Dating App – Designed To Be Deleted. What Is Hinge? Is Hinge Free? Should You Use Hinge? Pros and Cons, Profile Tips & FAQ’s

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

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?

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 Algorithm

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.

Biggest Complaints

One last pain is account settings. 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.

Pause Mode on Hinge

Pause mode was an old feature Hinge offered to allow folks to hide their profiles once they wanted to take a break, met someone etc. Unfortunately this is no longer offered.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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