Can more checkboxes take the anxiety out of dating?


Dating app Hinge recently surveyed 1,500 of its users asking them what they’re looking for from the app. The results are promising for the commitment-lovers out there. Only 2% said they are looking for hook-ups. Almost two-thirds are looking for relationships. The rest are looking to “date.”

Moving forward you won’t have to find this out about users via survey. The app is adding a feature that lets people broadcast exactly what they want: commitment, “dating” or a hook-up.

“This new feature empowers our users to swipe smarter, and only match with those who have the same intentions,” according to the company blog. “We want your experience to feel as real and honest as possible.”

That’s right, if you say you only want to be matched with people who are looking for a relationship, that means Hinge will automatically limit your dating pool to other relationship seekers.

You will still see people who listed dating or casual on their profile, but you’ll have the ability to see that information before swiping right. If you only want to match with people who are looking for a relationship, just swipe right on those that also have relationship listed. I specified I was only looking for a relationship, but still got served up people who hadn’t updated or who chose to disclose that information. Theoretically, though the system should learn your preferences over time, as Hinge uses machine learning to match you up with potential lovers.

If an algorithm can help me sift through even a little bit of the dating chaff, I’ll take it. Asking someone about their long-term dating plans on a first or second date can be awkward, so having that information from the get-go seems like it would be helpful, assuming people are honest. Of course, that’s not always the case. Profile photos that don’t match what the person looks like IRL come to mind when I think about online dating deception.

This isn’t the first time Hinge has tried to serve up a bit of honesty in response to less-than-ideal publicity. Following an independent survey of Tinder users that showed many of them were married, Hinge started outing people who were already in relationships by pulling self-reported data from Facebook into Hinge users’ profiles. Not long after, hundreds of people deleted their accounts.

Daniela Hernandez is a senior writer at Fusion. She likes science, robots, pugs, and coffee.

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