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Did you just- search on Google- how much does it cost to build a dating app?

If that is so, your search ends here. We have been grateful for being in touch with some highly skilled app developers. We have put the same question to them- i.e. regarding the dating app development cost. 

And you know what, they gracefully explained every aspect of developing an online dating app – whether it is about the cost to build or features that are common in such an app.

Moreover, during the discussion, we get to know the cost of developing online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble starting somewhere from $20000 with all the basic features. 

This figure is not fixed. Things like app complexity, the size of the team you hire, the location of an app development company, and the technology stack you leverage bring changes in the cost. 

So, here, in this blog, we have provided a detailed breakdown of the cost to build an app like Tinder- one of the most popular online dating apps that we have.

By the end of this blog, you will know:

  • Cost to build a simple, medium, and complex online dating app 
  • Factors that impact the cost of an online app development
  • 5 ways to reduce the cost of online dating payment app

Let’s start it, but first, we will have a statistical overview of the online dating app.

Key Statistics Around Online Dating Apps

In August 2023, a survey by OnePoll/Forbes Health asked 5,000 people in the US about their dating habits over the past five years. The aim was to explore various aspects of modern dating such as preferences for online and app-based dating.

According to the latest survey by Statista, it’s expected that the revenue in the Online Dating market will hit US$3.15 billion by 2024. Besides, it could go up to US$3.56 billion by 2029. 

An infographic depicting current statistics and trends within the dating app market, showcasing market growth

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Furthermore, according to data from Statista, Tinder was the top app downloaded in 2024, with Bumble following closely behind. Can you believe it?

An image showing the download statistics of the leading dating apps, highlighting popularity, user preferences, and market trends.

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Now, let’s count on- how much it costs to develop an online dating app question.

The Cost to Develop an Online Dating App 

The success of dating apps like Tinder has made many business leaders have their own digital solutions. But the question- revolves around how much will they have to pay to develop a dating app. 

Connecting with the best mobile app development company, they say the complexities involved in creating various types of mobile apps, including online dating platforms. Here, we outline the approximate figure for -the cost to develop a mobile dating app in regard to its complexity.

Cost to develop a mobile dating app based on complexity.

Dating App Types Must-have Features Estimated Development Cost Development Timeline
Simple App (Basic Features) User Registration and Authentication, Profile Creation, Matching Algorithm, Chat Functionality $30,000 – $40,000 3-4 months
Medium App (Slightly advanced features) Advanced Matching Algorithm, Location-based Search, Swipe Feature, In-app Purchases, Social Media Integration $40,000 – $60,000 4-6 months
Complex App (Highly advanced features) Video Calling, Audio Messaging, Advanced Security Features, AI-powered Matchmaking, Real-time Notifications Starts from $60,000 6-12 months

 

App Development Cost Estimate Formula:

Total Online Dating App Development Cost Estimate = Dating App Development Time x Cost Per Hour for Development

This formula can serve as a cost calculator to estimate the overall dating app development cost.

Factors That Impact The Development of Online Dating Apps

1. Platform You Pick 

The cost of a dating app development can vary significantly depending on the platform you choose—iOS, Android, or cross-platform development. Each platform has its unique development process and technical requirements. 

So, different platform brings differences in cost which can impact the overall cost. Below is a table outlining the estimated cost and development time for building a dating app on different platforms:

Cost of Developing Online Dating Apps For Different Platforms

Platform Development Time Development Cost
iOS Development 900-1300 hours $13,500 to $32,500 per platform
Android Development 800-1200 hours $12,000 to $30,000 per platform
Cross-platform Development 1000-1350 hours $15,000 to $33,750 for both platforms

 

You might have a question- why is the iOS app development service more costly than developing an Android-based dating app?

Well, here, is a reason why you see iOS as more expensive than Android.

  • iOS apps’ higher cost stems from limited hardware options that ultimately necessitate extensive compatibility testing.
  • Building with Xcode demands specialized skills. 
  • Apple’s stringent App Store guidelines also contribute to prolonged development timelines and costs.

Talking about Android, Android Studio is free, which has some relaxation in cost.  

2. The Location of the Development Team

Is your dating app development team working onshore or offshore? The geographical location of your development team can have a significant impact on the cost. 

If in this case, your hired mobile app development company based in North America tends to charge more per hour than teams in Asia. You can say outsourcing to a mobile app development company in India is less likely than in the USA.

For instance, in India, the average cost of app development is $20-$30 per hour, whereas in the USA, the rates can range from $100 to $150 per hour. 

An image presenting the cost breakdown of enterprise app development across different regions, indicating variations in pricing, factors influencing costs, and regional trends.

Image Source 

This inconsistency can greatly affect the overall cost of your online dating app project. Hence, considering the location of your development team is crucial in managing and planning your budget effectively.

Below is a rough estimate of the hourly rate charged by development teams from different regions:

Region Hourly Rate
North America $150-$200
Western Europe $100-$150
Eastern Europe $25-$50
Asia $18-$40
South America $25-$50

3. The key functionalities the app has 

One can like adding video call features in their dating app, while one is OK with just the real-time messaging feature and the profile viewing options. The range of functionalities and features you decide to include will heavily impact the cost of your online dating app. 

Each feature requires additional coding time, specialized knowledge, and potentially third-party services or APIs, all of which add to the cost.

For example, incorporating a real-time video calling feature may require the use of WebRTC technology and even the hiring of specialized developers experienced in implementing such features. 

Similarly, integrating a swiping mechanism, a key feature in many popular dating apps demands precise coding and testing to ensure a smooth user experience.

To give a rough estimate, simple features like profile creation, search filters, and messaging might fall into a lower cost bracket. 

4. UI/UX Complexity

Another critical factor that impacts the development of online dating apps is the app’s design and overall user experience. 

A well-designed user interface and seamless user experience are the game-changer elements in the dating mobile application success.

The design process involves various stages-

  • wireframes
  • prototypes
  • visual design
  •  interactive mockups

Each one has an important role in the app development process and needs careful attention. Consequently, if there is a need for animation, for example, in Tinder, there is a swipe feature that requires fluid animation to work smoothly. 

If you incorporate such advanced animations and transitions, then naturally the dating app development cost gets high.

5. App Maintenance and Updates

The first development process is vital to an online dating app; however, periodic maintenance and updates are also critical for ensuring smooth operation and meeting users’ expectations.

The maintenance is estimated 15-20% of the total construction in a year. On the other hand, maintenance costs during the first year maybe 50% of the original development cost.

Customer support, software updates, and bug fixes may be incorporated as an initial price, a fixed monthly add-on fee, or a cost per hour.

An image comparing the initial development costs of an app with its ongoing maintenance expenses.

Image Source

Hidden Factors That Impact the Online App Development Cost

When you are in the process of developing an online dating application, you should know there are a few elements that might not immediately come to mind but can have a great impact. Let’s explore some of them:

1. Legal Paperwork and Intellectual Property Protection

Every project starts with an idea, but to turn that idea into a tangible product, you must ensure it is legally protected. Intellectual property (IP) protection is essential in the app development world. Securing your app’s IP protects your unique ideas, features, and functionalities from being copied or used without permission.  

Protecting your intellectual property rights is crucial when developing a dating app. Ensure you have the necessary legal paperwork in place from the start. This includes:

  • Protecting your app’s name and logo with trademarks
  • Drafting and implementing Terms of Service and Privacy Policy documents
  • Registering copyrights for your app’s code and design elements

2. App Marketing Budget

Once your dating app is developed, you’ll need to market it effectively to attract users. However, this factor does not come at the direct cost of app development, yet it plays a crucial role in the budgeting of an app.

Depending on your target audience and marketing channels, you may need a substantial budget to gain visibility in a saturated market. For instance, social media advertising, ASO, App PR, influencer partnerships, and content marketing strategies all require different levels of investment.

It’s crucial to plan and allocate a marketing budget early in the dating application development process. And, as per the 

Ignoring this can lead to challenges in user acquisition and overall app growth post-launch. Remember, even the most well-designed app can fail without a solid marketing strategy.

Main Features in an Online Dating App

With so many options available, it’s essential to focus on features that can attract and retain users when creating a dating app. Isn’t it? There are more than 5,000 dating apps worldwide  If you aim to stand out, emphasizing unique and engaging features is crucial. 

There are a set of features that most of the dating apps out there have in common. We have listed them below to let you know which functionality users are used to and what features are must-haves to be competitive with the popular ones.

1. User Profile

Users should be able to create and edit their profiles and add pictures, and information. The complexity of the profile setup can vary.

2. In-app Chat and Messaging 

Offer more than just text messaging. Voice notes, voice messages, and video messages can make interactions more dynamic and increase the chances of meaningful connections. Moreover, you can seek AI development services for implementing chatbots that provide immediate responses or guidance to users when they navigate through your app. 

3. Icebreakers

Starting a conversation can be intimidating. Including icebreaker features like rapid-fire questions can help users break the ice and start conversations more easily.

4. Voice and Video Calling

Text chats can become dull over time. Integrating voice and video calling features adds a personal touch to communication, making it more intimate. This feature can be offered as a premium feature based on user demand. 

5. Push Notifications 

Keep users engaged by sending them notifications about potential matches or activity on their profiles. This feature encourages users to return to the app regularly.

6. Social Media Integration

When you integrate with platforms like Facebook and Instagram adds authenticity to user profiles. It also helps in making the app more user-friendly and secure. With the help of integrated social media profiles, you can suggest better matches based on common interests and hobbies.

Various Methods to Earn Revenue From Dating Apps

This is mostly the case with many business models that thrive in the digital space today, and the primary goal being profit generation. Therefore, lots of dating app developers are focused on the same destiny – suits.

With regard to their massive number of users and their wide popularity, these platforms would pose an unquestionable opportunity for monetization. However, while we aim to cope with the revenue generation aspect of the business, we do need to introduce a strategy that balances profit maximization and preserves user satisfaction. 

Let’s see different successful models that can successfully strike the balance between sustainability and returning profits in dating apps.

1. Membership Fee

Once the app users have downloaded them, you can provide them a membership fee as well. However, you can hardly do it without keeping the attention of users raised. You can consider including features that users want and that we have listed above. They can support the attraction and retention of users.

The prevalence of free apps on dating sites poses a challenge because people simply create fake profiles on social media. Charging a minimal membership fee can effectively reduce the number of such profiles.

2. Paid Subscriptions

You can offer special features to users who pay for subscriptions. For example, as mentioned earlier, you could offer voice and video chats only to paying users.

The features could vary depending on the subscription period, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

3. Third-Party Services

The Tinder app as a whole is about love and building new relationships. These connections can develop in such a manner that the users would like to purchase gifts or flower bouquets. e.g. It shall be possible to involve third parties to enact those gestures in reality.

People could also ask for real-world dating assistance like links to the Best Restaurants, Calling Taxis, Booking Movie Tickets, etc. One in two users says they have at least one in-person date.

4. Premium Version

It is earned only gradually and after some time. You include a download or a special feature with limited period for free. When the free trial hours end, users will be billed for continual service.

These elements of the subscription model are highly sought after since the users pay only for them if they are attracted and want to see more. Then, you should be concerned with the best customers’ experience on your dating app for the features to be sold in the premium version.

5. In-App Ads

Often, the development of income is achieved in the application by means of advertising. So, you earn money by supporting your product or service-related ads on your channels. If a product has no banner ads, it can attract users by applying a paid subscription for them.

Process To Build an Online Dating App

Let’s deal with an important question that some of you might have- how to build a dating app? Here’s a step-by-step guide to build a dating app:

1. Understanding User Expectations

Browse the market and see how users behave on other dating applications to learn what they need from a dating application. Like-

  • Do they look for long formal profiles or fast-swapping platforms?
  • Does the question of the creation of distinctive matching algorithms matter or do people simply need the ease of selection?

After all, the question is whether their main goal is a community-oriented platform or is it individual connections instead.

It’s important to get really into these issues to get to know your prospective client preferences and what they expect out of your dating app before making a decision.

2. Defining Desired Features

Next, you need to make a list of main features to attract single people. Try to incorporate such features so that users can interact with your website for a longer period of time. You may think through including enhanced matchmaking algorithms, powerful security facilities, an intuitive system, or unique ones that will help your dating app to be different from others.

Visualize introducing video communication, a meeting area for community interaction, or even bringing in gaming-based features that make the entire experience fast, beautiful, and attractive.

3. Choosing Technology Stack

Select the appropriate technology stack and system architecture for your dating app, You have a framework like React Native for cross-platform device support or just build a dating app from scratch with Swift (iOS) or Java/Kotlin (Android).

Besides, you can integrate APIs like –

  • Facebook for easy login and social media integration
  • Google Maps for enabling location-based features
  • Amazon ML or MonkeyLearn for AI. 
  • Simplify chat with video and voice chat APIs.

Furthermore, consider the backend development crucial for managing data and ensuring smooth operation. Opt for robust servers and databases like AWS or Firebase to handle user data securely and efficiently.

4. Design Architecture of Dating Apps

The user of your dating mobile app expects not only seamless functionality but also an aesthetically pleasing interface. Design plays a crucial role in retaining users. Therefore, focus on creating a design that is both attractive and user-friendly. 

Ensure your design fosters a sense of comfort and trust, as this is vital in a space as personal as a dating app. 

Pay special attention to the usability aspects, such as easy navigation, quick load times, and intuitive gesture controls for a mobile environment. It’s also essential to design for accessibility, ensuring that all potential users, regardless of their abilities, can use your app comfortably and efficiently.

5. Have Check on the Security & Privacy

To keep the users’ personal and sensitive information secure using a dating app we need to employ a strong authentication and encryption system.

This can be accomplished by switching on multifactor authentication (MFA) that layers security beyond only usernames and complex passwords. Furthermore, the Galois cipher and affine cipher provide a means of encryption between servers and other systems through the use of the SSL/TLS protocol with the verification of security certificates. Also, be sure to secure your app secure APIs.

Besides, the best approach to preserve users’ privacy is by introducing PGP-based cryptographic keys to encrypt messages.

6. Development

Start by organizing your development team, ensuring you have skilled professionals for different tasks—front-end and back-end developers, app designers, QA engineers, and perhaps a project manager to keep everything on track. 

The dating app development team will implement the features you’ve decided upon, ensuring they work seamlessly and intuitively. This phase is critical, and it’s essential to adopt an agile development methodology.

This way, you can make iterative changes and improvements based on feedback and testing, rather than waiting until the end of the development process to make significant adjustments. 

7. Testing and Launching

Before launching your dating mobile application, make sure that you have thoroughly tested it through various user experience checks, security measures, and performance testing so that you will be able to go with all smoothness. 

Have beta testing to give comments so that the testing team will be able to make improvements as needed. 

Checking the application’s compatibility with a host of devices as well as its working time and performance is what you should do before the launch. Use all the social media networks, introduce the influencers as partners, and announce the app through the press to create hype. Settle any feasible methods that will tenure: promo, special access to early users for downloading the apps, and feedback.

Approach Us to Develop an Online Dating App

As we see there is an increasing trend in creating online dating apps, so it’s crucial now more than ever to distinguish your app in the market. As the digital age continues to evolve, people are becoming more inclined towards using these platforms to find their potential matches. 

Consequently, it opens a vast opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in this booming industry. However, with opportunity comes challenges. The competition is stiff, and standing out requires more than just a good idea—it requires exceptional execution.

That’s where it is that ScalaCode takes over in the first place. Being the best dating app development company, we have an understanding of the dating app’s dynamics, integrated features like AI-powered matchmaking algorithms, safe messaging, and privacy controls are the core ingredients that bring a realistic user experience. 

Furthermore, we design a user-friendly interface that results in ease of usage, this enhances the user’s stay time in the platform and creates a strong and active community.

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Arpana K

Arpana is an integral member of the iWebServices team, bringing her expertise and dedication to our content marketing and insights efforts. With a talent for creating engaging and informative content, Arpana plays a vital role in ensuring our messaging resonates with our audience. Her keen understanding of market trends and her ability to translate data into actionable strategies make her a valuable asset to our team. Arpana's contributions to our blog are filled with insightful perspectives and practical advice, helping our readers navigate the dynamic landscape of digital marketing.

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