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But pulling up a profile like this one, which Jimmy Fallon and the staff of The Tonight Show cooked up for Britney Spears looks quite different in Tinder:. You get to see all their pictures, how close they are to you, how recently they logged in, and a short "about me" section. If you share friends or likes on Facebook, you see that, too. This is a good time to recommend that you like Vox on Facebook , thus enabling you to match other Vox fans on Tinder and keep the lineage of Vox fandom running for many generations.

But overall, you get a lot less information than on Hinge.

That's partially by design. Part of what's made Tinder successful is that it greatly reduces the amount of effort that goes into setting up an online profile; while sites like OKCupid require you to answer huge batteries of personal questions "Do you own any dice with more than six sides? Hinge takes a middle ground: you don't have to answer questions, but you do get to include more information about yourself.

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Sort of? While you can specify that you want people close to you, there are limits; whereas Tinder lets you look for users within one mile of you, the lowest Hinge goes is 10 miles. The app also doesn't automatically update when you change locations. If you live in Boston and go on a day trip to New York City, Tinder will start showing you New York matches, while Hinge will keep serving up Bostonians unless you manually change your hometown in your profile.

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The focus isn't on finding a quick hookup close by; it's on finding people you could actually date, whom you might ask out if you met at a mutual friend's party. Hinge doesn't give user numbers, but spokeswoman Jean-Marie McGrath reports that 35, dates per week and 1, relationships happen because of the dating app. The gender ratio is , according to McGrath, and 90 percent of users are between 23 and 36, making the Hinge user base noticeably older than Tinder's.

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An exact comparison isn't available, but 52 percent of Tinder users are between 18 and As of March , the app had made 1 million matches ; by August it was up to 3 million , and over 8 million by late October. Those are impressive figures, and suggest the app is growing fast it claims its user base grew fivefold in , but they still pale in comparison to Tinder. As of January, Tinder had made 5 billion matches, and was making 21 million more every day. That's a difference of three orders of magnitude. Then again, Hinge currently is only available in 34 US cities and two foreign ones London and Toronto , whereas Tinder is available worldwide, and given that Hinge appears to be experiencing exponential growth it's not totally implausible to think it could be a real competitor.

There are a lot of horrible people in the world, and OKCupid and Match. Not really, sadly.

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It's still hundreds of times smaller than Tinder, and it'll probably take some time for it to become enough of a cultural staple to produce Tumblrs and memes like Humanitarians of Tinder , Fishermen of Tinder , Tinder Guys with Tigers , Tinder in Brooklyn , and Hello Let's Date. But Hinge's official blog is doing its damndest to try to close the gap, through stuff like its 30 Most Eligible in NYC list , which collects a group of the app's most socially connected and most frequently "liked" users in New York:.

Via Hinge. It even ranked Wall Street firms based on how frequently their employees were liked versus rejected. Goldman Sachs won. Goldman Sachs always wins. The danger of most dating sites and apps is that you have basically no idea whom you're being matched up with and whether they're safe to meet in person. Even now you'll hear concerns that your OKCupid date "could be a serial killer," which, while paranoid and hyperbolic, has a semblance of a point to it. Moreover, dating sites aimed at heterosexuals tend to feature a lot of male harassment of female users , sometimes to the point that women's inboxes become sufficiently clogged to render the service unusable.

Tinder got around those problems to a degree by requiring users to "like" each other to match before messaging. That eased the message onslaught, but the relative sparseness of Tinder profiles means you have nothing to go on besides your match's photos and messages to you, which doesn't do much to help you determine whether a stranger's safe to meet at a bar. Hinge's focus on matching with people you share friends with means you can ask those friends to vet prospective dates.

That's not a perfect defense, but it's something. A Hinge fact sheet sent along by McGrath touts "No randos" as a key feature: "If Tinder feels like meeting a stranger at a bar, Hinge feels like getting warmly introduced at a cocktail party. The mutual-friends aspect also let the process bleed into offline dating. Buzzfeed's Joseph Bernstein has an incisive piece on how dating apps are giving rise to "offline-online dating" in which people use "offline life as a discovery mechanism for online dating.

You might meet someone at a mutual friend's party, hit it off but not exchange numbers or make plans, and then run into each other on Hinge partially because of that mutual friend , giving you another shot. Or the app could provide a safe way to express interest in a friend-of-a-friend whom you're hesitant to approach in person; after all, they only find out you like them if they like you back. McLeod told Bernstein this dynamic has major appeal to Hinge users. While the app stopped recommending actual Facebook friends to each other after users complained, friends-of-friends and friends-of-friends-of-friends are much likelier to match than people with no connection which, despite Hinge's best efforts, sometimes happens.

Users like 44 percent of friends-of-friends, 41 percent of friends-of-friends-of-friends, and a mere 28 percent of people with whom they lack any connection. Pretty fair, albeit not in ways that are entirely favorable to Hinge.

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The transition from MySpace to Facebook was, as the social media scholar danah boyd has argued , a case of digital "white flight. Those from wealthier backgrounds were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those from the suburbs were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. In some sense, this was baked into Facebook's premise. It started among college students — in particular among Harvard students, and then students at other highly selective, elite colleges, and then students at all colleges, and so on.

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It grew out of an initial user base that was largely wealthy and white; gradually it became associated with the bourgeoisie and MySpace with the proletariat. Facebook may or may not have been intentionally exploiting these class dynamics, but those dynamics played a very real role in the site's development. If you doubt Hinge is the dating app of the privileged, consider that it literally ranked financial institutions by the eligibility of their single employees.

Hinge, similarly, targets an elite demographic. It's only available in cities.

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Its users are somethings and almost all went to college. Classism and racism have always been problems in online dating. Buzzfeed's Anne Helen Petersen put together a Tinder simulation in which participants albeit non-randomly selected ones each evaluated 30 fake profiles constructed using stock photos, and found that people's swipes depended strongly on the perceived class of the prospective match.

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But if they identified the profile as "middle-class," the swipe rate rose to 36 percent. Hinge has carved out a niche as the dating app of the privileged. Hinge provides yet more tools for that kind of judging. You can see where potential matches went to college, or where they worked. Indeed, this kind of assortative mating — matching people of the same socioeconomic class with each other — is embedded into the app's algorithm.

McLeod told Boston. Obviously, Hinge didn't invent this dynamic; as Reston notes, 71 percent of college graduates marry other college graduates , and certain elite schools are particularly good at matching up their alumni over 10 percent of Dartmouth alums marry other Dartmouth alums.

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And the Hinge fact sheet frames this aspect of the algorithm as just another way in which the app resembles being set up by a friend:. Think of setting up your pickiest friend. Then you would prioritize those recommendations based on what you know about your friend preference for doctors, dislike for lawyers, love for Ivy Leaguers etc.

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