, you can get banned regardless of your subscription status. For this reason, treating people with respect, honesty and transparency will minimize your likelihood of being banned. Trying to game the system will get you banned, trust me. (Many people approach me on how to get ban lifted but I refuse assist them).

Lying about yourself and your intentions is one way to get tossed off the app. Creepy behavior on and off the app is the other. Aside from behavior towards others, Hinge has a myriad of ways to detect multiple accounts which I have good sense of but for obvious reasons will not list them here. If you do get banned (95% of bans are likely warranted), I recommend taking the time, stating your case with evidence and screenshots to make your case to Hinge. Many guys get frustrated and create a new account only to get banned again.

Hinge $100 Offer, Hinge National Unplug Day

Hinge recently offered a gift card offer for those matching and meeting on Hinge. Hinge users have to pause their accounts by 4PM ET March 6th, 2020 until 4PM ET March 7th, 2020 (also known as Hinge National Unplug Day).

After reactivating, people have to click on their date’s profile and select that they “met,” which signals to the app that they met in-person and prompts the app to ask whether you want to see this person again. (Both people can do this.)

Then, users have to go to unplugwithhinge.com and fill out a form that includes name, email (associated with their account), and a brief description of the date.

Once verified, Hinge says they’ll receive an email with a $100 Visa gift card code. The funds are first come, first served, so activate your account as soon as 4PM ET on Saturday rolls around.

Likely if you are reading this, all the offers have been claimed.

Hinge – Do People Know (are they notified) If You Screenshot Their Profile, Messages?

No. Similarly, Hinge does not have read receipts. This is a bit confusing I know because of the ‘delivered’ notification on messages.

Hinge Notifications Not Working

This happens often, too much for a popular app. Contact customer service with screenshots, timestamps, details, account info. It could be a bug, could be result of bad user behavior. Could be a regression to the mean aka increased monetization efforts on the part of Hinge.

Can You Send Photos On Hinge?

No, but ever if you could, there is no need to. If you have not met yet or don’t know someone well, you shoud be careful sending photos. The profile photos are enough. If you have been dating and feel comfortable with each other, you should have moved on to texting by now.


Hinge Date Spot Matchmaker (OpenTable)

Hinge recently launched a new feature called Date Spot Matchmaker to help folks plan first dates on their platform. It has good intention but it is not something I recommend using.

1) Recommendations are usually restaurants with stiff seating (seating across the table from each other).

2) These restaurants are usually ones that are not super popular or interesting (just have last minute availability in your area)

3) The best dates are ones that are unique, creative and show you spent time thinking and planning vs clicking a button that was served to you.

Hinge Opentable Date Spot Matchmaker

Hinge Opentable Date Spot Matchmaker


What is Hinge Date From Home?

After matching, Hinge users will see a “Date from Home” menu appear at the bottom of each conversation with their matches. This prompt will ask if they’re ready for a video or phone call with their match. This prompt came from a survey of users suggesting they would be open to a digital date. You can select Ready or Not Yet. If both people select ‘Ready’ both users will be notified. Hinge will eventually ask you if you met up (private feedback).

What is Hinge Labs?

Hinge Labs is a research program designed to provide behavorital based insights from members (via surveys and interviews) from those who have had success finding partners and love on the app. Areas will focus on video dating, first impressions, ending chats etc.

No Likes On Hinge

Hinge is not for everyone. It is mostly used by folks in larger cities and suburbs. It could be that your are is too remote, you have bad photos, you have unrealistic expectations, you are swiping too much, you are deleting and recreating your profile too often, you filters are too strict, or your political affilitation can be sabotaging your efforts. Moderates on dating apps are typically viewed as republicans here in the U.S.  as a way not to admit being too conservative. The only way to know for sure why you are getting no likes on Hinge is to hire someone to review your profile… like me.

How To Game Hinge

If you browse the internet long enough you will inevitably come across folks discussing methods used to hack their way to be more visible, get more matches. While some of these methods may work a few times, like any addiction, the more you use it, the shorter it lasts and the worst off you will be when that high wears off. Do it enough and you risk getting banned from the dating app which I consider one of the best out there.

Rather than pay for bells and whistles or trying to game Hinge, it’s a far better ROI to work on the core product you (photos, facial expressions, wardrobe, education, location, physique, smiles, careers, hobbies, passions etc.)

Are Last Names Required On Hinge? Does Hinge Show Your Last Name?

Last names are optional but if you have it enabled, it will only be displayed upon matching. Last names provide a sense of authenticity. Not displaying it can be seen as a red flag.

Hinge vs. Bumble

The other dating app Hinge is often compared to is Bumble. Bumble is slightly less diverse, more focus on those with college and graduate degrees and is more popular in larger cities. You can read my review here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/bumble-dating-app-review/ 

About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/

Dating Profile Critique

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/

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