Business and Entrepreneurship

Hinge’s Founder Revamped the App Following a Wedding Breakup by Lisa

Justin McLeod, the founder of Hinge, was inspired to create the app after a heartbreak from a college relationship. In a desperate attempt to find someone as good as his⁢ ex, he‌ designed the app. However, when he couldn’t find‌ anyone comparable, ​he flew to Switzerland to⁤ convince his ex, who was about ⁢to get married, to return to America with him.

McLeod, a self-proclaimed romantic, realized after‍ his Switzerland escapade that Hinge needed a transformation. He told​ GQ, “I used to⁤ view dating as a numbers game.‍ But that relationship taught ​me that it’s about opening up, being vulnerable, and finding a connection.” Six months after⁤ his ex returned, Hinge underwent ‍a significant overhaul.

Those who used Hinge before its transformation might remember it as another swipe-left/swipe-right dating app, primarily connecting users with friends‍ of​ friends. However,‌ the app has since evolved with the aim of reducing daily usage, de-gamifying online dating, and facilitating quality dates ⁤that eliminate​ the need for dating ‌apps.

Previously, the ⁢unique selling point of Hinge was ⁣the assumption that friends could ⁢recommend quality matches from their Facebook ⁢connections. However, the app has now adopted a⁤ different‍ approach,⁣ characterized by two unique strategies. Firstly, the app now relies on its algorithm, ​rather than friends, to suggest quality matches. McLeod explained, “We use the Gale-Shapley algorithm, a⁢ Nobel Prize-winning‌ solution ⁤to the stable marriage ⁢problem, which pairs everyone up so⁣ that everyone ​is ​happy.”

Secondly, users no longer swipe​ through profiles⁣ but can like⁤ individual “prompts” on ⁤a ‌person’s‍ profile. These prompts could be ⁤photos,‍ favorite karaoke songs, or deep, personal insights that set them ⁤apart for potential matches. According to Hinge, the top three prompts that lead to the most dates are:⁤ “We’ll get along if…”, “Qualities I’m ⁣looking for in a plus-one wedding ​date”, and “I know the best spot in town for”. The app ensures these prompts are culturally relevant for the ⁤city it’s operating in,⁢ which has proven⁣ particularly successful​ in London.

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