So, we’ve established that online dating sites are now a thing of the past and that dating apps are where it’s at. I’m here to tell you about one of the newest of the bunch. Hinge, a mobile-only dating app, seems to be the next contender to take off in a major way. Unlike Tinder — where you endlessly swipe through singles — or Blendr — which seems purely driven by hookup culture — Hinge curates potential matches for you every day based on your interests and mutual Facebook friends.
To get started, users sign in using Facebook and select their preferences, including location, sexual orientation and age (it caps at 35 — BOO!). Each day at noon the app gives you a new group of friends of friends to check out on the service and rate. A profile picture is shown for each person as well as where they went to school, their job and what friends you have in common.
As a user, you rate the people you’re sent on a scale of one to five based on how interested you are in meeting them. If both of you rate each other a four or higher, then Hinge will introduce you via email.
In the crowded dating app space, Hinge combines the best of OKCupid (recommendations based on match percentages) with the simplicity of Tinder (the app pulls info from your Facebook so you don’t have to tediously build a profile like on OKCupid).
The company was founded under the premise that young professionals are tired of trying to meet people at parties and bars, but think that traditional online dating sites are awkward, and provide random results. Since you’re already connected in a way to someone you meet using Hinge, the relationship might last longer. That would be the hope anyway.
“We’re like the best host at the biggest cocktail party you’ve ever been invited to … every day,” claims Hinge CEO Justin McLeod. “We’re the app you use to find someone you actually like. Easily. Hinge is a nice balance between ease of use and finding real connections without being weird or creepy.”
The app was released last year and was a 2013 SXSW Accelerator finalist. Hinge is currently in seven cities: New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Atlanta. The app has gained tremendous momentum recently. Los Angeles and Dallas are the next cities where it will make its debut. Why do I have the feeling we might be waiting a while in Portland, Maine?
So, when you get tired of sleeping with strangers you’ve met on random hookup apps, check out Hinge. Assuming, of course, you’re 35 or younger and live in a city where the app provides service. Because we all know how close we are to all of our Facebook friends, right? I’d certainly feel safer knowing that my potential date was “friends” with that guy I met once for 15 minutes at a conference in Vegas. Wouldn’t you?
Give Hinge a try. What have you got to lose? Wait … don’t answer that.