How do you start conversations on dating apps? Do you use the simple "Hey, what's up?" or delve further into a stranger's life, asking their occupation, their interests, or what they look for in a potential mate?
Well, if you've never heard of the dating app Hinge, it's much different than your usual apps. Instead of apps like Tinder that give you options to meet/hook up with random people you don't know, Hinge sets its users up with friends of friends. Hinge is also geared toward dating and relationships, rather than hooking up.
So what do you think happened when Hinge launched a month-long experiment to find out the best way to start a conversation on dating apps? After 8 million "impressions" from users on the app, the results were surprising when it came to response time.
Within a 6 hour period, men were 25 percent less likely to respond if the women didn't message them. The findings found that this is due to the short attention span of men. In that same time span, women were only 5 percent less likely to respond if men messaged them, as women are more patient.
Users were also 0 percent likely to respond to a message that began with "Hey, what's up?" but were 20 to 31 percent more likely to respond to a question. (For example, "Sunday priorities: exercise, sleep, or aggressive mimosas?" had a 24 percent response rate, while prompting for a "Two truths and a lie?" had a 31 percent response rate.)
The study also explored conversation starters dependent on location, age, and gender:
Users in Los Angeles responded better to questions about pop culture ("Do you think Leo will ever get that Oscar?"), while users in Chicago responded to questions about the 90's ("What 90s song would you use as the title of your autobiography?").
Men were 98 percent more likely to respond to assertive messages, while women were 40 percent more likely to respond to messages about food.
Ages 24 to 28 responded best to questions about lifestyle (hobbies or what they do for fun), ages 29 to 34 responded to personal questions (two truths and a lie), and ages 35 and over responded to questions about pop culture.
Overall, the findings suggest that people using dating apps should try a little creativity with their conversation openers, while remembering that when in doubt, use pop culture references. Also, just stop using "What's up?" altogether. Seriously.