Teen apps in focus: Everything parents need to know about HINGE

It’s getting common for kids to resort to adult apps. Recently, Tinder got all the limelight for its notoriety amongst the teens who have been using this app for casual hookups. It’s saddening and heart-wrenching that parents have to see this, but kids as young as 13-year-olds are signing up for dating apps. According to NYMag, around 7 percent of the 30 million Tinder users are kids ages between 13-17.


Hinge—what exactly is it about?

Hinge is another dating app that has much of its inspiration from Tinder. The dating app is about initiating dating using image-based profiles.

The app will look for potential matches, taking age, location and a few other individualised preferences into account. If you like a profile, you can swipe to right, if not, you can swipe to left to get rid of any unwanted profiles. If there is a swipe to the right from the both ends, then the app shares each user’s information to the other, facilitating messaging between them. Hinge has around 500,000 users since its inception in 2013.


Hinge, much like Tinder is an app designed for mature audiences (17 and above), making it extremely inappropriate for your tweens and teens. If you look at the terms and conditions of this app, Hinge requires you to be old enough to enter in to a binding contract. In the US, you need to be 18 years old or above for that.


Hinge doesn’t want any kind of restrictions on its users and therefore, no advanced sign-in protocols are added. Anyone can register on Hinge using their Facebook account. We know how how easy it is setup a fake Facebook account. In fact, most of the kids lie about their age on Facebook.


There are a few parameters of this app:

  • Users can make only 20 connections in a day.
  • If a match is not contacted within the 14 days, it will automatically disappear.


Hinge is also different from Tinder. Justin McLeod, CEO of Hinge, talks about how this app is different. Hinge isn’t anonymous like Tinder. To sign up, you would be required to provide your Facebook profile. Not only that, it will need to you provide details of one of your Facebook friends who has been using Hinge. He differentiates his app from the others (OkCupid and Match.com), saying that Hinge is for busy professionals who are looking for some relationships but no serious commitments.


Hinge—Who are the users?

Online dating has come a long way in the last 10 years. In US, around 80 percent of Americans have used digital dating services and consider it is an appropriate way to meet new people. Moreover, 5 percent of those in relationships say that they met their partner online.


Hinge is relatively new and has recently attracted some new users.


  • There are around 500,000 registered members.
  • The app isn’t available globally. In fact, Hinge is only available in a few cities across US.
  • The male to female subscribing ratio is 50 percent.
  • Average age for Hinge users is 23-26.
  • 99 percent of Hinge users are college graduated.


Is this app dangerous for your kids?

No matter how you portray a dating app, it’s going to stay a dating app with tons of stranger-dangers. Parents should know exactly if their kids have been using any dating app. Hinge does promote transparency and accountability, but the app isn’t foolproof against child predating and cyberbullying.


When users interact with each other on Hinge, they are encouraged to meet offline. Kids can recklessly share their pertinent information with predators and stalkers who would be actively trying to hurt or abuse them.


While there is a benefit of using Facebook account for sign up, there is a downside too. Hinge users have experienced stalking by the jilted subscribers who could easily locate the other Hinge users because all the Facebook profiles are public.


Also, Hinge uses shared experiences and this could be really problematic for your child. You don’t want your child to be bonding with someone who is streaking, suspended or partying. Another tendency amongst the kids is that they can easily engage in sexting. Our children could easily be exposed to unsolicited pornographic content. When kids are encouraged to share their photos or videos, not only can they face public humiliation, but can also be charged with child pornography.


Using apps like Trackmyfone allow parents to closely monitor the app that their kids are using.


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