With the majority of our communication occurring online, it is no wonder that the dating world is also shifting from offline. In 2021, 49 million people in the US alone have chosen to use dating services to find either a partner or just a fun date. Especially in 2020, men and women switched to online dating amid the pandemic lockdowns and social distancing measures.
Today we will talk about making a dating app from scratch, the choice of technology, essential and not-so-essential features, and development costs. How to create a dating app that attracts a wide user base and generates revenue?
Keep reading to learn the key features of a dating application, suitable tech stack, costs of the development and how to identify the best practices of successful app development.
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Although most dating app users look for a genuine connection and romantic relationship, some simply want to kill time. The cornerstone of a successful app is the identification of the target audience and the implementation of essential features that your application requires. Let’s discover how to create a dating app with a basic set of features.
To make an app like Tinder, you need to implement fast and simple sign-in options. Provide several methods of account registration, via phone, email, and social media platforms. Do not forget to mention that the dating app account will not be displayed on their social media profiles. The most important part of the registration process is simplicity and a low amount of low effort. Getting an account on a dating service is usually an impulse decision and is triggered by curiosity or even boredom. Allow your users quick and effortless access to the pool of profiles to ensure high user retention.
Safety steps such as email and photo verification can occur a few moments later, after the user has had a chance to play around and get likes and matches. Give them a taste of the application before forcing users to go through the bureaucracy process of verification.
How to make a dating app that is versatile and interactive? Start by offering a simple profile with age, location, name, and photo to let people immediately use the application. However, allowing fine-tuning is a good move that helps users find like-minded matches. You can allow users to fill out their profiles with as much information as they want, such as physical attributes, interests, hobbies, preferences, and more.
Geolocation is an essential feature for building a dating app. Such apps provide the nearest profiles based on the users’ location, which is why this feature is highly important. Although some dating services allow searching for potential matches in broader regions, the majority of users look for people in their local proximity. Ideally, you should enable accurate location detection, not just a city or zip code. Especially in large cities, different districts might mean tens of miles in distance. Adding an “available now” option will help users to find a date in a particular location and provide a unique value proposition.
Although theoretically not essential, if you want to create a Tinder like experience, the swiping feature is a must. How to create an app like Tinder whose success remains unachieved by others? The swiping feature adds gamification to the process and lets people stay on the app for hours. Swiping is effortless, fun, quick, and truly addictive. Usually, swiping left means no and swiping right means you are interested in the potential date. If both parties swiped right, the application matches them and allows them to start up a conversation.
How to create a dating app with various communication options? In-app communication should provide an easy-to-use way to connect with matches and spark up a conversation. Some applications offer icebreaker suggestions, fun questions, or even quizzes to give their audience something to discuss right after the match. Most modern dating app development includes the video chat feature which is especially helpful during the lockdown measures when people could not meet in person.
Try to create a dating app with comfortable and familiar chat rooms like WhatsApp or Messenger to help people fall right into the active conversation without spending time on learning the functions. Include a quick link to the user’s profile, image uploads, the list of current matches, and the report button. If someone is being inappropriate and causing genuine concern, users can report the profile to the admin for a further check.
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Build a dating app with optional push notifications that can be customized and changed at any time. Some users want them completely turned off, some only want to receive message alerts, and some would like to get notified about every single update from the application. Take this into consideration and make the notifications as personalizable and customizable as you can.
How to start a dating app that supersedes the ordinary swiping matches? Besides the Tinder matching code that connects people who swiped right on each other, you can implement smart matching algorithms that bring users together based on age, sex, hobbies, personality traits, preferences, etc. The more variables you use, the more accurate will the connection be. If you allow users to filter out candidates and select the important features, they will have higher chances of both meeting someone special and enjoying using your app.
Creating a dating app with a high chance for success requires a professional customer support team that can tune in to solve user issues. People might be confused about the functions, Premium features, bugs, and other nuances. Providing them with a responsive team is a great way to mitigate most problems.
If you are wondering how to create a dating app that provides the utmost customer support, learn about chatbots. Besides having employees on staff who reply to unique and complex user requests, you can also implement a chatbot that would answer common questions. This technology will allow you to automatically answer predefined questions and offer instant help. With a larger budget, you can implement Machine Learning technology that will continuously collect and analyze historical data and expand the pool of potential answers. And if the question or issue is too complex for the chatbot, it can be forwarded to the customer support team.
Build a dating website or app with a function to freeze as well as delete the account at any time. Users get tired of being on a dating app or eventually meet someone or simply need a break from dating. How to build a dating website or app that provides this option? Offer a straightforward process for putting the account on temporary hold or removing it altogether.
How to make an app like Tinder that allows users to undo their swiping mistakes? If you are building an app like Tinder, make sure to allow users to undo wrong swipes. Most applications, including Tinder, only provide this feature for Premium users to entice non-paying customers to join with a subscription. Due to the repetitiveness of swiping, sometimes users swipe left instead of right and miss out on a matching opportunity. The swipe undoing function allows users to go back and change their swipes.
Besides registration via social media platforms, this integration can help users meet more people in their nearby surroundings. Many dating apps offer access to friends of your social media network which is a more secure date selection as users have at least one mutual friend with them. Another inquiry that can be solved with social media integration is avoiding your previous relationships. How to create a dating app that helps people avoid their exes? Another advantage of social media integration is the feature that allows users to exclude some candidates from the pool. For example, colleagues, exes, relatives, etc., users can choose people that they do not want to see on the app. You can also add them to your blacklist using their phone numbers.
If you would like to know how to make a dating app that offers a high level of security, add account verification. Although it is recommended not to force account verification right away, it should take place soon after the registration to ensure a higher grade of security. This way, you can be sure that the person you are talking to matches their pictures. This measure also prevents people with bad intentions from joining this app as their information will be kept in the database.
Users are also more likely to stay on the app for a longer time if they feel safer. Besides that, this way you can guarantee the correctness of the profile information such as age, sex, name, etc. To build a dating site with an atmosphere of trust and reliability, you can add incentives for account verification like some new features or a taste of the Premium plan.
How to create a dating app that takes security concerns to the next level? A panic button is a new feature that some dating apps must have to provide higher security. If users go out on a date and feel unsafe, they can hit the panic button and send the signal to the dating app admin who will investigate the issue and call the police. This adds an extra layer of safety and helps people feel taken care of when using the application.
Get in touch with the DOIT Software team of software engineers to discuss your ideas and start an online dating site or app today.
The Admin panel is where all the data is stored, analyzed, and used for marketing purposes. This part of the solution hosts all the important user data. Admins can remove users due to reports about inappropriate behavior to keep the app a safe place. Admins should also have access to package management and the ability to add, edit or remove various offers, discounts and special deals. Finally, user feedback also goes to the admin, where it will be analyzed and put in use. Additionally, you can implement analytics dashboards to monitor user behavior and make more data-driven business and marketing decisions.
The technology stack depends on the type of development you choose. Basically, you can choose between native and cross-platform approaches. The former is on average more costly as you create two separate applications for iOS and Android using two different tech stacks. At the same time, native development tends to deliver products with higher performance and better UX design. Platform-independent development allows cutting costs through building one code base and applying it to both platforms and is ideal for creating MVPs. However, cross-platform app development comes with poorer performance and design as well as possible delays in feature updates. How to make a dating app with a tight budget while preserving good performance? In this section, we will go over the technology that is necessary to build a well-functioning dating application.
Native app development implies using two tech stacks for iOS and Android. How to make an app like Tinder iOS-based? iOS app developers use Swift for their development, a general-purpose, compiled programming language created by Apple. This fast-growing technology is known to be fast, error-free, and open source. Another common language for iOS development is Objective-C, which is a well-tested and stable technology.
How to make an Android app like Tinder? Android development requires Kotlin, a general-purpose programming language with type inference. The language is famous for its intuitive syntax, Java interoperability, and fewer bugs. Java is another popular Android language that has been around for over 25 years and is known for its extensive community and numerous modules, libraries and other tools.
Cross-platform development provides a way to launch two apps with a single reusable codebase which significantly accelerates the development cycle. DOIT Software recommends Flutter, an open-source UI software development kit, for platform-independent app development. The kit gives you access to the device’s native features, provides great efficiency, and allows for excellent quality assurance. You can also choose React Native which allows you to accelerate the development process and create native-like UIs.
To learn more about how long it takes to make an app like Tinder and how to create a dating application that brings businesses money and success, contact DOIT Software.
The costs of dating app development vary depending on multiple aspects. Our engineers at DOIT Software highly recommend including the discovery phase in your development lifecycle. Let’s discover the development cost breakdown and learn how much does an app like Tinder cost to make.
This stage involves requirements gathering, market research, mind mapping, prototyping, creation of user documentation and SRS, and finally, formulation of the development plan, including the solution architecture diagram. How to create a dating app on a budget? The discovery phase helps you avoid common mistakes and actually saves you money. This phase gives development teams an opportunity to collect all the important information for the upcoming project, investigate the market and potential users, test the idea via prototypes and PoC, and dive into the project with an in-depth understanding of the future product.
By the end of the phase of discovery, you will have an exhaustive list of project requirements such as QA requirements, user documentation, the scope of work as well as project goals. As far as user experience goes, you will have concrete prototypes and wireframes based on personas that will help you build a dating app that speaks to the customer. This phase requires a lot of input from the UX designer and project manager, as well as some hours from QA Engineers and dating app developers. According to our calculations, the cost of the discovery phase adds up to $8,000 – $9,000 and takes about 3 weeks.
24 - 26
Detailed description of the main features' logic
8 - 10
16 - 20
9 - 12
Clickable prototype creation
97 - 105
Solution architecture document
1 - 2
Functional requirements described in a user-story format
24 - 26
SRS - software requirements specification
9 - 12
7 - 10
Resources & communication plan
4 - 5
12 - 14
35 - 40
Total, development team hours
(UI/UX, Developers, QA, Project Manager)
246 - 282
Admin panel is the backstage of the app from where you can manage, control, and monitor users, information, activities, etc. Almost every application requires an admin panel and it is an integral part of the budget calculation.
24 - 28
13 - 15
Dashboard (Active/New users widget)
33 - 37
55 - 60
63 - 67
Reported users (Search / Filtering, List with reports)
38 - 40
Contact Us (List with feedbacks, feedback details)
42 - 45
Total, development team hours
(UI/UX, Developers, QA, Project Manager):
268 - 292
Lastly, the costs of app development depend on the complexity and number of features as well as the choice of tech stack. In our example, we will examine Flutter cross-platform development.
8 - 10
Create Account / Sign In
88 - 97
Trouble Signing In
Connect your Apple ID
Receive a code from SMS
29 - 32
Apple / FaceBook / Phone
Receive a code from SMS
Welcome to Tinder, create a profile
86 - 92
Show me (man/woman/everyone)
My education place
Keep me posted
Want to avoid someone know you on Tinder (access to contacts)
General profile settings
142 - 160
Membership / Packages
Show Me (who)
Show me On Tinder
Help / Community
Privacy / Terms
55 - 60
Instagram / Spotify
Review users’ profiles
65 - 78
Start Tutorial /Skip
Like / Unlike
Slide UP Super Like
Tap to Boost
131 - 143
See who likes you
70 - 75
75 - 80
Premium packager reminder
5 - 7
Total, development team hours
754 - 834
So how much does a dating app cost? The overall costs of the discovery phase, admin panel development, and app development are $57,000 – $65,500 for cross-platform development with Flutter. Native app development is roughly 30% more expensive, which in this case would be estimated to be at least $75,000.
If you want to not only learn how to create a dating app and how much it would cost, but also would like to find out about other types of apps, read our app development cost guide from the DOIT Software team of experts.
In this section, we will discuss other things that should be taken into account when learning how to create a dating app.
The market of dating applications is quite diverse and saturated. How to make a dating app that has higher chances of attracting users? To be able to stand out, you need to choose a specific niche. If you manage to find a group of people whose needs have been neglected before and create a platform to cater to their wishes, you will be on the right path towards a successful dating application.
The examples for different niches include food preferences like gluten-free diets, lifestyle choices like digital nomads and travelers, sexual orientation like apps for bisexual or homosexual users, etc.
The simplest and most popular format of dating app matching code is based on proximity. Users discover other app users in their location, swipe them right after looking at their photos and profile, and start an online chat in the app. This algorithm does not require any heavy math and basically puts the pressure of choosing the right partner on the user. At the same time, it makes the app fun to use and with the help of an eye-catching interface ,and gamification is exactly what made Tinder so popular and almost addictive.
Besides, the location-based matching system provides a simple revenue stream by enticing users to pay a fee to expand their radius and meet people outside of their city.
This is probably the second most popular dating app matching system. The application provides a long list of questions, forms, scenarios, games, etc., with which people can interact. The app analyzes the information and matches the candidate with a similar background, dating preferences, dreams about the future, etc. Since users are often dishonest about their answers or simply do not know exactly what they are looking for, this method is not ideal and frequently fails. At the same time, users who know themselves well enough, usually 30+ years old, usually enjoy this algorithm and manage to find a good fit.
This algorithm solves the bias of a questionnaire-based app. Instead of answering the questions and trying to be honest about their preferences, people give access to their social media data. The application analyzes this information together with historical data from the app and builds a behavior-based profile of the user. This profile tends to be a little more objective and reduces the amount of catfishing on your platform.
Contact DOIT Software to discover tips on how to create a dating app like Tinder.
How to create a dating app that generates steady income? By developing a clear monetization strategy before going into the development process. There is no clear answer as to how much money dating apps make. Revenue depends on a variety of factors. However, you can integrate in-app ads for non-paying app users and offer in-app purchases such as extra features, winks, likes, profile boosts, etc. Finally, you can add a premium app version with unlimited features in exchange for a weekly or monthly fee.
Security is important when it comes to any app development, but in the online dating setting it becomes more significant. Your app brings together people who have never met, and they trust your service to conduct some degree of vetting to ensure everyone’s safety. This includes account verification, basic background search, reporting and banning tools, and features like Tinder’s panic button.
How to create a dating app from scratch that adheres to all of the vital requirements and truly stands out on the market? Contact us to build your next great application.
Discover our checklist on how to create a dating app that encompasses every important step of the process.
The world of online dating is bound to grow larger and larger. People spend more time online and using dating apps is becoming less stigmatized. Use this opportunity to make a dating website or app that caters to your target audience and helps people find new connections. DOIT Software is a software development company that can help you achieve your goal. We are a team of professionals that can deliver high-performance apps with great speed and bold UX/UI design. Contact DOIT Software for a free consultation to learn more on how to create a dating app and get an accurate quote.
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For a cross-platform MVP the costs lie around $45,000 and for a native app – $58,000.
Begin by choosing a niche for your dating app and learning about your target audience. Later, move on to the discovery phase to gather project requirements, and hire a software development team to execute the entire development process.
There are three main monetization strategies for dating apps: in-app ads, in-app purchases, and subscriptions.
Tinder holds the position for the most popular dating app across the globe with the largest market share.