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Everything You Need to Know About the Dating App Hinge

Plus, how it stacks up against Tinder and Bumble.

If you’re in the dating game, you’ve probably used (or at least heard of) Hinge. It’s a dating app focused on building successful, long-term relationships, so your goldfish probably shouldn’t make an account. We’ll miss you, Goldy.

Hinge has lots of cool features, like voice prompts, conversation starters to help you move beyond the superficial, and a science-backed approach to matchmaking. It’s a popular choice among Millennials, and it doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.

So, if you’re looking for love, here’s our complete breakdown of Hinge: what it is, how it works, how much it costs, and a comparison between it and other popular dating apps. Good luck out there, singles.

Hinge Dating App - woman on phonePhoto Credit: Hinge

What is Hinge?

Hinge is “the dating app designed to be deleted.” It seems to work for them, but if you’re an app developer, we wouldn’t recommend encouraging your users to delete your app. What do we know, though?

Initially released in 2012, the mobile application gained popularity after finding its niche as “the relationship app.” According to Bustle, Hinge was mentioned more times than any other dating site in the New York Times’ “Weddings section.” So they are clearly doing something right.

The goal of the app is to meet people, go on dates, and eventually get into a romantic relationship. It’s like eHarmony, but in app format.
Hinge Dating App - couple embracing

How Does Hinge Work?

You’ll start your journey to find love by filling out basic demographic information, like your name, birthday, location, and sexuality. Then, you’ll add six photos (no more and no less). Next, you’ll be prompted to respond to three conversation starters.

These Hinge prompts are a way for your matches to get to know you on a deeper level than they would by swiping left and right through endless photos. Prompts range from personal anecdotes, to sharing your favorite (or least favorite) things, to explaining what you’re looking for in a relationship.

You have to add three responses (again, no more and no less), and you have the option to respond to a voice prompt, too. The audio feature was a late 2021 addition, allowing you to hear a potential suitor’s voice before going out with them. And you don’t even have to date ghosts to do so!

Other users who like your profile will then be able to respond to one of your prompts and get a conversation going. Another option for communicating is through video chat, a feature accessible only after both users have sent at least one message in the chat.
Hinge Dating App - video call

How Much Does Hinge Cost?

You can use Hinge for free, but there is a premium subscription membership option that you can pay for. As a Preferred Member, Hinge promises that you’ll get twice as many dates.

A one-month subscription costs $29.99, or you can pay in bulk for three months at $59.99, or six months at $89.99, bringing the monthly rate down to $19.99 or $14.99, respectively.

Some of the features you get as a Preferred Member include:

  • See everyone who “likes” you.
  • Set advanced preferences, including preferred level of education, ideal family plan, political views, and more.
  • Send unlimited likes (the free version gives you a daily limit of ten).
  • View more “standout” profiles, which are profiles of users that Hinge has decided to spotlight. In order to match with a “standout,” you can give them a “rose.” Users get one free rose per week, but you can buy more at any time. Roses cost between $1.49 and $3.33 each, depending on how many you purchase at once.

Hinge Dating App - standouts

How Many People Use Hinge?

Hinge is growing a large base of loyal users, amassing reportedly 20 million people with accounts on the app in 2021. Compared to 2.4 million in 2017, it’s no wonder you’ve heard more and more friends talking about it recently.

Out of those 20 million, around 800,000 pay for the premium service. It’s the third most popular dating site, after only Tinder and Bumble.

Tinder has a whopping 75 million active monthly users, and Bumble had 40 million in 2020. So while Hinge is not the most populous dating app, it has certainly carved out a corner of the market for itself.
Hinge Dating App - conversation prompts

Is Hinge the Best Dating App?

It depends on what you’re looking for, but Hinge is certainly one of the most popular and widely used dating apps. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, it’s worth giving it a shot.

As long as you’re at least 18 years old, you can sign up and make a profile. Keep in mind that according to reports, the majority of Hinge users are between 23 and 36 years of age, with the app primarily marketed to college-educated Millennials.
Hinge Dating App - screenshots

Hinge vs. Tinder

You might be surprised to learn that Hinge, which was created, in some ways, as an anti-Tinder, is owned by the same company that owns Tinder. Mhmm. Everything is a lie.

Despite the fact that Match Group—the parent company of not just Tinder, but other major dating sites like Match.com, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, and over 45 dating companies worldwide—acquired Hinge back in June 2018, the two apps are still distinctly different. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth acquiring, now would it?
Hinge Dating App - Tinder screenshotsPhoto Credit: Tinder

The Hinge website is filled with phrases that get at its agenda. They want to “make dating effective, not addictive.” Their goal is to “succeed in getting you out on promising dates, not keeping you on the app.” This type of verbiage is what defines Hinge. It’s not about endless scrolling and 2 a.m. hookups.

On the Tinder homepage, in comparison, you are greeted with their slogan in bold letters—and not much else. “Swipe Right.” That pretty much says it all, but we’ll elaborate anyway. What can we say: we’re chatty.
Hinge Dating App - Tinder swipe rightScreenshot from Tinder.com

Tinder defines itself as “the world’s most popular free dating app.” While that may be true, the intentions of those swiping on the app are less clear.

Marketed as being for folks looking for love, something casual, or even just new friends, it’s a truly mixed box of chocolates on Tinder. That has its pros and cons, but if you’re looking for a serious relationship, your time will be rewarded better on Hinge.
Hinge Dating App - Tinder vs HingeTinder (left) vs. Hinge (right) screenshots

Hinge vs. Bumble

Bumble is a female-founded dating app that puts women in the driver’s seat when it comes to online dating. The traditional idea that the man should make the first move is thrown out the window on Bumble. In fact, even if he wants to, he can’t. Take that, Zeke.

Whitney Wolfe Herd, former vice president of marketing at Tinder, founded the app in 2014 after leaving her former job. As a feminist dating app, women are given 24 hours after matching with someone to send them the first message. (For any non-heterosexual matches, this rule does not apply.)

If they don’t make a move, the match disappears into the ether forever. If only the ladies on The Tinder Swindler were so lucky.
Hinge Dating App - Bumble screenshotsPhoto Credit: Bumble

This is the primary difference between each app, as they are both known for being more relationship-oriented. Men are happy to have some of the pressure taken off, and women have the power to decide which matches are actually worth connecting with. Bumble also has a feature called “Bumble questions,” similar to Hinge prompts, which women can use to start up a conversation if they’re more shy.

If you can’t picture yourself sending the first message, or you don’t like the idea of being muzzled and unable to communicate with a match until she says something, Hinge is a better match for you. On both apps, users report meeting long-term partners.
Hinge dating app - Hinge vs. BumbleBumble (left) vs. Hinge (right) screenshots

The Verdict

If dating is a numbers game, your odds of eventually finding a partner are good on any of the apps. With Hinge, you’re sure to meet other like-minded singles who are looking for something serious. And if that’s not what you’re looking for? Join Tinder instead.

So make a profile, get to chatting, and it’s only a matter of time before you’re deleting it. Until then, happy swiping.

By Laura Davis

Laura was born at the beach in New Jersey, but she'd be the first to tell you her childhood was nothing like Jersey Shore. Sadly. When she's not writing, you can find her reading on her beloved Kindle, listening to true crime podcasts, or looking up adoptable cats.

Outside of her 9-5 as a writer, Laura is the owner of Looks by Laura, an online thrifted clothing boutique. She's the co-founder of Adultescence, a podcast and lifestyle website about navigating that challenging space between adolescence and adulthood. And she makes a mean eggplant parm.

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