Most dating apps match users and then let them initiate their chat. When Bumble launched, however, he broke new ground by making women take the first step. Today, Hinge presents her own take on how conversations on dating apps should be handled with a new feature she calls “Your Turn”. The idea with “Your Turn” is that it allows users to decide – regardless of gender – who takes the first step, then reminds users when it’s their turn to respond.
In early testing, the company claims the feature helped reduce ghost behavior on its service by 25 percent.
Hinge CEO Justin McLeod explains that the idea behind “Your Turn” first emerged from focus groups, where users told the company they didn’t always intentionally give up on their conversations. Sometimes they just lost track of the people in their inbox, or 23% of the time they just “got busy and forgot.”
The Hinge team then developed a feature that would better flag conversations that you had not yet responded to. This led to the creation of “Your Turn”.
After the initial match where “Your turn” helps start the conversation, the feature will then remind users when it is their “turn” to respond to the conversation while the chat continues.
This solves one of the biggest problems with dating apps – conversations can often start well, but then drag on and get dropped. “Your turn” is a little nudge someone wants to hear in return.
That said, if the conversation isn’t going well, Hinge users can now choose to hide correspondence so that they can focus on the conversations where things are going better – that is, where there is more. back and forth. This helps clean up the inbox without really discording users – something that sometimes people aren’t willing to do, because… well, you know…In case.
The end result of “Your Turn” is twofold: it reduces inbox clutter and makes it clear who it’s up to chat.
It should also be noted that “Your Turn” does not make the choice of who should initiate the conversation a decision based on the gender of the users.
“[Hinge users said] they’re fed up with the rules, the games and being forced to do things they don’t want to do – on both sides, ”McLeod says. “What it does is give you the same advantage of knowing clearly who is supposed to start the conversation, without imposing a set of rules on you just because of your gender.”
Hinge says it tested the feature last week in London and Washington, DC with tens of thousands of users and found that it reduced the number of matches that don’t lead to a conversation by 25%.
Of course, with just under a quarter of people saying they ghost conversations because they were busy or forgot, that means there’s a larger majority who did the same. for other reasons – they started dating someone, maybe they weren’t interested… or maybe they’re just a little rude.
But McLeod says other upcoming changes to Hinge’s algorithms could help on that front.
“We pay attention to that stuff in the algorithm,” he said, in response to a question about how apps should handle people who regularly ghost their matches.
“We’re going to roll out some pretty big algorithm changes early in the New Year,” McLeod notes. He says the new algorithm will pay more attention to users’ chat behavior and consider things as if the person is just matching, but not chatting, or being a ghost.
Hinge doesn’t disclose how many users it has, but says it’s now growing 15% month over month, with the majority of downloads coming from word-of-mouth. Most of its users are also college graduates, with 90 percent of the user base ranging in age from 23 to 36. Its user base has doubled in the last 6 months, and it is now putting up 100,000 dates per month (based on the phone numbers being traded.)
The company has been known to experiment with new ideas in the past. He launched an app for friends who like to play matchmaker and tested a personal assistant service. One of its features – the way users comment on individual pieces of content, such as text messages and photos – apparently inspired Testing a news feed by Tinder that allow you to react to jars of new photos or other items.
Hinge’s “Our Ride” feature is available today in all markets including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India.