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What The Heck Is Hinge? | Hinge Dating App Explained 2023

What The Heck Is Hinge? | Hinge Dating App Explained 2023

It’s hard to believe, but sometimes you can get a little burned out on Tinder. Spend enough time swiping but getting no matches, or looking at the same kind of photos (how many people have gone to build a school in Africa anyway?) and you can begin to feel like there are no connections to be made on the app.

But then there’s Hinge. While some of you may already be familiar with the app, I can definitely tell there are a few raised eyebrows out there. “What the heck is Hinge?” you’re asking.

And first off, no, it’s not the thing on doors, though it could open the door to the romance you’ve been waiting for (God, that’s awful. Sorry about that). 

What The Heck Is Hinge - hinge logo

It was founded in 2012 but took off a bit later. Initially, the app was popular in NYC from late 2013, spreading across the country and then the world after that. 

Hinge is a location-based dating app and one that claims it’s designed to be deleted. That means they want to find you more than just a casual fling. Their algorithm is built to find you a partner who is just right for you, and one you’re just right for too, meaning the Hinge app is the perfect place for those seeking a more serious connection. 

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What Is Hinge?

As mentioned, Hinge is a swiping app in the same vein as Tinder. 

The basics of matching are more or less the same as apps like Tinder and Bumble, with you liking other people’s profiles, waiting for them to like you back, and only then being able to message one another back and forth.

But rather than offering you a few photos and asking you to pass judgment on the whole thing, Hinge allows you to like and comment on individual parts of a person’s profile, whether that’s a picture or a prompt.

Hinge profile requirements are also more in-depth than what is asked for on most swiping apps. 

What The Heck Is Hinge - hinge app

Hinge Profiles

On your Hinge profile, you will be required to upload six photos (or videos) and answer three prompts. The prompts are designed to get you out of your shell and sharing – some are in-depth, like ‘A life goal of mine’ while others can be funny or serious, like describing a shower thought.

People who want to match with you can specifically like or comment on any element on your profile, meaning connections are always just that bit more personal than a swipe. 

Hinge Messaging

In terms of messaging, Hinge is a lot like Tinder or Bumble. The difference is, you can send a message about a specific part of someone’s profile – say a picture or a prompt answer – when you match.

This opens up conversation and makes moving on from that right swipe (or… like) easier. 

What The Heck Is Hinge - Hinge messaging

Pictures on Hinge

So, six pictures are needed on Hinge, as mentioned above. They are laid out throughout your profile, keeping things interesting compared to Tinder or Bumble. 

Hinge Most Compatible

Hinge’s Most Compatible feature chucks you a potential match daily that their advanced algorithm (more on that later) thinks you will get on with. Feeling a bit lazy? Go with Hinge and trust Most Compatible. 

The Hinge Rose

The Hinge Rose is almost identical to Tinder’s Superlike, in that if you see someone you think might be perfect for you it can be a great (or incredibly embarrassing) way to grab their attention. Everyone gets one rose per week, but after that you have to pay for additional roses. These start at $3.99 per rose, but you can buy a bundle (or a bouquet?) of 12 for $29.99 (prices correct at the time of writing, but subject to change).

What Is Hinge+? What is HingeX?

As I’ve said, one of the benefits of Hinge is that it offers the potential for a more serious dating experience on a free app. However, there are premium features available that can enhance your experience, and improve your chances of finding a match.

The basic version of Hinge is free. Lately, though, Hinge has become a much more paid-subscription-orientated app. They have introduced two tiers of paid membership called Hinge+ and HingeX.

Hinge removed “Hinge Preferred” 2023 and replaced it with a three-tier system (including basic Hinge). While the app is usable in its free form, you will probably have a far easier time finding the right match for you by signing up for some of Hinge’s paid features. 

How Much Does Hinge Premium Cost?

Hinge+ and HingeX prices are as follows at the time of writing:

Hinge+ costs:

  • $29.99 for one month
  • $59.99 ($19/month) for three months
  • $89.99 ($14/month) for six months

HingeX costs:

  • $49.99 for one month
    $99.99 ($33/month) for three months
    $149.99 ($25/month) for six months

The most important part of Hinge’s upgraded membership is the unlimited daily likes it gives you. So either, you can spend your time worrying whether each new profile is worth one of your precious likes, or you can follow your heart and give it to any wonderful person that happens to cross your screen. The features of basic and upgraded Hinge break down like this:

Basic Hinge Features:

  • Access to the Hinge community (according to Hinge’s marketing!)
  • 8 likes per day (they reset at 4am local time)
  • Filters for Filters for gender, location, age, distance, ethnicity, and religion
  • Matching and messaging with other users

Hinge+ Features: 

  • Send unlimited likes
  • See everyone who likes you
  • Sort through likes easily
  • Fine-tune your preferences
  • Browse by location, activity, and more

HingeX Features:

  • Send unlimited likes
  • See everyone who likes you
  • Sort through likes easily
  • Fine-tune your preferences
  • Browse by location, activity, and more
  • Enhanced recommendations
  • Skip the line and get recommended sooner
  • Priority likes — stay at the top of their list

What Is Hinge For?

With so many dating apps out there, it is easy enough to wonder what the point of another one is. As with many modern swiping apps, Hinge has an origin story that starts with Tinder. 

When the founder of Hinge read a story about how Tinder had created a “dating apocalypse”, he had a vision for a different kind of dating app.

What The Heck Is Hinge - couple

He saw a real issue in the online dating space, in that most free apps were designed for casual encounters, and that, just like the article said, that culture meant that people were finding it harder to commit to one person. Once someone was on Tinder, they tended to stay there. 

Hinge, on the other hand, is for people who might be looking for something a little bit more long-term. A relationship that will take them off the apps. That’s why Hinge describes itself as an app that’s designed to be deleted.

Using a system inspired by the Nobel-prize winning Gale-Shapley matching algorithm, Hinge looks to show you people who are exactly your type, but crucially, also show your profile to the people who are most likely to fall for you. And it seems to be working: according to Hinge, 3 out 4 first dates lead to second dates

What The Heck Is Hinge - happy couple

Hinge offers this focus on more serious connections without some of the more clunky and (for Millenials and Gen Z, intimidating) aspects of traditional long-term dating sites like or Plenty of Fish.

It still has all of the slickly designed (and slightly addictive) user interface of apps like Tinder and Bumble, allowing you to scroll through profiles and still swipe to your heart’s content, and it never asks for endless personality tests to help them find you a match.

Best of all, unlike most more serious dating apps, Hinge is free. In a way, it’s a perfect synthesis of two schools of online dating; on one side eHarmony, and on the other Tinder.  

What The Heck Is Hinge - hinge dating app

Is Hinge A Hookup App?

All this may make it sound like you shouldn’t download Hinge unless you’re looking for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. And while that’s a noble goal, sometimes you might be looking for something a little bit more relaxed. 

No, Hinge wasn’t designed as a hookup app, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people on there looking for something casual. It’s a free dating app primarily used by 18 – 40-year-olds, so of course, it’s going to be somewhere you can find a hookup if you want one. 

Hinge’s ‘designed to be deleted’ philosophy is not just about its algorithm and those long-term matches, it’s also about how quickly the app wants to get you off your phone and out onto a real-life date.

What The Heck Is Hinge - hookup couple

So even if you’re not planning your wedding and are just facing down a quiet night at home, looking for a fun time out on the town, Hinge is designed to help you get to know someone as quickly and easily as possible and get you out there. They do this by:

  • Valuing personality: Hinge’s prompts give you a clear idea of a person’s personality. Each profile contains unique answers to Hinge’s prompts, letting you know exactly what their favorite pizza topping is. 
  • Making conversation easy: Hinge makes starting a chat as painless as possible, allowing you to respond directly to a person’s prompts and pictures so you can let them know how good they look, or call them out on their favorite pizza topping.
  • Customer care: Hinge will even check up with you to see how your date went. After you swap numbers with your match, Hinge will get in touch to hear how the date went, so they can make better matches for you in future. 
What The Heck Is Hinge - hinge customer care

Is Hinge More Serious Than Tinder?

Yes, Hinge is designed to be a little more serious than Tinder. It was originally created to connect users for potential romance with friends of friends via social media, giving you that immediate personal connection that many other apps lack. 

While this idea has fallen by the wayside, Hinge still wants to create a much more personal connection than most other dating apps.

It requires a more complete profile than places like Tinder and Bumble, asking you to respond to a number of prompts and provide at least six photos. 

The app will also do anything it can to try and find you the best possible match. Just look at its Most Compatible function. Each day Hinge will present you with a list of profiles that it believes are just right for you, based on your activity on the app.

What The Heck Is Hinge - hinge most compatible email alert

These will be shown to you in order of most compatible to least, giving you every opportunity to find someone that, scientifically speaking, is perfect for you. 

However, the only way to guarantee the people on an app are going to be serious about a long-term relationship is to move to a paid service.

With so many free opportunities to find hookups, it’s very unlikely that someone will pay for a membership fee to just to play around (unless they’re very, very determined, I suppose).  

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for something a little bit more serious than Tinder, but not as serious as Eharmony, then perhaps Hinge might be the place for you. 

What The Heck Is Hinge - designed to be deleted

And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for at all? Well, then you should take my free quiz which will help you decide which dating app would suit you best.

Maybe it’ll be the app that’s designed to be deleted, or maybe it’ll turn out you should have deleted Hinge a long time ago. But whatever it is, use my free 6-Step Tinder Tune-Up to build the best possible profile and get more matches than ever.

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