Hinge has officially switched from a balls-to-the-wall free hookup app model to a subscription-based service for the real relationship-seekers among us. Which means you’re gonna have to pay to escape the dark trenches of loneliness.
The app’s new “members-only” model, launching today, will cost $7/month and aims to put Hinge in the more serious class of capitalistic matchmaking ventures like Match.com and eHarmony, rather than crapshoot apps like Tinder and Bumble, where the chances of meeting your soulmate or Satan are one and the same. What’s the point? What’s the difference? We all die alone.
At $7/month, Hinge’s cheap pricing appears to be the more economical option for younger customers (because free is a major reason people even use swiping apps), compared to Match and eHarmony’s range of $24 to $60 a month. Via Mashable:
A few years back, Hinge had a niche in the industry. The app only matched users with friends of friends (via Facebook), but it didn’t take long for competitors to adopt that feature. Less than a year later, Tinder added common connections. Hinge also prominently displayed users’ work and education, which other apps have added.
As it happens, it was a Vanity Fair article—the popular but highly critiqued “Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse”—that prompted the company’s desire to break free from the hookup app circle and grow the fuck up. In a late-September blog post announcing the change, founder and CEO Justin McLeod stated that Hinge learned through research that “swiping apps are staggeringly ineffective at helping people find relationships,” he writes, and “only 18% have found even one relationship, ever.” EVER.
In the memo, McLeod also dissed Tinder and overall swipe culture, alluding to “the dehumanizing way people are reduced to playing cards that we flick to the left or the right .” And since he’s trying to get users on board with Hinge’s renovation, it helps if he describes swiping as “an addictive game designed to keep you single.” FOREVER. You 40-year-old virg.
The subscription flip comes with some UI changes and features, as Mashable reports:
Now, Hinge profiles begin with a large image but do not immediately show the user’s age, name, city or any other demographic information first. Instead, users fill in a prompt for an interesting fact such as “unusual skills” or “Halloween costume.”
McLeod told Mashable, “We wanted to get rid of all those silly games—the timers, the super likes. What we learned with this mechanism is people are a lot more selective in terms of who they like.”
Well, good luck on your search for a sane Earth companion.