When it comes to being single these days, the dating scene can often feel like a series of endless swipes — left for no, right for yes — that never results in an actual relationship. Dating company Hinge says it’s ditching “swipe culture” with its new app aimed at folks who want an actual relationship — but it’ll cost you.
Hinge, which was previously free for users and connected people through their Facebook friends to potential romantic matches, will now cost users $7 a month. The company says it’s been working on this paid update for a year, writing last month that it has now “built a refuge from swipe culture for those looking to escape the dating apocalypse and find something real.”
“Our original vision was always to create something that people could build a relationship from,” said CEO and founder Justin McLeod explained to TechCrunch. “Over time, the category exploded and what we found is that people were, especially because of the way the UI was designed as this sort of swiping game, that people weren’t just using it for dating. They were using it for fun or hookups.”
Hinge claims its own data shows that swiping doesn’t lead to actual relationships, noting that “81 percent of people on Hinge didn’t find a serious relationship on the app,” and “only one in 500 swipes leads to a phone number being exchanged.”
As such, there is no swiping in the new Hinge: instead of a “user profile,” you’ll have a “story” where you can add content over time, answering questions like “My first fake ID,” “My childhood crush,” or “What I’m listening to right now.”
The days of having a “mutual match” are over as well: users won’t both have to agree that they like each other in order to start up a conversation. This is because the company believes that mutual matching just prompts people to swipe right on more people than they actually are interested in dating, just because they want to see how many people like them. That may result in users having a long list of matches, but few real-life connections.
“We’ve seen in testing that full conversations are about five to seven times more likely than they were on the old Hinge or other dating apps since we got rid of double-opt-in and let people interact with each other’s content,” said McLeod.
At $7/per month, the new Hinge is cheaper than match.com or eHarmony, but pricier than its previous counterparts Tinder and Bumble. Whether or not lonely hearts are willing to pay even that much for a chance at love remains to be seen.
Starting today, previous Hinge users will have to update their apps, and will then be shown a prompt to start a three-month free trial. After that, the $7 monthly price will kick in.
by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist