Hinge dating app launches $1M initiative combatting Gen Z loneliness

Hinge dating app launches $1M initiative combatting Gen Z loneliness

Dive Brief:

  • Dating app Hinge has announced a new social impact initiative, “One More Hour,” intended to inspire more in-person connections among Gen Z, per a press release. 
  • The initiative is backed by a $1 million fund that will provide grants of up to $25,0000 to social groups and organizations in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta that are dedicated to helping the younger cohort find belonging. 
  • Hinge will track the number of connections made through the initiative and monitor the impact on consumers’ well-being. The move builds on other efforts by the dating app meant to combat loneliness and comes as other marketers focus on in-person activations.

Dive Insight:

For a dating app like Hinge, whose raison d’etre is making social connections, less time spent together among the younger generation could be cause for concern. Young adults today spend 1,000 fewer hours making in-person social connections each year than the young adults of 20 years ago, per data cited in the release. With One More Hour, Hinge is attempting to flip the script. 

“Adding more time to connect in person with others is one of those things that’s easy to say but is actually a little challenging to do,” said Josh Penny, Hinge’s director of social impact, in the release. “Social clubs and groups offer young adults the chance to plug into recurring moments of connection and to find community along the way. With One More Hour’s new fund, we simply want to make these important resources more accessible.”

Beginning in January 2024, Hinge will hold an open call for organizations in the three designated cities to apply to receive a grant ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 each. To select recipients and set benchmarks, the company teamed with DoSomething Strategic and the Foundation for Social Connection, and a handful of Gen Z judges will help make final decisions. Hinge will track the number of connections made through the efforts and will monitor success through surveys that will measure the impact on participants’ well-being, per release details. 

The One More Hour initiative follows other moves by Hinge that promote in-person connections. For instance, the company joined the Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness earlier this year, and worked with the Foundation for Social Connection to create a distraction-free dating guide in September. During the pandemic, it teamed with the U.S. surgeon general to help combat loneliness among the dating community.

As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, other marketers have also been prioritizing in-person events and activations. For example, Gen Z retailer American Eagle expanded its back-to-school marketing in September with an immersive, two-day pop-up event in New York City that tied into what CMO Craig Brommers described as the brand’s biggest outdoor push since the pandemic. Earlier this month, Bath & Body Works launched a creative platform encouraging busy consumers to take a moment to pause, which it kicked off with the drop of a 10-foot candle in New York City’s Herald Square.

Aside from Hinge, other dating apps this year have been attempting to shore up a stronger connection with their users. In October, Tinder enlisted “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett for a marketing campaign raising awareness about toxic online behavior. In July, Bumble teamed with the “Barbie” movie to offer users of the dating app a chance to match with the movie’s multiple versions of the Barbie and Ken characters.

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