Hinge Launch at the Ivy Pool Bar

On Thursday night I put on my best ‘I’m ready to meet cute boys at the Ivy Pool Bar’ outfit and headed off to the launch of Hinge, the latest mobile dating app, which comes straight from New York and bills itself as ‘a classier version of Tinder‘. I’m pretty familiar with Tinder, being halfway through a blog in which I explore the dating possibilities of the app, so I was eager to see what Hinge had up its sleeve.

With apps like Grindr, OKCupid, and – of course – Tinder already being so popular, anyone attempting to hustle in to the already-saturated market has to have something seriously innovative to bring to the table. Hinge’s point of difference is this: the app will only connect you with people in your social circle. That is to say, your friends’ friends, or as the Hinge website puts it, ‘no randos’.

Upon arrival, each party attendee was handed a piece of cardboard with a symbol on one side, such as a heart or a star. There were only two of each symbol distributed, and the aim of this game was to find the other party attendee who carried the card that matched yours and hopefully strike up a conversation. I missed out on receiving a card (which is potentially foreshadowing my entire romantic future) but my friends managed to get theirs, and we spent a little while wandering through the crowd and tapping people shyly on the shoulder to see if we were compatible.

With the bar closing at the early hour of 8:00pm, it was a little difficult to lose one’s self in the romantic whimsy of being paired with a stranger because most attendees simply wanted to load up on booze before they were cut off. And with cards being handed out indiscriminately, it wasn’t always guaranteed to be a successful pairing – one of our group was a male who exclusively dated other men, and he explained he simply didn’t feel comfortable approaching a group of men he didn’t know to see if any of them had a matching card.

While there were Hinge staff roaming around the venue offering cocktails to anyone who could come up with a winning pick-up line, we didn’t quite feel comfortable in approaching them either: did we really need a drink so badly that we’d proposition a stranger? In the end, we left – as a happy group of singles – shortly after the bar closed and the rest of the partygoers began to disperse.

On my way home, I started thinking about what it is that makes a good date – and in turn, what makes a good dating app. I don’t really think Hinge is the classier version of Tinder after all. I will agree that Tinder isn’t exactly the most high-brow way to meet people, but it is fun, and it is extremely non-pretentious. If Tinder is the guy who takes you to dinner at the pub and tries to get sweet over a $10 chicken parma, Hinge is the dude who takes you to the fanciest bar in town and then expects you to buy your own drinks. And ditches you at 8:00pm. The launch of Hinge left me feeling uncomfortable and a little taken advantage of, like a bad one-night stand who pushes you further and further out of your comfort zone until you realise that you stopped having fun an hour ago.

I still have Hinge on my phone, and writing this now I opened it up to see if I have any matches. I don’t. I guess I’m just not Hinge’s type of girl.

See more about the online love fest at their website (WWW).

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