Binerals

Posted July 29, 2021
20 min read

How to Build a Dating App: Tips to Create App Like Tinder and Bumble

How to make your own dating app? Getting inspired by the globally leading solutions like Tinder, Bumble and Badoo is a good getting-started tip, still, there are a lot of essentials and pitfalls you should keep in mind as well. In this article, we are going to tell you how to build an app like Tinder, following a profitable business model and choosing the right development path.

Online Dating Market Analysis and Overview

Before getting started with the ways to build your own dating app, let’s take a look at the market trends and statistics. Online dating has long been here but in 2021, some patterns and attitudes are going to change, being driven by the pandemic and significant shifts in users’ mindset. 

Online Dating Trends For 2021

Below are the most prominent trends on the online dating market you have to take into account before getting started with mobile dating app development, shortlisting the competitive features and designing your unique value proposition. 

Virtual Dating

This trend is quite obvious – being concerned by health issues, a lot of users prefer virtual dating before making the step towards a real-life meeting. For most of them, making sure their match is ready to follow Covid-safety rules is important. That’s why 46% of Bumble users prefer having a virtual date first. This means that embedding your online dating app with a video call feature is essential since this trend is expected to stay here for a while, even despite the vaccinations. 

More Honesty

The recent pandemic gave most people more opportunities to reflect on what they really need, uncovering their true desires, intentions and life goals. According to Tinder’s report, online dating has become more honest and transparent. Most users no longer hesitate to be themselves and showcase it in their profiles. The shift towards honesty is especially relevant for Gen Z who value authenticity and transparency, so take it into account as well if this group of users is your future target audience.
From the development perspective, this means that adding more features for revealing users’ personalities in their profiles can be a winning tactic, and it is better to make filling some of the lines in the profile mandatory to help users create more detailed pictures of themselves. 

More Mindful and Intentional Dates

This trend is the logical continuation of the previous one. Being honest with themselves means being honest with dating goals, so consider adding more options in your app and match the users accordingly. 

“New Dawn Daters”

The pandemic has triggered a great surge in break-ups and divorces, especially in the US and China. This means that now these singles are ready to start dating again, still, they are somewhat anxious about online dating and its risks. From the perspective of this trend, the task of your future app is to create a safe environment for everyone.
For example, consider an idea realized by Bumble. On this platform, only women are allowed to send the first message, and according to the developers, it promotes equity and respectful relations from the very beginning. 

Online Dating Statistics

12% of adult US users got married or committed to serious relations which began on a dating platform.

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How Does Bumble and Tinder Make Money

Advertising and subscription are the most intuitive business models for the apps from the dating industry. Advertising allows the app to stay monetized at the early stages, plus compensates for the users that use it for free. Subscription is an opportunity to create a revenue stream in the long run, and this is an especially relevant monetization approach for the dating apps that implies ongoing usage, that is, for those in the never-ending search for something new. 

How Does Tinder Make Money

Like most of the apps from the entertainment and dating niches, the basic set of Tinder features comes for free. Still, the free functionality is quite effective, and this is just what makes users switch to the subscription and unlock even more opportunities for finding their perfect match.
That is, Tinder makes most of its revenue from the subscription, in addition to ads. As for the tariff plans, there are Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum ($2-15 per month depending on the pricing plan and subscription terms). 

Interesting fact! The fees for users over 30 are a little higher. And the reason for this pricing policy is a little cynical – the creators of the application guess that if you are 30 and you are looking for something in Tinder, then you still have not managed to create a happy relationship in the first place, but you most likely have more money in second. 

How Does Bumble Make Money

In a nutshell, the pricing policy of Bumble is very similar to the one of Tinder. Bumble also offers Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium subscriptions each of which comes with a diversified set of features for meeting new people. 

Struggling with choosing a business model that fits your future project best? We are here to help! Analyze My Business

Build Your Own Dating App Like Tinder or Bumble - Steps and Tips

How to make a new Tinder? Let’s develop something better instead. Follow our step-by-step strategy teeming with tips and insights. 

1. Proceed From Pain Points to Create Something Unique

The online dating market is on the rise, which means that now is the right time to build dating apps like Bumble and Tinder. Still, copying the leading solutions had never been the right strategy. Instead, you should come up with something unique and outstanding. What’s more, there is no need to reinvent the wheel but there is a clear need for suggesting a more advanced way of solving the users’ problem. 

Below are some of the online dating pain points shared by users you may proceed from when developing an idea for your dating app.

  • Using several dating apps takes too much time. The reason for this pain point is obvious – none of the apps is tailored to the specific preference, goal, or expectation. Make sure your future app is specific enough.
  • Mismatching. It may seem that the reasons for this pain point hide in machine learning-powered matching algorithms but psychologists say that the problem may be related to the way the user portrays himself/herself in their profile. In this case, you are welcome to develop such a kind of user profile that will allow them to either find the suggestions to fill it or better reveal their personalities. Hint! Badoo’s profiles are great; you are welcome to take a look. 
  • Sexually explicit messages or images. This is quite a common situation on online dating platforms, and on some of them, this is just what the users expect. But if your initial idea implies matching users with more serious intentions, consider adding an ML algorithm with image recognition and text analysis capabilities. P.S. Don’t forget to tell your users about it as well. 
  • The users have run out of suitable matches. This is one more typical situation for those in the never-ending search. To deal with it, you have to develop creative marketing tactics to constantly attract new visitors and keep the male-female balance equal or almost equal.

So, how to create a successful dating app? The answer is simple. Your solution has to match not only people that are potentially suitable for each other. You should also match the pain points, concerns, and preferences of your future users with the functionality your app is going to provide them with. 

Feel like you need more market-specific support to develop your value proposition? Let us suggest some winning ideas. Ask Our Experts

2. Research Your Competition in Multiple Categories

The world of online dating is quite diverse, and there are a lot of solutions in different categories you can get inspired by, use their best practices as the foundation to develop your unique value proposition and make a dating app. Below are some outstanding online dating solutions, and each of them comes with unique features and offerings.

  • Tinder. Tinder is the leading solution in the online dating market since this is an all-in-one platform. You never know what kind of person you can meet here. It can be your future soulmate, best friend, business partner, or neighbor, and this is what makes Tinder popular and engaging.
  • Bumble. Bumble decided to segment their potential users by purpose and created several apps for love dating, friendship, and expanding a business network (Bumble Date, Bumble BFF, and Bumble Biz). As for Bumble Date, its unique feature is a female-only opportunity to make the first step. 
  • Elite Singles. This is an online dating platform for those with serious intentions only. 80% of its users are over 30 years old, have high education, plus each profile is carefully verified.
  • Adult Friend Finder. Unlike the previous solution, the goal of the users of this app is just the opposite. The platform is designed to quickly find opportunities for one-night stays and casual dating. 
  • Seeking. This is a sugar dating platform, that is, it offers opportunities for eligible men in search of relations on their terms. 

Hater. An unusual name for a dating app, isn’t it? But the idea itself sounds quite interesting  – with the help of this app, the users can find people who hate the same things as them and get in touch. Perhaps, avoiding the same things can be a good start to any relationship, and this app is also a great example of how non-patterned thinking can lead to unique and promising business ideas.

3. Think About the Design

While most of the apps follow the same design and UI principles, there are still opportunities to do it better. How to build a dating app with an outstanding design and intuitive UI? Keep the following tips in mind. 

  • Mobile-first design. According to the research, online dating and mobile dating aren’t the same things. Rather, they relate to each other as a whole and a part. Mobile dating is more popular because of its instant communication opportunity, and that’s why your app design should be mobile-centered. It shouldn’t be overloaded with buttons and sections but instead, it should provide instant access to the chat and search. 
  • Right colors. Online dating is purely about emotional experiences, and you may enhance them with the right colors. Still, the color palette of your future app shouldn’t necessarily be pink or red. To find the right color, proceed from your initial idea and the users’ problem you intend to solve. For example, if you want to create a platform for dating with serious intentions, you may use such colors as blue and white. These are the colors of trust and credibility. 

Engaging UI writing. If you want to develop dating apps similar to Bumble and Badoo, pay attention to their UI writing approaches. Both of the apps use very simple and engaging texts, especially in the process of the new users onboarding. Keep in mind that a lot of new visitors may feel anxious about the app and about online dating as such, so the task is to create a friendly, supportive and relaxed environment, using the power of words as well.

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4. Shortlist Features and Technologies Needed to Create a Successful Dating App

How to Build an App Like Tinder - Basic Features

Sign in/sign upThis is the basic feature to begin interaction with the app. To let the users get started instantly, make sure to provide the opportunity for signing up and logging in via their Google profiles, social media, and phone numbers. 
User profile

The user profile is as important as your matching algorithm. What’s more, both of these features are directly interconnected, especially if you are going to match users by their goals, worldviews, preferences, and other more important things than just their location. 

The user profile should also allow your visitors to showcase themselves and be themselves so think over such features as answering some important questions, adding multiple photos, or downloading a video. 

Geolocation

This is one more core feature that allows for matching the users in close proximity to each other. Don’t forget to set flexible geolocation settings, allowing the users to specify the area they would like to search in, and manage their geolocation settings. For example, they should have an opportunity to enable it only when using the app. 

Also, think about one more idea. You can match the users who crossed paths with each other during the day in real life. In this case, the chances of their success increase even more.

Search for the usersIn fact, swapping-powered dating apps may come without search – preferences-based suggestions are often enough to make a match. But if you want to give your users more opportunities to find somebody they like, consider adding a search feature with multiple filters by gender, age, goal, the presence of children, current relations status, and more. 
Swiping The swapping feature is a business card of most dating apps. But keep in mind one more interesting fact. According to the research, up to one-third of people mix up left and right. That is, using swapping and making the right choice may be more complicated to them. To help such users, consider adding Like and Dislike features (for example, like Badoo does) to reduce misswipes. 
Online chatThis is one more core feature of an online dating app. When developing it, think about its availability for the users. For example, Badoo allows for writing to people you aren’t matched with, while Tinder makes it possible only if you have a paid subscription. Bumble allows only women to write first. 
NotificationsNotifications are important to keep users engaged and help them achieve their goals faster by responding to their matches instantly. 
Payment gateway integrationEverything is clear with this function – you need it to accept payments from your users. Make sure to follow financial data protection practices. 

How to Make a Tinder Style App - Advanced Features

If you want to build a new dating app like Bumble and offer your users something unique and exclusive, consider adding some of the advanced features below. 

Profile verification

Profile verification feature is essential to make users sure they are dealing with real persons. For example, you may use a selfie-checking algorithm, or even ask for identity verification if your future app implies dating with serious intentions, and it is important for all the users to be unmarried at the moment. Always keep their data safety in mind. 

Profile-filling suggestions

Some users may feel frustrated when it comes to writing something about themselves in their profiles. Help them to fill their profiles in by providing different suggestions they will be able to choose from. Plus, use the chosen suggestions as to the parameters for more accurate matching. 

Personality testing

This is another advanced feature that allows you to match the users based on their personality type. In this case, you will need strong AI expertise, plus support from qualified psychologists to develop such a smart system. 

Live video

Since virtual dates are on the rise, adding a live video calls feature is essential. You may go without it on the stage of MVP development testing but it is a must-have for a full-fledged solution. 

Events

For example, you may let users create their events, for example, 5-minutes dating rounds, and let the others join. 

AI-chatbots

For those feeling frustrated at the beginning of the conversation, a smart chatbot can suggest suitable topics or questions to get started with breaking the ice. 

Pay the Greatest Attention to the Matching Algorithm

How to create a dating app like Tinder, and most importantly, how to match the users in such a way that most of them find what they were looking for? The right answer is hidden deeply in the machine learning algorithm you will develop and power your future solution with. 

For example, Tinder mostly uses behavior analysis. It matches people based on their previous interactions. For example, those who get more right than left swipes are ranked better. It also suggests that if user X likes user Y, then user Y may also be suitable for user Z under the condition that X and Z have the same or almost the same characteristics and preferences. 

Badoo has the smartest matching algorithm. Firstly, it allows the users to set the matching parameters and change them at any time. Secondly, it analyses profile information and matches the users with the same preferences and interests. What’s more, the algorithm also analyses custom information provided by the users (for example, their occupation) and suggests people from the same industry as an option.

Choose the Right Technologies

The choice of the technology stack is always project-dependent. As always, the first choice factor is the mobile operating system you develop your app for. As a rule, most dating apps come as native ones and each of them is perfectly tailored to the operating system specifics and is powered by different technologies. The set of features you need to develop will also drive the technology choice. 

For example, below is the list of programming languages, tools, and platforms used by Tinder. 

5. Get in Touch with an Experienced Development Vendor

At this stage, you are welcome to get in touch with an experienced development company. They will help you not only make the right choice with the technologies but also suggest the more cost-effective ways to develop your dating app, shortlist essential features for your MVP, and create design solutions that will fit your application mood and intentions. 

Make an App Like Tinder with Binerals

Binerals tech team would be happy to support you along your dating app development path. We are well-versed in the online dating market and its trends so we will be able to suggest winning ideas on how to build your solution in such a way to meet users’ expectations and market demand. Below are more benefits you can get from our collaboration. 

  • Niche-tailored expertise. Developing applications for the online dating industry is our key expertise. We have a lot of hands-on practices, insights and life hacks to help you create your solution in the smartest way possible. 
  • Experience in working with diverse technologies. Our tech team also handles a wide set of technologies, and they will be able to suggest the ones that will work for your project best. 
  • AI and ML-savvy specialists under the roof. Since an AI-powered matching algorithm is at the heart of most dating apps, making it as smart as possible is essential. Our experience in artificial intelligence development and training will allow you to create a unique and effective algorithm to help your users achieve their goals faster and more effectively. 
  • Ready-made team. You are only one step away from getting started with your project development. Our perfectly matched team is ready to help you right now.

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Dating App Like Tinder

The cost of making a dating app largely depends on the app’s specifics itself. Keep in mind that the development of the matching algorithm will take most budget and time since this is the core feature of the app that should be truly effective, scalable, and able to overdeliver. 

How much does it cost to start a dating app? The average price for creating an MVP for a mobile-native app (either iOS and Android) is $50,000-80,000. The cost of the full-fledged solution may reach $100,000-150,000 for a mobile app for one operating system, plus nearly $50,000-80,000 to develop the second native app on the basis of the first one, using Kotlin multi-platform, for example.

Conclusion

Making a mobile dating application is a promising business opportunity, especially if you have a unique and well-validated idea and a reliable development vendor nearby. We, at Binerals, would be happy to help you create a market-disruptive solution for online dating using top-notch technologies, saving your time and money, and following the life-proven development methodologies. Drop us a line to discuss your project and help a lot of people to become a little happier!

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