Finding love has been an eternal quest for us human beings. With so many books, movies and stories all revolving around finding the one, it’s not a wonder that even today we are in one way or another fixated on finding the one for us.
Earlier we could only meet people through personal contact. Seeing someone pretty on your way to work and going up to talk to them was something that only happened in the movies, or to the very brave people.
Fortunately for the hopeless romantics, today we have a better chance of finding love. With the help of online dating apps, it’s easy and simple to find the right match anytime anywhere.
So, How to create a dating app?
Before we go in depth on how to build a dating app, here are the steps:
- Step 1. Analyze your competition in building a dating app
- Step 2. Study the main features and functionalities
- Step 3. Create your structure as per the selected dating app feature
- Step 4. Select the right tech stack to make a dating app
- Step 5. Calculate the cost and time
- Step 6. Choose your dating app monetization strategy
Before diving deep into these steps, let’s look at a brief history of dating apps.
Dating Apps- Where Did It Come From?
Skipping over the long history of personal ads from the 17th to 19th century, we can begin at the year of 1965, when a bunch of Harvard undergrads created Operation Match, world’s first computer operated matchmaking service. For $3, you could answer a few questions, and the service would give you a list of potential matches. The process sounds familiar you say? That’s cause many dating apps and websites still use this process.
And then came the internet age, with hundreds of chat rooms, the online dating scene experienced a boom. But it was only with the occurrence of Match.com in 1995 that online dating ‘site’ began its journey. By 2007, online dating had become normalized.
What started with a five-ton mainframe computer, is now at the palm of our hands now. Technology has evolved, and so did the way we interact with dating sites and apps now. No wonder dating app development is so popular now.
There is a surplus of online dating apps on the app store now, with varying levels of popularity. But what makes online dating so popular among the people? Let’s look at the reasons for the rise in online dating app popularity.
Dating Apps Rise in Popularity – Reasons and Stats
While 60% male and 70% female population of the US admit that they have never used an online dating app or website, the rising popularity of the dating apps says otherwise. The hardcore proof of the popularity of dating apps can be found in the fact that in the US, the revenue for online dating apps is close to $1,667 million. So if you are thinking of how to create a dating app, it’s high time you delve into the idea!
With That Being Said, You Might Be Thinking Why Dating Apps Are Becoming So Popular?
Let us provide the answer to you.
There are a number of reasons why dating apps are as popular as they are today. As a dating app builder, you need to be familiar with these reasons for the popularity of dating apps.
1. Desire To Connect Meets Desire To Simplify
As human beings, we are supposed to want to meet and connect with other human beings. We are also wired to find simpler solutions to the problems we face. These two qualities met and became the perfect match.
And that’s how we got dating apps.
It is that simple. Since finding someone to be with seemed harder, our brain found a way through dating apps a simpler and non-scary way of finding and meeting people. It’s simple and easy. That’s all it needs to be.
2. Internet Popularity
Previously there may have been a stigma about online dating. People thought only losers signed up for online dating.
But the world has changed today. From paying bills to ordering groceries, everything is online now. So it is obvious that even dating is going to become online. As the popularity of the internet increases, so does the popularity of online dating.
And now, people think only weirdos have never given online dating a chance. Well, times change, but judgy people don’t.
3. Tailor Made For Your Preferences
It is not easy to find a ‘tall blonde partner with brown eyes who is an astronomy enthusiast’ and also speaks five languages.
Okay, the above preferences may not match yours, but with online dating, it’s easier to find people who match your specific preferences.
It’s a crazy world, but with dating apps, you can find the right match for you, no matter how picky you are.
4. Less Intimacy, Easy To Find
Many say they don’t like online dating because it takes the intimacy out of getting to know someone. But for some, this is the exact reason why they got into online dating apps in the first place.
The fact is, people are busy today. They don’t have time to sit down and write long romantic love letters, or sit down and chat to find out more about one another. Even if they do, and it doesn’t work out, it’ll be a waste of time and energy.
Enter dating apps. You can decide if someone seems worth your time and energy, and go from there. Not to mention that many people nowadays suffer from fear of intimacy, and online dating apps are giving them the perfect platform to find someone for them.
There you go. Now that we have convinced you about the rising popularity of online dating apps, we can now talk about how to create an online dating app or the cost of making an online dating app. But before we talk about how to create a dating app for Android or iOS, let’s look at the competition.
Feeling Excited? Let’s Create a Dating App. Here are Some Factors to Create One
Before you start thinking about how to make a dating app for Android or iOS, there are a few things for you to consider. These factors will help you to create a dating app like Tinder easily.
The Age Group Of The Users
Tinder is not used by everyone.
Seems shocking, but it is true. Not all age group are using Tinder. There are a number of dating apps out there and each of them is targeting a different demographic. So make sure to figure out which demographic you are going to aim for before planning about how to make a dating app.
Just because you are aiming at a specific group does not mean that everyone else is excluded. But it does help you to build up your marketing strategy precisely. Focusing on one or more target groups are going to help you make important choices in the matters of design and features that you need to implement.
Competition Study – Analyze your Rivals
The market is flooded with dating apps and you want your app to be the best of them. Which is why it’s important for you to study your competition well.
With a thorough study of your competition, you’d be able to understand what is the reason for their success or failure. And you can use that understanding in your own app. Take a close look at their features, and figure out what they are doing differently. Online dating apps are all more or less the same, with minor differences. And these minor differences are what sets them apart. With this study of their unique features, you’ll make sure that you don’t end up accidentally repeating any in your app.
Create A Matching Algorithm Or Not?
Most of the dating app builder believe that at the end of the day it’s the algorithm voodoo that brings people together. But that’s not the case all the time.
According to the study, 64% of people said that they look for people based on common interest, and 49% of people said they look for people who they find attractive. So at the end of the day, there is not much math involved in here.
Dating app developers today are experimenting with Artificial Intelligence and dating apps. With the application of AI in dating apps, things are bound to change in dating app scenario in the next twenty years.
So when you are thinking about how to create a dating app consider how you are going to match people with each other. You need to create a dating app that caters to the user’s preferences. This can easily be done with the help of a simple questionnaire at the beginning of the signup process. So what do you need to look into?
a. ‘Locating’ The Perfect Person
It’s all in the location. It is always easier for your user to be matched and go on dates with someone close to them. So you can apply a GPS based location system in your dating app to find potential matches for the user.
This way they can easily find a list of all the people who can be the potential match, and all of these people on the list will be from the same city.
You can add a special monetization feature with this, where the users will pay to expand their search and match radius. This is not only going to increase their chances of romance but generates revenue for you as well.
b. The Math Of Love
Did you ever think during those boring maths classes that maths will one day help you find the one?
None of us did. But it is true. You can implement a math-based system to match the app users with each other. It is based on the questionnaire, which the users need to fill up when they sign up for the service. Once they have filled out the forms, it’s time for math to do its magic.
This technique is used to assess the compatibility level of two users based on the answers they have given to the questions. When the compatibility level is higher than a certain number, they are matched with each other.
c. Match According To Behaviour
The sad thing about dating apps is, that people tend to lie about many things on the platform. Which is why you can go with the behavior based matching technique. This is basically a Big-Data based approach to matching the users on a dating app.
It is a bit more complicated than location-based or simple question-answer based solution, but it is more accurate. With this, you are going to analyze the data of the users collected from different sources such as social media accounts, groups they are part of, their profile, etc.
With this approach, there will be less catfishing on your platform.
d. Advanced Techniques For Making A Match
Along with our watches and phones, dating apps too are getting smarter.
With advanced techniques like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, VR and AR are revolutionizing the dating app scene. This way you can provide more accurate matches for the users. The popular machine learning technology used in Netflix is being used in dating apps today.
There are plenty of matching techniques you can add to your app. Whichever you choose to go with, make sure that the matches made between the users are good. Otherwise, people will use your app less and less.
Security Is The Basic Need
For all its good uses, online dating also comes with its downsides. Without proper security, an online dating app can easily become the playground for creeps and frauds. So you need to make sure that your app is safe for people to use.
You need to follow a thorough app security checklist to ensure the security of your users. Use a profile verification method to verify the profile of those who are joining the platform. With the help of social media and phone number verification, you can make sure that the people who are joining your app are legit and are not pretending to be someone else.
Dating app Bumble has gone another step ahead and added photo verification to their app. With this, the user needs to upload a selfie in a specific pose, like flashing a peace sign on the app to get verified. And that is how Bumble has stopped catfishing on their app.
Monetizing The App
There is no rule saying you can’t make money while helping people find love. But how much money do dating apps make?
These monetization ideas include-
1. In-app Purchases
Basic and simple, this is a straightforward way of making money with your app. Offer people with the chance of making in-app purchases, like keys and coins to get access to premium features or to look at more choices.
2. In-app Ads
In-app ads are the most well-known way of making money with your app. With relevant ads to dating apps, you can generate revenue.
3. Premium Access
By offering people subscription-based access to the premium features, you can easily monetize your app. Make sure to offer multiple tiers of subscription plans for all kinds of users.
4. Unique Monetization
Besides the above-mentioned monetization techniques, you can also make a partnership with local cafes and restaurants, gift shops to monetize your apps. These establishments can not only advertise themselves on your app, but your app can also promote them as dating sites, and great gift buying shops.
Important Features To Implement in Your Dating App
To create a dating app like Tinder, you need to incorporate some features in your app. You will see these features in every app, only in different styles. So what are these basic yet important features?
1. A Thorough Verification System
This one is without a question the most important one. Without a thorough verification system, your app is going to become a wonderland for creeps and frauds. So adding a good and secure verification system is important to secure the experience of your users.
Add a social media verification system to make sure the person is who they are saying they are. You can also add a phone number verification system and a photo verification system. In brief, you have to implement a strong and secure verification system for the safety of your users.
2. Matching With Your Objective
The users should have an option to express their objective o their profile. An online dating app user can have many reasons for using the service. It can be for a long term relationship or a quick and casual affair. Whatever it is, they should have an option to state that on their profile.
Along with that, they should also get matches with similar objectives. It’s no use for someone who is looking for a serious relationship to be matched with those who are looking for a casual hook up.
There is no point in having a dating app and not having a messaging feature. With this feature, app users can connect with each other through the app and talk to each other. This will help them not only in getting closer but also in understanding whether this match is worth investing their time on or not.
4. Giving You The Perfect First Date Idea
This is a fun feature for you to add to your app. Most of the time people are stumbling with the perfect first date idea. They don’t know whether they should go for a formal dinner or a casual coffee.
With this feature, you can make sure that they have the perfect first date. By giving them quirky and fun first date ideas that they would remember forever, you will make sure your dating app becomes the apple of their eye.
5. Undoing The Mistaken Swipe Or Like
Many times we have mistakenly swiped right when really, we wanted to swipe left.
Give people a chance to undo their mistake when you are planning on how to create your own dating app. They might have accidentally tapped on like for someone’s profile when they didn’t want to. Give them a small window of opportunity to undo their choices. This will increase their chances of ending up with someone they actually like.
6. See The Preference – Do They Like The Same Thing As You
For a lot of people, not liking the same movie or tv series is a deal breaker.
So it makes sense if they can see the basic preferences for their matches on your app. Let them dedicate a small portion of their profile to their favorite music, shows, and tv series. This is going to help them create that perfect ice-breaking conversation.
Ready To Build An Amazing Dating Experience? Wait. What Is The Tech Stack?
Making a dating app comes with its own responsibilities, like knowing the technology stack. Development of dating app by Unified’s specialists includes the following tools and technologies, but of course, it would vary depending on your requirements.
- Programming tools: Kotlin, Swift, and Java
- Database: MongoDB, SQL, Redis
- Framework: Express.Js, React Node.Js
- Web Server: Nginx, AWS
- Payment Gateway integration: Stripe, CCAvenue, PayPal
In addition, Google Analytics, Twilio and Google Maps will be needed. Again it can depend on your feature list, functionality and type of dating app you want to build.
Cost Of Creating A Dating App
The cost of developing an app depends on the features used in it. Just like that, the cost of dating app also depends on various aspects of the app.
A standard dating app with the basic feature takes somewhere around $50,000-$55,000 to develop in both Android and iOS. For a hybrid app, the cost estimation is somewhere around $35,000-$40,000.
For a detailed cost estimation for creating your dating app, you can look here.
Lastly, Who are Your Competitors? A Look At Popular Dating Apps
The most popular question when it comes to creating a dating app is- “how to create a dating app like tinder?” to know the answer, you have to know well about Tinder first.
The app stores are swelling with numerous dating apps. Each of them is promising different things, from finding your eternal match to a quick hook up. But are they all similar? Or are they doing things differently? Before talking about how to build a dating app Let’s find out.
Whether you have tried online dating or not, Tinder is a name you just know. It is the most popular of all online dating apps. It’s a location-based online dating app that makes it easy to connect with people.
The format of Tinder is simple and fun. The matches are shown based on your location. You can swipe right if you like someone, left if you don’t like someone, and swipe up if you super like someone.
If both people end up swiping right on each other, then it’s a match. After a match is made you can message the person and go from there.
Tinder has become so popular because it has made it simpler to show interest in someone. Earlier you had to make a detailed profile on the online dating websites and answer a hundred questions before you could start looking. And when you did find someone you liked, you had to initiate a conversation with them.
But with tinder, all you have to do is to swipe left, right or up. And no one will know where you swiped until it’s a match. It’s a fun, easy and safe way of browsing for a potential partner.
Even busy bees deserve a chance at romance, and the dating app called Now is providing them with just that. It is an app for hardcore professionals who are busy with their lives and jobs but also want to find someone through online dating apps.
But the USP of Now is not just being another one of the dating apps. As we began with the emphasis with busy bees who don’t have a lot of time on their hands, Now is a perfect platform for them. You can define your schedule and when you are free so that setting up a meeting becomes easy and flawless.
Changing the online dating game a little, Bumble is offering a woman-centric system in online dating apps. What does that mean?
It means that on Bumble, the woman is the one who begins the conversation. Guys have to wait till the lady herself sends the first message to start the conversation. But if the guy does not reply within 24 hours, then the match expires.
The main goal bumble is trying to accomplish is to get a real conversation going. And dating is not the only aspect of bumble. There is also Bumble BFF in case you are looking for a best friend and Bumble Bizz for networking and business.
Bumble is one of the most popular dating apps. Its features are a lot similar to that of Tinder but the simple fact that it lets the ladies initiate the conversation make it unique on its own, increasing its popularity even more.
4. Coffee Meets Bagel
Don’t we all love coffee and bagel?
The dating app Coffee Meets Bagel is another app that gives power to the ladies. Every day, the coffee, aka the men would get 21 matches for bagels, aka the women. They can like or pass off on the matches, and then the ladies would be presented with the best of the male candidates who expressed their interest.
This is a very efficient style of choosing someone, especially for ladies. This unique way of choosing people is what made Coffee Meets Bagel such a successful dating app.
5. Hily- Hey I Like You
Becoming famous for only having verified profiles on their app, Hily aka Hey I Like You is becoming more and more popular every day.
The simple and easy to use interface is what makes it popular among the userbase. Targeted at the 18+ crowd, Hily is providing a safe and secure platform for online dating with their strict policy about inappropriate content on their app.
The messaging feature on this app opens when there is a mutual like. Which means no spam messages from unwanted people.
The app analyses the user behavior in the app, which means the more you use the app, the more it gets to know you. And the more it gets to know you, the more chances of success you have on this app.
Grindr is breaking grounds with its target audience. When all online dating websites and apps were being directed at the straight people, Grindr came out exclusively for Gay men. The demographic was untouched and Grindr was the first one ever to tap into this market.
With its a simple and straightforward approach, Grindr lets men meet men. Once the user has downloaded the app and signed in, they have to upload their profile photo and a short description.
It is a geolocation-based dating platform. The matches shown will be of guys in your locality and closer to that who are also using the app. Once you find someone you like, you can start up a conversation and meet up.
There is also an added feature called Xtra, which allows the user to see and connect with more guys than the ones in their locality. They can also find and connect with guys from all around the world.
If gay men have Grindr, lesbian women have HER.
The app is a dating app and community for lesbian women. It is another example of a niche dating app targeting lesbian women and not only helping them find the perfect match but also creating a safe and secure community for them, to speak about their issues.
What is unique about the app is that it is not just for meeting potential partners. As founder and CEO Robyn Exton says, women are not just looking for hot or not, they are looking to chat and meet up and go to events together. Women are more interested in connecting with people than just going for a casual hook up.
This is why HER is such a great app for lesbian women. They are not only meeting their potential partners here but also their best friends. This is a community that is helping them deal with their problems in the bravest and fun way possible.
8. Elite Singles
A dating site made for a more mature crowd, Elite Single has created its own niche. Trying to move away from the hookup stigma that any and all dating app carries, Elite Singles has become one of the best dating apps for relationships.
Around 90% of its users are over thirty, with 80% percent of them having university degrees. It is no wonder that the Elite Single community is for a more exclusive community of people looking for a serious relationship.
Bonus: How to Create a Dating Website?
Creating an app and website goes hand in hand today. Having an app is not enough, you need a strong online presence for that app as well, which is why you need a website too.
Apps such as eharmony started with an online dating site and later evolved into an app. Just like that you too need to have an online dating website for your app. But how to make an online dating website? How much does it cost to build a dating website?
Besides stunning website design, there are a few necessary features you need when creating your online dating website. These features are-
Creating A Profile
Obviously, a dating website needs to have a ‘create a profile feature’. Choosing to remain anonymous on a dating website is suspicious. Which is why adopting transparency and having the users create a profile is the best way to go.
The users can create their profile and add their own profile photos. Their profile page should be easy to find and easy to edit with all the relevant information. Let them incorporate a short description and their own objective, what they are looking for on the website.
You should also have them answer questions which will help to show them matches relevant to their preferences. Smart filtering option should also be available for them to filter out the users they do not want to see.
The communication aspect is something that you can not skip on, whether you are creating a website or an app. If matched, two people should be able to communicate and talk via easy messaging feature.
Once again you need to add filtering feature here as well so that people don’t receive inappropriate messages without their consent. There should also be a blocking feature that enables users to block people they don’t want to receive texts from. So keep communication easy when you think of how to create a dating website.
Easy Search And Match
No one likes it when they can’t find something they want easily. Same goes for online dating websites.
In order to make the dating website successful, you need to add an easy search and match feature. With this, users can find people based on their own preference and match with them. It will make it easy for users to find their partner on the website.
Monetization Once Again
Even your website needs to be monetized. To get a return on the amount of money time and energy you’ll be putting into the website, you have to use a good enough monetization strategy.
You can obviously choose website ads. This is the easiest way of monetizing your app. Or you can choose to go with premium plans, where you give access to some special features on your website for a price. Make sure that your monetization strategy is befitting your website when you strategize how to create a dating website.
Need Of Proper Security
Whether you are planning about how to build a dating app or a dating website. And in the case of a dating website, this holds truer than anything.
Online dating websites can become a great place for frauds and cheats to take advantage of innocent people. So make sure you have proper precautions against people with malicious intent.
The user data needs to be protected, so make sure that no hacker hacks into your website and steals user data. You don’t want the Ashley Madison case to be repeated for your website.
The Dating App Bottomline
Finding love is not easy. But with dating apps, we are getting closer to a future when finding the one won’t be so hard. So if you are planning on making an app but still have not given a thought to what kind of app you are going to make, then give online dating apps a try.
And if you have already thought and planned about how to create a dating app, then what are you waiting for?
Who knows, maybe some lonely soul out there is waiting to meet their perfect match on your app!