“Hinge” Has Been Freshly Oiled

In the past half decade, a multitude of dating apps have risen to fame and infamy. Tinder launched in 2012, and in the coming years, a slew of similar swipe-based dating apps appeared. They each boasted a unique feature — Bumble only let women send the first message, Jswipe is for those looking to connect with the chosen people — even OKCupid adopted a swipe-based feature for their mobile app.

When Hinge launched in 2013, it advertised itself as the company that only matched you with friends, and friends of friends. As the app evolved, and competitors copied and mimicked each other, Hinge became less and less of a novelty. Now, Hinge founder, Justin McLeod, claims the company has made an effort to make Hinge stand out amongst the swipe-based apps by getting rid of swiping altogether.

On Tuesday, Hinge launched the latest version of their dating app — no — relationship app. McLeod ruminates on the original intent for Hinge as an app to build human relationships, but as many millennials know, these apps became primarily used for hookups and the game of judging others, and not precursors to relationships. With the new Hinge, that’s all going to change.

When Hinge updated, it banished the option to swipe on a match, instead opting to have each user create a “story”, complete with questions about themselves and their interests, and a selection of pictures chosen by said user. Instead of swiping right to say they “like” someone, they might now “like” one of their potential lover’s photos or answers to a question. And if they choose so, they may leave a comment.

This option to comment on specific parts of a fellow user’s profile allows for an easier, less awkward way to focus the conversation in a direction that will allow both partners to open up and discuss more. More discussion and more topics to discuss means they can create a dialogue about their interests and what they have in common — not just when they’re free and where they should meet for no strings attached relations.

Payment plans have also been added to Hinge. Less expensive than a match.com or eHarmony subscription, access to the Hinge app and the plethora of singles using it, begins at $7/month. McLeod claims this is the right number to be affordable, while still weeding out those who aren’t serious about finding a relationship.

Just one day into Hinge’s new relationship-based platform, it’s too soon to tell whether the update will bring about a new trend in online dating. They’re offering a free 3-month trial period to show off their improved app, so now it’s up to the singles of the world to decide whether this is the app they’ve been waiting for.

And in case you’re looking for some odd computer generated graphics to help hammer in Hinge’s point, here’s their official video advertisement.