The relationship app. Rebuilt & redesigned for relationships

Hinge is a dating app for relationship seekers.

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Thanks Ryan! Last fall Hinge faced a turning point. Even though we were as big as ever and still growing, we knew we were simply not living up to our mission of helping people find relationships. After extensive research and even more soul-searching, we had to concede that in fact our entire model was flawed: swiping seemed to be an addictive game that did more to keep our members single than to help them find relationships. And many, it seemed, were tired of the games. So were we. So we decided to cut bait and embark on what became a nine-month journey to develop an entirely new service which would ditch swiping, matching, timers and games and replace them with a way to help people meaningfully connect. With the release of our new app today, we hope we can pave the way for a new normal in dating culture that treats people with dignity and helps those seeking relationships find what they’re really looking for. Regardless of your previous experience with Hinge and other so-called ‘dating apps,’ I hope that if you’re over the games and ready to find something real, you’ll consider starting a new relationship with us. I’ll be here all day along with our head of product, Sam Levy, responding to any questions you might have.
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@jpmcleod I definitely agree that swiping apps aren't achieving your mission to help people find relationships. I don't have a iOS device so I can't test the new Hinge. There's little to no information on how Hinge works besides it's not swiping. Is it search-based? Are their match makers? How do you plan on solving getting users? Personally, I don't want to spend $7/month on something that does not many users in a drivable distance. The first-adopters are definitely taking a risk. Also, the Hinge blog is down.
@matthewtwhuang Thanks for your questions! To answer your question 'what's different about new Hinge?' from some of our in-app FAQ: *No Swiping* Rather sending a generic ‘heart’, you can like or comment on the part of their profile that stands out most to you - and in turn, you can learn what stands out most about you. *Stories, Not Resumes* Redesigned rich profiles allows you to tell your story, rather than listing off your resume. We're encouraging people to have up to 9 photos and 6 short prompts. Based on early signup rates, it looks like profile completion rates are extremely high! *3x the Conversations* We have a new engagement mechanism: comment on someone’s story card or picture rather than sending yet another “Hey, how’s it going?”. You'll appear on this person's homescreen with your message and they can tap 'connect' to continue the conversation. *People Who Want What You Want* Our paywall is designed to cut the creeps, the clutter, and the flakes. *Personal Service* We have a member services team is here to make sure you have an amazing experience.
@matthewtwhuang On your second question about acquiring new users: the good news is that we've had a record day today after just a couple hours. We hope to convert a large % of our current Hinge users who are looking for a relationship with the 3 month free trial (no credit card required). Our growth team is working on how we continue to grow our base of users as we realize the value of Hinge will be proportional to the size of Hinge's userbase (network effects). We believe as a low subscription price and a product experience people love that we will have strong word of mouth growth as well.
So happy to see this. We have a horrific story in the media about a court case where a tindr date turned bad so I'm relieved to see an alternative more human approach. Thank you on behalf of people yet to connect...
Big redesign, introducing a $7/mo charge and this cute criticism of "swiping culture":
Some interesting stats in their Medium post. I haven't used a dating app in over a year so I'm curious what singles think of this direction.
I'm thrilled to share that Hinge has ditched swiping to double down on real relationships. Hinge's new app, which launched today, is completely redesigned and rebranded for people who want to escape the games and find something real. It gets rid of the 'swipe' and introduces the 'impression' - which leads to way more conversations and dates. Earlier this year when Hinge's CEO, Justin McLeod, told me of his plans to launch The Relationship App, I thought it was a bold and daring move. Glad to see their launch is off to a great start!
Will a $7 membership fee and losing the "swipe right for love" model help Hinge become the Match.com for the next generation? On the day that the Atlantic published this long read on @tristanharris's work on how to fight back against apps that effectively addict their mobile users, it's worth considering whether Hinge will start a trend towards deeper, more meaningful experiences accelerated through technology, rather than becoming the destination itself, especially considering their new mission statement: “Inspired by love and guided by authenticity, we create meaningful connections among those bold enough to seek real relationships.”
Props to the team for tackling the bigger mission of real connections. After playing with this for a short while I really commend the bravery and direction you guys are going in, it finally feels like it has it's own soul vs. the competition. I found the visual design refreshing and clearly a lot of good brand work has been done here. Product wise however, I found myself in the same patterns as the swipe based apps. What I found: The profile discovery / matching tech is either still early or suffers the same issue that every other interest based app has; defining taste. It takes a LONG time to get a sense of my profile or preference. The result is I was stuck in the endless "next" cycle trying to find interesting people, experientially I was right back in swipe-world. I assume this tech will get better with time, but, if you're charging for the app my expectation is an order or magnitude higher. Secondly I found the model for interacting with people unclear and complicated… I often found myself at a dead end with profiles not knowing what to do next if I was interested in a person. I like the idea of a person's "story" but it lacked a strong affordance to express a connection. Adding a like or comment to particular photo felt unsatisfying and fragmented. Do I only like that one part of the person? It reminded me or adding a comment on a photo in an album versus the album at large. The main benefit i've found for swiping or liking a profile is that you perform a visceral, definitive act of saying "yes". It's a clear and emotionally resonant feedback mechanism that solidifies my choice. I found it quite hard to say "yes" to people in the new version. Lastly the subscription model… The idea that paying puts everyone on the same page is probably true to some extent but that can't be the only reason, right? I expected you guys to sell your discovery tech or some other benefit but it seemed to the only one. Not sure if this is compelling yet… In the end I've still found OkCupid's Q&A tech by *far* the best match of taste and personality. I'm curious what the Hinge team is betting on to compete with this if they want to play in the recommendations space?
@jamesdeangelis Thanks James. I want to address a couple of these issues, but I'm also wondering if you're available for a call to discuss in more depth and seek your advice. On algorithms, we just implemented yesterday a couple changes that will dramatically improve your initial recommendations and learn over time. On the liking / commenting interaction, we'd love to discuss this with you. We spent weeks iterating on that design trying to solve some of the exact things you bring up :-). On subscription model, we think creating a community where people are aligned is the first, big step, but there are other premium features that we're considering so that every member feels they are getting their full $7 of value.