Hinge wants to know about your bad dates

Posted at 8:43 AM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 09:43:01-04

Dating app Hinge is prompting users to spill details about their dates.

The company announced a new feature Tuesday called "We Met" for members to share how first dates go with matches.

The feedback is a data point Hinge can use to better recommend future matches, according to CEO and founder Justin McLeod. The app markets itself as a dating platform for people looking for long-term relationships.

The "We Met" tool also intends to help Hinge better understand what's happening offline and weed out those who behave badly in the real world. For example, standing someone up, or getting too drunk on a first date, are things members might relay to Hinge. If individuals want to report members of the app at any time, there's a new option to report "disrespectful behavior."

"We want to make sure people know that is part of our process. and they should feel comfortable and validated sharing that information with us because we will take action," McLeod said. "We're not looking to have everyone on our app, if you're looking for networking or best friends. We really want people who are looking for one thing: great dates that lead to relationships."

He added: "In an ideal world, we want every first date on Hinge to be a good date."

Dating apps can hide behind the fact they're not responsible for their users, especially when it comes to how they handle themselves offline. But there has been some momentum to filter out certain types of behavior to keep users satisfied. Female-first dating app Bumble has held users accountable, for example, by publicly banning a misogynistic member and posting screenshots to show what got him kicked off.

Hinge has been particularly vocal about being a place for people to find serious relationships. The company redesigned its app in 2016, eliminating the swipe-to-like feature popularized by Tinder. Its rationale was that people weren't using the app to have enough conversations that led to actual connections.

The company said at the time the vast majority of its users were craving an app for more serious relationships and announced it would charge a monthly fee of $7 to separate Hinge from other free dating services.

Ultimately, it went back on that decision. The app does not require members to pay.

In June, Match Group -- which owns dating services such as Match, OKCupid and Tinder -- bought a 51% stake in Hinge. Terms of the deal were not disclosed at the time. According to McLeod, Hinge has continued to "operate pretty independently."

The "We Met" feature is rolling out first on iOS and will be available via Android in the coming weeks.