How To Make A Dating App That Makes Money

If you have used top dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, and 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? or how to start developing dating app like Tinder

The next Tinder alternative? Being a startup, you must know that the revenue growth of the entire online dating market is about to reach a whopping US$3.01bn in 2023. The dating apps market is growing rapidly.

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

You can create a dating app like Tinder to

  • Find mentors
  • Find friends who match your interest
  • Match only for specific ages of people

Next? Let’s learn how to make a dating app. Being a leading dating application development company, we have the expertise to create a dating app to advanced custom dating solutions on Android and iOS devices. So with the help of our experienced and dating app developers, we decided to write this blog that can help your dating app startup. Let’s get started.

Dating App Market, Statistics, and Trends

Know the latest statistics and trends about dating mobile app development. The following section illustrates the newest information about the dating app market.

1: Bumble and Tinder certainly revolutionized the entire dating app industry. According to Statista, Tinder is the most downloaded dating app having 957 monthly downloads in the USA as of June 2022.

2: Across the globe, dating app revenue is increasing rapidly. In 2019, the revenue was $2.52 billion, and by the year 2027, the dating app revenue is as per Statista.

3: According to the report from Statista, in 2022, there were over 366 million online dating service users. By 2027, it is estimated that there will be 440 million people seeking love through online platforms.

6 Steps Process to Make a Dating App Like Tinder And Bumble

The below image illustrates information about the steps of how to build 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 platform development process in detail which will even help you to start your dating app business.

steps to make a dating app like tinder

  1. Research About Similar Dating Apps

    Even when you plan to buy a new phone, you do basic research about all the smartphones that are available on 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 will help you to understand the basics of the dating app solution development market. For example, defining your target audience will help you understand whether you want to build a dating app for general audience or want to build a dating app for LGBTQ community. Further it will help you to identify unique features to add in your app. Remember that the features in dating app like Tinder or Bumble will differ from features in a dating app like Grindr.

    Also, we have mentioned 3 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
  2. Understand What Works in the Dating App Industry

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

    • Research your niche
    • Search for the USP of the dating platform
    • 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 niche-based top dating apps like Tinder. 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 dating algorithm helps find app 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 app 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 popular LGBTQ dating apps are Scruff, Grindr, and Plant Romeo.

    Hinge: This dating app targets app 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 their target audience and help them find the relevant tech partner for themselves.

    Want to Discuss Your Unique Dating App Idea?

    Get in touch with us. Our experienced app development team validates the feasibility of your idea and provides you with a solution on how to proceed further.

    Cta Image
  3. Define the Exact Specification

    Just to recap, we have researched available dating apps, then understood what exactly drives the success of dating apps. As your goal should be to keep users engaged, if users delete dating apps without getting engaged, you may lose customers.

    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 as per your business goals.

    • Should you develop a native app or hybrid app?
    • Which unique specifications are you offering?
    • Do you want to target a wide range of userbase 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 business. Even to monetize your app business, you can make in-app purchases as well.

  4. Focus on the UI/UX of the App

    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

    We at Space-O pay close attention to UI/UX because it is critical to the success of an app. Here are some dating apps that we created with a stunning app design.

    Top Dating Apps Developed by Space-O

  5. Start Custom Dating App Development

    After the UI/UX part completes, the development of dating app starts. To create a dating appbuilding the MVP version to test it in the market and build user base. Only include the essential features to start your app development.

    To build a successful dating app, an essential feature is required, such as matching algorithms. How do two users get matched when they swipe left or right?

    Here are the 4 important functions to include in building a successful matching algorithm using modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence.

    List of Matching AlgorithmsExplanation
    Make the use of GeodataUsing Google Maps, an app user will be interested in connecting with people who are nearby their current location.
    Develop mathematical algorithmsThe algorithm analyzes information like age, gender, taste for music, hobbies, and 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 on Netflix and Amazon, technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality also help in offering personalized experiences to each user based on their preference.

    The reason behind choosing the MVP version of the app is you can get valuable user feedback from your early users and then improve it and increase user retention. 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.Search for the development partner who can help to develop app by adding unique value proposition as per your business goals.

  6. Test and Deploy Your App

    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, and 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. You need to follow guidelines before deploying your app on app stores. We have discussed the complete process of developing a dating app, but what about the timeline?

    To know how much time it takes to build a dating app, please check the below table.

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

It takes 900 – 1000 hours to develop a basic mobile app.

The backend development takes more than 300 hours to complete.

The app testing and pre-launch take around 60 hours to complete.

The timeline also includes all the following features mentioned in the table.

Sign In
User Profile
Push Notification
Profile Verification
Behavior Analysis

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Dating App?

The cost of developing Tinder-like app ranges from $10,000 to $1,50,000.

The development cost depends upon features, functionalities, and project complexity. If you are planning to develop an app like Tinder and want to know the exact cost, book a free consultation with our dating app consultant.

As 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+

Calculate the app development cost by yourself using the following formula.

The company’s hourly rate is $35, and the total development hours is 600, then you can apply this pricing in the following formula.

$35 developer rate per hour X 600 development hours = $20,000 – $25,000 the cost of a dating app.

Looking to Find the Exact Cost of a Dating App?

Contact us. We first vailidate your idea and then provide you time and cost estimation for your dating app solution.

Essential Tech Stack To Develop A Dating App

technology stack used to develop a dating app

Choosing a technology 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 development team use these tools and technologies to build a scalable dating website or an app solution for mobile and web.

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

What 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 to create a dating app.

Registration and LoginFor new users, registration is required through social media or Google accounts, and current users can directly login into the account using the same credentials
Push NotificationsThis feature helps to share the targeted information to the user’s device without the user opening an app. As a result, push notifications help to drive user engagement and help in revenue.
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 75.3% of people confessed that they lie about money sometimes. On the other hand, many people also confessed that they are more comfortable talking about their age, weight and mental health.
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
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 to make money on dating apps and how do you do it effectively?

You might be surprised to know that in 2022 alone, Tinder made $1794 million. That is a whopping 25% increase from the previous year 2020. But, the question comes to “how does 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 and unlimited swipes in their in-app purchases to earn revenue and increase user experience. We have listed below in-app features that you can include in your dating app.

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

    Benefits of Using In-App Purchases

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

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

    Some of the well-known dating applications 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 need to opt for subscription plans to use advance features.

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

    Benefits of Including Text and Video Upgrade

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

    Apart from these monetization strategies, have you ever wondered how dating app giants such as Tinder, Bumble, and Badoo make money? Know the complete information by checking the following section.

How Tinder Makes Money? | Tinder Business Model

How Tinder Makes Money

Tinder, which is one of the giant online dating services’ sources of income, offers subscription plans.

The app offers basic features such as swiping and matching to all of its dating app users. You can avail these features without paying an additional amount.

Tinder’s monthly in-app purchase revenue of Tinder from 2015 to 2022 is consistently increasing.

  1. Freemium Model (Tinder Plus)

    Tinder Plus costs $9.99/month. You might have experienced that after swiping right a certain number of times, it will ask you to upgrade your app to Tinder plus. In a freemium model, initially, users don’t need to pay for the limited services. However, to avail of additional benefits users need to pay certain fees.

    This model is called the freemium model. Tinder Plus includes the following features.

    • Match, chat, meet
    • Unlimited likes
    • Unlimited rewinds
    • Passport to any location
    • Hide advertisements

    Also, there is another paid plan, known as Tinder Gold. There is one more paid plan, which is called Tinder Gold. This plan includes all the features of Tinder Plus; however, it also includes the new ‘Likes You’ feature. This feature will permit you to see how many likes you have from others in your profile.

  2. Tinder Gold

    If you have a Tinder Plus plan, then just by paying an extra amount, you can easily upgrade it to Tinder Gold. Since the company is still testing the Tinder Gold price, you can directly pay a small fee and upgrade to Tinder Gold.

    The top features offered in Tinder Gold are mentioned below.

    • 5 super likes a week
    • 1 free boost a month
    • See who likes you
    • New top picks every day
  3. Tinder Platinum

    You will have these features in the Tinder Platinum plan.

    • Message before matching
    • Prioritized likes
    • Priority messaging
    • See who likes you
  4. Boost

    There are other top dating apps like Tinder, which have also included the boost feature in their dating app. The boost feature will add your profile to the top for 30 minutes. Boosting your profile will bring about 10x profile views and 4x engagement to your profile.

  5. Sponsored Profiles

    Companies are partnering up with Tinder to show their profile in the form of sponsored content. Tinder smartly shows the sponsored posts to their users and earns revenue from that. Another feature worth discussing is when the user swipes right on sponsored profile, they will receive a drafted message directly from the sponsor. Even, a registered user also has the option to directly connect with the sponsor.

    Another well-known dating giant, Bumble, is also giving fierce competition to Tinder. Check how they are converting their free users into paid ones.

How Bumble Makes Money? | Bumble Business Model

Bumble, being one of the top players in the dating service market, Bumble works on the freemium business model. You may consider the example of Spotify, Google, and YouTube as freemium programs.

Talking about the revenue, in the 4th quarter of 2021, Bumble’s revenue was between $208 million – $211 million.

But, you might question yourself, how does the Bumble app become so huge? What was its core proposition? The answer to your question is, that the Bumble app only allows female users to make the first move after a heterosexual match.

The interesting thing is that the match will only last for 24 hours if the woman does not respond. Now, the male user just has 24 hours to lock in the date. Next, we will discuss the monetization strategies of the Bumble app.

The following table shows the paid plans of Bumble and the features each plan provides against a specific charge.

Bumble Paid Plan Explanation
Bumble PremiumBy paying $12.99 on a weekly basis, you can avail Bumble premium plan. Premium Plan of Bumble includes features such as access to unlimited advanced filters, unlimited swipes, and five SuperSwipes per week.
BoostBumble Boost allows you to use one spotlight, five weekly SuperSwipes, and unlimited swipes for $14.9/month (price may vary).
SuperSwipesOne Bumble coin will cost you one SuperSwipe feature. The cost of one Bumble coin is $1.99.
SpotlightTo signup for a Spotlight feature, you need two coins. Same to Tinder, Bumble also offers Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium.

How Badoo Makes Money? | Badoo Business Model

How Badoo Makes Money

After Tinder, we can consider Badoo as its front runner. Until now, Badoo has successfully bagged 3.9 million downloads as of May 2021. The most downloads from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as of January 2021. You might not know this, but Badoo started even before Tinder and Bumble.

Wondering how Badoo makes money? Check the following table to get detailed information.

Badoo Paid PlansExplanation
Badoo PremiumThe cost of Badoo Premium starts from $9.99/month. If you want to subscribe for a lifetime, then it will only cost you $59.99.
Badoo Premium PlusChat with anyone and boost your profile visibility by purchasing Badoo Premium Plus.
Purchase Badoo Credits
  • Badoo credits allow you to purchase a specific feature using the credit points.
  • By spending 50 points, you can move to the top of the list of nearby people
  • Spend 100 credits and increase your chance to match by seeing more profiles

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

FAQs About How to Make a Dating App

Is it hard to build a dating app from scratch?

Undoubtedly, To build dating app, it 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 app solutions for multiple clients. Our app development team has expertise to create a dating app with the cost-effective development costs and in less time.

How do dating apps work?

The basic rule of a dating app is to register yourself first. Make sure to complete the basic profile signup like uploading your photo, adding your name and 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. 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, we always ensure to build a user-friendly app to help you to tap into the larger market. 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.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

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.