How to Build a Dating App like Tinder
09 Nov, 2020
15 min read
Time has changed. The Shakespeare way of romancing has long gone. Now, a casual hookup depends on the right swipe on a mobile app. That’s how technology has changed us and our lives.
We also used Facebook and Instagram to connect and hookup. However, that’s old now. Tinder, a dating app launched in 2012, shifted us towards the left/right swipe style and currently witnesses around 1.6 million swipes per day. That sounds like a huge customer base! Truth be told, you must go for building a dating app like Tinder. Because, it aims to bring lots of engagement and high returns. In short, a win-win situation.
To help you get started, here is all you need to build an app like Tinder from scratch.Let’s go!
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Should I look for a partner on Tinder, or should I not? At first, we are often confused, but we can’t stop ourselves from the cupid arrows once we jump in. That ease of finding a date and moving on with a simple unmatch button. Sometimes, a lifelong social friend, and other times, a little more.
Is all of this a technology mishap or a cupid stunt? Here’s what the stats reveal about casual dating making a way into our lives digitally.
The next question is, “What would I gain from building an app like Tinder?”
Brand value, high monetization opportunities, customer retention rate, user database, increased revenue, and more.
There’s no limit to the reasons that state why you should build a dating app like Tinder. But how? What unique things can you offer to your users?
While all the other dating apps are confused about the love potion to make customers fall in love with their apps, Tinder has already waved a magic wand and made people match through their app by understanding customer expectations.
Dating apps or a food serving delivery app, customers’ are hell-bent on their level of expectations. And if you fail even at a single stage, they’ll take no time to hit the unmatch button and abandon your app. Let’s see what expectations your customers have from your app you created that is like Tinder.
Intuitive Design and UI
A simple yet elegant interface with most animated features like swipe to accept and reject the match—reactions like super like to express your feelings and, most important, smooth and easy to access.
Customers are fed up with long-distance relationships like the one in Seattle and another somewhere in India. They want an app that would show them about the casual dating prospects in their vicinity or nearby. For this, a location-based dating app like Tinder would be a perfect solution.
Privacy and Support
It is one of the most critical expectations of users from dating apps. Users want their data to be secure and safe. You can make it your app’s USP. Ensure that you won’t access their data. Like WhatsApp, you can choose not to store the server’s data; instead, opt to keep it on the users’ local device. Making the data private and secure would earn you brownie points.
Creating a profile on a dating app looks like making biodata. That is the opposite of what customers want. They want an app that allows them to create profiles based on their preferences – detailed information or minimalist information. Also, they want the app to show matches based on their personal preferences. For example, an LGBTQ community or location/age-specific. To add it, you can provide a community-specific dating app. As Grindr and Her, dating apps for LGBTQ, our Asian D8 dating app, specifically for British Asians, etc.
Recommendation: Make one or more of these customer expectations your USP. It would be a significant profit point.
Different apps have different uniqueness that sets them apart.
After deciding on your USP, hop in to learn about the technicalities for creating an app like Tinder.
They say, “The more you interact with people, the more you get to know them.” The rule applies to business too. Knowing about your business helps you with better plans.
Tinder, which means fuzz or candlewick, is a geo-location-based dating app that helps people find their partner in their nearby area. Around 4.1 of 57 million Tinder users have premium or gold subscriptions.
What makes it exciting and demanding? It’s algorithm, architecture, design, and features. Let’s explore the behind-the-scenes of the Tinder app that you can take as an inspiration for your app.
How is the scoring done? How do they systematically order the recommended matches? Previously, this entire buzz centered on the Elo score. Yet, that’s the old news now. It was a part of Tinder’s algorithm that calculates our Tinder score based on our profile ratings. Now, Tinder’s algorithm shows us the potential matches based on our recent activity, our preferences, and our location. Also, the number of times our profile is Liked or Noped. So that both the parties can meet at an intersection.
Tinder Design that Hooks Us up
Let’s see the simple architecture of Tinder that gets us onboard, creates swipe habits, drives us in a never-ending dating loop, and keeps us hooked with the app.
Step 1: Sign Up
Tinder starts by giving us choices to login and simultaneously, limiting the options we hold. For example, it makes it simple to sign up with Facebook or a mobile number. For users, who have an account, it also allows email login. Though, that’s hidden behind the “trouble logging in” option.
It makes it convenient to sign up by automatically fetching our phone number and offering it to use it.
Nothing smart-ish, but if it reduces the efforts, who wouldn’t like to give it a shot.
Step 2: Registration Flow
Next are the registration steps. Instead of popping out a profile detail form, Tinder offers us one task at a stage with autofocus on the input field.
The ‘My’ factor gives a feeling of control, and the progress bar motivates us to keep going.
And within a few seconds, we are done with our registration process – adding details, photos, enabling location without a sigh feeling.
Step 3: Swipe Left or Right
And we come across the main screen of Tinder. Here we see one match and soon are curious to know about next and then next and then next and it goes on. Sometimes it’s a yes, seldom a clear no, or a super like.
That’s how we stay hooked on Tinder.
This swipe game is an addiction, a secret weapon that makes it interesting.
Step 4: Meet the Potential Partner
‘You’ve got a new message,’ a notification chimes, and the heartbeats rise. Once both the parties like one another, they can start the Hi/Hello talks. If suitable, know them better, go on a date, if not – unmatch and move onto the next.
Step 5: Keep Going
Repeat the process, swipe and swipe, hit some likes, get a match, jump in the chat box, and make a decision. And repeat!
If this is how it goes, no one dares say a NO to such an outstanding online dating app.
Tip: Ensure that your app like Tinder follows a similar simple yet sophisticated architecture. Work on the UI/UX of the app, design factors, and other front-end elements.
Going further, let’s see how to make an app like Tinder from scratch and its benefits:
This is the first step when starting to build an app like Tinder. You need to understand what problem you are trying to solve and your users’ expectations. At the requirement gathering stage, you need to carry out proper competitor analysis, know their business model, users’ needs, how you can solve necessary problems, etc.
Well-documented requirement gathering will help your team streamline the development process and have qualitative coding practices to make an app like Tinder.
Insufficient research while app development is one of the major reasons behind your application being unsuccessful. Hence, carrying out proper market research is one of the most important aspects to build an app like Tinder which is unique and successful.
While carrying out market research to create an app like Tinder, you need to take plenty of things. Focus on competitor analysis, market needs, business models, etc.; these things will help you define the USP of your applications and serve your customers right.
Below are some of the major benefits of market research:
Before you start dating mobile app development, did you find a perfect monetization model for it?
Generally, most dating apps use one of the four main types of business models, and you too will select one of them when you build an app like Tinder. They are:
1. Paid Subscription
This model is popular among businesses that provide luxurious services or features such as serious dates, marriage prospects, long-term relationships, or extra privacy and exclusive partnerships.
Some apps provide a weekly subscription. You can offer monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscriptions. Also, remember that long-term subscriptions are cheaper.
Chemistry, Luxy, Netflix are examples of subscription-based models.
The model that most of the popular dating apps use, including Tinder. It allows users to use the key features of the app for free. However, to use extra features such as unlimited swipes, profile boosting, direct texting, viewing the likes and prospective match, rewinding the profile, etc., the user needs to pay.
You can also offer the app’s key features for free, whereas premium features on a premium membership. The Freemium model also gets revenue from ad-based collaboration.
OkCupid, Hinge, Coffee meets Bagel relies on the Freemium model.
3. In-App Ads
A vast customer base is a delightful opportunity for brands to target an audience and turn them into their members. Based on what a specific user likes to eat and where, shops, travel, and more, multiple ads by different brands such as Netflix, Dominos, Starbucks, Amnesty International can be shown to the users while accessing the Tinder.
You can partner with brands or other eCommerce stores to advertise their business on your app and, in return, earn some profits.
4. In-App Purchases and Third Party Services
In-app purchases allow users to enjoy free services while purchasing a few of the premium features. Youtube, for example, offers a wide range of free videos and movies. However, sometimes, you have to pay to watch an XYZ movie. That’s a kind of in-app purchase.
In your Tinder-like app, you can offer users free services and allow them to buy a few of the premium features like viewing the complete list of top picks, additional filters, and more.
Recommendation: When starting to build an app like Tinder, Instead of choosing one of these four models, go for a hybrid approach. Build a Tinder-like app that has freemium and subscriptions. For free users, in-app ads. For example, offer a limited number of free swipes and subscription plans to make premium features like chats, video calls, unlimited swipes, etc. You can also offer in-app purchases like – Unlimited swipes only, etc. For users availing of free services, you can collaborate with the brands and show ads while swiping.
The design of your application is a crucial thing and has a major impact on retaining customers. When developing dating applications, designers need to understand the human psyche, mating patterns, and social norms to provide users with emotional experiences.
Again, Tinder has a simple to use, navigate, and understand user experience. It helps users to swipe right and left and notifies users only if they match. This sleek and straightforward feature makes it easy for users to find the right match for themselves.
For your dating application, make sure to build an interactive and intuitive design that provides a better user experience and helps retain them. Define features that meet users’ emotional needs and help them to find the perfect match. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and provide users with enhanced and easy-to-use features.
Firstly, you need to understand the craze behind the Tinder app; it is not only due to its architecture and front-end design. There are a lot of features that make it unique. Let’s see one by one.
Here’s the list of features you should include in your Tinder-like app:
These are the standard features and can be seen in every dating app.
Besides having features of the Tinder app, focus on what additional features you can provide. The simple idea would be to have a look at all the successful alternatives to the Tinder app. That would include: Hinge, Bumble, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, MeetMe, Plenty of Fish, and the never-ending list.
Relax! We’ve sorted it for you.
Here are the must-include features in your Tinder-like app.
Appealing Interface: “The first impression is the last impression.” Ensure that your user interface has an attractive design with simple navigation, just like Hinge offers.
Prompts: Hinge prompts, as they’re generally known. It’s one of the unique ways to introduce yourself. A simple question and answers series can be full of fun, seriousness, sentiment, and humor.
Mode Options: Though your app caters to dating, options such as dating, friendship, social meet-ups will give control to the users, allowing them to make a choice. It’s always an excellent idea to have options.
Advanced Chat Options: Provide a more refined and simplified chat process just like WhatsApp with easy sharing of GIFs, messages, images, videos.
Spam Detector: Detects spammers so that users can be free of frauds, free-loaders, and time killers. A spam detector will notify users when a similar message is sent to multiple users at one time.
Verification: For spam detection, ID verification will play a significant role. Though it would seem a bit stressful, confirmation of the account will help advance security and safety. It will provide your customers with credibility.
Advanced AI algorithms: Integrate artificial intelligence that will automatically show matches based on their preferences, behaviors, and other similar factors.
Always remember, everything is designed; only a few things are designed well!
Pro-tip: The best way to learn about the trending features for your dating app, use the apps, yours, and your competitors.
Regardless of the application you develop, choosing the right technology stack is important. When starting with tinder like app development, you need to make your application scalable, robust, and responsive. There are multiple programming languages, databases, and more to select from. But, the major confusion is which of these technologies you can choose. This is when you need to hire a dating app development company that can help you to build a dating app.
First, you need to decide whether you are choosing native app development or cross-platform development. Once you have decided this, your next step is to choose the programming language. Herein, take help from a dating app development company and their team. They will know different tech stacks because of their experience and knowledge with dating mobile app development. Thus, they can guide you perfectly whether to choose a native app or cross-platform app development.
Native App Development
Cross-Platform App Development
Java, Kotlin, Swift, Objective-C
Flutter, React Native, Xamarin
Android Studio, XCode
App Code, VS Code,
Jetpack Compose, Android UI, UI-Kit, Swift UI
Jetpack Compose, Android UI, UI-Kit,
Here, take help from an app development company like us with better knowledge of various technology stacks and help you decide. Reach out to us, and depending on your business requirements, we will help you get the right set of technologies.
Once you finish tinder app development, your next step is testing. The primary goal of testing is to find bugs, faults, errors, check if any requirements are missing from the clients’ requirements, etc. In this phase, each and every line of code is checked and with regards to the functionality and features of the software.
Testing is essential to build brand value and provide a better experience to users. A properly tested application assures security, dependability, high performance, which helps to save time, costs, and boosts customer satisfaction.
After you complete the testing of your dating application, you have to make sure that the application is secure. When you develop dating apps, you are storing personal information of users like birthdates, gender, interests, location, address, number, hobbies, etc. There is also a large amount of data generated. Hence, you will have to make sure that you are using the latest, market-standard encryption techniques to secure it. Any vulnerabilities can be easy for hackers to exploit your application and gain access to users’ data. Your dating app development company like us, will help you handle all the security issues and follow the latest market standards.
Once you build a dating app, your next step is to provide support and maintenance. If the users face any trouble with the application, you will have to provide necessary support either in-app or on your website. Your customer support team will help them to solve the issue.
To maintain the website, you will have to update and bring new features for your users constantly. With every update, make sure to fulfill users’ needs.
This is the first step to gain the right customers. There are multiple ways to market your applications like digital marketing, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, etc., and they all are perfect for your dating app. Mostly your dating application’s target audience will be millennials and GenZ, and to target them, your first need will be to game up your social media. Tinder does impressive work with all their social media handles, targeting their audience with all the latest puns, interesting Q&A, collaborating with various influencers, government causes, etc. It helps them to get the right audience and increase their reach.
Here are different ways you can market your application better and get the right set of audience:
Looking for the right marketing team who can handle all your marketing needs? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Our experienced digital and content marketing team will help you increase your ROI and get the right target audience.
There are two options for dating app development: custom app development or clone app development. It is better to create a dating app from scratch instead of cloning it. Let’s find out why:
Custom development of dating apps will allow you to fulfill your business needs by improving the overall efficiency of the application. Custom development helps you improve operational efficiency, productivity, and employees’ skills as they develop. Custom development will allow you to understand your users’ needs. You can also play around and experiment with new features and know your users’ reactions. These things will become easy to achieve with the help of custom development.
You can scale up your application as the business expands and continue adding new features depending on your requirements. Having scalability and flexibility for your business apps can help you save costs related to extra licenses, subscriptions, or compliance.
Investing in custom applications development can help you to increase the productivity and profitability of the company. Custom apps provide you with an opportunity to know your customers and make tweaks in your application accordingly. This gives you freedom to develop and build an application according to your business requirements. Reduced operational costs and more focus on core activities can help you bring your high investment.
Custom software solutions can help you to stand ahead of your competitors. To create a dating app, you need to hire dedicated developers who can update and maintain your software. With the help of a dating app development company, build an application which can fulfill all your requirements.
However, a technological expert will be the right person to guide you through the development cost to build an app like Tinder.
Choose the right mobile app development company with expertise in technologies you’ll need to make a dating app like Tinder. Also, if the development cost meets your budget.
Suggestion: Before you partner with a development company, check their portfolio, reviews, client testimonials, technological expertise. Talk to the development team, know about their development process, discuss your business plan, and see if they can help you and how.
Get your Tinder-like app developed!
Finding a business match, learning about its implementation, and getting it done is easy. The middle processes may seem overwhelming, but developing a Tinder-like app is not rocket science. With proper researching, market analysis, and intricate coding, you can be the new hit.
For all of these, you need the right guidance!
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