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Instead, women rate the guys they know on a scale of 1-10, and then assign them labels from a word bank of hashtags, both positive (#Respects Women) and negative (#Cant Take AHint).
The value for women is obvious, if a little creepy. In its year or so of existence, there’s been one pleasant surprise: Most reviewers spend more time recommending date-worthy dudes than anonymously excoriating their exes.
Tinder doesn’t do this exactly, but it found another way to cut down on the creep factor, through what its founders call “the double opt-in”: You can only message someone after you’ve both signaled that you’d be down to talk to the other.
Due to this feature, Tinder is succeeding with women turned off by traditional dating sites.
Hinge, which borrows most of its interface from Tinder, takes this one step further – you can see people with whom you share a mutual friend.
Another difference: Instead of an infinite stream of users, you only get a certain number per day. If someone is theoretically close to you in a network of friends and you haven’t met them yet, there might be a good reason why.
But what if you’re intimidated by the thought of all those strangers?
Once it does, maybe more Hinge users will be able to get their foot in the door. Instead, it’s what creator Alexandra Chong calls “a Yelp for boys.” Women can sign up to review their male Facebook friends, whether they’re platonic BFFs, one-night stands or long-term boyfriends – and the whole thing is anonymous.
Another school of thought, backed up by OKCupid research, says that you really DON’T want magazine’s interviews with the most-messaged New Yorkers would seem to bear this out: Better to have half the population think you’re a 1 and half think you’re a 10 than for everyone to agree you’re a 6.
Now, what if you don’t want to spend hours painstakingly customizing a profile? Inspired by the tech industry’s continued failure to invent “the straight Grindr,” in 2011 the writer Anne Friedman came up with a list of suggestions for making a hookup app that would be popular with women. Allow only ladies to search, which would supposedly eliminate the flood of messages that awaits any woman who signals she’s interested in casual sex.
The mechanics are simple: Sign in with Facebook (no need to invent a witty username), upload some cute pictures and choose your location settings – just as those spammy banner ads promise, you’ll be greeted with an endless array of sexy singles in your area.
If you like the look of someone, all you need to do is swipe right on your smartphone (or left if you’re not interested) to get matching.
Whether on purpose or not, Hinge has eliminated one of the downsides of online dating, that sense that, in a bottomless ocean, there is always a better, prettier fish to be found. Your only pictures are your Facebook profile pictures.