Hinge, the dating app that’s designed to be deleted (you have to admit that’s a fantastic tagline) has gone from strength to strength in recent years, making near-on $3 billion in 2020. Yes, they even did well in 2020, the year of social distancing.
This was mostly down to Hinge’s pivot to video dating, as well as lots of innovative socially distanced dates.
Come on, you saw them, or maybe you went on a few, slightly awkward picnics, masks on, at the opposite ends of a picnic blanket.
But that’s not the only reason for the uptick in revenue. More and more people are not only signing up for Hinge but opting for their premium service Hinge Preferred.
Arguably there used to be a bit of stigma around paying to online date. In fact, I remember when there was a stigma about online dating generally – and before you say anything, I’m not a grandpa. I’m a millennial.
And not even one of those essentially Gen X millennials who are now over 40, have three kids, and get excited about new cycling shoes with clips, or underwater cameras, or whatever dad crap is popular these days.
What I’m trying to say, as I get way too defensive about my age, is that the online dating world has changed a lot in the last few years and it is no longer shameful to pay for a dating app or to admit you’re looking for more than a fling. And even if you are only looking for a fling.
Or more likely a whole series of flings, you’ll probably have an easier time finding the right people to have fun with if you fork out for a decent premium service.
I mean, do you have time to spend all day on Hinge carefully weighing up your options trying to decide who to use your ten daily likes on, or do you want to pay a bit of money and have unlimited likes?
I mean, you do you, but your boss probably wants you to get off your phone while you’re at work and you probably want to keep your job.
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Hinge’s premium service is called Hinge Preferred, and it comes in 1, 3, and 6-month plans. As a ‘preferred member’ (which sounds fancy as hell, I know) you get additional filters for curating who makes it into your feed, including lifestyle stuff like whether users smoke and if they have or want children.
You also get unlimited likes which, let’s face it, is the main draw of paying.
It’s a lot easier to use a dating app if you can actually like everyone who takes your fancy, rather than staring at Sara and wondering how into horses she is, because ‘I want someone who loves horses as much as I do’ is kind of a lot, but other than that she seems great, and whether to use up a like on her.
You can also see everyone who has liked you if you’re a preferred Hinge member, rather than getting to them one at a time.
Again, this really streamlines the online dating process and if you have a few bucks a month to throw at a Hinge premium membership it will probably save you time too in the long run.
And time is money, right? Maybe, or maybe you’ll just watch more Fail video compilations. But that’s fine too.
If you want to know more about the differences between Hinge Preferred and the standard free Hinge package, I have a full article on that here.
How Much Does Hinge Preferred Cost?
Dating apps brought premium memberships in a few years ago, initially at really low prices presumably to test the waters of the millennial and Gen Z market, and clearly we bit, as prices have been inching up and additional levels of membership have been being added on many of them since.
I mean, it’s hard to get a millennial to buy anything big but we do love a monthly subscription! Think maybe that has something to do with most of us living paycheck to paycheck?
At least we can enjoy unlimited Hinge likes and potential romance as we eat ramen in our shared apartments and drink Bud Light because it was on offer.
Anyway, enough about my Friday night, back to Hinge Preferred.
You can sign up for a one, three, or six-month Hinge Preferred membership and the price-per-month gets smaller the longer you commit for. Like with many dating sites, you pay for the period in full rather than monthly.
Its $19.99 for one month, $39.99 for three months, and $59.99 for six months. That works out at just under ten bucks a month if you go for six months, but as Hinge is designed to be deleted you have to weigh up whether or not you’ll be on it that long.
As well as how much you have in your current account, obviously. Be warned, if you don’t want to be charged again when your subscription runs out you have to untoggle auto-renew in your account settings.
Is Hinge Preferred Worth It?
Is upgrading to Hinge Preferred even really worth it? Well, if you have plenty of time on your hands and aren’t in a particular hurry to meet anyone, then the free Hinge service is totally fine.
The whole point of Hinge is to encourage somewhat more in-depth connections than Tinder, with users encouraged to riff off one another’s interests and jokes in their prompt answers and learn about one another’s lives through a full six photos or videos.
This means that everything is more about quality than quantity on Hinge, including the number of people you match with and chat with, so only getting ten likes a day shouldn’t cramp your style too much.
Except, you know, sometimes you’re in a big city or it’s just a weirdly lucky day and everyone is hot and interesting and you like the ten first options shown to you and then the eleven is pretty much definitely your soul mate.
Or at least someone you absolutely have to talk to. And you can’t because your likes are up.
This scenario is pretty much the reason that Hinge Preferred is worth it. The free version of Hinge is fine, but if you’re a determined dater and you can afford it then I would definitely recommend Hinge Preferred.
Obviously, it doesn’t in any way guarantee success on the app but it does allow you more freedom to chat to users you like and also to narrow down searches further if you’re particularly picky. And if you’re broke and can’t afford Preferred? Then don’t worry about it.
There are no amazing extra features you’re missing, it’s just a little more specificity and unlimited likes.
Are There Hinge Preferred Free Trials?
Yes, there are Hinge free trials.
You can’t find them by searching for them, but if you’re a new Hinge member you should be offered a free trial of the Premium service around a week after you create your account, fill in your full profile and start looking for dates.