How To Make A Dating App That Makes Money

If you have used top dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Hinge, you know how addictive they are. Because it keeps you engaged.

Have you ever thought about how these dating apps make money?

How to create online dating apps like Tinder? The next Tinder alternative? Being a dating startup, you must know that the revenue growth of the entire online dating segment is about to reach a whopping $3601 million in 2021. That is huge, isn’t it?

To create the best dating app like Tinder, you just slightly need to change the features, find a USP, have dating app ideas, and then you are set for the first step – to create your own dating app and make money out of it.

You can work on dating app ideas like

– Dating app like Tinder, but to find the mentors
– Dating app like Tinder, but to find the friends who match your interest
– Dating app like Tinder, but only for specific age of people

Next? Let’s learn how to make a dating app. But, wait. Why are we writing this blog?

Being a leading dating application development company, we have the expertise in developing custom dating solutions, custom dating applications on Android and iOS devices. And, all these successful applications started with such questions from the clients. So with the help of our experienced and dedicated dating app developers, we decided to write this blog.

Let’s get started.

Dating Apps Market, Statistics, and Trends

Fact 1: It is a fact that Bumble and Tinder certainly revolutionized the entire dating app industry. According to Statista, Bumble and Tinder are two of the most downloaded, having 560 thousand monthly downloads in 2021.

Fact 2: The global dating app revenue is consistently increasing. In 2019, the revenue was $2.52 billion, and in 2020, the dating app revenue has increased to $3.08 billion. After 2015, the app revenue is steadily increasing.

Fact 3: Dating app users are also consistently increasing. In 2015, the number of dating app users was around 185 million, which has increased drastically in 2020 by 270 million. Undoubtedly, dating app believers are huge.

Fact 4: Users between the age of 18 – 34 years use dating apps to boost their self-confidence.

Fact 5: Before meeting a person physically, 60% of the users have admitted they check their potential date’s social media profiles.

6 Steps Process To Make A Dating App Like Tinder And Bumble

The below image illustrates information about the steps about how to develop a dating app. This process even answers your question of how to build a dating app like Tinder also. You will learn about each dating app development process in detail by following mentioned steps.

steps to make a dating app like tinder

  1. Research About Similar Dating Apps

  2. Even when you plan to buy a new phone, you do basic research about all the smartphones in the market. Here we are talking about creating a dating app from scratch. Therefore, it is crucial to perform market research, prior to making any decision.

    Here are the questions to ask while performing research about dating apps.

    • Who is your target audience?
    • How much market share do dating apps cover?
    • Which are the trending and best dating apps in your region?
    • What are the market opportunities for dating apps?
    • Why are Tinder and Bumble dating apps trending? What features do they include?

    Asking these questions and researching them will help you to understand the basics of the dating app development market. Additionally, we have mentioned 5 online market research tools to understand the dating app market thoroughly.

    Name of the ToolExplanation
    Google TrendsFind which dating apps are trending
    Answer the PublicHelps you to show most searchable phrases according to Google
    ThinkwithGoogleThe website contains different categories like latest insights, research library, planning tools to perform deep research
  3. Understand What Works In The Dating App Industry

  4. Rather than investing countless hours in developing features to create a dating app, we suggest you take some time in listing down the essential features. Additionally, analyze the giant dating applications like Tinder, Bumble and understand what basic features they offer. Consider the below-mentioned points while researching the dating app industry.

    • Research about your niche
    • Search for the USP of the dating app
    • Find loopholes and problems you can solve to develop a better dating app

    Want to help your users find the right partner? Then, consider researching for niche-based top dating apps. Since the niche dating apps are flourishing, people are showing positive responses towards using different apps like AshleyMadison, and Match. Please feel free to check the dating apps here.

    Hily: Hily is a well-known app in the USA. The algorithm helps find users’ activity checks, background, and interests. The app even allows you to make video calls, and help you to find the perfect match by asking you to answer some questions in the compatibility quiz.

    League: The potential users will get selected depending upon their professional background and education. You will get an email about who is your potential match.

    Coffee Meets Bagel: The app helps you to get one match a day and has a separate community of LGBTQ people. Some of the best LGBT dating apps are Scruff, Grindr, and Plant Romeo.

    Hinge: This dating app targets the users who want to leave the dating app. In addition, there is a lot of information to look forward to making the searching easier for different users.

    You might have got an idea about the features the above apps offer to target their audience, help them find the relevant partner for themselves.

    Want to Discuss Your Unique Dating App Idea?

    Want to validate your app idea? Want to get a free consultation from experienced dating app developers?

  5. Define the Exact Specification and Features

  6. Just to recap, we have researched available dating apps, then understood what exactly drives the success of dating apps. Now, let us understand how you can define the exact specifications to engage maximum users. You need to understand which specifications will help to increase the engagement of the users.

    • Should you develop a native app or hybrid app?
    • Which unique specifications are you offering?
    • Do you want to target a wide range of user bases or get into the niche dating app?
    • Which monetization strategy do you want to apply? (You need to develop the specifications based on that).

    These questions need to be asked if you are planning to start a dating app startup. Even to monetize your app business, you can make in-app purchases as well.

  7. Focus on The UI/UX Part of The App

  8. As you have listed down the essential features to include in the mobile application, now we will focus on designing the user interface and user experience. In short, your mobile app should look appealing and easily accessible.

    You might have noticed that Tinder’s UI/UX is smoother, you can easily swipe right and left to accept and reject the profiles. You can easily switch from swiping to messaging and check who has super-liked you without wasting a second of your time.

    These types of tactics help companies like Tinder and Bumble to generate a significant amount of revenue. To develop a successful dating app, UI/UX designers at Space-O use these tools to create prototypes of the dating mobile app.

    Adobe XDTurn wireframe into animated prototypes and test in mobile device
    SketchHelps to deliver consistent prototypes, and support multiple 3rd party plugins
  9. Start Custom Dating App Development

  10. After the UI/UX part completes, the dating app development starts. Start building the MVP version of the dating app. Only include the essential features to start your app development.

    One of the essential features to discuss here is matching algorithms. How two users get matched when they swipe left or right. Here are the 4 important functions to include to build a successful matching data algorithm using modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

    List of Matching AlgorithmsExplanation
    Make the use of GeodataA user will be interested in connecting with people who are nearby their current location.
    Develop mathematical algorithmsThe algorithm analyzes information like age, gender, music taste, hobbies, interest, and shows you the matches accordingly. The algorithm may not show accurate results every time. Because many users fill up fake information as well.
    Analysis of the BehaviourThe behavioral analysis depends upon the footprint of the user. Tinder asks users to integrate their social media accounts like Instagram so that they can understand each user in a better way. Big Data makes it possible to perform behavioral analysis. This method tends to bring positive and genuine results compared to mathematical algorithms.
    Integrating AI and ARJust like you get the personalized recommendations in Netflix and Amazon, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality also help in offering a personalized experiences to each user based on their preference.

    The reason behind choosing the MVP version of the app is you can get valuable feedback from your early users and then improve it. By developing the MVP version of your mobile app, you can stay client-oriented and receive early feedback before launching the complete version of your dating app.

  11. Test and Deploy Your App

  12. After successfully integrating each feature into your dating app, it is time to test the app. Since it might be possible for your apps to have bugs, it is a must to perform mobile app testing before your app goes live. Make sure to perform API testing, registration, signing, match testing to check whether you are faced with an error.

    Also, test user matching algorithms to check the user profile match only in the relevant condition. If you plan to add in-app purchase features, don’t forget to add a payment gateway such as Stripe or PayPal and test it.

    Once the testing part completes, it is time to deploy your dating app to Play Store and App Store. We have discussed the complete process of developing a dating app, but what about the timeline? To know how much time it takes to develop a dating app, please check the below table.

How Much Time Does It Take to Develop a Dating App?

After discussing with our dating app developers, it is safe to say that it might take more than 240 hours to complete the entire dating app development. Below mentioned list of features is necessary to include in the dating app. Let’s have a look.

Sign In
User Profile
Push Notification
Profile Verification
Behavior Analysis

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Dating App?

Dating app development cost varies from app to app. The cost of a dating app may increase or decrease depending upon the features and functionalities you add. The below table includes the phase-wise and the total cost of dating app development.

FeaturesApprox Cost
UI stage$5000 to $15,000
Development stage$5000 to $25,000
Testing and Deployment stage$2500 to $10,000
Total Custom Dating App Development Cost$50,000+

Looking to Find the Exact Cost of Dating App?

To integrate USP, we will first understand and validate the app idea. Want to know how much a dating app might cost?

Essential Tech Stack To Develop A Dating App

technology stack used to develop a dating app

Choosing a tech stack is an essential part of developing a dating app. If you are planning to develop your own dating app, choosing the right tech stack for dating mobile app development is essential. Our developers use these tools and technologies to build scalable dating solutions on mobile and the web.

Development ToolsDevelopment Technologies
Programming Languages
  • Swift
  • Kotlin
  • Java
Programming Frameworks
  • Flutter
  • React Native
  • PostgreSQL
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
Cloud Services
  • Amazon S3
Payment Gateway
  • Country Specific Payment Gateway Integration
Essential Tools
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio

What Core Features Are Required To Make A Dating App?

The table contains essential features to include while developing a dating app. In this table, we have included features and their explanation to help you understand why each feature is necessary to include.

Registration and LoginFor new users, registration is required, and current users can directly login into the account using the same credentials
User Profile VerificationAsk all the users to upload identity proof before finalizing the profile (driver’s license, or address proof)
Preference SelectionThe user should be able to choose to which gender they prefer for dating
GPS based SearchLocation-based search is essential to find your perfect match nearby your location
Chat and AI-based Live VideoAfter getting successfully matched, the user should chat and perform a live video call with their match
Fake Profile CheckerYou may find it interesting that 53% of people lie about their income, age, and height/weight. Therefore, the app should include profile authentication
Privacy and Report ProfileAll the user’s information should be private and adhere to privacy guidelines. Users should be able to report fake and unauthorized profiles as well
App GamificationTo motivate and increase user engagement, it is essential to add some features like dating games of likes and dislikes of a couple
Lookalike Finding FeatureUsing facial recognition technology, users can search for the partner they look like them

How Do Dating Apps Make Money? [4 Different Monetization Strategy]

You have invested months of time and hard-earned money to develop a dating app. Now, you are planning to monetize it. But, the question comes to how dating apps make money and how do you do it effectively?

You might be surprised to know that in 2020 alone Tinder made $1.4 billion. That is a whopping 18% increase from the previous year 2019. But, the question comes to “how Tinder makes money”? If you want to monetize your dating app, we have mentioned 5 types of monetization types you should look for.

  1. In-App Purchases

  2. Every dating app must include features to enhance the user experience. In recent years, Tinder has included features like exclusive profile access, unlimited swipes in their in-app purchases to earn revenue. We have listed below in-app features, you can include in your dating app.

    • Boost your profile
    • Unlimited swipes
    • Get featured
    • Chat with an exclusive profile
    • Check who liked you
    • Send gifts

    Benefits of Using In-App Purchases

    • Engage users to stay on the app
    • Allows users to access the free features
  3. Affiliate Marketing and Paid Ads

  4. In affiliate marketing, you earn a commission whenever you promote other company’s products or services. You may target websites similar to your niche and market their products. You will be an affiliate and market different products, which might be similar to your niche. As soon as the product gets sold using your link, you will earn a certain amount of commission. You can track the sale from the website’s affiliation dashboard.

    Some of the well-known dating apps like Match, EliteSingles, and Cupid Media offer affiliate and referral programs to attract relevant traffic from different users.

    Benefits of Using Affiliate marketing

    • Earn passive income
    • Get performance-based rewards (Get paid for the outstanding work)
  5. Subscription and Premium Plans

  6. This is one of the common monetization strategies businesses adapt to. For example, Tinder Plus Edition follows subscription-based models. In the normal Tinder app, you may receive limited features. However, if you want to enjoy unlimited swipes, and increase your chance of getting matches, you may choose to go for the premium plan.

    Benefits of Using Subscription or Premium Plan

    • Increase your earnings
    • Keep users hooked to your app
  7. Video Upgrade

  8. People expect to connect with the people who they are interested in. Therefore, including chat and video calling features is important in your dating app. Some of the giant dating apps like eHarmony, charge users by providing them exclusive options to chat with your potential date.

    Benefits of Including Text and Video Upgrade

    • An attractive feature to include
    • The chances of conversion increases

You have learned about the tech stack, features, and ways to make money by developing a dating app. The below FAQs will help you to answer the questions while developing a dating app.

Let us discuss the frequently asked questions about how to make a dating app. All of these questions will help you to answer your queries about dating app development.

FAQ About How to Make a Dating App

Is it hard to make a dating app??

Undoubtedly, dating app development surely requires expertise and time both. Having developed successful dating apps like ‘Swype’ and 14 others, we guarantee faster dating app development, with sustainable cost. Because we have already developed dating apps solutions for multiple clients. Our app development team has expertise in developing dating apps with less sustainable costs and in less time.

How do dating apps work?

The basic rule of a dating app is to register yourself first. Initially, you need to start with registering yourself. Make sure to complete the basic profile signup like uploading your photo, adding your name, age and verifying your profile. Next, you will be introduced to tons of matches based on the interests and work profile you have added.

Based on your profile, the dating app algorithm will determine which users to display on your profile and how many times that user will be displayed. This is how a dating app works.

Ready to Develop The Next Tinder?

You have an exact idea about the facts about dating apps, the process, time, and cost of dating app development. Apart from that, you have also learned about the popular dating apps, tech stack, features, and how you can make money by monetizing your dating app. It might look slightly complex while planning to develop a dating app at first.

However, you don’t need to worry. Being a dating app development company, if you have any questions regarding creating a dating app, you may consult our dating app development team. Our team of mobile app developers will surely help you to provide the best consultation and dating app development service.

Author Bio
Bhaval Patel
Bhaval Patel

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.