Mobile app development has opened new opportunities for dating online. Despite the huge number of app-based dating services, many users are still searching for their favorite one. You have all the chances to enter the market successfully as long as you learn how to create a dating app and implement it properly. In this article, you will find important details on the development process and timeline, popular features, dating app development cost and best ways to monetize your application.

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These apps have become so popular since people can simplify a huge part of daily life digitally, including personal relationships. They have found this service less time-consuming, interactive and efficient in finding their soulmate. Before we proceed to the question “how to create a dating app”, we consider checking the benefits of dating apps your business gets. 

  • High user retention rate – The retention rate is calculated by analyzing the users’ engagement after the application installing. It is rather important to build a long-lasting connection with your customers than just attract them for a few-time usage. The popularity of online services is constantly increasing as it provides a new alternative for meeting people. The average user spends 90 minutes a day searching mobile dating services in comparison with 5 minutes on a calorie counting one.
  • Lots of monetization opportunities – Dating mobile app development covers monetization strategies. It is common for developers to include monetizing properties, in-app advertisements, and third-party services. The nature of such applications supposes high motivation of the user-based. Studies show that 20% of the users are interacting with paid features, which are highly rated across the whole mobile app industry, and the average online dating revenue per user worldwide is $7.81.
  • Overall app-based dating high revenue  – Mobile app development is a really profitable solution. For example,, which has been on the market since 1995, decided to launch its own mobile application Tinder in 2012. According to the statistics, Tinder makes up $800 million within the total Match Group revenue of 1.72 billion.
  • Huge user base – It is not surprising that the user number just boosts. Mobile dating services are provided for users of different interests, gender, and age. Focusing on a particular group always pays its toll. The user penetration of this application category is already 3.0%, whereas it is going to reach 3.6% by 2023.


how to create a dating app: features

User profiles

The profile introduces users to the potential matches; therefore, the attractive and purposed design is a must-have. People want their profile to be a reflection of their actual personality and exhibit their best sides. Thus the profile should give wide customization options, generally look good, and be intuitive to navigate.  The first impression is created online through the profiles that cover all the necessary data.


This functionality improves users’ engagement. Not everyone wants to text someone who is located miles away as it is less likely to meet them. The great option is to give the chance to the customers themselves to pick regions or provide in-app suggestions due to their locations. However, these dating app features should not restrict those who often travel or just searching for people to chat with. Manual location selection must also be included as one of the options.


This is one of the most important features when we discuss how to create a dating app. Unlike before, people are used that the apps offering them other users instead of the list of profiles that can be browsed. After all, this is the main task of any mobile dating app software – to match people. AI algorithms enable successful matches due to their common preferences. Quick matching is required by the market needs as the customers look for convenience and flexibility. Everyone would rather spend time chatting than a time-consuming profile search. They expect this functionality from the app itself. Also, the mobile application should analyze previous users’ interactions and pick up people who they’re likely to have a conversation and date with. The data about previous interactions should not be left forgotten but carefully processed by the application’s machine learning algorithm. It is done to provide every user with a personalized experience that helps them achieve their goals on the platform. 


It is hard to learn how to create a dating app like Tinder without a real-time chat where you can communicate and send pictures. A few things to remember here: the users can initiate the conversation only with the ones who have also liked them. In case they dislike the started chat, they have the opportunity to disable it. Such options as messages, likes, emojis, or GIFs are highly rated by all users. Like any real-time chat, the internal messenger should send push notifications about new messages for customers’ convenience.

Social media integration

Providing customers integrate other social accounts with their profiles enables higher engagement within the app. However, your application should guarantee a high level of privacy and security to avoid any data leak.

Push notifications

Any mobile app development services cover push notifications. Useful, informative, catch-up and relevant messages often encourage returns and engage users to stay longer within your dating online application. More than half of the customers agree to receive them daily.


Predicting preferences is an inevitable part of application development, though it gives some power to users. Include match criteria filters (age, gender, hobbies, location), on/off push notifications and sounds, private profiles, etc.

Admin panel

Like any other service, it requires an admin panel through which authorized staff can manage the mobile application. Usually, this type of platform is built as web applications. Leveraging it app owners’ employees can access the admin panel, and global settings, fix issues with payments, accept and close support tickets, resolve disputes, observe analytics, etc. 



It seems pretty simple to define your audience – people who are looking for a soulmate. However, professional business analysts will advise being more specific and categorizing your audience. If you want to know how to create a dating app for a wider audience, target groups of different ages, hobbies, music tastes, etc. Thus it is much easier to specify future app features due to the users’ needs and come up with an original name. Such product will carry out more value and have more chances to succeed. 

UI/UX design

Intuitive design is a must-have for such product. The primary focus should be on the search tab and user profile since these are the screen where people will spend most of their time interacting with your app. From the UX perspective, users’ profile needs to present their owners in the best light with all the necessary attributes like the cover photo, age, gender, location, and a brief bio in the first screen. In short, it is better to be a photo on the whole first screen and a bare minimum of information over that photo. That will help the user to understand whether it is worth it to research profiles further. Secondary attributes like favorite genres of movies or cuisine preferences usually are visible only in case if the user is interested to view more details.

Another tip about organizing UX is to give a new user a chance to browse for first matches as soon as possible to connect the person to the application and show value in it. Thus the aforementioned secondary information about personality needs to be asked later by the application in order to improve the matching algorithm.

Back-end development

As long as you want to find out how to create a dating app like Tinder, you should develop secure and powerful servers and databases as you deal with tons of personal information. Adding social media integration increases its amount and requires particular database connections. For example, you can integrate personal data like name, age, gender, interests, mutual connections from Facebook, whereas pictures and locations from Instagram.

Front-end development

In short, front-end developers will render and organize the data from the back-end server into the mobile software itself. It is obligatory to learn how to create a dating app for both platforms, so just make a choice between native or hybrid development. Dating app developers can apply native frameworks (Objective-C, Swift, Java, Kotlin) or hybrid ones (Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, Ionic). When it comes to cross-platform development, we mostly provide Flutter application development services, as it is a new big player on the market. It makes development fast and easy and is perfect for those who have a rather limited budget.

Testing and launch

QA team works in parallel with developers and a minimum of 1-2 weeks after launch to define the possible bugs and make sure all modules are working properly. Having the ready application is not the final step; it should correspond to the App Store and Google Play rules. Mobile dating services with low security of transactions or inappropriate content won’t be approved by moderators.

Post-launch support

Remember about constant improvements. This type of app opens up monetization opportunities. It is profitable for owners; however, users will not pay more if the value stays the same. Deliver updates, come up with new premium features, improve performance, etc.


Whenever you search for how to create a dating app, this is a top requirement. Dealing with personal data, private messaging, and pictures demands strong data protection and security. Dating app developers cannot provide just basic security but cover all the aspects. You might remember the data breach of Ashley Madison, which is the dating online service for people who are married or in relationships. A huge amount of data, including users’ real names, emails, match history, and credit card records, were released by the hacker group in 2015. The customers weren’t just shocked but completely fearful as most of them were also threatened personally by emails. 

Therefore, every company should start implementing security requirements during the whole development process.

  • It is common to use HTTPS protocols to check certificate authenticity. Thus applying some additional cryptography tools and techniques like AES and SHA256 encryption protocols should be considered. 
  • The secure code can be written only with authorized APIs. Creating a central authorization for the entire API is a smart step for delivering maximum security.
  • You won’t build an application with high-level security, avoiding strong authentication and authorization, for example, using a phone number. It is normal to ask your users for it as you want to provide them with privacy.
  • Make sure you enable appropriate communication between servers and that data is only presented on request.
  • You immediately need to test your application if you are changing something. Security patches are required for every update and release.
  • The security team should be added to the agile process upfront since they won’t be capable of changing a lot when the product is almost ready.


The cost always depends on the chosen dating app features list and the development strategy. It is required to cover basic functionality, whereas the premium features could be added gradually. For example, you cannot release the product without an internal chat; however, you can add in-chat ads later. Be organized and consistent at every stage, and look for secure solutions whenever you want to learn how to create a successful dating app. The high-quality application will definitely justify your bill. 

Today’s framework choice enables the development of both native and hybrid applications. Looking for the answer to “How much does it cost to create a dating app”, we’ve calculated the average cost covering all mentioned above features and security implementation.

  • Native iOS development could cost up to $35 000
  • Native Android development will cost $30 000
  • The hybrid dating app development cost is estimated at $50 000

Taking into account the received calculation, we can say that the dating app development cost for both platforms and a web portal for service management could fluctuate from $50 000 to $90 000.


how to create a dating app: monetization strategy

Membership fee

The company might charge users once they download the application. This will be the average app price starting from $0.99 to $9.99 in the Apple Store or Google Play. The fact of purchase won’t mean much for your business if you don’t keep your customers. The overall rates and user feedback is in the first place. Membership fee comes with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, people can prefer your free competitors; on the other hand – a small symbolic fee is the best protection from fake profiles and fraud. Those who choose to use this approach can leverage its marketing and position the application as a premium mobile dating services with a curated audience. However, if the company applies fees only for profit, this is not the best way to monetize the product.

Paid subscriptions

Continuing on how to create a dating app, cover several options that differ by the duration and included features. For example, Tinder which is a well-known free application, still has one-month, 6-month, and 12-month paid subscriptions. Moreover, customers can choose between Tinder Plus (9.99 USD/month) and Tinder Gold (14.99 USD/month).

Premium features

It is a part of the monetization strategy where users are not charged for the initial download and basic features. However, the application can have some restrictions on the number of free searches and matches for the day, improved profile visibility for money, etc. This is arguably the best way to monetize the app since you ask people for money only when they are highly engaged and are eager for more. 

Make sure you provide a great user experience even without additional app features. It is unlikely someone will pay extra if they are not satisfied with the basic version. On the contrary, giving too much won’t encourage upgrading. Tinder offers such in-app purchases as 1 boost for $6.99, a package of 5 boosts for $17.99, 5 super likes for $5.99.

In-app ads

The advertisement has always been profitable for mobile software owners. Just exclude irritating pop-ups and learn new ad types, especially native ads. On the contrary, some businesses offer the paid premium version with no ads as a smart step of the monetization strategy.

Third-party services

Definitely, consider cooperation with third-party businesses. It is no question that emojis, digital gifts, kisses, and flowers are necessary; however, online communication can be diversified by flower delivery, restaurant reservation, taxi calls, movie/concert/sports game ticket booking, etc. Moreover, about 66% of users say that they have had in-person dates at least once, so they will be happy to have ready solutions on how to arrange their real dates.


We hope that you have found all the necessary information on how to create a dating app, clarification of the development process, and additional ways to monetize your services.

Defining your customers’ expectations is a powerful tool to reach success. Learn market needs, target your audience, and provide a valuable product. If you need professional consultation, feel free to contact our Flutter app development company which is ready to build a modern dating app for you.

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Frequently asked questions

How do you make a dating app like Tinder?

Companies need to consider various aspects to build a valuable market product. As for building a dating app like Tinder, you need to meet your customer needs and deliver great functionality. There are some of the common features to implement:

  • User profiles

  • Geolocation

  • Matching

  • Chat

  • Social media integration

  • Push notifications

  • Settings

  • Admin panel

How much does it cost to create a dating app?

Dating application costs could vary depending on the approaches you create your app with. Companies can choose between native and hybrid development.

  • Native IoS development starts at $35 000

  • Native Android development is about $30 000

  • Whereas hybrid development costs for both Android and IoS dating apps are approximately $50 000

How do dating apps make money?

Dating applications open up opportunities for monetization strategies. There are some of the common ways to make money with dating software:

  • Paid subscription

  • Membership fees

  • Premium features

  • In-app adverts

  • Third-party services

What makes a dating app successful?

To deliver a successful dating app, companies have to

  • Bring extra value for their customers.

  • Target your audience needs

  • Come up with unique features

  • Present a user-friendly design

  • Ensure privacy and security for your customers

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