More tender than Tinder? Dating app study says users want relationships, not just hook-ups

Published August 31st, 2015 - 04:00 GMT

Just when you thought you’d lost all faith in romance thanks to the ‘swipe-right/swipe-left’ culture of popular dating apps, here’s some refreshing news: most users are actually after relationships rather than casual hook-ups.

The dating app Hinge surveyed 1,500 existing users of their app, and found that only 2% stated that they just wanted casual ‘hook-ups’, whereas 63% were looking for relationships and one third (33%) looking for dates.

This has led them to add a new feature: users can disclose their ‘relationship intentions’ on their profile.

In a statement on their blog, Hinge responded to a Vanity Fair article, which explored the rise of ‘hook-up culture’, allegedly from the increased use of dating apps.

The article proposed the idea of a “dating apocalypse” where steady relationships are seemingly on the decline in preference to casual sex.

David Buss, professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin told Vanity Fair: “Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there… so the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating."

Following on from their research, Hinge have added an “open to” section on profiles where users can chose from “relationship”, “dating” or “casual”. Hinge said the feature will “empower our users to swipe smarter”.

In May this year, research from GlobalWebIndex found that 42% Tinder users were already in relationships. In the same month, Hinge lost almost 500 male subscribers after it added a feature to user profiles which revealed their Facebook relationship status.

By Olivia Blair

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