Choosing a date app shouldn’t have to be so hard.
And yet it is.
With so many choices, picking the right one straight off the bat is a complex process that often involves us weighing up lots of different criteria before we’ve even got to the bit where we’re asking someone out on a date!
Take, for example, Hinge and Tinder. Both are dating apps aimed at the modern dater. They’re both ‘swipe’ apps, they both have free and premium versions, and they’re both used by people who are either looking for something serious or who are looking for something shorter term.
Argh! Why do they have to make this so hard for us?!
The thing is, though, that both Hinge and Tinder have their pros and cons, and they both have different needs for different people. They also have different profile qualities and different features.
In other words, they’re different enough so as to allow you to comfortably choose one over the other.
To help you make that choice, join me as I conduct an in-depth comparison of Hinge and Tinder.
Hinge vs Tinder: Overview
Pros of Hinge
- Free to send messages
- Very simple & easy to use
- No need to write a bio from scratch
Cons of Hinge
- Free users only get 10 ‘likes’ per day
Pros of Tinder
- Free to send messages
- Very high traffic
- Easy sign-up process
Cons of Tinder
- Hard to get matches unless you upgrade your account
Hinge Vs Tinder: Profiles Quality
Profiles on Hinge:
When we talk about the quality of profiles, we’re really referring to two things:
Are they detailed (pics, bio’s etc)?
Are there many fake profiles?
Let’s start with the numbers. Hinge claims to have over 5,000,000 users worldwide, with well over a million in the U.S. alone. Most of these users are aged between their mid-twenties and mid-thirties, which suggests Hinge has done a good job of marketing their app at millennials.
Member activity is good, too, and most uses are active.
And the good news is that a) there are very few (if any) fake profiles on Hinge, and b) most of them are quite detailed.
The reason they’re quite detailed is that Hinge gives everyone the tools they need to create a profile. Instead of asking you to fill out a bio or an ‘About Me’ section from scratch, they give you a series of prompts which you can quickly answer and add to your profile.
For example, one of the prompts is:
“This year, I really want to …”
It’s then up to the user to answer it with a short answer.
There are literally hundreds of prompts, and you can add as many as you want to your profile. You can also attach a different photo with each prompt.
Along with these prompts, it’s mandatory for each user to add their age, location and height to their profile. All in all, Hinge’s profiles flaunt the personality of each member, while the prompts make for great icebreakers.
Profiles on Tinder:
One of the things about Tinder is that there is no lengthy sign up process and literally nothing is mandatory. You don’t need to add an ‘About Me’ section if you don’t want to, and you don’t even need to add a photo of yourself.
Combined with the fact that Tinder is free to use, this often leaves people worried that the app is going to be overrun by either fake profiles or sparsely detailed from users who signed up to the app, but who don’t actually use it.
We’ll come back to that in a moment, but first the numbers: Tinder is one of the fastest growing dating sites on the planet that boasts millions of members around the world. It also claims that at least a million of its members are active every single week, which means member activity is good.
Out of those profiles, roughly 37% are female and 63% are male. Most are aged under 35, too.
However, Tinder is unique in that it doesn’t require its members to add anything to their ‘bio.’ That said, most members add at least a line to their bio, along with a few photos and their Instagram and/or SnapChart handle.
Some users take the time to really fill out their profile with their likes and dislikes, preferences, values and so on. It all depends on what the individual is looking for because Tinder is used by those who are looking for something casual, as well as those who are looking for something longer-term.
The quality of the profiles, then, is hit and miss and most prefer to add a tiny bit of info, such as their job, their location and one or two interests.
In terms of fake profiles, Tinder has surprisingly few. Moreover, fakes are not too difficult to spot. They tend to upload only one pic (and this pic is almost always clearly a model), they don’t have a bio, and they try to get you to move the conversation off Tinder as soon as possible (they’ll usually ask for your email address).
The profiles on Hinge are definitely more detailed on average because Hinge is aimed primarily at those looking for love (even though it’s also used by people looking for something short term).
A typical profile on Tinder, on the other hand, consists of a few photos, a one-line bio (often something witty, complete with emojis) and the person's Instagram account.
Hinge also benefits from asking their members a series of prompts, which are great for filling out a profile. They also act as conversation starters, too, because other members can come along and reply to them. Tinder doesn’t have anything like this and instead lets their users write whatever they want. This alone often means profiles on Tinder are super low key, which can make it difficult to assess whether or not you will get along with someone.
All in all, Hinge is better than Tinder for profiles. The profiles here are more detailed, while on Tinder it’s sometimes the case that 1 out of 3 profiles are completely empty except for a few pics.
Hinge Vs Tinder: Match Quality
Match quality on Tinder:
Tinder was the original ‘swipe app.’ The concept was and is simple: Profiles are queued up for you according to your criteria (age, gender and location), and you just need to swipe left or right on them.
If you ‘like’ someone and they like you back, you’re a match.
The problem with Tinder’s matches are twofold:
Users (especially guys) often complain that they struggle to get any matches
Because the only criteria a potential match needs to meet is age, location and gender, it’s far from guaranteed that you will having anything in common with your match
True enough, guys often say that not only do they find it hard to get a match, but when they do the women are often incompatible with them.
There’s unfortunately nothing you can do about this, as Tinder doesn’t have a search function, and neither does it allow you to tweak your criteria according to things like common interests. Instead, you essentially have to keep swiping until you eventually match with someone you like the look of.
Not just that, but even when someone has ‘liked’ you first, their identity is kept hidden from free members until they’ve liked them back. This can be a source of frustration because it usually means people have to swipe endlessly before eventually coming across their mutual like.
On the plus side, Tinder is a very high traffic dating app, which means that there’s every chance you will eventually land a suitable match. Not just that, but it also comes with special features, such as ‘Boost,’ that are designed to help you get more matches. And more matches can mean more suitable matches.
Match quality on Hinge:
Like Tinder, Hinge is a swipe app. As such, it queues profile up for you that you then need to say Yes or No to. So far, so Tinder.
However, where the two apps differ is with Hinge’s curated matches. Essentially, Hinge suggests matches for you a few times a week based on your preferences and activity on the site. These matches might not always be right for you, but the more you use Hinge and the more information you add to your profile will invariably increase the accuracy of your potential matches.
It’s also worth mentioning that free members can only ‘like’ ten profiles per day. This is rather limiting for obvious reasons: Namely, users can really struggle to land a match. Tinder limits the amount of likes free members can use up per day too, but you get way more.
Hinge likes to think it fares better in terms of match quality simply because it curates matches for you based on your interests, profile and activity on the site. However, you only get a few curated matches per week, and the chances of the two of you liking each other can be slim.
Tinder, on the other hand, doesn’t guarantee match quality. However, you can improve the quality of your matches just by taking a closer look at each profile that is queued up for you, and only swiping on those you’re genuinely interested in. If you instead continue to swipe mindlessly, you will inevitably end up with unwanted matches.
And because Tinder has a lot more traffic than Hinge, as well as special features that improve the chances of you getting a good match, Tinder wins this round.
Hinge Vs Tinder: Messages & Conversation Quality
Messages & Conversation Quality on Hinge:
The quality of conversation on Hinge is instantly helped by the fact that each user answers a series of prompts that are displayed on their profile. This invites someone else to come along and leave a comment on one of these prompts as a conversation starter.
Moreover, because Hinge is aimed at those who are looking for something serious, the quality of conversation tends to be fairly high.
Messages & Conversation Quality on Tinder:
The quality of conversation on Tinder is mixed because people use it for different things. For example, some are looking for a hookup and therefore keep their chat short, snappy and flirty.
Others, on the other hand, are looking for something serious, and will therefore write longer messages.
And this is the thing with Tinder: Whilst it’s become known as a ‘hookup app,’ it’s still possible to find people on here who are willing to make a real effort when it comes to conversations.
When it comes to the quality of conversation, both apps are very similar. It’s easier to start a conversation on Hinge because you can simply answer someone’s prompt. But Tinder is certainly full of all kinds of people, many of whom are capable of engaging you in conversation
Hinge Vs Tinder: Upgrade Value
Hinge paid membership upgradable value:
Free members of Hinge get to do a few things. They can create a profile, view other profiles and – crucially – they can also send and receive messages to and from their mutual matches.
However, those who upgrade their account get to send unlimited likes (free members are restricted to just 10 likes per day), and they can set advanced preferences for higher quality matches.
Is there value in Hinge’s upgrade? Not really. Members who feel restricted by the 10 daily likes might want to upgrade, but Hinge doesn’t really have enough traffic to make this perk worth it. And because free members can already send and receive messages, there doesn’t seem to be real benefit to upgrading your account.
Tinder's paid membership upgradable value:
Like Hinge, Tinder lets its members message their mutual matches for free. However, Tinder is a very high traffic dating app, and it can sometimes seem impossible to land a match. For this reason alone, members upgrade their account.
What are the benefits?
The major benefit of upgrading your account on Tinder is that you get to see everyone who’s already liked you. This allows you to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to them straight away (as opposed to swiping endlessly until you’ve finally figured out who likes you).
You also get access to 5 super likes per day, as opposed to one. And because super likes further increase your chances of getting noticed, the Tinder upgrade is very appealing.
Tinder’s upgrade offers more value than Hinge. They’re both priced similarly (around $25 per month, although the price fluctuates), but because Tinder has a lot more traffic than Hinge, the upgrade makes more sense.
With Hinge, it’s a lot easier to find what you’re looking for as a free member than it is on Tinder.
Final Verdict: Is Hinge Better Than Tinder?
Hinge and Tinder are both similar apps in the sense that they’re both “swipe apps.” But while Hinge is aimed at those seeking something longer-term, Tinder can be used by those looking for a relationship, as well as those who just want to have some fun. Ultimately, both apps have their pros and cons. Both work well as free apps but Tinder edges it when it comes to the upgrade. If you're looking for a serious relationship then Hinge is better. On the other hand, if you're into casual dating then Tinder is a better option.
What are the Alternatives Available?
eHarmony is a good alternative to Hinge if you’re looking for a committed, long-term partner. It’s a premium dating site that requires a fee before you’re able to send and receive messages, but the site claims to be directly responsible for as many as 600,000 marriages (so far!).
Moreover, eHarmony uses a sophisticated matchmaking system to help you find your perfect match. It has a high user base, a very good reputation, and most of its members are aged between 25 and 34. Read eHarmony review.
Match offers the best of both Hinge and Tinder in the sense that you can use it to find something longer term or shorter term.
Unlike either Hinge or Tinder, Match has a proper search feature that you can tweak according to your preferences. It’s also a very high-traffic dating site that currently boasts more than 8,000,000 members.
It’s reputable, too, and has been around since 1993. However, it’s a premium dating site that requires you to upgrade before you can send and receive messages. That said, it also comes with a 6-month guarantee, whereby users who haven’t found their perfect match after the first six months of membership get the next six months free. Read Match.com review.
- Elite Singles
Elite Singles is ideal if you’re looking for a committed relationship, and especially if you want to date someone who has brains as well as beauty.
Used mostly by academics, or those who possess a university degree, Elite Singles is for ambitious, career-minded singles who are looking for someone similar.
The site claims to create over 2,000 new couples per month, there are 900,000 active members each week, but you will need to upgrade your account in order to send and receive messages. Read EliteSingles review.
AdultFriendFinder is very much a hookup site that could be a good alternative for those who use Tinder to find casual sex encounters. It’s more graphic than Tinder, it comes with a search feature, and it also comes with lots of other special features, such as adult movies and live webcam shows. Read AdultFriendFinder review.
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