Designed To Be Deleted. What Is Hinge? Is Hinge Free? Should You Use Hinge? Pros and Cons, Profile Tips, Costs, Prompts, FAQ’s, Login Errors, Daily Like Limits & Notification Issues
What is Hinge? 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 of the 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.
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.
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.
Biggest Mistake Made in Creating a Profile
Having reviewed thousands of profiles on Hinge, thes 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 checkmark 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, 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.
90% of users are between the ages of 23-36. 99% of users are college educated. 400% increase in active users over last year.
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 here. 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.
Also, Hinge is a buggy app. There are delays of notifications as well as inconsistent interpretations of profiles reappearing, whether or not 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.
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.”
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 Login (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 alterting 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.
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.
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/