We threw a bunch of the most overused Hinge chat-up lines at the dating app’s CEO. Here are his suggestions for improving them.

Justin McLeod Hinge CEO
Hinge CEO Justin McLeod.

  • Dating app Hinge nudges users to show a hint of their personalities by using a system of “prompts.”
  • Some prompts have turned into well-known clichés.
  • Hinge CEO Justin McLeod gave Insider some tips on how users can refine overused prompts.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hinge advertises itself as a dating app that enables people to get their personalities across to fellow users more than other swipe-based dating apps like Tinder.

It does so by making users set up profiles with a collection of photographs and prompts.

Hinge’s prompts are essentially a set list of ways to begin a sentence, which the user then has to finish off. Examples of some of the templates Hinge provides are: “My mantra is…”, “Give me travel tips for…” and “I’ll fall for you if…”

Rather than swiping left or right, users select specific pictures and prompts to either like or to comment on. If the original user likes them, they match and take it from there.

Hinge prompt
Hinge “prompts” are part of what makes up a user’s profile.

It’s a format lots of Hinge users like but unfortunately, humans love a trope – and certain prompts, lines, and themes have a reputation on Hinge as being woefully overused.

Insider gathered a bunch of the most painful Hinge clichés and asked CEO Justin McLeod if he could suggest any improvements.

“I’ll fall for you if… you trip me up”

While many users may think this pun gives a sense of their sense of humor, McLeod suggested taking a slightly more direct approach.

“This [prompt] is giving you an opportunity to share what you’re really looking for in a partner, what you want, what’s important to you,” he said. “What gets you excited about someone and what is something that someone can do that would really show that they were super interested in you?”

He didn’t go so far as to say users should steer away from the “trip me up” pun entirely.

“It’s another way of showing your personality … So there’s no bad answer in that sense. It’s showing that you’d rather take this opportunity to make a snarky remark versus shar[ing] that side of yourself,” he said.

“I’m looking for someone who… doesn’t take themselves too seriously”

Mashable’s Rachel Thompson wrote about why this prompt can be a red flag to some Hinge users, as it can unintentionally send out signals that the writer could be a bit of a dating nightmare.

McLeod had some suggestions for how users could make this answer a bit less daunting.

“The more specific that we can be the better,” he said, recommending that users give an actual example of what they mean.

“The more that you can take the opportunity to say what you mean by ‘doesn’t take themselves too seriously’ – or [give] an anecdote,” was his recommendation.

“It just takes a little bit of extra brain power and a little bit of extra creativity but I do think that saying what do you mean by that, or what specifically do you mean by that is a is a good thing,”

“I’m overly competitive about… everything”

Once again, McLeod suggested refining this answer with a little specificity.

“What are the things that you are most competitive about, like overly competitive about [for example] my chess game and my ability in a cookie eating contest. Whatever it is, how can you show that particular flavor for you of being overly competitive?” he said.

He also gave the tip that users shouldn’t only be thinking about their own personality when answering prompts.

“I think that you just also have to think when you’re answering these prompts – if you want to do it effectively – is how can someone respond to this?” he added.

“Am I making an opening or a hook for someone to be able to start a good conversation with me? And so if you say ‘everything,’ then there’s not a real opportunity for me … I don’t know what to respond to that.”

Anything that mentions “Pineapple on pizza”

McLeod said he’s aware that stereotypically divisive food choices like pineapple on pizza or cilantro common themes on Hinge. He didn’t rule them out as an opener, but says users have to be ready to move the conversation along at a fast clip.

pineapple on pizza
Pineapple on pizza is a recurring theme on Hinge.

“I think they can open up a conversation, but I think it has to move pretty quickly from there, right?” he said.

“There’s only so much to say about whether or not you like pineapple on pizza.”

“I’m a regular at… my fridge/my living room”

A pandemic-specific cliché, McLeod rates this line more highly than the others.

“I would give that one a higher rating because at least you’re talking about a current event that you both have a shared experience of, and it has a little bit of humor around. So I do think that that gives you a little bit more of an opening to like start a conversation,” he said, adding that if users use “their fridge” that gives people the chance to ask what’s inside.

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Facebook is testing a video speed-dating service where users have to pledge to create a safe space, be kind – and, please, don’t ghost

Facebook speed dating sparked
  • Facebook is testing a new app that lets users speed date over video.
  • The app, called Sparked, matches users for 4-minute “dates.” A second date would last 10 minutes.
  • Facebook already has one dating app, Facebook Dating, which is similar to rivals like Hinge.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook is testing out a new speed dating service that lets users date over video.

The new service, called Sparked, will offer “video speed dating for kind people,” according to a landing page for the app. Users won’t need public profiles and won’t have to swipe through matches or direct message with people to set up dates. Sparked is free to use but does require a Facebook account, according to the landing page.

The Verge’s Ashley Carman was the first to report about the new app. According to The Verge, which went through the sign-up process, the app will cycle through video dates that last for 4 minutes. If both users have a good time, they can schedule a second date that lasts 10-minutes. If the second date goes well, users are prompted to keep in touch on another platform, such as Instagram, iMessage, or email, according to The Verge.

Before going through the sign-up process, users have to agree to a set of rules: be kind, make the app a safe space, and show up for your dates. Kindness is mentioned several times during the sign-up process for Sparked, including a step where users will have to explain what makes them a kind dater. The responses will be “reviewed by a human at Sparked” before they can go on dates, The Verge reports.

Prospective users are also asked whether they’re looking to date women, men, non-binary people, or trans people during the sign-up process, according to The Verge.

Sparked is made by Facebook’s NPE team – short for New Product Experimentation – which tests new, standalone services for Facebook. When The Verge went through the sign-up process, it was placed on a waitlist, so it’s unclear if and when the app will be live.

A spokesperson for Facebook did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Sparked.

The video speed dating aspect of Sparked bears some resemblance to Chatroulette, the late-aughts website that cycled through randomized webcam feeds. The app skyrocketed in popularity just months after it launched in 2009, but quickly drew nudity and graphic content.

While video dating would be a new service for Facebook, it wouldn’t be the social media giant’s first foray into dating apps. Facebook launched Facebook Dating in September 2019, which competes with apps like Hinge or Bumble by allowing users to build a profile and sift through potential matches – like Hinge, users can “like” others’ profiles and comment on their photos to start a conversation.

While Facebook Dating hasn’t become as popular as rivals like Tinder, Facebook has a key advantage in the dating space: a user base that numbers in the billions, which makes it easier for users to have their profile information flow into a dating profile.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The CEO of Hinge predicts a boom in people looking for long-term relationships this summer

Hinge CEO Justin McLeod
Hinge CEO Justin McLeod.

  • Dating app Hinge had a surprisingly successful 2020.
  • CEO Justin McLeod told Insider he expects to see more users looking for long-term relationships.
  • He also thinks quick, preliminary video dates will become a permanent part of dating, post-pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Although the pandemic has put a dent in people’s dating lives, it’s also given a springboard to dating apps.

Hinge has been a popular alternative to the likes of Tinder and Bumble since before the pandemic, and far from killing the app stone dead, 2020 seems to have supercharged it. According to Hinge’s Q4 2020 results, the company tripled its revenues compared with 2019. Its global downloads rose by 63%.

Compared to its competition, Hinge is doing extremely well. App analytics firm Sensor Tower told Insider Hinge’s growth outstripped the five other most-popular dating apps: Tinder, Badoo, Bumble, Happn, and Plenty of Fish. Collectively, these apps’ install numbers only grew by 4% in 2020, according to Sensor Tower.

Similarly on revenue, Hinge’s success seems to have outstripped other dating apps, on average. Lexi Sydow, head of marketing insights at App Annie, said overall consumer spend on dating apps was up 15% year-on-year in 2020.

Insider spoke to Hinge founder and CEO Justin McLeod about how the company is planning to keep this momentum going through 2021, with vaccine rollouts getting people excited for the so-called “hot vax summer.”

Hinge users are looking to couple up

Despite Hinge’s growth over 2020, McLeod said the app had to deal with a peculiar set of “tailwinds and headwinds.”

While the app offered a welcome outlet for people stuck inside to flirt remotely, lockdown measures and colder weather still had an inhibiting effect. The app saw its biggest growth during summer last year, and McLeod is banking on there being another boom in activity this summer.

But while some have expressed a desire to make summer 2021 or “hot vax summer” a bacchanalian affair, McLeod predicts there’ll also be a trend towards people looking for more long-term relationships, based on surveys conducted on Hinge’s users.

“We’ve found at least a third of our users are saying that they have more urgency around wanting to settle down and find and a partner, and more than half of our users are actively seeking that long-term relationship,” McLeod said.

He believes the loneliness felt by many during lockdown could be driving this desire.

“I do think for a lot of people who maybe have been dating for a while and then went through the pandemic and went through it alone, they’re feeling the need for, I think, a partner and companionship more than ever,” he added.

This suits Hinge’s business model. Slating itself as the “dating app designed to be deleted,” Hinge markets itself as less of a hook-up spot than apps like Tinder (which shares a parent company with Hinge).

That doesn’t mean that users less laser-focused on a long-term relationship aren’t catered for on Hinge. McLeod said younger users may feel less urgency around settling down, and said the app saw its biggest growth last year among users in their early 20s.

Whatever users’ preferences, Hinge is planning to capitalize on the “hot vax summer” with new features, McLeod said, although he did not reveal any details. He did, however, highlight the video-chat feature, which Hinge added along with many dating apps during 2020.

“We’ll definitely think about how to make that a more interactive experience that really helps you get a quick spark check before you go out and meet up in person,” he said.

Pandemic or no pandemic, video dating is here to stay

McLeod thinks video dating will survive beyond the coronavirus pandemic, and predicted brief video chats before a first date would become a fixture in people’s dating lives for the next decade.

“No one is more of a proponent of meeting up in person and not spending time on screens than me,” he said. “But I do think that people will find that it’s just really helpful to do a five or ten-minute check that this person is worth meeting up with, before they go meet up in person so that they don’t waste their whole evening, walk in the door and realize like within two seconds that this isn’t the person that they actually want to spend their evening with.”

“I don’t think people will spend like hours and hours on video chat when they could be meeting up in person,” he added.

McLeod is confident about Hinge’s future, however this summer shakes out.

“In a way it feels like we’re the only app for young people that’s really serving this need of more intentioned relationships. I think some of the other ones, like the swipe-apps, are becoming even more explicit about being casual – because I think that’s very much how they’re designed,” he said.

He’s also unbothered by Facebook’s foray into online dating. Despite the social media giant’s resources, he doesn’t think Facebook will be able to poach Hinge’s younger usership.

“We haven’t seen them getting much traction, and I don’t think our target demo really uses Facebook. They don’t trust Facebook,” he said. “They don’t use it generally, much less for dating,” he added.

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What is Bumble Bizz? How to use the dating app’s professional networking mode to make new connections

woman holding using phone tv movie at home
Bumble Bizz is like a dating app – but for professional connections, not dates.

  • Bumble Bizz is a separate section of the dating app that focuses on making professional connections.
  • Bumble Bizz works exactly the same as the Date section, but you show off your work experience and professional goals.
  • Just like the rest of the app, men can’t message women first – women make the first move.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The advent of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble changed the dating game, introducing phrases like “swipe right” and “swipe left” into our lexicon and bringing the idea of speed dating to a new generation.

Later on, Bumble users asked the company for a service to help make friends instead of lovers – and in 2016 they got Bumble BFF, which allowed users to have two separate profiles for dating and friendship.

Since then, Bumble added another way to help people connect with one another in the digital age: Bumble Bizz.

What to know about Bumble Bizz

When you open up Bumble, you can decide what you’re swiping to find that day – if you go with your dating profile, you’ll be swiping for dates and potential partners. If you switch to Bumble BFF mode, which contains an entirely different version of your profile, you’ll be swiping to look for a new friend.

If you choose Bumble Bizz mode, you swap to yet another public profile – this one containing information about your work experience, education, professional goals, and passions. When you look through your swipe deck on this version of the app, you’re not looking for a partner or a friend – you’re networking.

Bumble Bizz lets you swipe through the names of professionals in your indicated industries and make connections with potential employers, experts in your field, recruiters, and fellow professionals.

Bumble Bizz
Bumble Bizz puts your professional qualifications first.

The advantages of Bumble Bizz

Some people may hear about this new feature and wonder how it sets itself apart from other networking sites like LinkedIn. The benefit of Bumble is that it encourages connecting with new people, not just people you already work with.

On sites like LinkedIn, you’re often reliant on adding people you meet in real life to help you establish connections. Other than that, you can fill out your profile to the best of your ability and hope you get contacted by someone looking for a worker like you, but making those new connections isn’t the site’s primary function.

Bumble Bizz was created to help people form new connections – an ability that’s been severely impacted by the pandemic, disproportionately affecting young professionals who are too new to have large networks.

That’s not the only thing that sets Bumble Bizz apart, either. The central tenet behind Bumble is that it’s an app where women have to message men first, rather than the other way around.

Seeing how well this feature worked in the dating arena, Bumble decided to keep it when creating Bumble Bizz – in any male-female match, the woman always has to be the one to message first. In any same-sex pairing, the opportunity to speak first goes to whoever was the second person to swipe right.

Bumble hopes that this will cut down some of the sexual harassment that some women have reported on sites like LinkedIn.

What is Bumble Boost? How to use the dating app’s paid features to get more matchesWhat is Bumble? How the dating app differs from its competition, and what it offers womenHow does Bumble work for men? Here’s how Bumble chats differ for men, women, and non-binary usersWhat is Tinder? Here’s what you should know about the popular dating app

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What is Bumble Boost? How to use the dating app’s paid features to get more matches

Bumble App on logo backround
A Bumble logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

  • Bumble Boost is a paid subscription offered by Bumble that gives unlimited swiping, swipe undos, and more.
  • If you’re willing to pay more, you can also get Bumble Premium, which gives even more features.
  • Bumble Boost is only available to iOS users worldwide, and Android users in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

A lot has changed since the early days of dating apps. New apps and features have arrived, giving people more options to help find their best match.

One of these apps is Bumble, which has become known in many circles as more of a true dating app – Tinder is often more associated with hookups – in large part because there’s a more even male-to-female ratio among its users, among dozens of other self-identifications.

In fact, Bumble has become so popular that it’s testing out new premium services. Bumble Boost is getting revamped to include even more features, and they’re also adding a higher tier, Bumble Premium.

What to know about Bumble Boost

Bumble Boost is the less expensive of the two paid options – in other words, sort of like halfway between Bumble and Bumble Premium. You don’t get some of the more exclusive features, but you get most of the important ones, and for a lot less.

Bumble Boost varies in cost, depending on how long you sign up for it. You can subscribe on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, in addition to three- and six-month subscriptions. Boost’s cost may change as Bumble continues to test its paid features, but you’re often getting a larger discount for longer subscriptions.

What is Bumble? How the dating app differs from its competition, and what it offers womenHow does Bumble work for men? Here’s how Bumble chats differ for men, women, and non-binary usersWhat is Tinder? Here’s what you should know about the popular dating appHow to block someone on the Tinder app by unmatching from them

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Bumble climbs 9% following its 64% post-IPO rally

Bumble IPO Nasdaq
Displays in Times Square outside the Nasdaq MarketSite are pictured as dating app operator Bumble Inc. (BMBL) made its debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange during the company’s IPO in New York City, New York, U.S., February 11, 2021.

  • Bumble climbed as much as 8.8% on Friday, extending the post-IPO pop that began the session prior.
  • The dating app raised $2.2 billion in a Wednesday IPO selling 50 million shares for $43 each.
  • Strong demand for the offering led shares to spike 64% into Thursday’s close.
  • Watch Bumble trade live here.

Bumble rose as much as 8.8% on Friday, extending gains after its massive post-IPO rally.

The dating app made its trading debut Thursday afternoon and quickly surged as investors rushed to the offering. Bumble stock gained as much as 85% at intraday highs and closed roughly 64% above the offering price of $43 a share.

The company raised $2.2 billion on Wednesday with its 50-million-share offering. Bumble’s offering price was upsized twice since filing for its IPO in January: once from its initial range of $28 to $30 a share, and again to $37 to $39 a share.

Bumble now trades on the Nasdaq with the ticker “BMBL.” It closed with a market cap of roughly $7.7 billion on Thursday.

Read more: Wall Street veteran Peter Kraus breaks down why investors should expect about a 10% to 15% market correction ahead – and shares his thoughts on the GameStop drama, SPAC mania, and bitcoin craze.

The company reported having about 42 million monthly active users across its dating apps as of September 30. About 2.4 million of those users paid for premium features such as Bumble Boost or Bumble Premium, according to a regulatory filing. Apart from the app of the same name, Bumble also owns Badoo, another location-based social discovery app.

CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told CNBC on Thursday that Bumble aims to convert more of its users to paying subscribers through investments in monetization features and new products. Wolfe Herd made history on Thursday by becoming the youngest female founder to take an American company public.

The market debut also brings a new option for investors looking to bet on online dating. Match Group – which owns Tinder, Hinge, Match, and other services – was previously the only major dating service to trade publicly. Match closed Thursday with a market cap of $45.8 billion.

Bumble closed at $70.31 on Thursday.

Read more: JP Morgan says 2021 is a ‘stockpickers’ paradise with big money-making opportunities’ – Here’s the firm’s 22 ‘highest conviction’ small-cap investment ideas

BMBL

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