Will audio be a gamechanger for dating apps like Hinge?

Hinge has added new auditory features to its dating app. —  Picture by Choo Choy May
Hinge has added new auditory features to its dating app. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 29 ― Dating app Hinge is adding audio features to its options of communication between users. The introduction of this new audio experience could push other applications of this genre to jump on the bandwagon.

Audio is everywhere these days, even in dating apps! Hinge, a dating app that bills itself as the only app to focus on long-term relationships, recently added new audio recording features to its app. By adding new ways for users to experience interactions, for instance through video and now audio, Hinge hopes to enable new connections.

“Voice is a really nice gateway to being able to participate in richer media than recording a video of yourself,” Justin McLeod, Hinge CEO said in an interview for CNBC. “It's one thing to go and take pictures of yourself, it's another to really go and tell stories and show an interest that get a conversation started. Giving people the ability to tell a richer story about themselves on their profile that's not just a bunch of photos of themselves, I think, is where it's going.”

New experiences and Gen Z

This is a welcome development as dating applications have been stagnating somewhat since the pandemic. Hinge is a pioneer among dating apps with this kind of auditory function. Users will be able to add small “voice prompts” to their profiles to allow others to get to know them better. The application is also adding a feature that enables users to send voice notes to one another. In terms of voice notes, rival dating app Bumble already offers this experience.

Hinge is owned by Match Group, which also owns Tinder, Meetic and Ablo. Hinge distinguishes itself from other dating apps, through its different model and interface. Here, you don't swipe left or right, but interact with images or texts to encourage users to connect, meet and start a relationship. Whether new auditory experiences will be used by apps as a kind of premium level of features to charge users more and generate more revenue remains to be seen.

Generation Z, which is more accustomed to integrating innovative interactive experiences into their daily lives, may very well appreciate these new options, which offer another level of personalization for users. If this new feature takes off, many other applications could add audio as a means both of making connections and communicating. ― ETX Studio

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