How much does it cost to build a dating app?

Prateek Saxena December 5, 2022
cost to build a dating app

The number of available dating apps on the internet gives the impression that creating one is simple and cheap. Whereas the fact is just the opposite, it is neither simple nor cheap, if not expensive. If you are planning to get into the market with the thought of replacing Tinder and Bumble, you are unlikely to do that. However, you can create a dating app that can cater to a specific audience type or region to make your mark.

To stay relevant and competitive, it is important to consider the inclusion of the latest technologies. However, when talking about investing in app development, the most common question that strikes our mind is – How much does it cost to create a dating app?

When you approach the development partners, the general answer one gets is – it depends on the features, tech stack, and geographical location of the development partner. To give you an approximate idea, a basic social dating app development will consume over 1,200 hours. Based on the geographical location, app type, and total time, the cost may range between $25,000 to $ 1,25,000.

Considering the cost range, if you have dating application development in your mind, this is the right time to convert your idea into a reality. A market survey by Grand View Research clearly indicates the high market potential of dating apps.

The global market for online dating applications was valued at $7.5 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030. The infographic below will provide you with a broader perspective of the market opportunities.

Global Online Dating Application Market

Now that we have established that it is profitable to enter dating app development services, let us dig deeper into the factors that will add to the cost of development.

Factors affecting dating app development cost

With the rapid increase in the use of smartphones, dating apps are being widely used by several users globally. Statistics clearly show that 19% of internet users are using one or the other dating platform. There is still a huge market that can be captured. However, venturing into a new business involves a substantial amount of investment. Listed below are the factors that contribute to the cost of the development of the dating app.

Type and size of the app

The idea of building an application in this competitive market is to increase user traction and earn revenue. Thus, it becomes critical to ensure that the application is unique and focuses on a specific group of users. Talking specifically about dating apps, the primary focus is to ensure the best matchmaking. The possibilities of matchmaking can be divided into four categories or types –

Geolocation-based matching app – The match between different users is created using their geolocation data. This app type facilitates matchmaking based on the location proximity showing results of the best matches from nearby locations only.

Algorithm-based matching – The match is suggested based on the surveys and algorithms created based on the user’s liking, choices, etc.

Traditional matching – The rudimentary dating algorithm is integrated into the mobile application.

Niche dating app – As the name suggests, it only focuses on specific groups. The user is allowed to join the group with similar profiles. The application can be created with gender-specific privileges also. This helps in keeping a check on harassment.

You may choose to create the application of either type mentioned above or can also choose to include multiple types of configurations to make it more robust to increase user traction. Of course, the cost will highly depend on the type you choose, as every feature has its own complexities and requires development skills and time.

Features and functionalities

It is no brainer that there are some basic features that an application must include irrespective of the type of app you decide to make. Developing a dating app with basic features may cost you as low as $25,000. However, for it to stand out in the crowd, it must include some good to have unique features, which in turn will add to the cost.

Needless to say, the increase in cost is directly proportional to the number of features included in the application. Let us begin by understanding the basic features that the application must have.

Registration and sign-in – You should provide the option of registering directly on the app and should also provide the option of logging in through social media and email accounts.

User profile creation – The option of syncing the profile information and photo upload through social media login and through the app should be given as a choice.

Security – The major apprehension of the users is getting encountered and matched with fake profiles. The technology must have the capability and techniques to verify and validate the identity of the users. Failing with this feature is a complete failure of the application. Thus, it is a critical and important pillar of the dating app development criteria.

In-app chat – Ease of connecting through chat is an easy and comfortable approach for communication.

Location – Preference should be given to the nearby matches with the help of GPS, of course, permission should be sought for obvious security reasons.

Having the above-mentioned features in a dating app are the bare essentials. Later in the article are included some of the “good to have” features that will keep the users engaged making your app get more traction.

Design

The user interface is what makes all the difference. It is the most critical dating app feature. Ease of navigation is the core of the prototype and framing of the design. As this is one of the primary factors that will contribute to getting traction on your dating application, it should be allocated ample time for development. A good design may take approximately 90 -120 hours and will also affect the overall cost of app development.

Tech stack

Tech stack

Tech stack is another factor that plays a vital role in determining the overall cost of dating app development. The technology stack can be decided based on the operating system:

Programming languages

Android – Java, Kotlin

iOS – Swift

Database

Redis, MongoDB

Cloud storage

AWS, Google Cloud

Web server

Caddy, Envoy, Nginx

Utilities

Google maps, Google analytics

Payment gateways

Stripe, Paypal

App testing

Ensuring the created application is as per the requirements and functions as intended, it is critical to run it through rigorous testing. The testing of the dating application may take 120-150 hours. Having an analytical team of testers is important to ensure that every shortcoming, if any, is highlighted such that the corrections and modifications can be taken care of before the final launch of the application.

On that note, listed below is a tabular representation of the cost to develop a dating app depending on the development type, design and time.

Development type Development Time Approximate cost
iOS app development 1200 hours $45,000
Android app development 1200 hours $40,000
Backend development 250 hours $8,000
iOS app design 100 hours $8,000
Android app design 100 hours $6,000
App testing <150 hours $4,500

Based on the above costing, the basic native app development may cost you around $70,000. However, with the simplest features, the cost to build a dating app may come somewhere around $45,000, while with all-inclusive features, the dating app cost may go as high as $1,25,000.

These are the approximate costs and may vary hugely depending on the app development partner you choose. Having said that, the cost may increase with additional features. Let us explore the features that a dating app should have in the next section.

online dating app cost requirements

Best features of dating apps to keep users engaged

In this competitive world, where there are more than 5,000 dating apps worldwide, some of the interesting stats show that the traction on dating apps is increasing, such as – about 30% of Americans have tried online dating, the LGBTQ+ community is more likely to find partners on dating apps, on average millennials swipe 10 hours a week, and many more.

When deciding on getting into such a competitive dating app environment, it becomes mandatory to focus on features that can ensure high user engagement and high user retention. So, let us explore these features when deciding to build a dating app like Tinder or Bumble:

Interesting user profile

The first step to joining a dating app is to create a profile that includes basic information like gender, age, location, interests, a catchy tagline, and photos. However, this basic information is not sufficient to keep the user engaged.

To make it engaging, you can leverage users to create their own profiles in a more creative way to highlight their personalities. Providing the option of creating gamified profiles could be a good idea.

In-app chat and messaging

In-app chat is a basic feature that any dating app would have. To make it more interesting and engaging, options for voice notes, voice messages, video messages, and more can be included. This will help the user’s interactions to be more interesting, enhancing the chances of real-life relationships.

Icebreakers

Initiating a conversation after the match is made can be unnerving. Icebreaker features like adding rapid-fire questions can prompt and ease the conversation, especially for users who have recently joined the dating app.

Voice and video calling

After a point, text chats become monotonous and boring. Adding a feature of voice and video calling adds a touch of personalization. It can make communication more personal and intimate. This feature can be included as a paid feature based on its popularity and demand.

Push notifications

Push notifications help in staying informed about the user’s potential match by sending alert notifications. This feature not only keeps the user engaged but brings the user back over and again.

Social media integration

Integration with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram provides authenticity to the user’s profile. This, in turn, helps in making the app more user-friendly and safer. While fetching the details from the integrated social media application, it can be used to get a better match based on common interests and hobbies.

Every social media platform offers an API for integration with dating apps.

How to earn revenue from dating apps?

Investing in a business only makes sense once it starts bringing profits. Considering the costs mentioned above, it becomes critical to explore various monetization options.

Dating app monetization strategy

Membership fee

Once the user downloads your application, a membership fee can be applied. However, this will only make sense if you are able to engage and retain users. Including the above-mentioned features can be beneficial in the traction of users and retaining them.

While there are multiple free dating apps available on the market, a meager membership fee can benefit you by keeping fake profiles at bay.

Paid subscriptions

Special features can be made available on paid subscriptions. As mentioned above in the features also, voice and video chats can be the features that can be provided only with paid subscriptions.

Additionally, the features may vary based on the subscription period that can be categorized on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.

Third-party services

Dating apps are focused on building relationships. As these relationships grow, emoji gestures like gifts and flowers can be sent in real by collaborating with third parties.

Providing real dating solutions like restaurant bookings, taxi calls, movie tickets, etc., can be monetized successfully as more than 50% of users state that they have had at least one in-person date.

Premium version

This strategy of monetization starts yearning for profits after a specific period of time. The downloads and special features with limitations are provided for free for a specific time period. On completion of the free subscription, users are required to pay if they wish to continue using the said feature.

Such features are the most in-demand features as the users only agree to pay for them if they are engaged and have the desire for more. Thus, it is important to provide the best user experience for the features that you plan to sell for the premium version.

In-app ads

Advertisements have been a successful medium of monetization in most kinds of applications. The software owners earn from the firms advertising their products or service. In case the user wants an application that has no ads, you can offer paid subscriptions.

Get feature-rich dating app developed by experts

Collaborate with Appinventiv for a robust mobile dating app

Expert coding is an essential requirement to build a successful dating app, as a good structural base is imperative. Applying the right tech stack and integrating the features can make or break the game of your mobile dating app development.

Having an expert social media app development company by your side can ease your journey of building the application from conceptualization to launch. Appinventiv takes pride in the expert services provided to multiple clients. One such client is Innovative Eyewear, for whom we created a social media app Vyrb, that enables users to share audio via voice commands for Bluetooth wearables. With our innovative solution, the company could secure funding of $1 million.

Share your idea with us today, and we assure you that we will provide the best solution at the most competitive price.

FAQs

Q. How much does it cost to create a dating app?

A. The cost of creating a basic dating app can be as low as $25,000. However, a feature-rich online dating app can cost you as high as $1,25,000. Based on the tech stack, features, and geographic location of the app development company, the cost may vary. Appinventiv can be your go-to dating app development company that can provide you with the best solution at the most competitive price from a high-caliber team.

Q. What is required to create a dating app?

A. Understanding the market demand and your consumer is the best way to reach the target audience. The most common features that a dating app should include are-

  • User profiles
  • In-app chat
  • Geolocation
  • Social media integration
  • Push notifications

Q. What is the ideal team required to develop a dating app?

A. Depending on the requirements, you might need a team of 6-12 developers. These can be:

  • Frontend Android developer
  • Frontend iOS developer
  • Frontend web developer
  • Backend developers
  • UI/UX designer
  • QA tester
THE AUTHOR
Prateek Saxena
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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