A comprehensive guide on how to use hinges

A season to sit back and watch: Rewatching "Holiday" while half-heartedly searching for love on your phone while comforting yourself. Depending on your needs, finding someone worthy of sharing your couch space may depend on the app. When Hinge first appeared on the dating app market in 2012, it stood out for its unique ability to find people you had mutual friends with but you didn't know, as well as people you might actually like. Talking about mutual aid is a great icebreaker—but the concept of combining Facebook with happiness isn't something everyone finds prudent.

Fast forward to 2021, and Hinge won't ruin your spot as a DL dater if you don't want to link to Facebook. The app's algorithm is very effective at sending you potential matches who don't know you but might know someone you do. This interconnected network makes the app experience feel like you're dating in a community rather than in a vacuum.

Hinge stands out from the crowd of dating apps in other ways. It prompts users to create deep connections and allows them to showcase themselves with photos, text, audio and video, making their profiles more three-dimensional. In October 2021, Hinge launched a feature that TikTokers particularly like: voice notes. With the update, users can respond with their voice to prompts such as "Dating me like" or "I recently discovered" to give potential matches a deeper understanding of them.

Here's how to set it up on Hinge to find the love of your life, a fun guy to share burgers with on the weekends, or a hilarious voice note that will make you famous on TikTok.

How to set up your hinge profile


Hinge is available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play. If you'd like to use specialized features like substance use and height filters or access unlimited daily likes, you can opt for the Hinge Premium membership, which costs $29.99 per month or $59.99 for three months for six The monthly cost is $89.99. You can sign up through Facebook to give the app access to your friends (so the app knows to avoid them), or you can sign in with your phone number to start over.

Next, you have the option to add a ton of basic information that you can choose to show or hide on your profile. The initial questions are simple, start with your first name - your last name is optional and will only be shown to those who match - email, birthday, location, pronouns and sexual orientation. Then move on to more personal issues, such as your feelings about your children, religious beliefs, substance abuse, and political affiliations. Once you have all the background information (or skip ahead), you can move on to the fun part: the tips.

If you want to change anything about your profile, click the profile icon in the lower right corner, then click the pencil icon to edit. You can also update your preferences, such as where you live and who you are interested in, as well as your membership preferences (such as what you are looking for), which you will only be able to access if you upgrade to a paid account. You can also access your account settings, such as choosing to show your active status or pausing your membership if you fancy a date or need a break from the swiping life.

How to use tips on hinges


One of the main ways Hinge differs from other dating apps is that instead of swiping right on someone's entire profile, you can create an instant conversation by liking or replying to their answer to one of the prompts.

Haley, a 24-year-old digital marketer in New York City , said Hinge Tips are key to really getting to know the people on the app. "This is a great way to break the ice and see if you really have something in common," she says. "I've had the most success with the 'What is a non-skippable album?' prompt, because it's a great way to start a conversation or discover a new artist," she tells Bustle.

However, there is a right and wrong way to use hints on Hinge. While comedic or snarky responses to prompts may get Haley's attention, she says there's a fine line between funny and vulgar. "I see a lot of people talking about what they don't want instead of focusing on the positive stuff, which is definitely a red flag for me!" Haley also pointed out that overly sexualized answers to PG prompts, such as "Funny thing about me" Fact…” might be read as a bit of a red flag. "It's a big transition," she said.

How to add voice prompts in Hinge

Hinge's new Voice Prompts feature allows you to answer prompts with a real voice, popping off the screen and creating the most realistic impression possible. "It's nice to hear someone's voice, and the voice prompts also help bring out personality (or lack thereof)," Melissa, 26, a Vancouver-based nutritionist, tells Bustle.

While Hinge users say voice notes are extremely helpful in getting to know someone better, they often get into unbearably awkward situations. Eleanor, a 28-year-old creative director in Los Angeles, said that while there are some very funny viral voice prompts circulating on TikTok, most of them are "very cringe-worthy."

To record your own voice prompt, go to your profile and click "Select Prompt" under "Voice Prompts." Choose from a range of prompts, from the exciting (like "I just took a shower recently") to the spicy (like "Let's debate this topic"). You have 30 seconds to record your answer, and after you click "Done" it will be shared on your profile. You can delete these at any time. "Be as authentic as possible. The point is to be yourself," Eleanor said.

How to fine-tune your hinge preferences

When you first complete a hinge configuration file, you will see all properties of the hinge members. This means that you might see someone who lives 100 miles away and has a lot of stuff on their profile that you think is a deal breaker. To sharpen your search, head to the filter icon in the upper right corner and adjust the settings to only show potential matches that match your preferences. There, you can choose to see only people with matching family plans, a specific height, political party, or age. You can change these filters at any time and update your own answers.

For Haley, filters are crucial because they help prevent both parties from wasting time. "I filter out my region and my age range, and I filter out a lot of religious beliefs - if it's something that's super important to my partner and I'm not already, then it's not going to be a start - and I also filter out people who don’t want children,” she said.

Start interacting with potential matches

When you open the app, in addition to a carousel of profiles that match your filters, you'll also see the matches the algorithm thinks you're most compatible with on a daily basis. If you have a free account, you can only like up to eight users per day, so you don't spend too much time swiping. You can tell someone you really like them by giving them a rose (Bachelor Nation, much?); you'll get a free rose every Sunday, but you can buy more if you want. Depending on your settings, you can also find 10 user tips the app thinks you'll like in your Stand Out feed. To interact, you can like and comment on tips or photos. The app will send "It's your turn" notifications to people who haven't responded yet to minimize accidental ghosting. If you want to chat more before meeting in person, you can also video chat or send a voice message in the app's chat feature.

If your conversations with certain users disappear naturally, Hinge will hide them after two weeks to keep your inbox tidy and active. So if you like someone, or think you might like them, please don't snooze on this thread.

Fill out your Meet Us survey on Hinge

According to an email Hinge sent to Bustle, it's the only dating app that measures users' dating success. A few days after your date, the app will contact you with a "We Met" survey. In-app surveys will privately ask each person if a) they went on a date and b) if they are the type of person they would like to see again. When you fill out the survey, Hinge will use this data to try to improve the accuracy of the next set of potential matches they send you, using how you felt on the date as a guide. So if you want a stronger set of matches, you should fill it out.