How to create a dating app

Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have been instrumental in expanding the market for dating platforms. Meeting potential partners in malls, parks, and restaurants is now a thing of the past. In today’s era of mobile apps, everything is accessible right at our fingertips, and so is dating. Thus, learning how to create a dating app becomes essential.

Creating a dating platform involves various factors, like researching the market, the app features, the tech stack, and more.

This blog discusses all of these factors in detail.

Understanding the dating apps market

In 2020, the global dating mobile app market was valued at $7.05 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2021 to 2028. Increased use of smartphones and the internet, the growing adult population, and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to growth in this market.

dating application market
  • Out of the total revenue generated from these apps, more than 61% came from subscriptions. 
  • Under the age group segments, the 18-25 age segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 57%. Registrations of users of this age group on free dating platforms are rising as they spend a large portion of their time on the internet. 
  • Under the gender-based segments, the female segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period.

Key features dating apps should have

Understanding the app’s features is crucial before learning how to create a dating app. While using these apps, the users expect certain features to be available. As an entrepreneur, you should incorporate them into your app. And if possible, add some features that are not available in other apps (aka Unique Selling Point or USP).

dating app features

1. Sign-in

The app shouldn’t have a lengthy registration process. The sign-in feature should ease the process of registration for new users.

A user should have access to the following features when using the app for the first time:

  • App usage guide
  • Sign-up using email/phone
  • Sign-up using social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, or others

The ability to sign-up using social media serves two purposes:

  1. First, users can quickly and easily register themselves on the app without confirming their email addresses. This ease will generate positive feedback from the users. 
  2. Second, linking social media accounts to the app will help promote the app on the platforms. Thus, it is a win-win situation.

2. Personal settings

Users can choose which information about themselves is made public and which is kept private; they can hide their bio, photos, and even their location from other users if they choose.

An app is incomplete if it doesn’t allow the users to customize their experience. The users should be able to change the settings like audio, categories, preferences, etc. They should also be able to delete their account if they wish to do so.

3. Security

Dating websites and applications are a popular source of harassment. Thus, security becomes a critical issue while developing such an app. The app might verify the user’s identity by checking social media accounts. It should also enable the users to report a profile if it is causing trouble.

Here are some security features to add to a dating mobile app:

-Password recovery feature

This feature allows users to recover their accounts if they forget their passwords. It also helps users who have forgotten their password and need assistance recovering it.

-Two-factor authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security to users’ accounts by requiring them to enter a code sent to their phone after entering their username and password. Thus, it becomes harder for hackers to access users’ accounts and personal information.

-Email verification

If someone tries to register an account using a user’s email address, the user will receive an email from the app asking if they want that person added as a friend or blocked from contacting you.

dating app features

4. Personal profile

An obvious but essential feature to include in your app is the personal profile feature. The user’s profile should reflect who they are as a person

For the accounts linked with social media, the profile details can be extracted from the linked social media account. Thus the user doesn’t have to spend time filling in the details.

The personal profile feature should include the following sub-features:

  • Ability to view and edit the profile
  • Profile verification option
  • Popularity record tracking
  • App credits (for apps with built-in purchases)

The profile feature helps the users to understand the preferences of other users. Accordingly, they can choose their potential partner.

5. Localization

 This feature helps users find their prospective connections in nearby locations. Even in the case of international users, it would be beneficial to know the location of the person they like.

The user can enter their city and country name while building their profile and change it whenever they want. However, it would be better to integrate GPS tracking features to ensure faster and more accurate localization.

6. Direct communication

Once users find a match, they are likely willing to communicate with them personally. Thus, having a direct chatting feature becomes essential.

This feature should include the following sub-features:

  • Direct messaging
  • Voice/video call
  • View profile
  • View connections
  • Ability to upload audio and media on chat

7. Push notifications

Push notifications alert the users about the new developments on their profiles. These developments can include new messages, new matches, special offers of subscriptions, app updates, etc.

dating app features

8. Swipe to choose

A traditional dating mobile app like Tinder uses the swipe feature. Having a feature to swipe right for interesting profiles and left for dislikes can be helpful for your app. This feature adds gamification to the app. In simple words, it adds game mechanics to make the app engaging for the users. It also makes the app simple and fun to use.

9. Smart matching algorithms

The app can have intelligent matching algorithms to match a user with another based on their app activity or the information they provide. This feature shows relevant matches to the user without searching for the same.

The matching algorithm can work in any of the following ways:

  • Location-based matching: The app will provide prospective matches based on the user’s GPS location.
  • Mathematical matching: The app can ask the users to fill in a form providing details about their interests, preferences, etc. Based on these details, it will suggest profiles of potential connections.
  • Behavior-based matching: The app will suggest profiles based on the user’s activity on the app.
  • Machine learning algorithms: The app learns what users want based on their successful or failed matches. Thus, it improves its algorithms to provide accurate matches.

How do dating apps work?

dating app working

Dating platforms are frequently used by people who have recently moved to a new location and are looking to meet people in their area. They are also used by those who are single and want to find someone with whom they can start a relationship.

The technical working of such apps is given below:

  1. Log-in: The user logs in to their account using the login credentials.
  2. Profile creation: After logging in, the app asks the users to create their profile by entering details like age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, and other personal details. Based on this profile, the potential partners will decide if they want to interact with the users or not.
  3. Location-tracking: The app traces the user’s location using the GPS feature and suggests profiles of users who are nearby.
  4. Swipe and match: The user goes through the profiles and swipes right or left based on their interest in the profile. If two users swipe right on each other’s profile, the app notifies them that they have matched.
  5. Direct chat: After matching, the app unlocks the chat feature for the users. The users can communicate with each other directly using this feature.

How to develop a dating app: Step-by-step guide

How to develop dating app

1. Market research

After deciding that you wish to develop a dating mobile app, the first step is to research the market. Market research would enable you to find out what your target audience wants and their pain points. Accordingly, you can create an app that solves their problem and suits their requirements.

Market research would also help you get information about your competitors, their revenue models, and market trends.

2. Create a specification

After researching the market, you need to specify what your app will look like and how it will function. A specification is a document containing all these details.

In the specification document, you need to provide a detailed description of:

  • MVP features
  • Localization mechanism
  • Matching algorithm
  • Monetization plan
  • Any other detail regarding the way you want your app to function

This document will guide the developers when they start working on developing the app.

3. UI/UX design

The next step is to determine how your app will look and how the users will interact with it. The UI/UX design of the app is crucial because it will decide whether a user will stick to using your app or will move to a competitor’s app.

While working on app design, you should focus on keeping the UI/UX simple and intuitive. Also, the features should align with the overall theme of the app.

4. App development

Development is the most crucial and most time-consuming stage of the entire process. You need to start developing the app and incorporate all the features discussed in the previous section(s).

You can hire a mobile app development company to help you develop a top-class application. They take care of selecting the technology stack and developing the app for you. With its experience and expertise, the app development company will help you take your app to the next level.

5. Create a marketing plan

The app development stage is a long one. Meanwhile, the marketing team should focus on creating a solid marketing strategy to reach the maximum number of users and increase the number of subscribers.

It would be best if you used the time before the app launch to devise the strategy so that the app can reach its target audience as soon as it is launched. A clear and innovative marketing approach can benefit the app’s success.

6. Test and launch the app

Before developing the final app, you should create an MVP of your app to get an idea of what the final app will look like.

Once the full-fledged app is developed, it should go through multiple rounds of testing to ensure that it is error-free. The QA team does the app testing and approves the app after satisfying itself with the app’s quality.

After receiving approval from the QA team, you can launch your app. You can list it on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or both.

Technology stack required to develop a dating app

Below is the technology stack you need to develop your dating mobile application.

Programming LanguageSwift UI, WebKitKotlin, JavaPHP, JavaScriptJavaScript, Python, PHP, HTML, CSS
FrameworksSwift UI, WebKitXamarin, FlutterReact Native, PhoneGap, IonicDjango, Angular, Ruby on Rails
DatabasePostgreSQL, MongoDB, MySQL
Cloud StorageGoogle Cloud, Amazon S3, Heroku, Azure
Web ServerApache, Nginx
PaymentStripe, PayPal, Braintree
AuthenticationFusionAuth, MessageBird
Social IntegrationFacebook SDK, Twitter SDK, Instagram SDK, Cloud SDK (Google)
Push NotificationsOneSignal, Firebase, UserNotifications
Chat and VideoCometChat,, RecyclerView, ActionCable
GeolocationGoogle Maps, Google Location Services, W3C
Machine LearningApiAI, AmazonML, MonkeyLearn, Rapid API
Other ToolsOptimizely, Elasticsearch, Google Analytics, Imgix, Graph API

How to use AI in dating apps?

A dating platform is no longer restricted to the old and traditional working. With innovations like AI and ML, apps have advanced and have become more competent. You can integrate AI into these apps in a lot of ways. The use of AI can be varied, and you need to decide the purpose of integrating AI into your app. Some of the uses are given below.

1. Relevant matches

As discussed earlier, using AI and ML can help suggest relevant profiles to the users based on their in-app behavior and their profile details. Many apps set up their algorithm to suggest profiles based on music taste, food preferences, personality traits, attitudes, beliefs, etc.

2. Making people meet offline

Although these apps are meant for online dating, the end purpose of the users (mostly) is to meet the other person offline. The users can often forget this purpose. Thus, the apps can use AI to encourage people to meet offline.

For example, eHarmony plans to include an AI feature that encourages users to suggest meeting offline after interacting online for a while.

3. Minimizing unsolicited content

AI can also help in improving the security of the app. With millions of people using the app, there may be cases of abusive or unwanted content being shared. You can implement AI technology to reduce these instances.

For example, Bumble has a safety feature that uses AI to detect potentially unwanted content with 98% accuracy and warns the user about the same. It gives the user the option to view or ignore the content.

4. Securing online dating space

In addition to filtering spam and abusive and unwanted content, apps can also use AI to detect and ban scammers. Every online platform has a few users who create fake profiles to defraud and scam people. AI can detect these profiles and ban their accounts to ensure a safer and more reliable user experience.

5. DNA matching

Apps can also predict the chemistry between two people based on their DNA profiles. For example, DNA Romance uses AI to suggest the most compatible partners based on users’ DNA samples. This feature is essentially helpful for those who believe in looking for a partner from a scientific perspective.

How to make money from dating apps?

dating application monetization strategies

After discussing the procedure of dating mobile app development, it would be pertinent to discuss how you can earn money from these apps. Numerous strategies can help you make money from such apps. Some of them are listed below:

1. In-app advertisements

Dating mobile apps serve as an ideal platform for advertisers as these apps already have information about the user’s likes, dislikes, and preferences. They can use this information to show relevant ads to the app users.

2. In-app purchases

You can include certain elements and widgets in your app that the users can purchase after paying a certain amount of money. These elements can consist of customized stickers for text messages, filters for video calls, etc.

3. Account promotion

You can charge a certain amount from the users to upgrade their profile and make it rank higher for a certain amount of time.

4. Customized swipe

The customized swipe feature uses machine learning technology to change the order of profile photos based on the user seeing them. The users can unlock this feature by paying a certain fee.

5. Premium access

Your app can work on a freemium business model. You can provide certain features for free and ask the users to pay to unlock the premium features. The premium features may include ad-free use, unlimited swipes, etc.

Contact Idea Usher to develop your dating app.

Developing a dating mobile app may seem like an easy business opportunity, but it is not something one should take lightly. It is a lucrative business idea and requires expert guidance to succeed. You need to pay attention to every small detail while developing such an app. Hiring a mobile app development company can ease your burden.

Idea Usher has been in the business of providing app development services for many years. We have a 100% product delivery success rate and a track record of client satisfaction. Having worked on more than 200 projects, we strive to serve our clients with excellence.

Get in touch with us, and get your dating app developed now.

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Final Thoughts

Online dating has become a common phenomenon these days. The dependency on technology for almost everything has given rise to mobile apps for every activity. The same is true for dating as well. According to Statista, the number of users in the online dating segment is expected to reach 501.7 million by 2026.

With a rise in the popularity of online dating and the opportunities this sector brings, one cannot overlook the business opportunity of developing a dating mobile application. With proper market research, interesting app features, appealing UI/UX design, and a good development team, your app business is sure to succeed.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some interesting FAQs on how to create a dating app.

Q. Which are the latest technologies in dating mobile app development?

You can include the following technologies in the app to make it stand out:

  • Database and cloud storage
  • Machine learning and AI
  • Authentication combined with social integration
  • Payment integration
  • Video and voice chat APIs

Q. How much time does it take to develop a dating mobile app?

The time to develop a mobile app varies depending on the app’s complexity. However, the average time needed to develop the app is given below:

  • Onboarding: 95+ hours
  • Personal profile: 160+ hours
  • Matching: 80+ hours
  • Chatting: 130+ hours
  • Security issues: around 55 hours
  • Push notifications: 40+ hours
  • Settings: 60+ hours

Q. What factors affect the cost of developing a dating mobile app?

The cost of developing a dating mobile app varies based on several factors, including:

  • App features
  • App functionality
  • Turnover time
  • Resources and tools used
  • App platform
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