Is building dating app profitable?

Have you wondered how much money dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge make?

Dating apps have made around $3644 million in 2022 and are still counting! 

Since dating apps simplify the experience of finding the perfect couple, most users prefer dating apps to find new partners. 

If you want to know how profitable it is to invest in dating apps, what is the best way to build and start your own dating business? Let’s understand in detail. 

How do dating apps work?

The working of dating apps

The working steps of dating apps are given below:

  1. User login or register to the dating app
  2. Next, app users submit their basic details to create their profile 
  3. Dating apps ask to track users’ location to suggest nearby dating partners
  4. App users swipe profiles left or right to select the best one for their date
  5. After choosing the profile, users can communicate with them through chat and video calling features  

Types of Dating Apps

1. Geolocation Dating Apps

Geolocation-based dating apps use GPS technology to connect users with potential matches in their vicinity. These apps prioritize proximity, helping people find partners nearby, making them convenient for spontaneous meetups and local connections.

2. Questionnaire-based Dating Apps

Questionnaire-based dating apps use personality assessments and user-generated questions to match individuals based on compatibility and shared interests. Users answer a series of questions, and the app’s algorithm suggests potential matches with similar values and preferences.

3. Niche-based Dating Apps

Niche-based dating apps cater to specific communities or interests, focusing on particular demographics or shared passions. These apps help users find like-minded individuals who share unique hobbies, beliefs, or cultural backgrounds.

4. Traditional Dating Apps

Traditional dating apps offer a more conventional approach to online dating, allowing users to create profiles and browse potential matches based on photos and brief descriptions. Users initiate conversations and connections based on personal preferences and initial attraction.

Now, let’s understand how much dating apps are profitable by looking at their marketing stats. 

Stats and facts of the dating app market

These are the market stats of the dating industry to let you understand why dating apps are profitable to invest in:

Dating App Stats

Now let’s understand the app development process to build apps like Tinder and Bumble.

Steps to build dating apps 

You can follow the steps to start your dating app development journey:

1. Research similar dating apps

Doing basic marketing research is important for your business. You can research the audience that engages in online dating websites and your competitors that offer online dating services.

Moreover, you can ask the following questions to yourselves to simplify your marketing research in the dating industry:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How much market size do dating apps cover?
  • Which are the best dating apps in your region?
  • What do market opportunities dating apps offer? 
  • What’s the reason behind the trend of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble dating apps? 
  • What features do popular dating apps include?

2. Understand how the dating industry works

Instead of reinventing the wheel, you should check out the features of popular dating apps like Bumble and Tinder. Knowing their features will help you understand the working of dating apps.

Also, instead of focusing on everyone, you should define your specific niche to target a narrow audience, like a travel dating app or others that are more likely to use your dating app. For excellent audience targeting, you can do the following things:

  • Define and do in-depth research in your niche
  • Search the USP of the dating app
  • Find and solve loopholes and problems in the dating industry with your mobile app 

Also, you can check some popular dating apps that uniquely define their target audience and perform well in the dating industry. 

I. Hily

A well-known dating app in the USA. The algorithm of this app allows users to find users based on their backgrounds, interests, and activities. Moreover, the app enables its users to make video calls to engage with the other users they are deeply interested in.

II. League

The app matches dating profiles based on users’ professional backgrounds and education. The League is more oriented toward users’ professional experiences and qualifications than their interest in finding a perfect couple.

III. Coffee Meets Bagel

This platform is intended for the LGBT community, where the users can find their matching pair. Talk over other dating apps that focus on the LGBT community. You can take the example of  Scruff, Grindr, and Plant Romeo.

3. Define the goals of your dating apps

You should understand and decide which goals you will achieve by building your dating apps. Offering a unique dating experience will help you to engage and attract new users to your platform.

Also, you can fulfill different goals by building your dating apps, such as:

  • Allowing app users to meet virtually and find new dating partners
  • Suggesting more relevant dating profiles based on users’ interests and locations
  • Simplifying the dating experience by offering unique features such as profile swiping, ice-breakers, gamification, etc 
  • Focusing on a unique audience base based on their profession, age, or other factors to them easily find their dating partners

However, you can ask yourself a few questions to decide how you will offer a unique dating experience to your app users: 

  • Should I develop native or hybrid apps?
  • What unique features am I going to offer with my dating app?
  • Which audience am I going to target with my dating app? 
  • What will be my monetization strategy for my dating app?

4. Focus on improving your app’s UI/UX

Your app user interface will determine how your user will feel while using your app. Your app’s clean and responsive interface will help users interact easily with your dating app. 

Moreover, you might have noticed how some dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have smooth UI. On Tinder, you can easily find a profile just by swiping left or right and accepting or rejecting a profile on the same page. 

This unique way of accessing dating profiles helps Tinder and other apps attract a large audience to their platform. 

5. Outsource your project to the best IT companies 

After deciding on your dating platform’s design and app UI, the next step is to determine and build dating-related features for your app.

At the start, you can choose to have MVP of your app, where the platform will only contain the essential features that need to operate dating platforms. 

For example, you can choose to have an algorithm on your platform that matches two profiles for dating (based on their genders and interests) when they swipe left and right.

You can use the given below algorithm for building a successful matching pair for dating profiles in your app:

List of matching algorithmsExplanations 
Use GeodataYou can use google map to get users’ locations and match their dating profiles based on their location preferences
Build mathematical algorithmsMathematical algorithms analyze users’ gender, age, hobbies, and other data to match their profiles with other app users.
Analyzing user behaviorYou can use big data to analyze your user behavior and suggest more suitable dating profiles in an advanced way. 
Big data makes it possible to analyze user behavior through AI-based technology. 

The primary intent of having MVP of your dating app at the beginning is to get valuable feedback from your users, so you can later improve them when your platform is fully ready to launch. 

Also, building an MVP of your app will help you to reduce the budget of your app development by allowing you to focus on only the necessary features and functionality for your dating app.

6. Test and deploy your dating app

There will always be the possibility that your app will have some bugs to remove before launching your dating app in the market. 

Therefore, check your dating apps’ APIs, functionality, and responsiveness. Also, test the app algorithm to determine whether your app suggests the correct profile by the algorithm or not. 

Ensure you follow all the app publishing guidelines where you will launch your dating platform. 

Check the following section to learn the essential features you will need in your dating app.

List of basic features in dating apps

1. Registration and Login

To let new users join your platform, they will do registration in your app. While already registered, users can use your app by login into your app.

2. Use profile verification

Users can verify their profile through valid documents such as driver’s licenses or address proof. The feature will eliminate bots and suspicious users from your dating app. 

3. Push notifications

Integrating push notifications into your app will help users stay updated with any messages and activities related to their dating profiles.

4. Preference selection

The preference will help users to get matching profiles based on their willingness to meet new users on your platform. Based on users’ preferences, your app will help them get the exact dating profile they want from your platform.

5. GPS-based search

You can use GPS-based features to let your app suggest dating profiles to your audience based on their location preferences. 

6. In-App Messaging

In-App Messaging allows users to communicate through text within the dating app, facilitating conversations and connections between potential matches in a convenient and private way.

7. Voice and Video Calling

Voice and Video Calling features enable users to have real-time audio and video conversations, enhancing the depth of interaction and helping users get to know each other better before meeting in person.

8. Push Notifications

Push Notifications keep users engaged by sending alerts, updates, and reminders directly to their mobile devices. They inform users about new messages, profile matches, and other important events within the dating app, encouraging ongoing user participation.

9. Fake profile checker 

Using fake profile checkers will filter out every suspicious user lying with their identity on your dating platform. 

However, many users will not be ready to reveal their identities. Still, it can eventually help you to get the only profitable and natural user base on your dating platform. 

Having real identities of dating profiles on your platform will help other audiences to get the exact right match based on their preference.

10. Privacy and report profile 

Taking care of your users’ privacy is essential. Therefore, you should implement strict privacy guidelines in your dating platform. 

Also, allow your users to report other suspicious users that disturb the reputation of your dating platform with their unwanted behaviors.

11. App gamification 

You can increase user engagement on your platform by introducing some gamification features that involve challenges and reward points distributed among your users based on their activities on your dating platform.

12. Lookalike Finding feature

This is an additional feature based on facial recognition where users can get recommendations for profiles that look like them and have similar facial features. Also, check the additional features of dating apps.

You must know all the app monetization options to generate income from your dating apps to their full potential. 

Let’s check all the available options from which you can earn money from your dating app.

How do dating apps make money?

It would be best to decide how you will make money from your dating app.

To make your decision even better, you can explore different monetization options to select which will best suit your dating platform.

1. In-app purchases

With in-app purchases, you can allow users to access premium features of your dating app. Tinder, the most popular dating app, has used this monetization model to offer premium features to its app users, such as

  • Profile boosting
  • Unlimited swipes
  • Getting featured
  • Chatting with an exclusive profile
  • Check who liked you
  • Sending gift

Benefits of using in-app purchases

  • Increase user engagement and app revenue
  • Allowing users to access all the paid app feature

2. Affiliate marketing and paid ads

With affiliate marketing, you can promote the services and products of other businesses on your dating platform. You can target dating niche-related websites and companies to generate revenue by taking commissions on each sale you have made from your dating app. 

For affiliate marketing, your business partner will provide you with a unique affiliate link that you have to embed on your platform. Talk over popular dating apps like Match, EliteSingles, and Cupid Media all these dating platforms use affiliate marketing to generate revenue in their online dating business. 

Benefits of using affiliate marketing

  • Helps businesses to generate passive income
  • Easy to start 
  • Generates performance-based reward

3. Subscription and premium plan 

A paid subscription plan lets your app users access all the premium features of your dating platform. Tinder is a perfect example of a subscription-based monetization model in the dating industry. 

With the Tider premium subscription plan, users can enjoy unlimited swipes to increase their chances of getting a perfect dating match.

Benefits of using a subscription or premium plan

  • Increase app revenue 
  • Improves user engagement 

4. Video upgrade

Earn income from your users who want to engage deeply with their dating partners through video calls. You can offer premium chat and video calling features to your app users to generate an additional income source in your dating app. 

Talking over popular examples: eHarmony and charge their users to let them engage with their potential dating partners through video calls.

Benefits of using video-based chat monetization 

  • Offering a unique way to engage dating app users 
  • More success rate of giving dating couples from your platform

Now, let’s check how top dating apps make money.

Monetization models of popular dating apps

Check the money-making methods of the top 3 dating apps for taking ideas and inspiration for your business:

I. How does Tinder make money?

Tinder is one of the giant dating apps that captures a large audience base in the dating industry and is popular for its profile swiping feature. These are the following monetization model that makes money for Tinder: 

A. Freemium Model

Tinder sells its premium features separately by selling the packages below: 

Tinder Plus 

Tinder charges $99 per month for their app users to avail of Tinder plus. Once the user purchases Tinder Plus, the app unlocks all the paid dating features, such as

  • Match, chat, meet
  • Unlimited likes
  • Unlimited rewinds
  • Passport to any location
  • Hide advertisements

Tinder Gold

While including all the Tinder Plus features, Tinder Gold offers an additional feature, “Likes Your,” through which users can see how many profiles views they have to get and other additional features, such as

  • 5 super likes a week
  • 1 free boost a month
  • See who likes you
  • New top picks every day

Tinder Platinum

Including all the above features, the Tinder platinum offers additional features like

  • Message before matching
  • Prioritized likes
  • Priority messaging

B. Profile boost

The features will enable users to boost their profile views 10X times while engagement 4x times. Moreover, the feature allows users to add their profile to the top dating profile list for 30 minutes. 

C. Sponsored Profiles

Tinder users use innovative algorithms to allow the app audience to use their profiles as sponsored posts to make money from the app. Talk over the other features; users will receive drafted messages directly from the sponsors whenever they swipe for profile exploration.

II. How does Bumble make money?

Bumble is one of the top players in the dating market. Bumble works on a freemium business model that makes them earn around $200 million to $211 million in the fourth quarter of 2021.

These are the following monetization model that makes money for the Bumble dating app: 

A. Bumble premium 

To access Bumble Premium, users need to pay $12.99 every week. The premium pack includes unlimited swipes, advanced filters, and five super swipes per week.

B. Super swipes

Using a super swipe will cost the user $14.9 per month to get one spotlight in the Bumble app

C. Boost

Instead of super swipes, the app user can get a single Bumble coin that costs around $1.99

D. Spotlight

The user must get either Bumble Boost or Bumble premium plan to access the Spotlight feature.

III. How Badoo Makes Money?

The Badoo app is even older than Bumble and Tinder. In May 2021, the app got around 3.9 million downloads from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Now let’s check how Badu makes money from their dating platform. 

A. Badoo Premium 

Badoo offers premium plans starting from $9.99 a month, while their premium lifetime plan will cost around $59.99

B. Badoo Premium Plus

Users can chat with anyone and boost their profile visibility by purchasing Badoo Premium Plus.

C. Purchase Badoo credits

The credits offer the following advantages to app users: 

  • Badoo credits allow users to purchase a specific feature using credit points
  • By spending 50 points, users can move their profile to the list of nearby people
  • Users can spend 100 credits to explore more dating profiles

Contacting IT companies can help you simplify your dating app-building process. However, you can find the list of the tech stack you can use to build your dating app.

Factors affecting Cost of Dating App Development

1. Complexity of Features

The more intricate the features you want, such as in-app messaging, video calls, and AI algorithms, the higher the development cost due to increased development and testing time.

2. Platform Compatibility

Supporting multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web) increases development costs as each requires separate coding and optimization.

3. Design and User Experience

A well-designed app with a user-friendly interface demands more design and development resources, which can escalate costs.

4. Security Measures

Implementing robust security features to protect user data and privacy adds to development expenses, as it requires thorough testing and ongoing maintenance.

5. Third-Party Integrations

Integrating services like payment gateways, geolocation, or social media logins can increase costs due to licensing fees and development time.

6. Scalability

Planning for future growth may necessitate building a scalable architecture, which can be more costly upfront but save money in the long run as your user base expands.

7. Regulatory Compliance

Adhering to regional or industry-specific regulations, like GDPR or HIPAA, requires additional development effort and may result in increased costs.

8. Testing and Quality Assurance

Rigorous testing, including beta testing and quality assurance, helps ensure a bug-free app, but it can extend development timelines and costs due to extra resources and time needed for testing and debugging.

So, is it profitable to invest in dating apps?

In conclusion, yes! Dating apps are profitable to invest in as most users prefer online platforms to find their dating partners. 

The online dating apps industry offers multiple monetization options to make profits from dating apps. You can best check out top dating apps and understand what works so well for their business so you can implement the same in your dating business.

Also, checking top dating apps help you analyze the areas of improvement in dating apps so you can improve them, that eventually will help you to attract your targeted audience. 

In the end, having skilled app developers on your team is the best way to easily build and launch your dating app in the market.

Contact Idea Usher to build and launch your dating app

You have to do extensive research in the dating industry to develop an incredible dating app idea. However, to turn your ideas into reality, you will need expert guidance from IT companies that are experienced in building and launching dating platforms for their clients. 

You can contact Idea Usher for guidance on building your dating app on your preferred platforms, such as mobile devices or websites. 

Idea Usher is an expert team of app developers and project managers that have already launched many dating apps and simplified the dating app business for many clients. 

Contact Idea Usher


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Q. How much does a dating app make?

A. Dating apps have made around $5.61 billion in 2021, where 300M people have engaged worldwide and pay around $20M for accessing premium dating features. 

Q. What is the most profitable dating app?

A. Here’s the list of the most profitable dating apps:

  • Badoo ($60 million)
  • Tinder ($55 million)
  • Tantan ($30 million)
  • Bumble($20 million)
  • Grindr ($10 million)
  • Happn ($6.5 million)
  • Hinge ($6 million)
  • Plenty of fish ($3.5 million)

Q. How do I monetize my dating app?

A. You can monetize your dating app by choosing from the different monetization models:

  • In-app purchases.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Offering subscription and premium plans.
  • Video upgrade
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