Hinge was released in 2012 and has been stealing hearts ever since. The app that’s “designed to be deleted” has over 3 million users in the US and has made a splash in the online dating world. It’s been able to make a name for itself by implementing the old-school practice of being introduced via a mutual friend into an application.
Before dating apps, people often met their significant other through friends. In fact, according to a Google Consumer Survey that collected responses from over 2,000 participants, the most common way people aged 18-34 met their significant other was through mutual friends. 38.8% of respondents said they met their current partner/spouse through friends they had in common while only 9.8% said they met through a dating application. Hinge is such a unique application because it’s based around introducing potential romantic partners via mutual friends.
The application relieves your friend of playing an active role as a middle man by harnessing the power of Facebook. After connecting with Facebook, the application connects you with the Facebook friends of your Facebook friends. Leveraging Facebook works as a filter that rejects potential suitors that probably wouldn’t be a good fit for you anyways.
No other app works like Hinge does. Now that I’ve got your fingers tingling at the prospect of downloading the app and taking advantage of its dating network, you probably got one more question on your mind, “Is Hinge free?” The short answer is yes, technically it’s free. But it’s not that simple.
Is Hinge Free? Limited Swipes
Most basic versions of dating applications are completely free. However, some offer more perks than others. Hinge is unlike most popular dating apps in that it doesn’t utilize swiping. At one point in time, Hinge did, but in 2016 decided to do away with the option.
Instead of swiping, users connect with each other through likes. While scrolling through profiles -or someone’s “story” as Hinge calls it- you have the opportunity to like and comment on another user’s photo or their written answer to a list of questions users are asked when filling out their stories. Once you like another user, that person will be notified and then has the option of responding to your interest.
The free version of Hinge enables a user to like no more than 10 users every 24 hours (see image above for when Hinge pumps the brakes on your daily likes). However, this is only the case if users have a complete profile. A complete profile is one that contains at least six photos. Should your profile not be completed, you won’t be able to like anyone. While it may sound unfair, having this restriction in place forces users to create a more well-rounded and transparent profile. This is something that users should be doing regardless or being obligated to do so.
Paying for Hinge’s “Preferred Membership” grants users unlimited swipes. Hinge only offers one form of non-free membership. Here is the price breakdown:
Hinge Preferred Membership Advantages
The free membership provides users with enough features to create a profile, use basic filters, and start connecting with users. If you want to unleash the full capabilities of the app, it’ll cost you. Is Hinge free -yes. However, there are a wealth of features that’ll help you filter out non-compatible partners that can only be accessed with the paid membership.
See Who Likes You
One of the many boons of paying for a Hinge membership is the ability to see all of the users that have liked you before matching with them. Having Hinge create a cache of users that already have the hots for you saves you time in your search for a relationship. Instead of fishing into a pool never knowing if you’ll get a bite, Hinge lights up the dating pool by compiling a list of women that are already interested in you.
Is Hinge Free? Not If You Want Hinge Experts
Hinge Experts is like a virtual dating coach. When you pay for the service their website claims that you’ll receive “personalized service that will enhance your Hinge experience.” When you pay for a membership the service will connect you with real people that can help with a range of Hinge-related needs. They’ll help you pick better photos, respond to prompts in a more compelling manner, and assist you with conversation starters. While the experts are great, they’re limited in scope. They only assist with Hinge-related dating obstacles. Once you land a date in the real world, through the app or not, they’ll leave you abandoned and on your own. Luckily I know someone that can help you with all dating related subjects both in and outside the jurisdiction of Hinge.
The best dating applications help us filter out suitors that aren’t right for us. Ideally, we’d only go out with people that we know we would form a lasting connection with. Certain applications do a better job at finding these special ones than others. Generally speaking, the more filters the better. The free and paid versions of Hinge offers different filters that are juxtaposed below.
Gender, location, age, distance, height, ethnicity, and religion.
Preferred Membership Extra Filters (Includes the filters found above)
Whether someone has children, whether someone wants children, politics, drinking, smoking, marijuana, drug use, etc.
Having access to filters allows you to cut down on the time you invest in building a relationship that’s going nowhere. If you have certain dealbreakers like smoking or children, having access to such filter capabilities will allow you to invest more heavily in more compatible romantic candidates.
Should I Pay for a Hinge Membership?
Just about every application has a paid membership option. So what makes Hinge’s option better than others? What’s truly unique about Hinge’s paid subscription is that it enables users to consult with “Hinge Experts.” A virtual dating assistant sounds awesome. But considering what little noise Hinge Experts has generated, I’d say it’s not that ground breaking. The experts probably don’t offer any advice that can’t be found with a quick Google search.
Hinge boasts that those Preferred Members get twice as many dates as free members. When members can like other members until their fingers blister and have access to women that have already liked them, it’s no surprise. These two reasons certainly help answer the question of why paying members get twice as many likes.
However, I have another theory. Paying members simply want it more. They are on the application more often, care more about their profile, and delicately construct their comments and messages more so than non-paying members. This is because you’re only going to pay for a membership if you’re serious about dating.
How many times have you heard someone say that they’re only on a dating application because they’re bored or because their friend made them do it? The truth is the same no matter the application, paying members are just more committed to forming relationships via applications.
What’s more important than paying for a Hinge membership is tapping into the aforementioned mentality. You should take dating applications seriously instead of treating them as a way to pass the time in the bathroom. Getting serious about using online dating not only means putting more effort into building your profile (having great Hinge Answers) and chatting with women. It also means utilizing more online dating channels. It’s been established that tapping into your Facebook friend’s social web to search for possible matches is a disparate online dating technique. The major drawback with Hinge is that the dating pool is smaller than other applications.
So Answer Me Will You! Should I Pay for Hinge?
Not right away. Try the free version for 30 days. Do so while also being active on 4 other dating apps. Swiping, scrolling, and liking profiles on five different online dating platforms will introduce you to an eclectic mix of women that you would never have found had you only been using a single dating app.
If you’re still not getting the success you think you deserve after 30 days then upgrade your Hinge account. But only pay for the 1 month option. If you’re still not getting the results you desire after paying for a 30 day Hinge membership, it’s time you consider hiring some help.
Hiring Some Dating Help
I can vaunt all I want about the integrated dating expert, multitude of filters, and unlimited swiping. However what really matters is how the everyday users feel about Hinge. As I’ve mentioned I advise my clients to be active on five dating applications. Ever since I started suggesting Hinge to clients it’s been by far their favorite dating application. It doesn’t matter where the client has lived, their religion, or age, almost every one of them have voiced their affinity for Hinge.
Hinge does a great job of connecting people with similar interests, thus creating meaningful dates. In internal information gathered from Hinge’s “We Met” feature, the application found that 90% of Hinge members enjoyed their first date while 72% said they’d go on a second date.
Hinge might just be the most inventive dating application out there. From its internal dating coaches to its anti-ghosting feature, Hinge is continually coming up with effective ways to connect its users. As we’ve discussed, Hinge is free, but to get the most out of the application you’ll have to pay. Whether you opt for the paid version or not depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Should you decide to pay for Hinge and seek guidance from the internal dating coach you may find yourself a bit disappointed. Hinge Experts have received little feedback and can only help with issues that are intimately related to the application. If you need to talk about a dating obstacle outside of the Hinge realm, you’re out of luck. This is where I come in. Dating applications, how to mitigate first date nerves, and how to accelerate a relationship are all topics that you can feel free to discuss.
You can set up a 1-on-1 New Client Skype session here, and we can get started making you a dating whizz. During our session, we’ll diagnose your dating history, uncover any blocks that could be holding you back, create an action plan, and see if my 3 month personal coaching program could be right for you.