Hinge CEO: advertising would be 'antithetical' to our message

Hinge brands itself as the dating app that's 'designed to be deleted'.

Justin McLeod, founder and chief executive officer of Hinge, said the goal is to create an entertaining but ultimately effective user experience that takes people off the app and out on dates.

"We don't use advertising...because that would be pretty antithetical to the way that we work," said McLeod. "If you run ads, then you need people to spend a lot of time on your platform so that you get a lot of ad impressions, and we're trying to get you to spend less time in the app."

McLeod said he could see Hinge exploring brand partnerships that "deliver value to our users," but the app will "almost certainly" never sell ad inventory.

Hinge is free, though it offers an advanced option with more services. The paid version has a tiered subscription model, where users pay between $5-$13 per month depending on their plan.

Match Group, which owns Hinge, would not disclose how many users are on Hinge or how many pay for the app. McLeod did say that people "typically stay on the app for a few months".

The question then becomes how does a 'freemium' app with no ads make money, especially one that's meant to be deleted.

"How we stay alive is the bet that there will always be single people in the world, and that they're going to use the app that is most effective," said McLeod.

To boost effectiveness, Hinge recently redesigned its app. It changed the delete button from red to grey to make users feel more positive about deleting the app. It also made notifications more subtle and less "bouncy" to make the app less gamified.

Hinge also updated its color palette to create a more vibrant design, and it added over 60 character illustrations to "enrich" the app with more personality.

"I think that we felt the previous design was a little cold, a little immature, and I think we wanted something that was bright and vibrant and bold," said McLeod.