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Hily Dating App Review For 2021 (Does It Actually Work?)

You landed here, so you’re probably wondering if Hily is a good dating app. It cracked the top 10 most downloaded dating apps in 2020, ranking a respectable #7.

So it may be popular, but will it work better for you than Tinder, Bumble or Hinge? This Hily dating app review has all the info you need to decide if it’s worth a shot:

Click the link and jump to what you're most curious about, or start at the top!

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How The Hily Dating App Works

Co-founded in 2017 by Yan Pronin and Alex Pasykov, Hily’s name is an acronym for “Hey, I like you.”

What sets it apart in the crowded dating app space? Machine learning. 

According to Pronin, the matching AI focuses more on compatibility than it does on attractiveness level.

Hily compatibility filters

The AI looks for mutual interests and identifies people with a higher probability of matching.

The algorithm also learns from all the ways in which you interact with the app, including your dialogue, who you like (and if they like you back), the photos you send, etc.

Theoretically, the more you use Hily, the better your matches should get.

Even though Hily doesn’t assign you an attractiveness rating, you do still get an internal score. In Hily’s case, it reflects your “risk” level

Factors that affect your Hily risk score include:

  • How many levels of profile verification you passed
  • How (and how often) you interact with the app
  • What kind of messages you send
  • Getting blocked, or any complaints other users have lodged about you

If your risk score creeps up into the danger zone, Hily essentially ghosts your profile – other users will be blocked from being able to interact with yours.

Matching On Hily

Like Tinder, Hily has a mutual opt-in format. When two people like each other, they can exchange messages.

While scrolling through your matches in the “Finder” feed, you double tap the photo to “like” a profile, or pull your finger down to skip it.

Hily match example

You can also use the Heart and X icons to like or pass on a potential match.

Hily has a compatibility test you can take that determines your matching score with someone.

Hily compatibility quiz

You must answer at least 10 questions to reveal a match score, and there are 40 total.

Hily compatibility score

Doing a compatibility check is a premium feature. You’ll get your match percentage, and also see a detailed breakdown of how it was calculated.

Filtering Your Hily Matches

Unless you’re a Premium subscriber (more on that coming up in a bit), Hily’s match filters are rather limited. 

Free users can filter by distance, but the range starts at 31 miles away.

Hily's distance filters

The other free filters are just age and gender.

Advanced filters are bundled into the premium upgrade, and include:

  • Global search (change your location)
  • Nearby search (within 30 miles)
  • Body type
  • More than 1 photo
  • Verified only
  • Looking for
Hily's Advanced filters
Chatting With Matches

You can exchange messages once you’ve matched with someone for free. 

Either tap the conversation icon on their profile to send one, or go to the Message section by tapping the conversation icon in the menu bar.

Hily Message section

To start a conversation on Hily, you can send the suggested icebreaker, or use one of these proven conversation starters that work great on apps like Tinder.

Hily also has a Random Talk feature, where you can send someone you haven’t matched with yet a chat request or a message.

The chat requests are also displayed in your Message section:

Hily Random Talk feature

But to send a message before matching, you’ll need Hily Premium.

To respond to a chat request, just tap it and send a message. 

If you want to video chat, simply tap the video icon. You can also tap on their profile to see more information about the person who sent the chat request.

Hily also has a “Video” section where you can post stories, join live streams (called “Live Talks”) with other users, and start your own live feed.

Hily video features

The video section has its own set of filters that let you see videos based on gender and location.

Hily video features

You can use coins, the in-app currency, to promote your stream or “show appreciation” for someone else’s live stream. Coins can also be spent to boost your visibility in a Live Talk.

Want to look your best when using Hily’s video-based features? Check out these video dating tips!

Hily Events

This section shows you who you’ve matched with, who has “liked” your profile, and who you’ve already liked. You can interact with profiles from any of the screens. 

You can go to the “Events” screen by tapping the notification icon in the menu bar.

Hily events section

How Much It Costs* To Use Hily

Hily’s core features are free. You can check out profiles, and message or video chat with your matches for free.

But like most dating apps, Hily also has an upgrade available. 

It’s called Hily Premium, and it costs $7.99 a week. A single month costs $29.99, and a lifetime membership is $199.99.

How much Hily costs

Some of the Premium benefits on Hily work a little differently than on apps like Tinder.

Hily designates some of them as “consumables” – so even when you upgrade, you’re still limited on how many times you can use it. 

These are Hily Premium’s “consumable” features, as well as their limits:

  • Ability to send a message before matching with someone. Limit: 2/day
  • See who liked and visited your profile. Limit: 2/day
  • Compatibility results, which is a breakdown of your match score. Limit: 2/day
  • Rollbacks, which lets you undo a swipe. Limit: 2/day

And here are the unlimited use Premium Hily features:

  • Unlimited “likes”
  • Access to the advanced match filters
  • Incognito Mode, which means your profile isn’t visible in the Finder feed
  • Access to the most popular video stories
  • On Top Visibility, which puts your profile at the top of other people’s “likes you” list
  • Search for users within 30 miles of you, or from a selected location
  • Search for users globally, which is akin to Tinder’s Passport feature

Hily also has a “Premium Store”, where you can buy the consumable features on a per-use basis, whether or not you’re an upgraded member:


This feature shows you what people who are interested in your profile look like. Unblurring a profile on Hily costs anywhere from 30 cents to $1.60 per use.

Chat Requests 

This premium feature lets you send a message or a chat request before you’ve actually matched with someone.

It also costs between 30 cents and $1.60 per request or message, depending on the quantity you purchase.

Chat request cost
Compatibility Checks

This feature reveals your match percentage, as well as how it got calculated. It also costs between 30 cents and $1.60 per check.

Hily compatibility check cost

This feature allows you to undo your last swipe on Hily.

Like some of the other consumable premium features, it starts at $1.60 per use when you buy 5 Rollbacks, and comes down to $0.30 each when you buy 100.

How much it costs to undo a swipe on Hily
Stream Coins

Stream coins can be spent to boost your livestream, let someone know you enjoyed theirs, or to get priority placement during a Live Talk.

Hily Coin cost
Profile Boosts

On Hily, a profile boost is an ongoing subscription, unlike on Tinder where boosting your profile lasts 30 mins. Boosting your profile on Hily costs $9.99 per week.

Hily profile boost

The profile boost subscription automatically renews, but you can cancel it at any time.

You can also bundle some of the ala carte features for a significant savings by tapping Hily's “Big Bundle” special offer.

Hily big bundle offer

(*Editor’s Note: All pricing listed may vary depending on your location.)

If you purchase a Premium Hily subscription then decide to unsubscribe later, or if you participate in the free trial offer, it’s essential to cancel it via the store you bought it from (App Store, Play Store or Huawei Store). 

Simply deleting the app or deleting your Hily profile will *not* cancel the subscription.

If you take the new user offer of a free 7-day trial subscription, you must cancel it at least 24 hours prior to the end of its term to avoid being charged when it automatically renews at the weekly rate.

Is Hily A Good Dating App For You To Try?

To decide, let’s take a look at Hily’s pros & cons.

On the plus side:

  • Hily requires all users to verify their account in at least 1 of 4 ways, so most of the users are likely legit. 
  • The many video-based features make it easy to get a true sense of a potential match’s personality and appearance.
  • Like Bumble, Hily’s AI actively screens for offensive content. It has an explicit filter you can toggle on and off to block it located in the “Settings” menu.
Hily Explicit filter

On the minus side:

  • Unless you pay for Hily, your distance filter *starts* at 31 miles away. That means if you're in an area with a ton of users, you'll be seeing profiles for people it may be very inconvenient to actually date.
  • With its “consumables” approach to limiting use of some premium features even when you upgrade, and turning others into a subscription model, the app seems to take every opportunity to upsell you.
  • Messaging before matching is a premium feature, so some users may still get unwanted clutter in their message feeds.
  • While it’s growing in popularity, it still doesn’t have the user base of apps like Tinder, Bumble or Hinge.

The Verdict:

Hily’s growing popularity makes it worth a download, just to see who is using it in your area. Some sources have said it’s most popular with millenials, and the built-in video features will likely appeal to users under 35.

The biggest downside is the 31-mile distance filter, as you’ll need to upgrade to filter for the singles who are nearby.

But since the app offers a free 7-day trial, you can sign up and see if anyone intrigues you. Just remember to cancel it following the steps outlined in the user agreement.

Hily Dating App Sign Up Process

Hily is available via the App Store or Google Play

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can create an account via your Apple, Facebook or Snapchat account or with your mobile number.

Hily gender selection

First you’ll be prompted to select how you identify: male, female or non-binary, as well as who you’re looking to meet.

Follow the prompts to add your first name and date of birth, and to enable location features so you can see other users nearby. 

Next you’ll upload your photos, or take a new one via the app. 

Hily requires you to upload at least 3 photos or videos to see all the available pics of your matches.

That’s a good rule of thumb to follow for any dating app, because a lineup of less than 3 makes it hard for someone to get a taste of your lifestyle and personality. There is space for 6.

Your primary photo has the biggest impact, so consider these science-backed photo tips when choosing yours!

perfect dating photo

Then, select your education level, occupational field, and what type of relationship you’re on Hily to find:

Hily relationship selection

The app then asks how you feel about zodiac compatibility and video chatting.

Zodiac compatibility question

Now the focus shifts to your match criteria, which you can change at any time in the filters. 

While the app identifies your initial matches, you’ll be offered a chance to sign up for Hily Premium.

You can start checking out your matches right away, but first you’ll want to look like a hot prospect yourself.

Writing Your Hily Profile

Like Tinder, Hily bios have a max of 500 characters. You’re answering the question “What do others need to know about you.”

bad Hily profile example

It’s the perfect opportunity to highlight what makes you good relationship material, but you want to do it in a way that’s natural and engaging.

Good Hily profile example

For more inspiration and profile tips, check out these short dating profile examples that really work.

When it comes to other biographical data, Hily lets you get pretty specific. 

Your profile can display:

  • Your education level and alma mater
  • What you do for a living
  • Your future plans regarding kids & whether or not you currently have some
  • Pet ownership details
  • Religious affiliation
  • Body type
  • The ethnicity you identify with
  • Drinking habits
  • Smoking habits
  • Dietary habits (i.e. halal or vegan)

If you’re using Hily to find a serious relationship, taking the time to complete your entire profile signals that you’re committed to the process.

Hily Profile Verification
Hily profile verification

Hily offers users 4 ways to verify their profile:

  1. Selfie verification. You take a selfie while copying the gesture shown in the prompt (the photo is not included in your profile).
  2. Linking Instagram. You can also include IG pics in your Hily profile.
  3. Linking Facebook. If you verify your profile with Facebook, you can also log in via Facebook. However Facebook is not required to use Hily.
  4. Mobile number. Simply provide your phone number, then input the verification code you receive via text.

Your profile displays how many of the verification processes you went through.

Considering Hily Because Other Dating Apps Aren’t Working For You?

Online dating has never been more popular than it is right now – and that means you have to work even harder to get your profile noticed.

Matching with the singles you want to meet most takes work. 

Your profile, your photos, the messages you send and when you send them – if you don’t have the skills and the strategy to market yourself effectively, you’ll likely get lost in the shuffle.

If you’re looking for a serious relationship, why leave anything to chance? 

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