Hinge CEO Justin McLeod denies dating app has ‘attractiveness score’

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By Dan Sears

Hinge’s CEO insisted that the dating app doesn’t have an “attractiveness score” despite mounting complaints that the online dating application only supplies a stream of subpar selections.

In an interview with Fortune Magazine shared to YouTube, Hinge chief Justin McLeod was asked about the influx of users complaining that “they’re getting matches with people who they wouldn’t necessarily meet with or talk to in real life.”

The interview referenced an unhappy singleton who said they were being shown candidates that “looked like they sneaked onto the earth” on an app that “is so deeply focused on compatibility.”

McLeod dodged answering the question directly with a long-winded response that said “matchmaking is hard” and “dating is very hard.”

“We don’t really have an attractiveness score,” McLeod ultimately said, adding that such a model would hurt the company’s expansion.

Hinge CEO Justin McLeod denied that the dating app has an “attractiveness score,” instead insisting there’s an algorithm that creates an “individualized taste profile of who you like and who likes you back.” Getty Images for Inc

“When we help people get on more dates, we grow faster, and people tell their friends more,” McLeod told Fortune. “If we were to trade that off by limiting your experience [or] by getting you to just pay more money, that wouldn’t be good for our overall long-term trajectory.”

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The algorithm is more of an “individualized taste profile of who you like and who likes you back,” McLeod said.

When asked what makes up that so-called “taste profile,” McLeod said “we look at who you like and who’s like you, and who you’ve passed on and who’s passed on you.”

“That gives us a sense, generally, using machine learning, to understand how likely you are to like someone and how much is someone likely to like you back,” McLeod added of the app, which works by letting users like or reject users that appear on their feed, which boasts an array of photos and “prompts” about eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

McLeod was also sure to note that Hinge does have “effectiveness and efficiency overall in the app [because] we are getting people out on great dates, and that’s why I think you’re seeing that people, generally today, meet online more than anywhere else.”

However, Hinge users were not impressed by the response, commenting on a snippet of the interview posted to Fortune’s TikTok account that McLeod “is not really saying there’s no attractiveness score…. He’s not really answering what makes up the ‘who likes you who you like back who passes on.’”

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“I feel gaslit,” another wrote, while a handful of others chimed in “same” and “ran here to say the same thing.”

“The whole rose standout concept made it sooooo evident that they have an attractiveness score, whether it’s called that or not,” yet another commented, referencing a feature on Hinge where users can send someone special spotted on their feed a rose, which ensures that you get their attention.

Roses, similar to “Super Likes” on Tinder, is typically a strong indication that a user is particularly interested in someone.

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“This guy doesn’t make money when you meet someone good and delete the app. His profit comes from you on Hinge for years and years!” another comment read.

Hinge’s tagline, meanwhile, is “designed to be deleted,” assuming users find true love and then no longer have a need for the dating app.

Over on X, the sentiment was similar. “You monsters on Hinge are ugly as f–k,” one disgruntled user posted, while another wrote: “I’m convinced im ugly because only unattractive guys on hinge like me.”

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Hinge’s tagline is that the app is “designed to be deleted,” but users on social media claimed that it’s algorithm, which supposedly rates users on their attractiveness, is intended to keep users on the app. picsmart – stock.adobe.com

“If i see one more ugly man on hinge i’m gonna riot,” a third complained on X.

Despite the grievances, Hinge is on track to rake in “well over $400 million” in 2024, McLeod added in the Fortune interview last month — a staggering advance from the less than $1 million the company made in 2017.

“We’re setting up a date every two seconds now. And we’re the number three dating app globally,” he added.

Representatives for Hinge did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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