I think that’s the simplest way to do it. And the reason that we do it is just because I think there’s there’s real value in making sure that profiles are high fidelity and representative of people, so that when you end up on the date, you’re like, this is the person that I thought I was chatting with on the other end of this. And you’re not perpetually disappointed and discouraged and quit, because you’re like, “Oh, I go on these dates, and I meet up with this person, and then it’s not anything like I thought it was in the app.”
So it felt important not to just to measure whether people were scheduling dates or going on dates, but actually whether when they got on the date, it was like, “Oh yeah, this was an experience like I thought it was going to be, which is why I spent all the time and energy and money to actually go out and meet up with this person.”
What do you do with the fact that it seems like more of the actual experience of dating – and all social interaction – is happening online?
Your push has always been to get off the app and into the world and meet each other. But to some extent, that’s been impossible for the last couple of years. And that’s also just not necessarily where society is now: People spend more of their leisure time hanging out with their friends in Fortnite, and I would argue that qualifies as something like meaningful social interaction! People are spending longer messaging in Hinge before they meet each other in real life, or going on Skype dates. How do you square that with this idea of wanting people to get out in the world to meet each other?
I still very much want to get people, I would say, off Hinge and into more meaningful interactions. And if that’s playing Fortnite with someone, then that’s playing Fortnite with someone. And if that’s meeting up in real life, it’s meeting up in real life.
Why not? What we’re optimizing around is initiation, and enough interest that you want to go to the next level. What the next level is, is kind of up to you.
It’s just a much higher-fidelity experience. But as these virtual experiences become more and more immersive and realistic, and the opportunity to really engage with people, then getting more comfortable with someone or spending a little bit more time digitally, to make sure before you meet up with someone in real life that this is someone you want to meet, I think is great.
But – I guess I’m old-fashioned – I still believe that nothing can replace, especially when it comes to dating and love, being together in person
Is there such a thing as the perfect algorithm? Is the Holy Grail that I sign up, and on the first day I join Hinge, it’s like, “There. That’s your person.”
We may get there one day. But I think the job right now is to get you in the ballpark, and then let you decide, once you get offline with this person, if this is the person for you or not.
This is a dumb comparison, but it makes me think of streaming. I talk to these streaming executives, and my question is always: Is the goal that I open Netflix, and it just sort of knows what I want and plays it for me? Some people say yes to that. And other people say, well, no, because even if I’ve loaded the thing that is statistically perfect for you, the odds that that is actually the thing you want to watch at that moment are probably pretty low.