ONLINE DATING

Hinge review: dating on the app designed to be deleted

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Members 5 million
Popularity 150,000/daily
Gender proportion 50% males, 50% females
Geography USA, Europe, International
Account verification Facebook, phone number
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price $9.99-29.94
Free version main features
Fraud risk low
Hookup chance ★★★☆☆

If you are looking for serious relationships, it’s likely that you already got disappointed in Tinder and even OkCupid. The problem with many modern dating services is their lack of serious approach — people register because it’s cool or to test the waters. Finding someone committed is truly a challenge.

This problem can be solved with the right choice of platform. If you date on the service where a long-term relationship is a goal, you’ll likely meet more serious-minded partners.

Welcome to Hinge, an app designed to be deleted. The service prides itself on efficiency in finding long-term partners — but does it work? I signed up to find out.

Hinge is a detailed mobile dating app

What is Hinge

Hinge often mentioned as an app that’s designed to be deleted. Initially, when the service was founded, it took care of casual dating, too. But as the app progressed, the team decided to take a turn towards serious dating.

Now, Hinge is a go-top dating app for people who are looking for committed relationships, like to browse detailed profiles and want a secure environment for online dating. It’s often a favorite platform of online dating beginners because risks here are incredibly low.

“An app designed to be deleted” — such is the positioning of the platform

Affordability

★★★☆☆

The free version allows you to register, open full profiles, get matches, send likes, and message people who matched you back. On the one hand, it’s great to be able to message users for free, but it could potentially lead to a lack of commitment. Paid-only platforms tend to attract more conscious users — take Match, for instance.

The paid version costs $9.99 per month. The upgrade removes daily like limitations, provides statistics of users who liked your page. The app even keeps users updated on detailed preferences. You can see what exactly the app defines your type and see other users’ likes, too.

Hinge alternative: editorial choice

Audience quality

★★★★☆

The user pool is composed of almost exclusively American users. From over 5 million users, about 4 million are based in the US. The app’s official App Store’s page also claims that the community is quickly growing in Europe and Australia.

Age and gender ratio

According to the official Hinge’s data, the gender ratio on the Hinge dating app is about 50-50. My experience goes along with this statement — I haven’t seen any disproportion between male and female accounts. The most common age group is 24-32, and most people are looking for serious relationships with a long-term perspective.

Fakes and scammers

To confirm an account, users need to verify their phone number. Generally, that’s a pretty strong verification method — getting a fake number is harder than making a shady inbox. Perhaps, that’s why I haven’t seen too many fake profiles around — most users are online and active. If you want to remove fakes from your Feed altogether, you can try We Met feature. That will limit your search pool to people with whom you crossed paths in real-life — but we’ll get to that later.

Interface

★★★☆☆

Hinge dating thrives on a detailed Feed and informative profile. The app sets itself apart from Tinder, which only offers a picture and a caption and goes an alternate route.

Here, you see the full description of a member, interests, beliefs, habits, dealbreakers — everything that’s needed for a relationship. This is why the app sometimes feels heavy and overburdened with information — to find a match, you need to scan through dozens of text paragraphs.

The app doesn’t look similar to other dating apps — it’s a lot more to the point

The style of the app is minimalistic: you’ve got a neutral white background and an organized page layout. In my Hinge review, I focus on functionality and efficiency — style is secondary here.

Signing up

To create an account on Hinge, I entered my email, username, password, birth date, and location. I also could have used Facebook to provide the app with the same information — but I prefer to withhold connecting social media to dating sites.

After you’ve filled out the general registration form, I uploaded six pictures — as required by the website. It was bold of Hinge to assume that I would necessarily want to share so many, but these are rules.

How to use Hinge?

Hinge aspires to provide potential partners with a lot of information and asks users for a lot of private information. All data is divided into two sections: My Vitals and My Virtues, with one referring to essential information, and another to personal strengths and weaknesses.

  • Vitals include location, gender, orientation, height, work, education, religion, family situation, ethnicity.
  • My Virtues ask about personal qualities, political views, opinions on controversial issues and lifestyles, and personality-test-style answers.

Not all of these questions are mandatory — the app lets you know which ones can be skipped.

Profile quality

All users have at least six pictures and personal descriptions in the essay format. Along with that, you also see their Virtues and Vitals in the separate columns. I like that Hinge offers the possibility to filter members based on their Virtues and Vitals but also gives space for creativity with open answers.

Now, more good news: it turns out, most profiles are filled out completely. You’d think that such a long registration form could be a turn-off, but most Hinge members prove their diligence by filling out everything to the slightest details. Right off the bet, users prove dedication.

People talk about fun stories from their lives

I like that Hinge doesn’t show all six pictures together but disperses them in between text. You have a picture on the “About Me” section, another one near “Vitals,” near “Virtues,” preferences, and so on. It makes profiles very scannable and fun to follow — and it’s nice not to have to scroll the gallery.

Between pictures, you see pick-up lines and catchphrases

All pictures have captions that give context to photos — is that guy on her picture her ex or brother, or does he have a dog? You need to tap on the photo to see the caption. The only problem I have with Hinge apps is that they are uncomfortable to match up with. Having to scroll through the entire page to consider every Match takes a lot of time.

Contacting users

Dating app Hinge starts by showing the members of your preferred gender located nearby — these are default matching criteria. You can set up more filters on the side panel — I previewed my matches by their lifestyles and work.

To match someone on Hinge, you can send a matching request with a pickup line — and wait for their response. Before that user-approved your request, there’s no way to send a follow-up message.

You have 24 hours to message a user

The free version allows messaging matched users but puts a limitation on the maximal number of daily matches — not more than 10. With a premium upgrade, this limit is removed.

Smart likes

Hinge wants to avoid automatic or random likes. You can’t just press a like button — you need to tap on a particular profile section and send a like. This way, the app ensures that you’ve read the member’s profile and prevents you from making mistaken requests. It’s a time-consuming practice, but I see how it could be working well for Hinge’s target audience.

Matching up

I wouldn’t say that Hinge is a transparent dating website. In more than a month on hanging out of the platform, I still didn’t manage to grasp the logic by which users were offered to me. The website determines your preferences based on browsing history, but unless you are premium, you won’t see elaboration. Even the upgraded version doesn’t offer any insights on that.

You see each profile one by one — this helps with being more mindful

Chat

Messaging users on Hinge is free. However, all these members need to accept your matching request first. In a free version, this could be a problem because you have only 10 requests per day. This is why I recommend avoiding mass-matching and putting a lot of consideration for each request.

You don’t want to waste your limited match requests on this

Hinge’s chat is simple. You can only send and receive text messages — no pictures. On the one hand, that’s a way to go to avoid unsolicited dick pics, but also, isn’t that the most boring chat on the planet? For me, banning pictures from chats altogether is an overkill.

Mobile app

Hinge is a mobile-first dating app, which means its main version is mobile. All features are designed and developed with smartphones in mind — and it’s obvious from page load speed and overall responsiveness. Overall, the app is very well-done — it’s lightweight, simple, and fast.

However, I wish there was a Hinge dating site, at least an adapted web version. I want to try the service out on my browser before I have to download or install anything. On top of that, desktop dating can be fun in its way, especially when it comes to serious dating.

Special features

One of Hinge’s main selling points is safe dating — you probably picked up on that from my Hinge app review. The app wants you to minimize the chances of being scammed or approached by a shady member. It also tries to give detailed information on dating activities, which reassured me in a way. My favorite “special” dating features were Who Liked Me, and We Met — let’s take a brief look.

You can see the list of profiles who liked you but their photos are blurred

Who Liked Me

All users, free and premium, can see users who liked the page in the special tab. However, if you have a basic plan, you won’t see their faces. The app makes money on making people curious — you can see that people like you can’t tell who they are.

For premium users, the Who Liked Me page is a lot more informative. You can take a look at the pictures, open profiles, and match up.

The app checks if users met to get a better idea of the dating preferences of both partners

We Met

This is a new feature that sets Hinge apart as a result-oriented dating app. All members can report to Hinge’s team on their progress and notify Hinge about successful dates. It helps the app to keep track of matching efficiency and determines which type of users you are likely to date — and who’s prone to dating you.

Security and privacy

★★★☆☆

The first positive thing I noticed about Hinge’s safety is phone verification. In my experience, it’s one of the safest ways of identity confirmation — perhaps, only photo verification tops this method. I don’t like to list my number on sex dating sites, but considering that this is a relationship-oriented one, I don’t see a problem.

You can delete your account anytime

That said, Hinge security is not perfect. The service collects a lot of data but doesn’t specify how is information is used or protected. To get some information, I went to the official website’s Security page — only to see no details on encryption and protection.

The only positive measure is the possibility to report a security vulnerability with a PGP key — but it’s not particularly helpful in preserving data from getting leaked.

Odds of success

★★★☆☆

Hinge understands its target audience well; I have to give it to the team. The creators pinpointed the main flaws of mobile online dating — random likes, the lack of details in the profile,s randomness of matching algorithm, and the lack of security. When you date on Hinge, you get a feeling that an app is overall reliable.

However, Hinge is not comfortable for dates. 10-match limitation in the free version doesn’t get you to understand the user pool well, and it minimizes the chance of finding a committed date. I think offering a full trial version would be a safer bet — people could experience the full functionality of the app, even if for a limited time.

With the free version, I had only three decent matches in a week. One of them finished on an actual date, but it wasn’t what I envisioned. The full version brought more luck — I could finally immerse myself properly in dating and get 5-6 requests in a day.

How does Hinge work

Hinge looks for matches nearby and filters them by age, gender, location, ethnicity, occupation, family situation, habits, lifestyles, interests, and even political opinions.

If you are serious about finding a date, Hinge date environment is safe and reliable. However, you can only experience its main advantages with an upgraded version — 10 match requests per day are too few to b build anything real.

Alternatives

Hinge is not your platform unless you are looking for something committed and long-term. Users will expect you to dedicate yourself to a monogamous relationship — so casual sex is definitely off the charts. However, if you are looking for Hinge-style apps for sex, I got you. Here’s my list of free hookup sites and apps with great trial versions.

Pure

Members 750,000 members
Popularity 150,000 active users daily
Gender proportion 55% males, 45% females
Geography USA, Europe, International
Account verification email
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price 11.99–54.99
Free version Free for females
Fraud risk low
Hookup chance ★★★★★

If I am looking for a quick hookup, Pure is my go-to choice of meet for sex apps. The app is just efficient as Hinge is, only its own niche. If you dated online for a while, you know how tough it is to guess your Match’s intentions. Pure removes that barrier, but stating loud and clear — this app is only for sex. No committed relationships, attached strings, and false expectations. Everyone you see in your Feed is ready to hookup.

All people I message on Pure look for sex

My favorite thing about Pure is its safety — Hinge could take pointers. All contents — text and images — are encrypted. There’s no way to screenshot the conversation without letting the other person now. On top of that, all contents are deleted in an hour — you have 60 minutes to find a hookup. All users are active and try to schedule dates as soon as possible instead of dragging the chit-chat stage.

Yumi

Members 250,000
Popularity 140,000 visits per month
Gender proportion 62% male, 38% female
Geography US, Canada, UK
Account verification email
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price free
Free version yes
Fraud risk medium
Hookup chance ★★★★☆

Just like Hinge, Yumi prioritizes the quality of matches over quantity. Every day, you get four shots at finding a match. By putting such a strict limitation, Yumi ensures that users are more considerate about each profile instead of dismissing everyone in hopes of finding a 10/10 hookup.

It’s a small but fun casual dating community

It’s a casual dating app — sex is not definite, like in Pure. It’s no good for people who are looking for urgent hookups, but perfect for those who aren’t sure about taking a relationship to physical level yet. You can start by posting daring pictures and covering your face with a sticker — that’s an excellent way to protect your privacy and overcome discomfort.

OkCupid

Members 10 million
Popularity 1 million daily logins
Gender proportion 35% females, 65% males
Geography USA, Europe, International
Account verification Facebook
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price $7.95-23.70
Free version basic
Fraud risk low
Hookup chance ★★★☆☆

If you are looking for a platform that will give you the freedom to consider different types of relationships, OkCupid is your best bet. The platform hosts more than 30 million members — some are looking for long-term dates; others want to keep things casual.

OkCupid is popular among young men

Just like Hinge, OkCupid offers very detailed profiles and asks to fill out lengthy registration forms. And just like on Hinge, most users bother with completing their profiles. The messaging is also free — only you have no annoying limitations for matching requests.

Doublelist

Members 40 million
Popularity 2 million/weekly
Gender proportion 65% males, 35% females
Geography USA, International
Account verification phone number
Mobile app none
Price free of charge
Free version all features
Fraud risk high
Hookup chance ★★☆☆☆

If you are nostalgic for good old Craigslist personal, try out another dating ad service. Double list is perhaps the most popular alternative of a Craigslist meeting platform. Here, you need to register an account and leave a request to other members. The contents of the profile don’t matter — you need to specify all essential details in the ad.

Even the interface of DoubleList is somewhat similar to Craigslist Personals

If you’d like a full guide to this service, I suggest checking out our Doublelist review. This way, you’ll know what to expect when you register and will be able to increase your chances for success.

Down Dating

Members 4,000,000
Popularity 28,400 monthly visits
Gender proportion 60% male, 40% female
Geography America, Europe
Account verification Facebook account
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price $14.99-19.99
Free version 7-day trial
Fraud risk low
Hookup chance ★★★★☆

If you want to have the freedom of both dating people and getting down with them — and all of that on one platform — try Down Dating. It’s a new app that looks for matches nearby and displays potentially matches one by one in your Feed.

You can decide if you want to get a date and get down

Instead of swiping on the left and right like on Tinder, you can choose if you want to date them or get down. Matching up could take some time though — accounts are only connected if both users agreed to the relationship of the same kind. You not only need the partner to like you but also, to have the same priorities.

AdultFriendFinder

Members 80 million
Popularity 400,000 users daily
Gender proportion 70% males, 30% females
Geography USA, Europe, International
Account verification email
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price $39.95-239.95
Free version basic
Fraud risk high
Hookup chance ★★★☆☆

If you are looking for something a lot dirtier than Hinge, I suggest looking at AFF. This is the largest sex site — and also one of the most expensive ones. The advantages are evident — a big user pool all over the world, a lot of online and offline dating features, a large community, and frequent meetups between users.

AdultFriendFinder site look
Adult Friend Finder is popular among singles and couples

AFF isn’t perfect, though. The app doesn’t have secure confirmation. A lot of profiles are fake or inactive. On top of that, you can’t message users for free, which is the problem since the full version is among the most expensive ones on the market.

Adam4Adam

Members 6 million
Popularity 60,000 active users
Gender proportion LGBTQ+
Geography USA, Europe, International
Account verification email
Mobile app iOS, Android
Price $10-75
Free version basic
Fraud risk low
Hookup chance ★★★☆☆

If you are looking for a hookup site for gay men, try out Adam4Adam. It’s a popular sex dating site for men, not as known as Grindr, but also cheaper and more modern. You can find plenty of gay hookups on Pure or AdultFriendFinder, but your chances increase on the dedicated platform.

A new gay dating platform

FAQ

What is a Hinge app?

Hinge is a platform for serious relationships that gathers a community of users who are looking for dedicated partners. These people are mostly 24-32; many are college graduates and successful professionals. For a lot of them, Hinge isn’t the first dating app — many tried Tinder or eHarmony but were disappointed.

How does Hinge find matches?

Hinge takes into account your location and the location of a potential match, as well as age, gender, education, career, and family status preferences. You can tweak filters further by choosing what Vitals and Virtues you’d like your Match to have.

Hinge vs. Bumble: which one is better for serious relationships?

Both Hinge and Bumble have a reputation for being a go-to platform for serious relationships. However, Bumble is less strict with the number of required uploaded photos and information. Hinge profiles are more detailed, but it comes at a price of longer registration and matching. Bumble requires women to send messages first — and it’s not the optimal dating mode for many. Choosing Bumble vs. Hinge, Hinge is overall better, but to know for sure, try out both.

Is Hinge legit?

Yes, it’s a real platform with active users. Hinge uses phone verification to confirm the profile’s validity. It’s possible to find an actual date on the platform — my personal experience proves that along with other Hinge dating app reviews.

Is there a web version of Hinge?

No, Hinge is available only as a mobile app on Android and iOS.

Is Hinge secure?

Generally, yes, but the website’s page doesn’t provide enough information on security measures to be sure. All users can complain about safety risks and vulnerabilities, but that’s where all available data ends.

How to delete my Hinge profile?

You can go to the account settings and delete your page from the website once and for all. Your data will be erased from the servers, and subscriptions will be canceled automatically.

How many photos do I need to upload to Hinge?

You need to upload at least six pictures — it’s mandatory registration rule. There’s no limitation of the maximal number of photos; it’s possible to share more.

Has anyone had a match on Hinge?

Yes, a lot of users did. Most Hinge users contain stories about actual dates and successful match-ups. Hinge encourages users to notify them about the successful date — the team even keeps a digest with real success stories.

Hinge vs. Tinder: which is better?

Many consider it to be a better option for serious dating. Tinder attracts users with different priorities — many users don’t consider serious relationships or marriage. Hinge, on the other hand, caters to people who want to have a dedicated partner and are ready to commit.

It’s a safe, simple, and popular platform for long-term dating

Conclusions

If you want a serious relationship, Hinge fits your goals. It’s a safe, simple, and popular platform for long-term dating, more committed than Tinder but less uptight than eHarmony. It’s safe to say that Hinge found a balance between the simplicity of mobile dating and amount of details, common for older dating platforms.

Finding a date on Hinge is pretty easy, especially if you consider buying a premium version. However, it’s not a good platform for sex — people will expect a lot of dates and conversations before agreeing to hookups. Hinge only works for those who are looking for long-term commitments. Casual daters have a lot of dedicated platforms that are just as efficient but are focused on sex dating.

James Miller
Born in Los Angeles, graduated from a college as a journalist, and spent several years as a freelancer writing about cultural events. From 2017, James writes about love and relationships and explores dating services.

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