Feb 24, 2020

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Dating App Like Tinder?

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Modern people have to constantly balance between careers, friends, personal life, and unfortunately, less time is left for the latter. Therefore, mobile dating applications have begun to gain popularity. After all, this simplifies the search for the partner and doesn’t take so much time. Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps. It now has 50 million users, one-fifth of whom use the application daily. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a startup like Tinder and how much it will cost to design and develop a dating application.

World market

According to Mark Kelly, an analyst at the Japanese holding company Nomura Instinet, the global online dating market will grow to $12 billion by 2020. “About half of Internet users are single, and we assume that by 2020, 20% of them will be ready to use the services online dating, which is 310 million people all over the world, excluding China,” Kelly said.

Today in the world there are about 8000 services for online dating, and every year their number increases by a thousand. Conventionally, they are divided into three categories: services based on character compatibility, location, and intended for a special audience.

In most countries, Tinder is the absolute leader in terms of downloads among mobile dating apps. Its audience totals 50 million people in 196 countries.

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What is Tinder?

Tinder is a mobile application that allows people to meet and organize dates. As a potential pair, the user is offered people from his friends’ social networks and other Tinder users who are nearby. 

After viewing the questionnaire, you can remove it (swipe to the left) or initiate a conversation (swipe to the right). If the selected potential partner also swipes to the right, a pair is created and the service opens a dialog window where both can chat. It is worth noting that the application is integrated with Facebook.

Tinder got a successful start due to gamification. The dating process has been turned into an exciting game. Subsequently, the press, as well as word of mouth, contributed to the growth of popularity.

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Tinder benefits

Simple interface

One of the main secrets of Tinder’s popularity lies in the approach that the UX-designers of the project chose to organize the search for the right person. Information about potential partners is presented in the form of cards, the interaction of which is intuitive and requires a minimum of effort.

The application has an extremely large gaming component. The service does not allow you to see who is the next potential partner. Thus, curiosity is heated: what if your ideal couple is there? You make one more attempt, then one more. This can go on almost endlessly since it is very similar to a game.

Perfect onboarding

Filling out forms on classic dating sites takes a lot of time. Thanks to the integration with Facebook and the App Store, registering with Tinder requires almost no effort. The person who first heard about the application, after a couple of minutes, can become involved in the pair search process.


According to the creators of the app, the relationship between users of their service is a reflection of the interaction between people in everyday life. When you sit at the bar and think about whether to meet a girl or a guy next to you, you have a very meager amount of information about them. Decisions have to be made on the basis of a person’s appearance. All the same in Tinder. Initially, you are shown only a photo of a potential partner, and you decide: swipe left or right.


Matchmaker function allowed users to introduce other people to each other. The addition of a seemingly simple function opened up new horizons for Tinder. Before Matchmaker, the platform’s audience was limited to single people looking for a couple. The introduction of the new regime included in the composition of potential users of the service those who are not looking for a partner for themselves but would like to help their friends.

Confirmation of both sides

A serious drawback of traditional dating sites is that users receive messages from people, they would never agree to date with. In Tinder, this problem is solved by using a double confirmation system. Starting a dialogue, people already know about a mutual interest, since both made a swipe to the right on the profile. From a psychological point of view, this is an extremely important factor.


Tinder works in more than 190 countries and supports more than 40 languages. This allows users to meet people from different countries or find a couple, for example, on a trip.

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Monetization of the dating apps

Although Tinder is a free app, the company still needs to make money. To do this, Match Group, owners of Tinder, has created several channels to monetize their project. They can be used for any dating application.

Paid Subscriptions

Tinder has two subscriptions rate: Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold. They expand the capabilities of participants: more likes and super likes, lack of advertising, canceling the last like, as well as increasing the maximum search distance. The subscription fee is charged once a month. Currently, the cost of subscribing to Tinder Plus starts at $9.99 per month, for Tinder Gold — from $14.99 per month.

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Default and Pro versions

This is a business model that divides the application into a free version with reduced functionality and a paid version with a full range of features. For example, to use beautiful emoticons or GIFs in messages. Unlike the subscription model, the freemium model involves a one-time payment, which gives constant access to all features of the application.

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Advertisements and announcements

This method is considered the best for monetizing dating applications, provided that the advertisement is correctly implemented and does not interfere with users.


This method is not implemented in the Tinder, but it can be a great way for your application. Also, the dating service offers users to express their sympathy with the help of “virtual” cards, flowers, chocolates, teddy bears or colorful animations.

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Essentials for developing an application as a Tinder

Each dating service should have a set of basic functionalities that make it a technically correct app. The uniqueness of your idea can be expressed in additional functions and capabilities that will catch the attention of users. Let’s consider the main functions.


It’s convenient when a user can log in using Facebook or any other social network. Do not forget taking care of safety measures, as this is one of the most serious problems today. Your users should be aware their personal data is fully protected.


The user profile must contain an image and information about the person. Information can be collected based on data from an integrated social network or simply provided by the user in any format. Naturally, there should be the ability to edit and delete the profile.


You should give the user the opportunity to choose the most convenient configurations for using your application. And do not forget about the settings provided to search for other users. It is necessary to determine the criteria on the basis of which users will receive or search for matches (gender, age, hobbies, etc.).

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This function can be implemented in various ways. Chats can be accessed by any user or only between individual users.


Think of a convenient and straightforward search for other users. Ideally, provide filters to do the search very fast and convenient.


The dating application makes more sense if people can search for potential partners in their location. Theoretically, you can meet a person from another country or even from another continent, but in real life, it seems too complicated and more like a story from a romantic film. Do not complicate the so difficult task.

Push notifications

They will provide users with up-to-date information about finding a nearby person suitable for all parameters or about new messages.

Admin panel

Any dating service requires management and control. A simple page of the privacy policy and terms of use is not enough to prevent your application from getting into the stream of blocked content. Thus, it is best to take care of the ethical and moral side of your product.

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How much does it cost?

It is worth starting with gathering a team for development. You can turn to the services of freelancers or a professional development company. It all depends on your ambitions and budget. We advise you to contact specialized companies where the entire team is together: the project manager, developers, designers, and testers. This ensures the integrity and professionalism of the application. You don’t have to look for each specialist separately and spend time on its implementation in the project.

Also, you need deciding on what platform you will develop an app: iOs, Android or both. Cross-platform apps will increase your audience. In this case, the production process will take from 1000 to 2500 hours and will cost from $55,000 to $110,000, depending on the platform and feature set. Of course, these are very approximate amounts.

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Where the dating app can find first users?

Beginners always ask themselves: how to attract the first users? Innovative functions and a beautiful interface will not help if there are no profiles and no one to communicate with. A small base affects the length of the session, the rate of return to the app and the value for the user. How to recruit the first users:

  1. Let’s start. Start with a small region or niche. It is necessary to collect at least 500-1000 profiles within 2 weeks.
  2. Partnership with popular services. Top dating services offer affiliate programs. They provide a database of profiles in exchange for traffic and share profits. You can try discussing the terms of cooperation with them.
  3. Advertising. You can buy a lot of traffic in a short period of time. It will be expensive, but it will help you quickly get profiles. And don’t forget about advertising on social networks, because it is where your target audience is located.

Let’s sum it up

Now you have a general overview of the financial possibilities for creating a full-fledged mobile dating application. Dating apps are what people really need in their daily rush and information flow. Therefore, apps will become more and more, and now a great opportunity to enter the market. The main thing is to come up with your own unique functions that will attractively distinguish your project from others. Therefore, assemble a professional team and surprise the app market with a new cool project!