After a lot of focus grouping, surveying, and beta testing, we frequently found that the reason conversations fizzled was because users had forgotten to respond. This new feature serves as a simple reminder to encourage users to respond (In our initial market tests of this feature, we found it to decrease ghosting by 25%!)
The red badge/counter on the app icon in your phone is the sum of incoming likes, new matches, and conversations where it is your turn to respond. The blue badge/counter on the Matches tab inside your Hinge app is a sum of conversations where it is your turn to respond.
If it’s your turn to respond, but you’re not interested in talking to someone, you can simply remove them. If it’s your turn to respond, and you don't want to get rid of the match, but you don't feel like responding right away or you want to clear the badge/counter, you can hide that match (by sliding left and tapping hide) and return to that conversation later.