Hangs: A clubbing app or a poor man’s tinder?

Words by Tiffany Wong

Someone clicks going on an event on Facebook, “Stay Tuned | A Student Music Festival”. I click the event. It’s conveniently located at Courtyard, is student-run with student-DJs (kudos DJ Soc) and has a sustainability policy (thanks to USYD Sustainable Ocean Alliance) but… ugh, I’ll be away!

I click on the Facebook page of the main host, Hangs – Sydney’s Free Clubbing App. I consider that this app might help me find another event that seems just as cool and prevent FOMO - this girl wants to go out!

And so, the download of this app begins. The designer has gone for a nice yellow, but the logo for Hangs resembles a wonky ‘M’ rather than an ‘h’ with an extra line. But that’s okay, I’m not a visual designer, just a judgmental millennial who wants an event to go to.

Quickly, however, disappointment seeps in. After the anticipation of the slow NBN download, Hangs is only advertising one event and that is, Stay Tuned. When you click it, it just redirects you to Facebook. And there you find that on average, Hangs has one event every month, and with the deets plastered on their Facebook page. So… what’s the point of the app?

If you’re planning an event, Hangs can “sponsor the night and throw you a free pub crawl” (right now, I have nothing to celebrate except for the inevitable fact I will fail my exams because I am procrastinating by writing). They also advertise that they’re hiring pub crawl leaders, student ambassadors, marketing interns (somebody please apply to fix up that logo) just in case your desire to party is a vocation and not an ephemeral thought.

I move on from the event tab to the ‘social’ tab. All the users are students. Just everyday students who go out. “Im just here for the clubbing discounts” – if only we knew how to get these discounts! Other people here seem to have a friend-making problem, “undergrad with no mates”, “UberEats… but for emotional intimacy”

Here is where I’m confronted with the fact that Hangs is quite possibly a dating app in disguise. There’s a “professional butthole tickler” (Props for odd fetish?) and a request to “find me if you’re Bengali” (a clear callout for a future partner to take home to mum and dad). What confirmed my suspicions was the sight of “the best SoundCloud rapper”, multiple House of Cameo profile photos, and self-proclaimed meme lords. This is literally on a fake Tinder.

I suspect most of these profiles are inactive, but I message a handful anyway – what is the etiquette on this? I try to say something about their ten-words-or-less bio like, “I really vibe this,” — an outright sarcastic comment — and a half-hearted invite to the confines of Courtyard to drink wine.

It dawns on me that I can see their surname. On what app have I ever seen someone’s FULL NAME? (Except most people use their full names for their insta handles — rookie error). But FULL NAME? What’s next – student ID number, tax file number??? Regardless, I am staring at a screen with names of people that I could search up on Facebook (can confirm that this is easy as I have tried a couple of names myself). I had no idea this was what I signed up for.

Yes, I’ll probably end up deleting this app like Tinder and Bumble and all that came before – but not till I’ve either:

a) gotten a response from the awkward assembly of inactive users; or

b) applied to work at Hangs

Whether it’s a date or a new job to post about on LinkedIn, I want something from this app. Or I could just queue for Ivy this Thursday cos the wait for a reply will probably take just as long.

Pulp Editors