- There are three main types of dating apps, with search based on location or questionnaires or with a focus on a certain niche
- Main features of a dating app include: secure registration form, person’s profile, geolocation, audio and video chatting, ice-breakers, partner search algorithm, in-app purchases
- The cost of developing a dating app depends on the technology stack that is used, the features included, and the team developing it
- The cost to develop your dating app with Purrweb is approximately $55 000.
Dating apps types: how they work
The dating app market has many players, but the search and selection principles are quite the same. Basically, there are three options.
Geolocation. Lots of dating apps like Tinder have a partner selection principle based on geolocation and a minimal set of parameters, such as the required age, height, etc. Therefore there is a wide range of candidates available for the user. But choosing accounts by scrolling is so addictive that people don’t notice how many hours they spend swiping them.
Questionnaire survey. It is becoming more in demand in dating app development. You can use common questions like favorite hobbies or even involve psychological tests. Artificial intelligence helps you to analyze these answers and seek the person with the most relevant response. For example, OkCupid dating app includes approximately 4000 questions, from which people can choose the most interesting and important ones for them.
Niche selection. In order not to look for the specific fish in the endless sea, you can initially narrow the field. Niche dating apps are a kind of clubs of like-minded people who are looking for a mate. Look at the Pure app — it openly invites you to find a partner for a more casual arrangement. It means that every user accepts these rules and doesn’t necessarily look for a serious relationship there.
The unmatched advantage of online dating over the traditional format, is that you can find a partner based on the exact query — appearance, education, habits, etc. Therefore, we believe that niche applications or apps using questionnaires will prevail in mobile app development.
Main features of a dating app: what’s inside
To make a dating app, you need to know a set of necessary functions that users are already used to and which are basic for the most popular dating apps. Let’s look underneath the hood of an app like Tinder.
🔐Secure registration form — $3 100. It is required in dating app development. You can authenticate your users through social media accounts. So, your dating mobile app will weed out bots and scammers, which will increase user trust.
🧑🦰Person’s profile — $6 000. Dating apps like Bumble give users the opportunity to describe themselves in detail. But people have shorter attention spans online, and long texts most likely won’t fit into the interface design. So some limits are needed in any case.
🗺️Geolocation — $4 500. No matter what kind of app you choose, having GPS and filtration by the distance are essential. You can define a distance in kilometers or select particular cities or even countries, as well as allowing users to pay to access other locations, like Tinder Passport.
📞Audio and video chatting — $7 500. Currently open communication is in the trend. Users are abandoning simple texting that is common in traditional dating apps in favor of communication via exchanging audio messages or video calls. Because this is a quicker way to get an impression of the person. That’s why it’s important to provide different ways of chatting. It will be good to provide exchanging audio/video messages, but having call features, including video chats, will be the best.
⛄Ice-breakers — $3 000. Even in online dating, being on the other side of the screen, it can be difficult for people to start a conversation. Many users are looking for alternative options instead of the boring question “How are you?”. In this case your ice-breakers come to the rescue. They help to start a conversation and make a relaxed atmosphere. When you create ice-breakers, remember to follow the rule of 3E’s. They should be EASY, ENJOYABLE and EXPLAINABLE. For example, the system may offer user to choose one of the questions like “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”. It is easy to understand, funny to think about and gives a partner an opportunity to describe themselves.
🧙Partner search algorithm — $4 000. This is the most responsible and difficult part of dating app development. Some extraordinary algorithm can be your killer feature. What if your app suggests potential matches after users play a game? This may at least impress your users!
💰In-app purchases — $4 500. Statistics say that users are willing to pay for good service and extra features. An average user spends about $243 a year on app subscriptions. You can give users several packages to choose from that include advanced options, for example, a Super Like on Tinder or virtual gifts.
The final set of features for a dating app will depend on your idea, target audience and use case scenarios. If you are still looking for the concept of your future dating app explore some interesting opportunities below.
What influences the cost of dating app development
Dating app development cost is primarily affected by the chosen technology stack, the scope of work, and the number of dating app developers in the team. Let’s find out how they build the final price.
First you need to determine what type of application you want to create. There are three options:
Native apps. This type implies writing code literally from scratch without any limitations in mobile app development except your budget and imagination. But you will need to create separate dating apps for each type of operating system (iOS and Android) which can take a long time.
Progressive web application. PWA is a special technology in web development that visually and functionally transforms a website into an application. This type is less expensive, but they don’t have high data processing speed, since they have to render the interface all the time. So it can hardly be a solution for a dating app where people spend a lot of time.
After choosing the technology, the next thing you should pay attention to when building a dating app is the features you want in the app. For example, some of the killer features which can help you conquer the dating app market can influence the price. If you are not sure which specific features to choose, you can start with MVP — this is the first version of the product with the most key features that define your idea. It allows you to quickly launch the product. If its release is successful and users appreciate your dating app, you can think about its further development.
The next thing is UI/UX-design. UX-design helps to create a product that people can use easily and comfortably. The UI-design is responsible for how the application looks and what mood it evokes in users. In modern mobile app development, they are half the battle. But the more complex the design, the higher the dating app development cost. If you have a limited budget, it is better to keep it simple.
When you define the concept of the dating app, the technology stack and features, it only remains to choose a team that will design and develop the app for you. Usually it consists of a designer, frontend and backend developers, a tester, and a project manager. You can hire them in-house, find freelancers, or use the services of an outsource agency.
In-house. This approach assumes 100% employee engagement, but it has disadvantages. For example, you will have to accommodate all your employees or provide them with remote work equipment. In addition, you will need to decide what to do with the staff when the project is over, since the technical support of the app doesn’t require the involvement of all specialists.
Freelance. There are a lot of freelancers on the market now who are ready to participate in the application’s development for a reasonable or even low price. But most likely you will have to dive deeply into the process yourself and control their work.
Outsource. Outsource mobile app development companies are experienced full-service teams that have the competencies and resources to develop any application. Their own staff includes many specialists who can join your project. They won’t need to adapt, as the team members are used to working together.
In dating app development, there can be some features that you don’t need to create from scratch. Instead, you can integrate existing APIs into your app.
Geolocation and in-app purchases are a good example of this kind of integrations. Developing these features from the ground up is unnecessary, if you want to add them — just use already existing APIs like Stripe and Google Maps.
Third-party integrations influence the cost to build your app in two ways:
Quantity of APIs. The more integrations you want to include, the higher the cost of your app. Even if it’s cheaper to integrate them than develop from scratch, you still have to spend time and resources, adding them to your app.
Compatibility of APIs. Not all third-party integrations are built equal. Some may work seamlessly with your app, while others may significantly slow it down or not function at all. If you want to integrate a specific feature that’s not compatible with your app, tweaking it will cost extra.
How much does it cost to develop a dating app
Now we come to the main question: how much does it cost to develop a dating app? Let’s take a look at the stages of dating app development and their cost below. As an estimate basis, we took the dating app MVP with features listed above. At Purrweb, we have already created over 250 MVPs. With us, the cost to develop your dating app will be approximately $55 000. So, if you don’t know where to start, don’t fret! With so many projects under our belt — we know how to build a dating app like Tinder and we can help you out. See the details below.
|What we are doing
|Estimation in hours
|Estimation in weeks
|We discuss an idea of your dating app and estimate the costs and time needed
|We map users’ journey, come up with design concepts for each step, and present them to you
|Our team works on the architecture, the interface and the admin panel
|820 hours – app
200 hours – admin panel
|10 weeks – app
In parallel with dev – admin panel
|We search for any possible bugs and fix it before launch
|250 hours – in parallel with dev
|A PM assigns tasks, controls deadlines and removes any bumps from the road
|In parallel with project
|In parallel with project
|500$ – design
2,500$ – dev
The total cost to develop a dating app varies based on the features, UI/UX design, and developers you hire.
With Purrweb, you can count on:
$55,000 for a dating app MVP and up to $70,000 for a full-fledged mobile dating app
How much does it cost to maintain a dating app?
The dating app cost of maintenance depends on the type of post-release service you want to get. You can either add new features to your app or get rid of some bugs. Here’s how they can influence the overall cost:
Adding new features — costs can vary. The development costs change based on how complex a feature is. If you want to add a new screen with a unique user flow and design, you’ll have to get developers, project managers, and UI/UX designers involved. However, if you want to integrate a small change, it’ll cost less.
Getting rid of bugs — 20% of the initial price. This post-release service is great if you’re only concerned with glitches and other things that can worsen the user experience. You can hire developers who’ll ensure that the app doesn’t freeze or bug out frequently. It’s also important to get project managers who can oversee the process. Getting designers onboard, however, will be unnecessary at this point.
The cost of the leading dating apps development
Of course, the cost to build popular dating apps like Tinder is a trade secret. However, knowing their set of functions, we can guess how much it costs to create a copy of them. So let’s see what they have under the hood and estimate their development cost.
Tinder’s features include users profiles with photos and short videos, opportunity to integrate Instagram and Spotify, select partners by age, gender and their radius of location. It also uses a profiles rating system which influences the matching algorithm, features for swiping and several different paid features for the best dating experience. The app also has an option to unmatch and report indecent behavior.
Purrweb’s estimation: from $157 000 to $200 000.
Bumble has a more advanced and detailed profile format, linking Instagram and Spotify accounts, ice-breakers in the form of questions and emoji reactions for photos. It also has their own special feature — algorithms which allow only women to do a first step and limited-time matches. The last thing is premium paid modes which open extra options for users.
Purrweb estimation: from $161 000 to $250 000.
Can a dating app be a profitable venue?
Yes, it can! While the cost of apps like Bumble and Tinder is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, they’ve managed to generate much more profit. Your dating app business can have the same success.
Start with a unique dating app idea. Make sure your app has some perks that no other competitor has. A product with some innovative elements can pull clients from other companies to you.
Or, you can build a dating app that provides better service than your competitors. It’s fine if your idea isn’t entirely unique. You can set yourself apart by making an app with excellent customer support, quicker loading times, and a cleaner interface.
Choose an appropriate monetization model. This will depend on your target audience. Are they willing to spend money on premium subscriptions? Or are they the type of users who don’t mind looking at ads every now and then?
Here are some monetization models you can choose from:
|With this model you would lock access to certain parts of the app behind a paywall. For example, Tinder did this with their “Superlike” feature — you have to pay each time you use it.
|A nice solution if you’re not willing to develop new features and charge money for them. Make sure that ads don’t occupy too much space — this can annoy and drive some users away.
|You can make your app accessible only to users who paid the subscription fee. Just make sure that your target audience is willing to spend money for subscriptions like this.
Listen to users’ feedback. Some online dating apps continue to grow years after release. The popularity of others spikes at the beginning — and then they slowly fade into obscurity.
The success of an app can be chalked up to users’ feedback. If they complain about bugs or features that are awkward to use, try to implement their changes. Otherwise, while some users may have patience, others won’t. Sooner or later they’ll delete the app — especially once a competitor arrives with a better solution.
Creating a dating app — what could be more relevant in today’s fast-moving world? Especially if you know how to help users solve their problems — security, convenience and accuracy of matches. We are ready to help you with the development of a dating app, to consult you on the stages and the cost of building it. Contact us or fill out the form below and we’ll call you back shortly.