If you've ever hopped in the dating app train, you know what it's like to endlessly swipe through photos of people who fit the preferences you set. You likely also know what it's like to receive sexually explicit messages or photos and have felt the instant gratification that comes along with matching with someone you considered out of your league.
All of this swiping and superficial judging can leave people feeling like hookups are at the forefront of our culture, and real relationships are few and far between, at least when it comes to the dating app world.
Hinge hopes to change that. The dating app has recently been redesigned to be "a relationship app" instead. Developers have eliminated their swiping feature and recently relaunched Hinge as "modern-day Match.com: a members-only community of people looking to get past the games and find something real."
Hinge's relaunch was accompanied by an animated short film titled "The Dating Apocalypse." In it, we watch a man trapped inside the "Date-O-Pocalypse," a dystopian carnival that's meant to be a metaphor for the current state of online dating. The carnival is filled with people who can be best described as desperate zombies and rides that represent all the exhausting games people play while online dating. There's even a booth set up for men to take free professional photos of their genitals that will likely end up in the hands of unsuspecting women later.
Eventually, the hero of the short leaves the carnival and ends up in a whole new place. The place, which is supposed to represent Hinge, is filled with happy couples, natural sunlight, and the possibility of finding a real relationship. Even though it's an ad, it's entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
"As we prepared for the relaunch, we surveyed our users about their experiences on swiping apps and learned some pretty disheartening things, like the fact that 7 in 10 surveyed women on the leading swiping app have received sexually explicit messages or images. It became clear to us that we are living in a dating apocalypse, and we wanted to create a film that acknowledged this and showed how Hinge would help people escape that world," Katie Hunt, chief brand officer at Hinge, told A Plus. "The new Hinge is a refuge from swipe culture, and that's what we wanted to communicate with this film."
But how exactly is Hinge different for the seemingly endless other dating apps out there?
"The new Hinge also has completely redesigned profiles to make them richer and less superficial. Users can include up to nine photos and many details beyond the basics such as the last injury you sustained, your AOL screen name, or the show you're currently binge-watching," Hunt said. "Instead of a superficial hot-or-not game of swiping, the new Hinge invites users to engage with potential matches' profiles. Users can favorite a photo or leave a private comment on someone's profile to spark a conversation."