Hinge is a dating app which bills itself as the "only dating app" that emphasizes long-term connections between users. Hinge has sought to allure a younger demographic than Match.com and eHarmony.
|Original author(s)||Justin McLeod (Founder, CEO)|
|Operating system||iOS, Android|
|Type||Online dating application|
In 2011, Justin McLeod and a team including Frances Haugen founded a desktop service called Secret Agent Cupid which allowed users to connect to Facebook and list which of their friends they had crushes on. Starting in 2012, this would evolve in into Hinge as a mobile app and launching in February 2013. The app was designed to be less superficial than Tinder, dispensing with Tinder-like swiping and using the slogan "the relationship app."
Before Hinge gained enough users to sustain the business, the company nearly ran out of funding. When making the mobile app, McLeod spent much of their remaining cash on a launch party in Washington D.C. which enabled them to obtain their next round of funding, saving it from insolvency.
In 2017, Hinge received more mentions than other dating apps in the Weddings section of The New York Times. Hinge Matchmaker was released in September 2017 to reinvent online dating for "people that missed out on the dating app craze".
Match Group made investments in Hinge as early as September 2017. On June 20, 2018, Match Group acquired 51% ownership of Hinge, with the right to acquire all remaining shares within a year, which it exercised. Match Group owned 100% of Hinge by the first quarter of 2019.
Also in 2019, Hinge started Hinge Labs to research successful matches and fine-tune the compatibility algorithm and other features.
Hinge was featured on CNET as one of the best dating sites for 2021.
Presented in a vertical timeline, profiles on Hinge are composed of pictures plus three self-selected personal prompts, which encourage users to focus on personality traits rather than just appearance. Instead of swiping, users must "like" specific photos or prompts if they wish to reach out to other members, though they are not required to respond to these photos or prompts. Hinge allows users to filter matches based on traits that Hinge believes are important to users, such as religion or height. Other traits that may be important to users, such as body type or where someone falls on the introversion/extroversion spectrum, are not included.
In July 2018, Hinge rolled out its "most compatible" feature, which uses the Gale–Shapley algorithm to recommend one user a day that Hinge claims is the best pairing, determined by their likes and passes.
Hinge formerly used Facebook friends to facilitate connections. In 2018, the app moved away from using friends of friends as a predictor of compatibility, and it was redesigned to no longer require Facebook login.
Hinge marketing focuses on its "designed to be deleted" theme, with its mascot, Hingie, getting roasted in a campfire, encased in ice in a freezer, run over by a cab, flattened by an air-conditioner, etc., when two Hinge users fall in love. In 2020, the app launched Hingie Shop, selling products that can be "destroyed" such as bath bombs and s'mores.
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