Ugh, dating. It’s an awful enterprise, fraught with awkwardness and hangovers. A company called Hinge is trying to change all of that, by tapping into the biggest repository of potential dates imaginable; mutual friends on Facebook. Hinge is one of the SXSW Accelerator finalists, and is part of 1776, a new startup campus in Washington DC.
It makes perfect sense, right? Many online dating sites exist, but work in a different fashion. Sites like OkCupid require users to answer a barrage of questions and quizzes to determine compatibility for potential dates. Using Facebook connections provides another avenue of vetting potential date candidates, since most people add friends to Facebook after a real life encounter.
The company, which was founded on Valentine’s Day 2011 while CEO Justin McLeod was attending Harvard business school. The company was founded under the opinion that meeting people at bars and parties is tiring, and that traditional dating sites provided results that were too random and awkward. The idea behind Hinge is to alleviate this, and possibly create longer lasting relationships.
The app rounds up a new group of mutual friends to check out every day, and shows a profile picture, their occupation, where they went to school and common friends. Users then rate the people they have peeped, and provide a rating on the scale of one to five based on how interested the user is in meeting the person. If both users rate each other as a four or higher, Hinge will send the potential blossoming couple an e-mail.
The Hinge app debuted on February 7th, and is available now on the iPhone. So stop trolling OkCupid and set up some dates!