Meeting friends through friends is an old-fashioned, yet effective way to find the right match. Stemming from that idea and a thwarted encounter, founder Anton Gu created an app that lets you set up two of your friends through Facebook: Hitch. When asked what inspired him, he pragmatically replies:” I was single. Made an app.” Indeed…
For over a year now, Hitch has spread out worldwide, in 50 countries, and have been a success, with 85 percent of the “hitches” resulting in conversations and many leading to dating. In NYC alone, there are a couple of thousands of hitches every month. And that number keeps growing as more people join.
The beauty of this app is its personability: the intuition of your friends replaces the automated algorithm. Plus, you don’t necessarily need to be single to use it (and play matchmaker!). Many people in relationship introduce friends through the app.
Safe and anonymous, the Hitch process is also very simple: a pair of singles get matched by their mutual friend. Once they’ve been “hitched” and both accept, they can start a conversation and reveal their identity to each other. Eventually, they let the matchmaker friend know how many messages they exchanged and if they revealed their identity.
In this interview, read the insights of Anton about his app and how it can give a positive twist to your friends’ dating life and yours.
How did the idea for Hitch come about?
The story behind how I came up with the idea goes like this. About February last year I went to a gig with a group of friends. There was a girl in the group (there’s always a girl…) that I haven’t met before, a friend of a friend. She didn’t stay for very long and left, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to her. The next day I was sitting at home, thinking how could I get in touch with her. Short of asking our mutual friend for her number and being like “Hey, I’m that guy at the gig last night, I’d like to take you out”, I had nothing. I checked online and there was no app that I could use to get an introduction. So we made it. Hitch launched on the App Store in June and Play Store in August last year.
(To end the story, by the time the app was out, that girl from the gig was dating someone. But my friend introduced me to someone else. She is incredible. We are dating now).
What makes Hitch so special?
You know, when we built the app, we weren’t thinking, “Hey, what shall we build? What’s out there?”. I was single, I liked the idea of being introduced to new people by my friends and I’m convinced it’s the best way of meeting someone really special.
As we grew I started thinking about what actually attracts people to Hitch. The great thing about it is that the concept is simple: friends introduce two friends for a chat. People get excited when they get introduced to someone.
From an online dating perspective, there are a couple of problems that Hitch solves very well:
– Choice. There’s too much of it! People don’t want matches, they want people. One special someone.
– Reliability. Ok, so apparently you both like Taylor Swift. How do you know if that’s enough for a spark?
– Security. With other apps, you are meeting strangers. Sure, they have a profile, they are on the app, but you still don’t know them .
Remember, Hitch doesn’t introduce anyone. It’s all done by friends.
What is a great opening line, for singles meeting on Hitch?
My friends tell me that their “pick up line” is always the same: “So how do you know Anton?”. This friend’s validation makes communication very easy. We’ve removed the barrier because people have common ground before saying anything.
What advice would you give to singles for the first date?
Any success story you can tell us about?
I’ll tell you one of mine. I’ve introduced two of my friends on Hitch once. I knew they were both single, confident and very career oriented, so I thought they would get along. 30 minutes later I get a text from one of them “He’s really great. We just had coffee”. Wait, what? This is about 4pm on a Thursday. Turns out, they started chatting and realized that they work across the road from each other. What are the odds! They had coffee, dinner the next day and have been dating for a few months now. Awesome.
The transition from chatting on Hitch to meeting up in real life happens very quickly, at least for the friends that I have introduced.
What does it take to be a good “matchmaker”?
It takes knowing your friends very well to be a good matchmaker.
The male/female ratio is roughly 50/50. We tend to find that women are much more active in introducing friends. There’s a lady in Texas, she has introduced 14 couples on Hitch. She’s really good at this!
Join today to match your friends and/or get matched.
Spread the word out around you. Better than blind dates or party introduction, there is Hitch! Discreet, interactive, personable and fun!