If you are reading this article then you probably know that the popularity of dating apps like Tinder or Bumble during quarantine skyrocketed, and so did their revenue. Needless to say that dating app development can become a decent business venture able to bring you great income.
To back up our statement with the real facts, let’s take a look at the key Tinder statistics. This dating app with the estimated worth of $10 billion has:
- 57 million users worldwide (In December 2020 around 2M new downloads of Tinder were registered).
- 5,9 million people with premium subscriptions – Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus.
These numbers are impressive, but let’s not forget about Bumble, which is considered to be an app for more mature users looking for serious relationships and spending enough time to achieve their goals. The company value now is around $8 billion. On top of that, Bumble can boast of:
- hitting 100 million users in 2020 (which is 33% more than in 2019);
- getting $240 million revenue.
So if your goal is to build a dating app no less popular, successful and profitable than Tinder and Bumble, then you need to pay special attention to the choice of the developers team. Only specialists that are experienced enough can turn your idea into a reality and make it work to your advantage.
Therefore, in this article we will share with you some tips on what developers to choose, what challenges to get prepared for, and how much money to invest in your app.
What developers should you be looking for?
The first thing you would need to do if you made a decision to build a dating app is start looking for a reliable developers team. And that is a really difficult task taking into account the variety of options available. You can hire freelancers, organize your own developers team, or outsource your app development. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages, so let’s discuss them in detail to get a full picture.
Gathering your own team
Many business owners prefer hiring their own specialists to have more control over the processes. After all, if you want something done right, do it yourself. But is this approach the best one when it comes to app development? We would not say that.
Of course, having your own developers team is way better than hiring freelancers. But this will require additional time and costs. So your app development will cost you way more than you’ve expected and you need to be prepared for this.
You will need to look through numerous CVs and portfolios, assign test tasks, discuss the salary and sign agreements with every single specialist you hire. And that is a lot of time. You may spend months on finding the right tech takes.
On top of that, you will need to organize work places and all processes, which requires additional money. Then you should give those people some time to dive into your business environment and project details. And although such cooperation may turn out very fruitful, it will be quite costly.
Many business owners seriously consider hiring freelancers to perform their app development, because this requires less money and you have a wide variety of specialists to choose from. So even if the rate of one developer is not acceptable for you, you can always find another one with a lower rate and no worse experience.
But is it really such a good practice to work with freelancers? Will you benefit from it or lose even more than you’ve expected to invest in your app? Let’s make everything clear and look at the cons the cooperation with freelancers has.
Let’s sum it up. With freelancers you may save some time because it is easy to find them (especially with such services as Upwork). They are ready to reduce their rates because of the high competition, so you will likely save your money as well. Some of them may be great professionals.
However, you may face missed deadlines, and lack of competence in your business sphere. On top of that, there may be some development risks that you cannot be prepared for.
App development outsourcing
Outsourcing is one of the most effective ways to get a great application at reasonable price\quality ratio. First of all, you are going to work with the team in which specialists know each other, have experience in building solutions similar to yours and can perform and complete every process without your supervision. So by choosing such remote developers you keep being busy with your business, while the team does the job and delivers the best results.
If you outsource the development you’ll get a full range of services. The team will help you shape your idea, select necessary tech stack, formulate high-level specifications, then write high quality code, complete all kinds of checks and even submit your solution to necessary mobile stores.
Outsourcing of the development has less risks than cooperation with freelancers and requires less money than gathering your own developers team. We have already covered all crucial advantages of outsourcing, so we would not dive in details now. We will just name some facts that can become the decision-making ones:
- The specialist in remote development companies have strong skillset and extensive experience.
- They are easy to communicate with (especially if you hire European or American specialists – the cooperation with the latter will cost you more).
- They are result-oriented so you can be sure that the involvement level will be high, deadlines will be preserved and your dating app will turn out exactly how you wanted.
- The quality of their job is controlled, so you can be sure that you will not waste your money by initiating app development.
So by cooperating with the remote team you will save your nerves, time and money. Your idea will be protected by NDA and you will pay for the real results, because such companies are responsible, reliable and have a plan of step-by-step actions. This allows them to write high quality code and make top-notch solutions.
Development tips and challenges
Dating app development is a holistic process to which you should be well prepared. So as you’ve already understood you will need a team of the following specialists:
- Business Analyst,
- Mobile coders (iOS and Android one),
- UI/UX designer,
- HTML/CSS developer,
- QA engineer,
- Scrum Master.
After you’ve selected your team, you will need to perform a pre-development stage which is called Discovery phase. On this stage your Business Analyst will help you to discover all the unknowns of your future project, explore competitors applications and their key features that they offer. Then you will successfully identify the necessary tech stack, monetization strategy, and get a well-formulated Project Vision and Specifications document.
What methodology to choose?
While everything is clear with the team and what’s going to happen when they will start developing your app, what many people miss is the selection of the suitable methodology. There are many of them and you’ve probably heard such names as Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban, etc. Each of those methodologies is selected to organize the work of development team in the most efficient way. And the selection depends on your project type and overall needs.
Speaking about dating app development, we’d recommend you to choose Scrum because it allows you to break up the development process into relatively short iterations of a certain time frame. Those iterations are called sprints. During the sprints a certain amount of development job will be done and you will receive a certain part of the application. Several sprints – and your dating app is all set and ready for release.
Scram offers development transparency, flexibility, better risk control, advanced quality and many more other benefits. Scrum is much safer and more foreseeable than any other models.
What features may impose challenges?
Although dating apps are partially entertaining solutions that seem not complicated at all, their development can impose many challenges related to the specifics of implemented features.
Most dating apps perform matching of people but it becomes possible due to different algorithms and features. And their development is quite challenging. That is why your team should have enough experience in this niche. Let’s take a closer look at some key options that require special attention.
This part of the dating app should be well thought out since it is exactly what is appreciated by users. So that your users can find perfect matches, you need to work on a matching service that will collect the data related to each user, analyze it and then use it for matching.
The data can be collected when the users fill out a personal app questionnaire. Also it is possible to add background checks of social media profiles, to get even more accurate results.
This feature can become a part of your monetization strategy. It is responsible for allowing people to have a limited number of matches per day. So if you want to exceed that limit, you need to purchase a premium account or else.
What does it give you and why users may appreciate it? Simply because it makes you engage in deeper conversations with the matches and not just flip through numerous profiles and meet no one.
Your dating app can perform aggregation of potential perfect matches based on their geographic proximity. Such solutions as Bumble and Tinder have powerful geolocation services that ensure precise matching. So if you want no less successful solution, this option is a must. We have already discussed the power of the best geolocation APIs, so if you are interested, check this post.
This topic still provokes numerous discussions, since anonymity has two sides. On the one hand, it can help really shy people find their perfect match without disclosing too much info to other users. On the other hand, it can provoke creation of fake accounts for pranking or else.
So how would you offer users anonymity without harming the reputation of your app? Well, thanks to profile checks it can become possible. You can make users connect their social media accounts and check if they are creating a real account or fake.
Also you can add an option to show only certain info in their profiles. For example, users may show some basic information, but share personal one only with matches.
The users want to use an app again and again if it keeps them interested. Gamification, some interesting elements like swiping profiles or else need to be well thought out. Engaging elements can become one of your competitive advantages if you offer something really innovative that no other app has. And that is a true challenge.
Best dating apps on the market
Maybe it all began with Tinder that for several years was the most frequently used dating app, but now there are other solutions that get no less user attention. We have selected a couple of such apps with the most interesting options as an example for you.
Image source: Bumble
We could not resist adding this app to the list due to its success. This is a solution that managed to grow into a full social networking platform. And it started only as a promising mobile app for building close and serious relationships. Not only you can find your second half in this app, but also make new friends and find business partners.
Bumble is much more than just an entertaining dating app. It’s best features are the following:
- There are only verified users profiles.
- Users can share their favorite music via Spotify.
- Three modes (friends, matches, business).
- Spotlight that makes your account visible to more potential matches.
Image source: Skout
At first sight this app looks and functions like Tinder, but if you dig deeper you’ll see that its goal is to help people build real connections instead of pushing them to go on endless dates. Skout is about real deep relationships, and its feature set proves and highlights that.
Here are the options that Skout users highly appreciate:
- Profile promotion that helps to attract more potential matches.
- Getting real-time updates from nearby users.
- Watch users’ streams and get to know them better.
- Select and meet people by personal preferences.
Image source: Elite Singles
This is a niche dating app that is targeted at a specific users’ group. Elite Singles is for highly educated people of 30-55 years, who strive to build long-lasting and serious relationships. Why do actually such apps become popular? Simply because people tend to date people from their own social environment. And this is an interesting approach.
The most striking options of the Elite Singles app are:
- Geolocation allowing you to meet singles near you.
- Uploading of all your Facebook pictures right to the app.
- Intelligent matchmaking algorithm.
- Daily matches suggestions.
Actually there are way more niche dating solutions that are worthy of users attention. If you are interested in them, then watch the video below in which described some of them and their key features.
The true cost of dating app development
You may be wondering how much money you need to develop the next Tinder or Bumble. And we are ready to share this information with you. It is really hard to name the exact sum upfront, because every app is different and the final price depends on its complexity, feature set and presence of third-party services.
However, we can name the approximate price of dating app MVP. Such solution will have the most crucial features and great design, and it will cost you up to $37,000 – 40,000. This MVP will let you test your app idea, see how the users interact with your solution and then keep improving it further and extending its functionality. For your better understanding of the named price, we have prepared a table showing how much money is needed per each stage.
|Development process||Dev hours||Dev price|
|Business Analyst||166 h||$4648|
|iOS Front End||373 h||$8952|
|PHP Back End||468 h||$11232|
|Manual QA||246 h||$4182|
|Scrum Master||253 h||$5313|
Our own experience
Here at GBKSoFT we’ve developed several dating applications that made their owners happy and satisfied. Therefore we’ve selected one project and decided to show it to you as an example of our work. That project is called INCINQ and its case will soon be added to our portfolio, so stay tuned!
Image source: INCINQ
The concept of this solution is fresh and fun. Our client felt that the young generation is already tired of using various dating solutions and getting no result. So his goal was to make a communication and online dating fun and efficient. The users of INCINQ get only 5 matches at the same time, they communicate with them for 5 minutes in a format of a blind date and then the pictures are revealed. So in this app everything starts with a conversation, not a picture.
While building INCINQ our tech takes worked with numerous third-party integrations to add reporting, voice assistant and audio recording option, to implement matching algorithm and many more. The app also has rating option, built-in messenger, and option allowing to make calls.
Dating solutions will keep being popular in the upcoming years. In the time of pandemic we all lack communication and social relationships. While some of us have partners, families or close friends to spend time with, others are stuck at home alone looking for a second half or new acquaintances. And what helps them to keep sanity and stay socialized? Of course various dating apps.
So without doubt dating app development is a worthy investment. But before you get started, take your time and select the experienced developers team and the most suitable approach.
Outsourcing your app development would be the best idea from a financial perspective. This can also help you save your time and nerves. The remote team will help you shape your idea, organize all processes, build a solution from scratch. and make sure it is great enough to win the user’s attention and loyalty.