Hinge's new feature fixes the worst thing about dating apps

Justin mcleod hingeHingeJustin McLeod, the founder of Hinge

The most dreaded part about using dating apps is actually starting the conversation. A simple “Hello” is fine, but then what? It can be awkward talking to someone without really knowing what you have in common.

To fix that, Hinge is rolling out a new feature called Story Cards, which is meant to surface the similarities you have with another person so you can start talking more easily.

Here’s how Story Cards works: you’ll be shown questions about past experiences that you can swipe to answer “yes” or “no” to — things like “Have you ever visited Europe?” or “Have you ever been suspended?”

You don’t see other users’ responses to these questions right away, but once you’re matched up with someone, you’ll be shown the most unique things you have in common with them based on your shared answers.

Hinge is a dating app that already has the promise of being a less-sketchy way to meet people than Tinder. It connects you to friends-of-friends and works by displaying a set of profiles of single people in your city every day.

If you like someone’s profile, swipe right; if you’re not interested, swipe left. But unlike location-based dating apps like Tinder, Hinge shows you only second- and third-degree Facebook connections. These are people you might have heard of, even if you’re never met.

Here’s what Story Cards looks like:

Earlier this year, Hinge introduced a new feature: self-destructing matches, which essentially force you to talk with the people you match with within 24 hours before they vanish forever.

And Story Cards is another attempt to engage you with the people you match with. Hinge says that in beta testing, Story Cards led to 20% more back-and-forth messages and even led to phone numbers being exchanged.

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