For years, dating apps have tried to set themselves apart by claiming that their algorithms are the best at matching users based on common interests and other factors. Now, Match Group-owned Hinge is launching a new feature that attempts to gather feedback on how well dates between users actually go, in order to create better matches in the future.
Called We Met, the feature is triggered when users exchange phone numbers within the Hinge app. A few days later, Hinge will send a message asking if they met, whether they enjoyed the date, and if they plan to go on a second date. Feedback isn’t shared with the other person.
WeMet is rolling out to all Hinge users on iOS starting today and will come to Android soon. Hinge is available in five countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and India.
“It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Hinge CEO and founder Justin McLeod told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “It’s kind of crazy that when you think about it, that these dating apps can only track so far as people matching on the app, when most of these matches ultimately don’t turn into dates, and then [we] have no idea how these dates went.”
So far, the amount of information Hinge is collecting is still very surface level. Users aren’t asked to say specifically what they liked about the date. McLeod said that when Hinge began testing the feature this summer, it asked users more follow-up questions — but found that “the results were pretty consistent.” He said “chemistry and conversation is what makes a date go well or what makes a date not go well, and we felt like we didn’t need to keep asking that over and over.”
With the impending arrival of Facebook dating, swiping apps like Hinge and its competitors Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel are facing increasing pressure to differentiate themselves. (Online dating conglomerate Match Group owns both Hinge and Tinder).
In May, Tinder began testing a location-sharing feature called Places that sends users potential matches based on restaurants, bars, and other places they both frequent. And Bumble is busy pushing its networking and friend-matching services, in addition to its dating app.
While many of these apps started as completely free services, the number of paid subscribers is also starting to take off. As of June, Tinder had 3.8 million paid subscribers, who belong to one of two paid tiers. The cheapest paid plan starts at $10 a month. Hinge introduced a premium version in 2016, which depending on the billing cycle can cost anywhere from $13 to $5 a month. Match Group hasn’t revealed how many paid users Hinge has.
For both Tinder and Hinge, getting more paid subscribers will depend on how well they can sell users on their matchmaking abilities — and today’s announcement from Hinge is clearly designed to do just that.