Few people relish the fix-up. For every story about Susan in HR meeting her wife when a cousin set them up on a blind date, there are 1,000 stories about angry drunks, handsy pervs, and sweater vests. Though the desire to be paired with a person you don’t know at all is low, the desire to pair strangers is high. Dating app Hinge recognizes that and wants to enable it. Cue: Hinge Matchmaker.
Oddly, the app’s creation is less motivated by the utility it performs for people seeking partners and more by the fun it will provide for users. Hinge founder Justin McLeod told Tech Crunch: “We found a lot of people who felt like they missed out on the dating app craze wanted to be able to participate in some way. A lot of times, people will pull out their friend’s phone and swipe for them on other apps.” While this is absolutely true, your friends aren’t Sims, so it’s likely that you shouldn’t be trying to hook them up with Mortimer Goth while you wait for your waitress to bring your side of ranch dressing.
The new app will suggest potential matches among the user’s Facebook friends, allowing the matchmaker to send an icebreaker message to the pair. Even more terrifying is the option to lock a friend’s profile and sort through their matches alone. If the pool of options is too shallow, users can invite Facebook friends to join Hinge and begin fixing them up. And, Hinge users can invite friends to matchmake. However, those freaked out by others tampering with their delicate dating life can opt out of the feature and continue sorting through the masses for their own dream partner without assistance.
Though Hinge remains a less frequently used dating app than major players like Tinder and Bumble, it is increasingly showing positive results for users. After a redesign, McLeod notes, “We’re seeing five times the number of dates per person happen on the platform, relative to the old version of Hinge. And we’re seeing really good uptake of people who are subscribing to Hinge.”
For those looking to get in on the fun, Hinge Matchmaker launched August 19. For those on Hinge terrified by the prospect, surely there’s an opt-out button somewhere.