55 percent of Hinge users are looking to find a relationship, according to internal user surveys by the app developer. 35 percent want to find good dates. Only 5 percent admit to just wanting a hookup.
That’s a huge contrast from other apps like OK Cupid or Tinder, said Hinge developer Justin McLeod, who spoke to Cult of Mac over Skype.
His goal, he said, was to create a much better dating app, one that was just as easy to join as Tinder, but with more quality results. It seems to be working, as the app is growing by 10 percent every week.
It’s an app limited to New York, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, though. McLeod (pictured right) said that was to make sure it was a quality experience before going nationwide, and the fact that the target audience–young, urban, professional–tend to have more facebook connections.
“These folks have an average of 700 Facebook friends, as opposed to the standard 150 or so,” he said.
It’s a bit more popular with women, he said, which is different than the norm. He said that women really like the app, and the recommend it to their friends, because there’s a social connection.
“We’re attracting an under-served market,” said McLeod, “and meeting a need that isn’t really being served.”
Hinge uses Facebook to connect you to the service, as it helps validate who you are and what you do. You can augment that information on Hinge, as well, adding things like hobbies, places you like to take dates, and descriptive tags that tell more about who you are.
“Hinge is a curated, protected, safe-feeling app that takes place in your own world,” said McLeod.
The Hinge algorithms shows you friends of friends who are actually good matches, for example. McLeod said that Hinge uses the semantic web from your entire Facebook experience, not just who you’re connected to.
“You can really dig deeper into things like “lawyers who work at law firms” or “girls who went to an SEC school,” he said.
McLeod has big plans for Hinge, and investors are rallying. Hinge has raised over $4 million in venture capital, and continues to look at ways of making money within the app itself.
“I don’t want to just start charging users to get out of a crappy interface we build only for the free users,” said McLeod. Future plans include finding ways to highlight the social aspects of the app and letting users play matchmaker with their own friends. Some of these enhanced functions could end up rolled into a premium app experience, but McLeod won’t change the basic app as it stands now.
“The features in the current app will always remain free,” he said.
There’s an updated version of Hinge available in the App Store right now, so head on over and give it a look. Of course, you’ll want to be in one of the four cities covered.