Hinge is like the Mercedes E-Class of dating apps.
Hinge is classy without being pretentious. The app is intuitive to use, and quality people use it (not that a fancy education is all-important, but I read somewhere that Hinge's median user have a college degree).
Hinge is versatile. An E-Class can transport five people and their luggage to the airport, or a couple to a classy dinner downtown. Likewise, regardless of your background, you'll find great singles on Hinge.
You know what you’re getting. Mercedes Benz has an established brand, and so does Hinge. It’s been around since 2012, and claims it's “designed to be deleted,” i.e. Hinge users are generally seeking relationships, not hookups.
Hinge ain't cheap. Like most apps these days, Hinge is borderline unusable unless you pay for premium features like Roses (more on this later!)
2. How does Hinge work?
Like most other dating apps, the Hinge experience centers around:
Setting up your profile with ~6 photos and ~3 lines of text 📸
Swiping on potential matches 📲
Engaging matches via in-app chat 💬
Hinge is unique in that instead of a written bio, you're required to respond to 3 pre-written question “prompts" that are designed to stimulate conversation.
(Unique isn't quite the right word — other apps have copied Hinge's prompt feature, but Hinge was the first to use prompts as far as I'm aware!)
Here are examples of Hinge's prompts:
Hinge offers 75 prompts to choose from! A few of my favorites:
📍 “I know the best spot in town for…” (opportunity to spotlight local expertise, and can lay up a date)
🧠 “I’m convinced that…” (opportunity to highlight your sense of humor, and start conversations)
💭 “A life goal of mine is…” (use this to showcase something important to you, but keep it playful!)
Hinge supports video and audio responses to prompts.
That is to say, you can upload a short video of yourself, or an audio recording of yourself, in lieu of a text or photo response to a prompt.
In general, I don't recommend video and audio responses to prompts — they're easier to screw up than to get right — and girls won't look down on your profile if it's just photos and written text, but if you have a great video to share, go for it 📸
Anyway, when you create your profile, you’ll also have the choice to share personal details like your:
… and much more.
I usually encourage clients to share their age, height, education, and work only.
Women can often infer everything they want to know about these traits from your photos, but listing them explicitly builds trust.
Information about your "vices," like drinking and drug use, can be TMI before you’ve matched, though, and ignores important nuances about your lifestyle and beliefs 😬
Many guys have told me you can increase your chances of compatible Hinge matches by removing "vices" and other info like political views from their profiles!
Anyway, once your profile’s set up, it’s time to land some matches.
Like most other dating apps, Hinge will show you a single-file queue of potential partners who meet your criteria (you can specify age, location, and lifestyle habits).
What distinguishes the Hinge experience is that you don’t just “swipe” on profiles you like — you have to engage with a specific element in them.
For example, you must reply to one of your potential match's, or choose one of their photos to “like” by tapping the heart icon (with the option to include a note).
I personally love this, because it moves the conversation in a specific direction:
Why do you like her photo?
What makes her prompt response funny?
In reality, this feature doesn’t prevent users from matching and using generic and boring opening lines like “hey what’s up?”
But it’s a thoughtful step in the right direction 😇
Hinge has another queue where you can view users who’ve already “swiped right” on you (and read their messages, if they sent you one when they swiped).
If you swipe right back, you’ll move over to the match queue, where you can review and chat with your matches:
The protocol for chatting with your matches on Hinge is the same as on most other apps:
Swap a few text-based messages within the app 💬
Transition things to SMS (and a date!) as soon as the connection’s established 📲
During the pandemic, because people were hesitant to meet up in-person, Hinge added audio and video chat functionality.
Some of my friends used these features when they launched, but as the Coronavirus saga has wound down, most have reverted to the usual “swap a few messages, then exit the app” flow.