Dating app development

The days are gone when people used to engage in physical meetups to find their soulmates. 

Today, the rise of dating apps and platforms makes it easy for someone to browse hundreds and thousands of profiles by swiping right or left, message them, and fix a date. 

Smartphones have become the digital romance partner for all of us, due to which the dating landscape has changed. People including young adults and older generations are looking to find lifelong partners and create meaningful relationships with each other. 

Revenue from dating apps has been increasing since 2015 and reaching $4.94 billion in 2022. 

 Additionally, dating apps such as Bumble generated a revenue of $694 in 2022 and their revenue increased by 30% as compared to the previous year. 

Now, you understand that the dating app industry is on the rise and considered profitable. If you too want to earn revenue from such industry, then the ball is in your court now. 

In this blog, we will discuss in detail what dating apps are, the process of dating app development, and the cost of creating such an app

An Overview of Dating Apps  

Dating apps refer to software or mobile applications created to establish connections between people interested in romance or casual friendship.  

Millennials generally prefer to stay active on these apps as they can afford to pay for extra features to create meaningful relationships. 

A dating app allows users to search for various profiles and set up a date with a relevant partner based on interests, preferences, and geography.  

The partners can then use the messaging feature of the app to get to know each other.  

Creating a dating app isn’t just confined to simplicity, rather it should provide a smooth user experience. You can find tons of dating apps in the market such as Tinder, Bumble, Badoo, etc.  

According to a report, nearly 91 million people are either active on one or more dating apps. 

Around 300 million people prefer to use dating apps as they crave to find love for themselves. 

Dating apps are not merely a platform, people love to spend time on such apps so they can pair it with a relevant match and form close connections.   

As a business owner, developing a dating app becomes a profitable option for you given that the revenue in the dating app market reached $4.94 billion during the year 2022.   

What Features Should You Include in Dating App Development? 

When creating a dating app, these are the MUST-HAVE features you should include. 

1. Sign in option 

A sign-in feature is essential when building a dating app. The registration process for creating a dating app should be simple and not time-consuming. 

There are various ways through which users can access the app – signing in through phone number/email or social media platforms. 

The sign-in process becomes easier when users can log in to the app and connect their social media profiles with a dating app. 

For instance – Dating apps like TINDER have added a feature allowing users to login using a social media integration feature such as Facebook. 

Other dating apps might require you to complete a verification process such as uploading your profile picture or undergoing verification checks using their contact number during the sign-in process. 

2. Geolocation 

Another important feature to add when creating a dating app is to add Geolocation. 

This lets users find nearby matches and connect with those in their preferred search radius. Users can even find the best match for themselves even if the partner is 100 miles away. 

Partners can find their soulmates no matter if they live in France, Mexico, or Bali and can narrow down their searches based on location.  

Thus, you are likely to retain your customers on the app as users can find new connections from different locations. 

Dating app developers at BigOhTech add a Geolocation API feature in creating such apps to find connections close to their area. 

For Instance – Tinder, a dating app allows users to find their soulmates close to where they live. This app uses GPS navigation to find connections in their nearby area. 

3. Matching algorithms 

There should be a matching algorithm that uses AI algorithms to suggest smarter matches based on age, interests, user preferences, location, etc.  

The more accurate matches an app suggests, the more likely users are to stay on the app which increases user engagement. 

Dating apps can apply various types of matching algorithms such as location-based matching and behavior-based matching, meaning how users interact with the app.  

For Instance – The Tinder algorithm provides you with a score based on how other profiles like you. The right swipes on your profile will be considered as a win. 

 The higher score for your profile indicates that it will now be matched with others having similar scores. 

However, it considers finding a perfect match for the user based on how you interact with someone else’s profile.  

Tinder has recently shifted to another algorithm where the app considers various factors for finding potential matches.  

These factors include – whether the individual is active on the platform or not, desired age span, hobbies of members, and whether the profile is receiving maximum likes or nopes. 

4. Push Notifications  

If you want users to stay engaged with your app, consider adding a push notifications feature. 

Push notifications remind the users when they find a perfect match, or when they receive a message.  

It is a great way to keep in touch with your customers even when they are not active on your app. 

You can increase user engagement rates by sending personalized push notifications. Make sure to not overwhelm users with too many push notifications otherwise, they might end up uninstalling the app.  

5. In-app chat  

To keep the users hooked on your app, adding real-time chat functionality is crucial. 

When partners can communicate with each other in real-time by sending images, videos, voice notes, and GIFs, it makes the conversation more engaging and interactive.  

This way, you can know more about the potential match. 

After all, the objective of any dating app is to bring 2 strangers closer to each other so that they can continue the conversation. 

6. Video calls  

During the pandemic, video dating has become a trend, and it will continue to rise in the coming years. 

With the video calling feature, they can build more personal relationships as they get to know each other, and they can go beyond chat. 

Before meeting in person, video calls take the conversation to the next level as they can talk to each other comfortably especially if the person lives in different countries.  

Thus, they can decide whether they should continue a conversation or not. 

7. Gamification  

Research studies indicate that a huge number of users use online dating apps and many of them experience psychological stress. 

Gamifying the dating experience in an app allows users to overcome dating fatigue. 

Adding gamification (rewards, challenges, badges, quizzes) to your dating app keeps users interested and retains them for longer.  

Dating has now become a gamified experience and adding such experiences to the app encourages more participation. 

Tinder for instance offers different tiers to users such as Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum. Purchasing such premium plans helps users unlock boost/super boosts and super likes. 

With a premium plan, they get more profile views. This makes users enjoy the dating process and they are focused more on swiping games instead of meeting new people. 

software developers

Step-By-Step Process in Dating App Development  

After creating a checklist of features you need to include, next comes the step of how to create a dating app for your business-  

1. Know who your target audience is  

The first step of building a dating app starts with identifying who your target audience is and what their objectives are behind using such an application. 

Each user is of a different age and has specific goals and preferences. So, creating an app that aligns with their goals and preferences is super important.  

Before developing a dating app, be clear whether you want to target a specific demographic or people who are serious about relationships. 

Map a buyer persona to figure out which type of user is interested in spending time on your app.  

If you don’t have clarity as to what are the pain points and preferences of your target audience, study various dating apps, and do some research about dating market value and trends. Such information will help you to create a standout dating app.  

Popular dating apps

For Instance – Tinder and Bumble are the 2 most popular dating apps that dominate the US dating market. So, if you are someone who wants to cater to a US audience, research these apps. 

2. Do competitor analysis  

Conduct competitor research to see what are the most popular dating apps and platforms that are gaining prominence in the market. 

Doing a competitor analysis helps you understand why they are successful in the market or what is the cause behind their failure.  

Identify the strengths and weaknesses of competitors so you will identify some gaps that help you build a successful dating application like Tinder/Bumble. 

Post that, go through the business models of successful dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Studying all these will help you position your app in the market. 

Gathering such insights helps you differentiate your app from the rest. Then, create something that users can’t find anywhere else. 

Bonus point – If possible, make sure to create an account on apps like Tinder and Bumble. Experiment with their functionality and see what features they have. 

3. Validate your dating app idea 

Creating a new dating app is not a piece of cake. You always have questions in mind about whether users will accept your app or not, and whether it will meet their needs or not. 

For that, you can create polls for your target audience and ask them what functionality they would like to see, and which element is more important for them.  

You can start with a blank lean canvas and fill the blocks to evaluate the viability of dating app ideas.  

Here are the few blocks you need to fill-  

Steps for dating app idea validation
  • What problems your target audience has  
  • What is your solution  
  • Unique selling proposition of the app  
  • Cost  
  • How your app is different from others  
  • Segment of audience  
  • Revenue channels  

According to Forbes, nearly 3 in 10 US adults say that they have used a dating app and around 40% stated that dating has become easier for them with the introduction of online dating apps.  

Do you wonder why these apps are becoming popular?  

  • Because people get an option to form connections even if they have a busy lifestyle. Dating apps offer convenience to them to browse various profiles at their fingertips.  
  • They can find potential matches no matter in which geographical region their partner lives in. 
  • Online dating apps reduce social anxiety as people get a virtual face-to-face platform to initiate their conversations. 

4. Decide the monetization model  

Now, it’s time for you to choose the monetization model because every business wants to earn revenue especially if you are providing a platform for men and women to date online. 

Here are popular dating app monetization strategies you can use to increase your app revenue-  

A. Subscription-based model 

Creating a subscription model for users means your app will offer different tiers of benefits ranging from basic to advanced plan. 

Big players in the dating app market are using 3-tier subscription models such as free, standard, and premium models.  

This model is a great way to earn a regular revenue stream by offering subscription services to users who date online. 

B. In-app purchase  

Another way to earn revenue from apps is to offer in-app purchases. Here, users can buy items within your dating app. 

In-app purchases are suitable for users who want to make a one-time purchase instead of a one-time recurring payment. Through an app purchase, you can get access to exclusive items on the dating app. 

For Instance – In the case of the Bumble business model, most of the app revenue comes from in-app purchases. A partner can enhance the visibility of the profile and increase the chances of finding a potential match by purchasing super swipes and spotlight features. 

In the case of Tinder, it offers an in-app purchase called Tinder Plus where users can unlock additional benefits such as getting unlimited likes on their profile, 5 super likes/day, and rewinding the swipes at the cost of $8.99 per month.  

C. Freemium model  

The most popular model among dating apps is known as the Freemium model.  

Under the Freemium model, users can access the basic app features for free.  

However, they are required to pay to access advanced features in dating apps such as advanced swipes, profile boosting, gift purchasing, unlimited likes, etc. 

Research studies state that Gen Z is more inclined to pay for dating apps as compared to the older generation.  

Dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble work on the Freemium model. Users can find potential matches in one area and do 25 free swipes per day.  

However, if the user is willing to find a match in different locations and wants to do unlimited swipes and location shifts, then the user can unlock the Tinder Plus subscription.  

This way, users can have a good dating experience.  

5. Choose the technology stack 

Here, you need to decide technology stack for building a dating app.  

You can create engaging front-end user interfaces using technologies such as react native for cross-platform app development, flutter for providing a native experience, Kotlin for Android, and Swift for iOS.  

The tech stack required for developing dating apps includes JavaScript, HTML 5, and Python.  

For backend development, you can go with Nodejs programming language and Mongo DB for flexibility. 

To turn your dating app idea into a successful app, you should partner with the right app development company that has expertise in creating similar kinds of apps.  

You need the support of software developers who have profound knowledge of databases and mobile technology.  

6. Choose a dating app development team 

Now, comes the part of choosing an experienced app development partner who can transform dating app ideas into reality.  

With plenty of software vendors available in the market, it might be a challenging option for you to choose the one that meets your expectations. 

Go with the one who has expertise in creating dating apps. Head over to the portfolio section to see what projects they have served in the past and go through their client testimonials. 

The app development company you choose should have a dedicated team of front-end and back-end developers, designers, and quality analysts. 

7. Create an engaging UI/UX design  

Generally, dating app users find it challenging to get on a platform that is user-friendly and visually appealing at the same time. 

So, you need to pay close attention to how your app looks and feels to users. 

When deciding the UI/UX design of your app, ensure to select warm colors, there should be seamless navigation and the app looks aesthetic as per the taste of modern consumers. 

For creating an appealing UI/UX design for the dating app, partner with experienced UI/UX designers who will design an engaging dating app user interface. 

8. Develop and launch MVP 

After selecting a mobile app development partner, the next step is to create a basic version of the product.  

Our MVP development team will conduct a discovery call with you to know your business goals, understand project requirements, and decide the essential features to include in the dating app. 

The basic version is launched on the market and once feedback is obtained from the target market, the final product is fine-tuned and will be released with more additional features. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Dating App? 

The cost of dating app development depends on various factors such as –  

  • Do you want to add basic or advanced features to an app?  
  • Tech stack required for developing app  
  • Geographical location of app development agency  
  • Hours spent on developing the application  

To give you a rough estimate, the cost of developing a simple dating application range between $20,000 -$65,000.  

While, if you want to get an advanced app with too many complex features and functionalities, it will start at $60,000 and go around $1,00,000.  

Factors Affecting the Cost of Dating App Development 

Several users are active on dating apps. Research studies indicate that around 337 million people around the globe use dating apps or platforms. 

From this data, you can estimate that the popularity of dating apps is rising and there is a huge potential for players who want to convert their app idea into reality. 

dating app users

Let’s talk about a few factors that affect the overall cost of development- 

1. Type and size of the app  

The motto behind building a dating app is to do the best matchmaking. Finding the best matches is broadly categorized into 4 categories-  

A. Geolocation-based matching  

You can find potential matches that are in proximity to your location. The dating app uses geolocation data to find your soulmate from a nearby area.  

Some dating apps even allow you to find a partner from any corner of the world and start forming a relationship with them. 

B. Questionnaire-based  

Most dating apps use a questionnaire-based algorithm which means the app will ask a series of questions from users and then it will come up with similar matching profiles that align with your goals and preferences.  

C. Niche dating app  

Dating apps use a specific algorithm to find people having similar values, lifestyles, beliefs, and goals. These apps focus on specific audience types such as gym enthusiasts, animal lovers, etc. 

Veggly for instance, is a dating app for vegans and vegetarians. This app will help you find the perfect veg match for you and chat with veggies near you. 

The cost will be different depending on which type of dating application you choose.  

2. Features and functionalities in the app  

The more complex features you add to the app, the more it adds to the app development cost. The cost of dating apps increases with an increase in the number of features. 

Here are some basic (fundamental) features of dating app development-  

  • Registration and sign-in  
  • Profile creation  
  • Messaging feature  
  • Matchmaking feature  
  • Safety feature  
  • Integration with social media   

If you want to add a few add-on features to your application such as in-app purchases, swiping, video call functionality, gamification, matching algorithm, etc., it increases the overall cost of app development.  

3. UI/UX design  

An engaging design of an app converts visitors into prospective consumers. The cost of developing a dating app depends on what type of design you want and the level of customization you need. 

4. Tech stack  

The cost of developing a dating app also depends on the choice of technology stack. 

The technology stack includes choosing various programming languages, frameworks, web servers, cloud storage, and payment gateways. 

Also, it depends on the type of platform you choose for developing apps such as a native or cross platform.  

For Instance – If you want to target audiences on both platforms such as Android or iOS, then you can go with cross-platform app development as the cost is less than native app development.   

5. Location of developers  

The cost of developing a dating app is influenced by the location of the development team.  

For Instance – If you are partnering with developers who are from developed countries such as the United States or European countries, the labor costs would be higher which increases the app development cost.  

On the other hand, if you are hiring developers from countries such as India and Ukraine, then the development cost would be substantially lower.  

6. Testing and maintenance of the app  

If you want your app to keep running and updated all the time, you need to go for regular app testing and maintenance. Testing of dating apps is required to remove bugs if any so that it can provide a smooth user experience. 

Generally, testing an app requires 120-150 hours.   

Wrapping Up  

There are around 1500 dating apps and platforms. To stay competitive in the dating app development industry, you need to create an app that stands out from Bumble, tinder, and several thousand competitors.  

People are in love with dating apps so that they can find a suitable partner. 

To ensure that your dating app is going to mark a presence, consider taking support from an experienced app development agency who knows how to create successful dating apps that will give you a competitive edge in the market.  

BigOhTech feels pride in helping businesses thrive in this digital world by creating customized mobile apps. We provide you with on-demand IT professionals who go the extra mile to fulfill your project requirements. 

Looking for a dating app development partner?  

Look no further than us.  

Leave a Comment