Dating app Hinge has launched a new set of features designed to empower LGBTIQA+ users to authentically represent and express themselves.
The app added pronouns and sexual orientation descriptors in 2021, offering more than 50 gender options, and now has become the first mainstream app to have an algorithm with gender selections that include non-binary.
With the new features, users also have access to new profile prompts to help them form better connections based on similarities and compatibility within LGBTIQA+ communities.
The prompts include icebreakers such as ‘I wish I could tell the younger version of myself’ and ‘the first TV character I ever identified with’.
Michelle Parsons, Hinge’s Chief Product Officer, told Pink Advocate that Hinge wanted to address the needs of LGBTIQA+ users as part of their mission to “create the most welcoming and effective dating app where everyone goes on great dates”.
The app and its team of PhDs and dating experts conducted user research with the community.
“We also consulted with GLAAD to develop these new features to be authentic, empowering, and connection-enhancing,” said Parsons.
“This is especially important for non-binary daters, who are often disappointed and disheartened by dating apps.”
Parsons said she found love herself on Hinge.
“I know the profound impact of what we do every day,” she said.
“These latest developments help everyone find someone special.”
The reception from LGBTIQA+ daters has been positive so far, and Hinge is continuing to listen to feedback.
“Apps need to be built with the LGBTIQA+ community in mind specifically,” said Parsons.
“We can’t just bolt on features and expect that to fulfill the needs.
“We must really think holistically about the unique needs of LGBTIQA+ individuals and how our product and features serve someone’s unique experiences and identity.
“I also believe that apps can serve a need beyond just romantic connections by helping to create a place for people to build and find a community.”
Parsons said that apps had an even greater role than helping people find love.
“When I was first coming out, it was really hard not knowing where to go to find a community,” she said.
“Dating apps helped me find people that ended up being long-time friends, as well as potential romantic partners.”