The downside is that short profiles make it harder to figure out what a lot of people are looking for.
Knowing very little about a person can also make initial messaging a lot more challenging.
Originally the app focused on common connections and mutual friends that you and a potential partner shared on Facebook, which was a gimmick I was never sold on. Hinge has designed the app to make user profiles more engaging (and helpful) than on apps like Tinder.
You have the option of displaying a lot of useful information that could be deal breakers: your political leanings, your religion, your alcohol consumption frequency or even your interest level in having children someday.
You can still send a message -- it just won't show up in the recipient's inbox unless you match.
You'll need to wade through a sea of profiles, which makes it easy to pass over people you might have given a chance under different circumstances. I have friends who've met spouses through Ok Cupid. In fact, I've been on Ok Cupid, on and off, for roughly the last 11 years.
Profiles are a lot more in-depth than most online dating sites, and if you answer a seemingly endless series of questions (much like a personality test), they will spit out a reasonable Match/Enemy percentage ratio on profiles to help you gauge compatibility based on interests.
Because who doesn't enjoy sending a thoughtful message to someone who might never see it?
However, Ok Cupid has pointed out that these changes did help lower the number of offensive messages people received, which might be a worthwhile trade-off.