These days there isn’t much we can all agree on, but here’s a perennial truth: online dating isn’t easy. If you’re looking for love and haven’t found any luck on Tinder or similar platforms, the dating app Hinge is testing a new service for the online dater who thinks sex is cool but way too time-consuming. It’s called Audrey. Business Insider reports the service costs a steep $99 a month, though Hinge was not able to confirm that figure with Gizmodo.
Hinge describes Audrey as “a powerful personal assistant that allows you to spend less time on the app and more time on great dates.” While the company has yet to specify whether Audrey is a bot, it will “reach out, introduce you, and schedule a date if the feeling is mutual.” If the feeling isn’t mutual, Audrey will also provide you with “data and feedback along the way to help you find that perfect match.”
For those unfamiliar with the seemingly infinite number of Tinder clones, Hinge has positioned itself as a sort of anti-Tinder. On Hinge, you’re not supposed to hook-up. It’s a place for relationships. In October, the company unveiled a new layout for the app that did away with swiping—instead, you “like” parts of people’s profiles, and they can respond if they’re interested. They also released a bizarre video called “The Dating Apocalypse.”
Hinge has yet to specify whether the person receiving Audrey’s messages would know whether they’re coming from the service or think they’re coming from the person you’re going out with. The idea of this service seems superfluous, but at least one of my single male coworkers said he was into the idea.
If Hinge doesn’t let the person on the other end know that you’re using Audrey, the question arises: is it ethical for a bot or person employed by a dating app to impersonate you so you can get laid?
We’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out. Audrey will apparently soon be available to the coastal elites of New York City, but Hinge has yet to announce when it’ll be available to a broader audience. Mostly, it’s surprising that it’s taken Silicon Valley this long to come up with a dating service for people who want to bone but find online dating too intimate.