The dating world is transforming, with the rapid multiplication of smartphones and internet penetration, the global dating app market is expected to surpass $8.4 billion by 2024. Everyone is looking to download the best one and find the individual that they are compatible with. Popular dating apps provide the platform to enhance your social circle and look for like-minded people, maybe for fun or to begin the chemistry which may turn into a real-deal. The best way to boost your chances of finding love is by choosing the right and safe dating app.
Qualities a user is looking for in a dating app
According to Match.com, 53% of singles are using dating apps. While the concept is so popular now, users are also very particular about the safety and privacy of their profiles on the platform and also while meeting up with people they don't know very well. The concern has led swipe dating apps like Tinder to create safer dating experiences by adding a panic button which has location tracking, emergency assistance, and photo verification options. Apps like Sweet Pea employ features like “ Hush” which flags offensive messages and lets users control whether to open the content or not. Match Group introduced the “ Date Check-In” feature, wherein the app sends you a text message to make sure that while you are on a date all is going fine, and if there is any safety concern your contacts will be alerted automatically. Along with safety and privacy, a seamless user-experience is of key importance. Mobile applications like Tinder with its advanced location-based feature and swipe technique has hit the mark of 50 million users per month and 3.8 million paid subscribers.
Major players of the dating app industry
Availability of the most successful dating apps has led users to match every aspect of their list of preferences, be it matchmaking, social dating, adult dating or niche dating. Basically, categorization can be done as; Geological, Matching Credentials, Traditional and Community Specific. Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid have a huge audience size. On the other hand, apps like Grindr, Bumble play on the immense engagement time by its users. We will further talk about how the dating app industry is monetizing its USP.
Geological coordinating dating application
1.Tinder (Android. iOS) - With the concept of a swipe dating app, Tinder enjoys over 1.6 billion swipes within 24 hours.
Features not be missed while developing a fun dating app like Tinder
The Iconic Swipe - Its user-friendly interface allows you to accept or reject, can like or, do group chats and even get recommendations via the app just by a swipe. Facebook/Google sign in - When creating a Tinder-like app do allow social sign-ins which will let the app use info available on user social accounts and they have to just enter extra information asked.
Geo-location - The whole purpose is to find the right match, so Geo-location is the foundation. Use Google/ Apple location and map services while making your app. Knowing the user's preferred location interest is important and should be implemented in search, profile filters, etc. Location-based dating apps help ensure the right matches.
Advanced search options - Tinder even lets its user search for any acquaintances by enabling advanced search filters by age, name, or any other criteria relevant to profile. Multiple and advanced filters will always give an edge.
Video Chat - Once the initial conversation is done, enabling video chat option will help users make decisions easily about meeting in person or not.
Access even when offline - When planning to develop an app like Tinder, consider providing access even when offline. On tinder a user can chat, right swipe and even access profile while offline.
Real-time alerts - Providing personalized service is integral. Adding real-time alerts and notifications based on the user's interest or browning pattern will help refine a search and increase engagement.
2.Bumble (Android. iOS) - Revolutionizing the safe dating app concept of higher male users, Bumble is a platform for women to control the space to initiate a conversation. All kinds of sleaziness by men being cut down and marked as a safe dating app. The app is believed to have 55 million users worldwide with 72% below the age of 35. The app is free with premium packages for advanced features.
Personalized features - “Rematch feature” wherein notifications pop up about potential matches that may have not clicked the first time.
Safety and privacy - Bumble ensures the safety of its users by verifying daters via real-time pictures taken which help prevent internet bots.
Mode switch- The app has a unique BFF Mode option available which helps users find friends of the same sex as well.
Enhanced Algorithm - With revolutionary AI, Bumble has an amazing tool to fight unsolicited images, the app will blur the photo along with a message underneath “this photo is blurred to protect you from inappropriate content”. Recipients can choose to report, block or view the images.
Matching Calculation Based Dating Application
1. EHarmony - As a serious dating app, Eharmony has both paid and free services.
Personality Profile - When planning how to develop a dating app as Eharmony meant for serious relationships the stepping stone is a detailed profile. Users fill a complete proprietary questionnaire stating beliefs, values, characteristics, emotional well-being, skills, interests, etc.
2. Zoosk - With advanced artificial intelligence in the dating app industry, Zoosk is a serious dating app that offers more confident matches by checking into its user’s preferences and proper validation of contact and photo. The app has clever technology that learns who the user is attracted to and vice-versa. By its advanced technology-driven platform the app learns from its user’s clicks and interactions which singles are likely to be attracted to.
Traditional dating apps
1. OKCupid - With a high data-driven model the app maintains the balance between fun and serious dating, and so enjoys huge traffic starting from the age group of 18 to 80. Innovation is important to keep users engaged and for adding new ones. Unique conversation starters like, Emotionally unavailable, Dead Inside, Foodie, etc. has made millennial's love the app. The app uses addictive gamification like Tinder along with traditional dating websites asking users to fill in personality-related questions. While swiping through profiles users can even see questions and answers of other individuals.
Niche Dating App For Particular Gathering or Community
1. Coffee meets Bagel - One of the most successful dating app "Coffee meets Bagel” aims at getting one match (Bagel) by the app per day at noon, maybe during lunch break hours of busy professionals. The app offers separate functionality for the LGBTQ community enhancing the overall experience.
2. Hily - Popular dating app in the US, Hily with more than 12 million users recommends potential matches by placing algorithms for finding matches as per the user’s background, interest, activity checks.
3. League - One of the best dating apps for professionals, League is for successful singles. The app ensures 5 potential matches per day and does not bother its users with unrequited notifications. Potential users are screened on the basis of education and professional background. Via an email, the selected ones are being confirmed to join the League. The app syncs with Linkedin and Facebook ensuring no visibility to professional connections and at the same time verify the user’s details.
How To Create A Dating App
1. Planning your audience - Globally the dating app market is categorized as Europe, North and South America, Asia-Pacific, Africa & Middle East. Age-wise it is positioned as 18-25 years, 26-34 years, 35-50 years, and then above due to different interest levels. Key market segments would be services like dating, matchmaking, niche dating, etc. Subscription or free model however, free dating apps are most widely used but certain apps have started premium monthly, premium annually, and non-premium packs for enhanced user experience. Audience varies as per their preferences, age, hobbies, gender, community, and much more, to state a few:
Fun Dating App - Tinder, Ok Cupid, Coffee meet bagel, Plenty of fish
Marriage Minded - Eharmony, Match.com, Aisle
White-collar audience - Elite, The League
Gender-Specific - Bumble
Like-Minded, Matching Interest, Hobbies - The league
Community Specific Dating App - Grindr dating app for the gay community
Once you understand the target audience, knowing what features will lead to high engagement and retention is required for dating mobile app development, which can be summoned as:
Authentication and Registration - There are two ways for the process, the first classic method of using personal mail id or mobile number for account creation and login, for mobile phone authentication, Twilio APIs can be used. The second option is using a social network API for the better authentication process.
Attractive User Profile - After the signup is done, creating a user profile is the next step. It is important to gather every information relevant for perfect matches to be done. Dating Apps like Tinder have joined hands with Spotify to match users' basis musical interests which reflect the level of information being gathered from the profile section of users.
Matching preferences - This is the most critical feature of any speed dating app, more the chances of successful and quick matches higher will be the engagement rate. Popular dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid are powered by machine learning AI algorithms that match people on various factors like Extroversion or Introversion level, Agreeableness level, Romantic, traits match, Locations, physical dimensions like height. Basically, dating apps algorithm learns from user data, the AI along with gathering user data also takes note of user’s preferences and actions.
Geo-location - In the end, a user is logged on to a dating app so as to, later on, meet its preference in person. When building your own dating app correct Geo-targeting is critical. The overall app base is to fetch contacts majorly as per location for ease of meeting up at a later stage. Tinder even allows its users to select up to what distance the match should be.
Chat - How to start a conversation on a dating app can be smoothly executed with a seamless chat function, with options of using images, emojis, GIF, videos that will lead to a higher retention rate. Chat history should also be made available for users to enjoy mesmerizing moments close to heart.
Privacy & Report Fake Profile - For safe dating apps, a higher level of privacy is a must in spite of the app allowing other social media profiles to be integrated. The dating app concept with its unique blend of personal and public profile persona, a well-defined line to ensure safety and privacy is a must. In the case of fake profiles a user can use “Block & Report”, they can even choose the “Stolen Photo” option with comments and report the same.
Push Notifications - When planning to design a dating app for beginners, do consider the fact that users love the personal touch in the form of alerts and notifications. May be providing first date suggestions via notifications will make the app take off additional pressure of its users. Dating Apps like Tinder charge a premium for its Gold feature to display a daily selection of profiles.
Block and undo options - Option to undo if you have mistakenly shown interest will, of course, be an added advantage. Blocking or buzzing a person with wrongful acts is the key feature of any successful dating app.
Advanced Filters - Best new dating apps, don’t limit to providing filters options of just age, location, occupation, etc. time has changed and so has preferences, users love connecting with like-minded people, maybe options like eating habits, reading-habits, web series or movie preferences will connect individuals more easily and fast.
Admin Panel - For dating mobile app development, a well-defined admin panel can help disable reported fake profiles, monitor the user activities and in-app purchases thereby improving user engagement.
Checkin and Heat Map Feature - Real Dating apps like Magnet, merge the best of online dating and real-life experience via this feature. It allows you to check-in and quickly filters singles or any relevant activity around that you may be interested in.
3.UI/UX Design - When planning to start an online dating app, the design should have the most important information on a single screen. Mobile dating apps like Tinder have very efficiently used behavioral and psychological techniques to engage users. Starting from the signup, registration flow, upload photo options, location algorithms, filters, and subscription details have to be placed seamlessly.
How dating apps make money
On popular dating apps, a user spends approx 90 minutes in a day, and it may be ironic to say but the business of online dating apps is much more than just match-making.
Subscription led models-For users to access premium features on popular dating apps, they sign up for monthly, quarterly or yearly subscriptions.
Freemium-Best dating apps in the USA like Tinder are making its users addicted and pay for subscriptions to use its “Tinder Plus” and “Tinder Gold” services wherein users enjoy unlimited swipes, super-likes, multi-location search, etc. The premium package of Truly Madly “Spark” is priced at 899 for 40 sparks shows how micro-monetization is being done through successful dating apps. User addiction for android dating apps leads to paying extra premiums for better features and matches.
Affiliate Advertising - Dating app companies have started monetizing the platform by allowing marketers to utilize the app USP and connect with audiences especially beauty, health, clothing, restaurant industry reap out a lot of traction. Once the user signs up for monthly fees, dating apps shower them with additional features of gifting, dining, and hanging out places options defined in the advertising world as “Affiliate Network”. An offline service utilizing the platform like” Book a romantic movie for your first date”
Offline Monetization - App companies are reaping in huge money by hosting events at local levels, events for certain interest groups, speed up the dating process, etc. Sales of tickets and by getting sponsors on board offline monetization has been done.
In Spite of the challenge of keeping users engaged, interested and hooked up, Tinder stands tall with ballpark numbers $4.14 million revenues in a calendar year, TrulyMadly roughly $60,000 and major source other than the subscription is advertising. Not to surprise but dating apps like Tinder would roughly charge somewhat upward to a 200 per impression. In a nutshell, dating app monetization strategy would be via membership fees, paid subscriptions, premium service packages, affiliate networks, and offline monetization.
How much weight does your pocket have to bear?
With the ever-increasing demand and unsaturated market, developing dating apps is a profitable venture. The architecture of a native/ hybrid/ cross-platform app will need the right app development strategy. The cost will include: App development platform (iOS or Android) Backend development Infra cost App designing and testing Resources Support system and maintenance