The online dating industry grows year after year: in 2017, it is worth $3 billion – and many see developing a dating app as a profitable undertaking.
Here are a few more interesting facts about the investment value of dating apps:
- Annual revenue now tops $3 billion
- An average consumer spends $243 for in-app purchases and subscriptions
- 49 million people in the US alone have tried online dating. In the UK, 7 million people have used a dating application
- 80% of users are millennials
If you want to develop a dating app, catch up on article reading and our expertise will help you
- 1 How to create a dating app?
- 2 Dating App Features
- 3 How much money do dating apps make?
- 4 How do dating apps make money?
- 5 Technology behind
- 6 How much does it cost to make a dating app?
- 7 Tips from Dating App Developers
How to create a dating app?
If you want to build a Android, iOS, or Windows mobile native dating app, but lack the technical skills to handle it on your own there are many ways to do it. But we want you to start with these options:
- Use an app builder
- Customize a Clone script
- Develop a custom app
So you can get your app in front of the right people fast. Let’s take a brief look at some pros and cons.
Dating app builders
App builders allow you to create a user interface using drag and drop method, tweak backends and make minor changes.
The distinct advantages of these builders are hosting and bootstrapping your backend. They provide basic UI elements, documentation and tech support if there are any complications. You don’t have to pay up front, and the only thing you have to pay is a monthly subscription fee.
Its drawbacks are limited customization and lack of additional features (like Tinder signature swipe). In some cases, you’ve got limited access to the code to export it. It also becomes inaccessible if you stop the monthly payments. User experience optimization is almost impossible, though it is a core priority for dating apps. Moreover, the technology stacks the builders are offering are bitterly limited. Here is a list of builders: Appmakr Mobile App Creator, Biznessapps, Appy Pie, etc.
These solutions have a potential. But if you’re planning to improve on and develop your app in the future, they are not going to be enough.
Customize a Clone script
A clone means you create an identical or close copy of a popular dating app. Using clone, you don’t have to think up new features as they are already in the clone script, and a user interface is also well developed and user-friendly.
You have to find an existing code available on the app you want. Then you will hire a developer to customize and upload it to the app store – but that could take a long time and come at an extra cost.
Custom dating apps
If you decide to go with the custom app development approach, you will build an iterative and responsive solution with a team of professionals. Such apps need a database to store their data, and a backend to function.
A custom app is created using the cutting-edge technology to meet your business requirements. Your app is maintained for as long as you need it to be. You will have full access to a technical support team that was involved in the development process. All encountered issues are resolved more efficiently and you can rebuild your entire app or parts of it if necessary.
Obviously, custom development will cost you extra. Thankfully, this approach to the problem has no more drawbacks.
Dating App Features
Since it’s already clear that this business is both in-demand and profitable, it makes sense to see what particular functions these apps can offer. In a nutshell, this is what users expect:
- User Profile
- Access Control & Security
- In-app Messaging
- Geolocation Features
- Matchmaking Algorithm
- Personalized Push Notifications
Using Facebook, users can build a profile with photos that have already been uploaded. The app collects basic information and analyzed users’ social graphs. Users with matching geolocation, mutual friends or common interests are pre-emptively put on a matches list.
As soon as you log in to the app, you will be able to swipe through around 10-20 profiles. According to matchmaking algorithm, they may be a good match for you. Once you are done with the swiping, you will be able to revisit the profiles you’ve been matched with. Ones awaiting your swipe back as well as some non-matches in between. The more you are swiping left and the more often you log in, the more matches you are likely to receive.
If the app has the Instagram integration, users can access each other’s Instagram profiles. Additionally, it lets you try your hand at matchmaking: you can pair two Facebook friends if you think they should get to know each other better.
How much money do dating apps make?
Statistics provided by Statista shed light on mobile dating market revenue in the United States from 2009 to 2011 and offer a forecast until 2017. In 2009, annual revenue in this market in the US amounted to USD 43 million, growing to USD 108.9 million in 2010 and eventually reaching USD 416 million in 2017.
How do dating apps make money?
Let’s look at five basic business models:
Users pay a certain fee to use the app for a week or a month or some other period of time. The payments are likely to be recurring. Tinder allows you to see your mutual Facebook friends when perusing profiles. That said, it’s really easy to go over to said mutual friend’s profile, browse their friend list, and find the person you’re interested in.
Basic functionality is always free of charge. If you want to use additional features like unlimited access, better profile visibility and others, you will have to pay a fee.
Users buy digital stickers, gifts, emojis, flowers, etc. and send them to each other. It’s one of the hottest and newest ways niche dating apps are monetizing their membership base.
Advertising is a core money generator. Apps generate money by selling space for ads to third-party companies.
Many companies have begun hosting local dating events such as speed dating, charity auctions, and local dating mixers as an extension of their online services, bringing virtual users together in the “real” world, along with a sense of authenticity to online dating. Dating apps can either host the event themselves and sell event tickets online to members or partner with local networking organizations and local restaurants or venues.
Let’s start by understanding the tech stack, which goes into it first. Our development team has used AFNetworking and Facebook SDK libraries, REST API, Realm Database and Socket TCP protocol to create one of the dating apps.
To identify user location app uses smartphone’s GPS or data from the Wi-Fi network connection. Dating apps developed by VironIT have several distinct features. That makes them stand out among dating and social apps. Not only have we implemented the general design, but we also developed several animations that complement the general feel of the app.
This information should have satisfied your basic curiosity. If you want to receive a full tech stack for a dating application, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s take a closer look at the development time and cost.
How much does it cost to make a dating app?
Now that you’ve learned more about the essential features. Let’s look at how much does it cost. Total project timeline, depending on the scope of your requirements, can vary from 600 to 2500 hours.
The following time expenditures should be considered:
- Development for a single platform – nearly 1000 hours,
- Backend – 200+ hours,
- Design – around 100 hours,
- PM / QA – up to 100 hours.
Summarizing all the factors and making a crude approximation, a basic app for both iOS and Android will cost around $16k. But it can be more expensive depending on team’s hourly rates.
To build a dating app with the essential features outlined above, you’ll need to put together a team of the following professionals:
- UX/UI Expert
- iOS /Android developers
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Project manager
- QA specialist
If you need to come up with something better, you can build an app like Tinder, but be ready for a heavy budget.
How much does it cost to develop the Tinder?
Tinder functionality requires complex architecture and lengthy development, but how long did it take to develop the Tinder clone? Even a simple version for one platform may consume over 1500 hours.
The biggest cost components:
- Design — about 200 hours, $3.5–5k
- Mobile app for Android or iOS — about 500-1000 hours, $10–15k
- API — 350–400 hours, $10-12k
The big factor to calculate the total cost of an app like Tinder is the hourly rates of the development team you’d hire. The rates may vary from $25 to $150. So a Tinder clone can cost you from $50k for a basic application with limited features to $135k for a multi-platform app with all and premium features.
Of course, these are an approximate estimation, and the final Tinder app development cost will depend on the scale and specifics of the project.
Does it seem too expensive? Then take a look at open source clone scripts. There are many sources listing Tinder clone scripts and some of them are mentioned below.
Tips from Dating App Developers
VironIT has experience developing successful apps for both iOS and Android.
The development process has been illustrated by Alexey Grakov, CTO & co-owner of software development company VironIT, in the video below:
The following are takeaways from his talk:
- Focus on building apps, not website.
- Build a clickable prototype, it is really useful.
- Avoid developing two applications (iOS & Android) at the same time.
- Pay attention to the icon quality.
- Specify the right keywords to drive traffic from application stores.
Contact us and we would be happy to provide more accurate cost estimates based on your project specifications and outline the different content production options possible.
You might also want to check out our case study that talks about bi-curious dating app development.