Hinge (app)

Hinge is a dating app[1] which bills itself as the "only dating app" that emphasizes long-term connections between users.[2] Hinge has sought to allure a younger demographic than Match.com and eHarmony.

Hinge Logo.png
Original author(s)Justin McLeod (Founder, CEO)
Initial release2012; 9 years ago (2012)
Operating systemiOS, Android
TypeOnline 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.[3][4][5] Starting in 2012, this would evolve in into Hinge as a mobile app and launching in February 2013.[6] The app was designed to be less superficial than Tinder, dispensing with Tinder-like swiping and using the slogan "the relationship app."[1]

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.[7][8]

In 2017, Hinge received more mentions than other dating apps in the Weddings section of The New York Times.[9] Hinge Matchmaker was released in September 2017 to reinvent online dating for "people that missed out on the dating app craze".[10]

Match Group made investments in Hinge as early as September 2017.[11] On June 20, 2018, Match Group acquired 51% ownership of Hinge,[12] with the right to acquire all remaining shares within a year, which it exercised.[13] Match Group owned 100% of Hinge by the first quarter of 2019.[14]

The app's popularity was boosted in 2019 when US presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg revealed that he had met his husband on Hinge.[15]

Also in 2019, Hinge started Hinge Labs to research successful matches and fine-tune the compatibility algorithm and other features.[16]

Hinge was featured on CNET as one of the best dating sites for 2021.[17]


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.[18] 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.[19]

Unlike other dating apps, users can message other users without first requiring a "match".[16] As a ghosting countermeasure, a "Your Turn" feature reminds a user to continue a conversation.[20]

In 2018, Hinge launched a "We Met" feature allowing private confirmation that matches have had a first date, in order to find more compatible matches.[21][22]

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.[23]

Hinge formerly used Facebook friends to facilitate connections.[1][24] 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.[25][26]


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.[27][17] In 2020, the app launched Hingie Shop, selling products that can be "destroyed" such as bath bombs and s'mores.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Markowitz, Dale (September 29, 2017). "Hinge's CEO says a good dating app relies on vulnerability, not algorithms". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  2. ^ Carman, Ashley. "Hinge's redesign is all about wanting you to eventually delete the dating app". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2020-02-20. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  3. ^ Murphy, Hannah (October 4, 2021). "Whistleblower accuses Facebook of misleading public and investors". Financial Times. Archived from the original on October 4, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  4. ^ Francis, Hannah (2015-03-27). "Tired of Tinder? Hinge dating app founder Justin McLeod thinks he's discovered a new formula". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  5. ^ Parker, Garret (2016-12-14). "Justin McLeod: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Hinge CEO". Money Inc. Retrieved 2021-10-05.
  6. ^ Shontell, Alyson. "A Dying Dating App Blew Its Last $25,000 On A Hail Mary — Now It's On Fire, Giving Tinder A Run For Its Money". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2020-05-16. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  7. ^ Yakowicz, Will (2014-11-10). "The Hail Mary Pass That Saved Hinge from Failure". Inc.com. Archived from the original on 2019-11-03. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  8. ^ Hyrkas, Erik (2013-02-08). "Hinge launch party debuts DC mobile dating app on 1776 Campus". Tech Void. Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  9. ^ Lusinski, Natalia (Dec 12, 2017). "What's The Best Dating App For Marriage? Hinge Had The Most Mentions In The 'Weddings' Section Of The 'New York Times'". Bustle. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  10. ^ Miller, Theo (September 22, 2017). "Hinge Matchmaker Expands Online Dating Craze". Forbes.com. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  11. ^ "Match Group Expands Portfolio With Dating App Hinge". Nasdaq.com. June 20, 2018. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Carman, Ashley (June 20, 2018). "Tinder parent company buys anti-Tinder dating app Hinge". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  13. ^ Chang, Lulu (June 22, 2018). "Tinder's parent company Match Group swipes right on Hinge". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  14. ^ Perez, Sarah (7 February 2019). "Match Group fully acquires relationship-focused app Hinge". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  15. ^ Mohamed, Theron (Aug 8, 2019). "Hinge downloads more than tripled last quarter after Pete Buttigieg revealed he met his husband on the dating app". Markets Insider. Archived from the original on 2020-03-19. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  16. ^ a b Visram, Talib (2019-10-24). "Hinge's founder gets vulnerable about data, addiction, and 'Modern Love'". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  17. ^ a b Fleenor, Rebecca. "Best dating sites". CNET. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  18. ^ Matthews, Dylan (2015-03-19). "9 questions about the dating app Hinge you were too embarrassed to ask". Vox. Archived from the original on 2021-05-23. Retrieved 2021-05-23.
  19. ^ Heilweil, Rebecca (2020-02-14). "We answered your dating app questions". Vox. Archived from the original on 2020-02-28. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  20. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 20, 2017). "Dating app Hinge rolls out a new feature to reduce 'ghosting'". TechCrunch.com. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Orenstein, Hannah (2018-10-16). "Hinge's Newest Feature Is Designed To Make Your Next First Date Even Better". Elite Daily. Archived from the original on 2019-09-29. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  22. ^ Andrews, Taylor (2018-11-01). "This New Anti-Ghosting Feature on a Dating App Totally Works". Cosmopolitan. Archived from the original on 2019-05-26. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  23. ^ Wells, Sarah (2018-07-11). "Hinge employs new algorithm to find your 'most compatible' match". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  24. ^ Beck, Julie (October 25, 2016). "The Rise of Dating-App Fatigue". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on April 1, 2018. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  25. ^ Liptak, Andrew (2018-06-02). "Hinge will no longer require you to log in via Facebook". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2020-11-09. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  26. ^ Perez, Sarah. "Dating app Hinge is ditching the Facebook login requirement". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  27. ^ "Hinge, the new dating app designed to be deleted | IOL". www.iol.co.za. Archived from the original on 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  28. ^ Zelaya, Ian (2020-01-08). "Hinge Launches Online Shop With Stuff Meant to be Destroyed". www.adweek.com. Archived from the original on 2020-04-10. Retrieved 2020-04-02.

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