Interested in making a Tinder-like app? You couldn’t have picked a more perfect time.
Online dating apps like Tinder were always popular, but COVID-19 completely changed the game.
With millions of people stuck at home, using an app like Tinder became the only way for many to connect, meet new friends, and hopefully find their soulmates.
In fact, 2020 (the start of COVID-19) was explosive for Tinder. It was the busiest year in the app’s entire history at that time, with 8.2 million new downloads versus 7 million in 2019.
In 2021, it reached 9.6 million.
With the pandemic still in full swing, Tinder’s growth continues to skyrocket. 2022 is poised to break Tinder’s download records.
So if you’re thinking about making an app like tinder, there has never been a better time.
The market for online dating apps is lucrative, and it’s expanding like crazy.
What It Takes to Develop Your Own Tinder App
Similar to real estate apps like Zillow, an app like Tinder has specialized features that affect the cost of development.
Here are some questions to consider, plus how they’ll affect the price:
Want an iOS app, Android app, or both?
The App Store and Google Play are the most common places to launch and develop apps. You can launch on either or both, but naturally, releasing on both platforms increases your app development cost equation.
Understand user behavior before you choose a platform for your social dating application.
For example, iOS users engage more with apps than Android users do. They also spend more. However, Android has a greater reach in emerging markets like Africa and Asia.
Will people have to create profiles?
Some apps don’t require users to create profiles, but it’s a must on dating apps like Tinder. It’s impossible to match people when they don’t have any information about each other, such as photos, personal information, and so on.
Filling out information requires adding fields, which requires more coding, which in turn increases your app development cost.
How will people log into the app?
Another aspect of dating apps like Tinder is the ability to register and sign in using Facebook or other top social networking apps.
Social log-in has benefits for Tinder users like:
- It’s quick, easy, and convenient for users.
- It automatically pulls up personal information like name, photo, friends, and more.
- It improves match recommendations on the user’s social media profile.
- It lets you track and analyze user behavior to target personalized promotions.
Social log-in saves a lot of time for users, but it adds extra steps to the app development process like integrating a Facebook authorization engine.
You can also add email log-in, phone number log-in, and other options as secondary options to your Tinder clone app.
Want to add biometric authentication? That will add an extra layer of security to mobile apps, but it will also drive up the total development cost.
How complex is your matching system?
Tinder’s iconic Swipe enables users to move quickly through matches. To match, users simply swipe right or left. If both parties swipe right on each other’s profiles, then a match is made, and then can start messaging.
It looks simple when you’re a user, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of the Tinder app.
Tinder’s algorithm is constantly learning and increasing the likelihood of matching by taking into account factors like location, age, and interests.
It also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor user behavior and identify spam accounts, and make smarter recommendations based on a user’s preferences.
You don’t need to have these in your version of a Tinder app. Just keep in mind that the more complicated the algorithm, the more expensive it will be.
What’s your subscription model?
Your app’s subscription model will also drive the development cost up or down.
For instance, the Tinder app works on a freemium basis. People can download and use it for free, but if they want to use exclusive features, they need to pay for a subscription to Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, or Tinder Platinum.
Paying for Tinder Gold and higher will unlock premium Tinder features, like:
- Priority Likes
- Message Before Match
- Recently Active
- Likes You
- Super Like™
Other dating apps also offer subscriptions*:
- Bumble offers Bumble Boost and Bumble Premium
- OKCupid has paid Basic and Premium subscriptions
- Grindr Xtra is $9.99 a month
- eHarmony offers monthly, 3-month, 6-month, and yearly plans
- Match.com offers monthly, semi-annual, and annual subscription plans
Some apps also have multiple subscription models.
In-app purchases and a premium subscription feature are more expensive to build than up-front, one-time fees. However, there’s typically more revenue in subscriptions than up-front fees.
*Subscription fees constantly change, so check the current prices on the site itself.
How will people pay you for services?
Payment integration is another aspect of dating app development that can drive development costs up.
The payment methods on the Tinder app include:
- Credit card or debit payments
- Third-party payment platforms like PayPal
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Users love having different payment options, but those options come at a price.
You’ll need Apple’s and Google’s in-app billing API and a subscription management solution that can automate recurring revenue billing.
There’s also the added cost of PCI compliance, which is mandatory for any online business that processes credit cards.
What’s your revenue model?
Aside from a paid subscription and in-app purchases, do you plan to add advertising to your app? If so, the development cost will be higher.
An example is Tinder Ads, which works through the Google ads and Facebook ads network. Tinder Ads lets brands target other users based on location and interests, like travel or sports.
If you want an ad-based model, the development team needs to build custom ad units, place them in the app, and track engagement metrics to determine how much to charge brands.
This is a great way to make more money with mobile applications, but it requires more development time.
For an in-depth guide on how to monetize a mobile app, read The Ultimate Guide to App Monetization.
What dating app features do you want?
Part of what makes Tinder so successful is the gamification aspect.
For instance, it uses a swiping mechanism to help people narrow down their dating pool. Other users can swipe left for “no” and swipe right for “yes” based on their preferences.
If both users swipe right, it’s a match! It feels like a game, with the ultimate goal of finding a meaningful relationship.
Tinder now offers Face to Face Video Chat as well, so people can see each other before meeting in person.
Aside from that, Tinder offers users many ways to customize their online dating profiles. They can add videos, photos, and supplemental information, like their job and passions. Users can also connect their social media accounts, plus Spotify and Instagram integration.
Tinder has also come up with other features like SuperLike, Priority Likes, Rewind, and Message Before Match.
You’ll find similar features on other dating apps, too.
The more your dating app offers your users, the better your chances of success. Of course, you need to expand your budget accordingly, too.
In-House, freelance, or agency for app development?
Unless you plan on doing your own Tinder-like app development, you’ll have to find an app developer.
Your options are:
- Hire freelancer mobile app developers
Hiring freelancers can be cheap, especially if you hire freelancers from marketplaces like Upwork, where you can get entry-level developers from countries with low development costs.
A serious downside is that you have no guarantee that they’ll deliver on time or follow the development standards you set up.
- Hire an in-house dating app development team
Employing app developers can be more time and money-intensive since you have to pay everyone a competitive industry rate. Plus, you may have to hire a project manager to keep everything on track.
- Outsource to a mobile app development company
Outsourcing your development work to a dedicated mobile app development company can save time and money. You also have more control over the process. In exchange for their expertise and experience, you’ll have to pay a premium rate compared to freelancers.
Generally, building a dating app requires a lot of programming knowledge and the ability to deal with security safeguards. Every feature you want to add to your app has the potential to add more time and money, but it could also impact your development schedule.
Lastly, keep in mind that dating apps face a lot of competition from other companies and developers. The more creative and unique you can be, the better your chances of getting noticed.
How much does it cost to make an app like Tinder?
Given everything above, it can run you anywhere from $65 000 to over $150, 000 to develop an app like Tinder. The lower figures are for one platform only, either iOS or Android. It costs more if you want your dating app on both.
Don’t forget the ongoing costs of app maintenance and updates, too. Tack on about 10% to 30% of the app development cost.
How much can I make from a Tinder clone app?
It’s hard to estimate how much revenue you can make from a Tinder-like app, so you’ll have to do some research on the platforms you’re using and the dating app category you want to target.
You also need to size up your competition. Aside from Tinder, your dating app will be competing with other dating apps like Bumble, OkCupid, Match.com, and Zoosk, among others.
And like we mentioned earlier, you need to consider what monetization strategy you’re going with. You can charge users per download or per use, offer subscriptions for premium features, or have in-app ads.
This may sound intimidating, but keep in mind that Tinder is still making bank despite having serious competition.
Here’s a peek at Tinder’s annual revenue:
- $47 million: 2015
- $169 million: 2016
- $403 million: 2017
- $805 million: 2018
- $1.15 billion: 2019
- $1.4 billion: 2020
There’s a lot of money to be made in the dating app industry, and dating apps like Tinder are showing no signs of slowing down.
Dating App Alternatives to Tinder
The more you know about your competition, the better. Here are some of the most successful dating apps in 2022:
This app allows only women to initiate conversations, helping eliminate creepy and inappropriate behavior. Also includes a special feature for those only looking for friends and no dating.
This app takes a more curated approach to your potential matches, taking into account common interests and mutual friends to help you find people you have things in common.
This app uses some of the more traditional dating site standards, like personality quizzes, match percentages, and questions to help find your matches.
This app has the highest number of paying users, which speaks to its popularity. Its easy-to-use interface helps improve your chances by letting you know if there is a mutual match with someone, and features an Events section for dating.
This app will let you meet new friends with similar interests and offers a Dating Pool feature that recommends potential matches based on your preferences.
Plenty of Fish
This app uses a behavioral matchmaking engine and chatbots to find the best matches for you. This app also has a paid service that increases your number of matches and offers discounts.
Coffee Meets Bagel
This app gives you a limited number of matches every day, so you don’t have to stress about finding new people. Best for people looking for a slower way to date online.
Just like there’s no limit to how you can find love online, there’s also no limit to the dating app you can build.
Pack your app with incredible features, make it easy to use, and work with fantastic mobile developers to bring it all together.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to build a Tinder-like app?
There’s no set price and widely varies, but expect to pay anywhere from $65, 000 to over $150, 000 for a robust and feature-rich dating app like Tinder.
How much does it cost to create a dating app?
The simplest apps can start from $10, 000. But they likely won’t include the many features and functions found in Tinder, so you can expect to pay much more than that.
How do you make an app like Tinder?
It involves technical skills like programming, database integration, and back-end development. You’ll also need to have a deep understanding of how dating apps work, especially the functionality you want to include.
Let’s Build Your Dating App!
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