Hinge CEO on how online dating is changing during coronavirus

  • Since the start of the pandemic, dating apps have seen a spike in usage.
  • But users also have new concerns that these apps have to address. 
  • Business Insider spoke with the founder and CEO of Hinge, Justin McLeod, on how coronavirus has changed the face of dating for good and what the company is doing about it. 
  • Hinge is taking steps like launching a partnership with mental health space Headspace and pushing for more video-based dates – which could stay popular even after it’s safe to meet in person. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The way people meet and date has changed dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, and dating apps like Hinge are trying to keep up with the shift. 

People are going on more dates than ever before, but they’re not meeting up as frequently, Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of the dating app Hinge, told Business Insider. Hinge has adjusted its app to account for these changes. The company launched a video chat and voice call option in June. It also added an in-app link to the World Health Organization’s coronavirus safety guide. 

“Everyone has very shifting senses of what the right type of dating for them to experience is,” he said. “Managing that amount of complexity, and helping our product team manage how the world is changing so quickly, has definitely been a huge challenge.”

Across the board dating apps are seeing more traction from users. Match Group, the online dating company that owns apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge, all saw a spike in premium subscriptions and downloads since the start of the pandemic. Hinge saw a 30% increase in messages among users this past March, according to the company’s research team, Hinge Labs.

While this increased usage is good, online dating