How to Make a Dating App like Tinder?
  • 1. 👑 Why is Tinder the King?
  • 2. ⚙️ The Whole Kit and Kaboodle: 7 Features for your Dating App MVP
  • 3. 👍 7 Impressive Ways to Improve your Dating App
  • 4. 💰 Dating App Development Cost
  • 5. 🖥️ Tech Tips from the Stormotion Team
  • 6. 💸 Monetization Models for a Dating App
  • 7. 💡 Conclusion
  • Thinking about dating app development? This article is going to tell you everything you need to know in an easy and informative way.

    I guess many famous love dramas would have ended differently if people had designed dating apps much earlier. Jack Dawson would spend the evening going out instead of winning tickets onto Titanic in a poker game. Romeo and Juliet would avoid such a tragic end and find their loved ones through Tinder. Yet, this is another story.

    Speaking of today, dating app development is still a perspective idea. Although we can’t measure love in numbers, it’s possible to give you some figures around the mobile dating market:

    • 80% of people who used dating apps left satisfied with their experience. (Source: Statista)
    • Online dating market revenue is growing from $1,225m in 2016 to $1,610m in 2022. (Source: Statista)
    • Annual growth of the industry is about 5% and it’s not going to decay. (Source: IBISWorld)

    So we in Stormotion aren’t surprised that many startup founders all over the world are wondering how to build an app like Tinder. But why like Tinder and not another application? Go ahead and find the answer in the following paragraph!

    👑 Why is Tinder the King?

    Launched in 2012 on both iOS and Android platforms, Tinder rapidly became a digital hornbook for lonely millennials of the XXI century and Cupid’s main competitor in creating couples in love. However, by 2012 we already had dozens of dating apps: take eHarmony, Match Mobile, Are You Interested?, Skout and other apps who had a million downloads so far as examples. How did Tinder manage to get on the top of this “love-selling” pyramid?

    Tinder app

    Tinder app

    In terms of mobile dating app development, guys from Tinder made a revolutionary shift:

    • The first undeniable component of their success lies in the geolocation module that allowed building matches based on geographical proximity.

    For users it meant that the person they’re talking to doesn’t live on the other side of the country, making the real-life meeting almost impossible. From the developer’s perspective, it’s a perfect early example of connecting hardware pieces of users’ devices with a dating app to provide users with a better experience.

    • Just one word: swipes. Swipes for Tinder are the same as the Eiffel Tower for Paris - they just can’t be separated. The logic of its work is simple as that: you can swipe left if it’s not your prince (or princess) on the white horse yet and you want to move on, or you can swipe right to make a match.

    This ingeniously simple feature provided users with a stunning UX. On the one hand, it made the app intuitive, easy-to-use and user-friendly. On the other, it added an element of “uniqueness” to Tinder and allowed it to stand out from its competitors.

    Tinder swipe

    Famous Tinder swipes

    Yet, if you want to create a dating app like Tinder, our best advice for you - don’t do it like Tinder. Undoubtedly, Tinder has revolutionized the whole mobile dating market with its swipes and geolocation module, but it was way back in 2012. Expecting to surprise someone with the Tinder clone in 2018 is the same as expecting to surprise your new girlfriend or boyfriend with an iPhone 3G.

    What should you do in such a situation? Take only the best practices and create a dating app that meets expectations of modern users.

    We in Stormotion have a deep understanding of the modern mobile market and users’ preferences as it’s one of our core tasks along with development. Therefore, we will provide you with 2 interesting lists. Which ones? Read on to find out!

    ⚙️ The Whole Kit and Kaboodle: 7 Features for your Dating App MVP

    The following features are just as important as the first impression on a date. Neglect something and you won’t have another chance to sink into the minds of your users and conquer their hearts. So take it seriously.


    Of course, there are some anonymous dating apps but if you’re going to build a more or less “classic” application, authorization is an absolute must-have. Actually, it’s usually the first screen which user sees and interacts with.

    Make the authorization process too long or too itemized and users won’t even cross this “doorstep” of your app.

    Stormotion developers assume that the best solution for you, in this case, is to implement oAuth. This open standard for access delegation makes it possible for users to transfer their personal data from an external source to your app. Yet, the app doesn’t have permission to remember, store or send the login and password of user’s social media account to third parties so their data remains secure.


    Fast & simple authorization process (image by Ravi Chothani)

    In other words, instead of facing an endless form where users have to write their name, surname, verify mobile phone or email, upload a photo and much more, they will face a nice-looking “log in with Facebook” (or Instagram) button and create the in-app profile using already existing information.

    User Profiles

    In many our articles (for example, about food delivery app development or hotel booking app development) we pay attention to user profiles as a great personalization tool. However, when building a dating app their importance grows even more. Let me explain.

    From the UX perspective, profiles in a dating app allow users to discover each other and find a perfect match. Thus, they have to comply with the 3 rules:

    1. Keep them informative. If you’re choosing with whom to go out tonight, just a photo with a name may be not enough to select a right person. Make sure your users can discover more info about each other (e.g., hobbies, interests, music or food preferences and so on).
    2. Don’t forget about the dating app design. Users aren’t going to apply for a job through your app, so relax and make your dating app design catchy. Use bright colors, stylish fonts and add some animations to make the interaction even more captivating. Yet, do not overdo it and follow the basic rules of design.
    3. Make them easy to manage. Your users should be able to update their profiles or upload new photos without any hitches. Make sure this process goes smoothly.

    User profile

    Nice-looking user profile (image by Norde)

    From the development perspective, there occurs another challenge. The issues of digital security have never been given as much attention as now. With all these hacker attacks and leaks all over the world users want to be 101% sure their personal data is safe.

    What can your development team do to protect the personal data of your users?

    • We always insist on implementing HTTPS connections and SSL certificates for advanced security.
    • If you wish, it's also possible to enhance your app with the two-step verification process. For example, it may require a user to login through the social media accounts and then confirm it with a mobile number.
    • Generally, don’t forget to cover everything from the OWASP Top 10 List.


    We’ve already talked about geolocation app development, so you can check out this subject-specific article here:

    If you’re wondering how to make a dating app that has chances to become the new Tinder, it should effectively connect lonely hearts and create loving couples. Yet, it will be impossible to achieve if your app match-make people from different countries or even continents.


    Image by Andrew McKay

    For this purpose, implement the geolocating feature and don’t forget to get user’s permission for it when he enters your app for the first time.

    Discovery Settings

    If you’re living in a very small town, it’s no wonder that all the people you can find in a dating app are your ex, your best friend’s ex and your cousin. Not much to choose from.

    Leaving jokes behind, filters are the essential part of any dating app like Tinder, especially for the users from megapolises. Your users will have more chances to meet their beloved ones in a retirement home rather than in your app if they live in NYC, Paris, London or Berlin and have to scroll through all users from the same area.


    Discovery settings make the searching process even easier (image by Daniel Prundeanu )

    Such simple criteria as distance, age and sex will make the search process more accurate and successful. Enrich your app with additional searching settings (like similar hobbies or interests) and you will probably gain even more matches!

    Matching Algorithms

    Have you heard all these: “It’s fate that we accidentally met in this app!”? Nope, it’s not some “fate”, it’s just a little of the development magic also known as matching algorithms or machine learning.

    This part remains invisible for users but it’s critically important for their experience. We all have different notions of attractiveness, so how to make a dating app give every user what he wants? For this purpose, the “attractiveness” of each person is broken down to 3 characteristics:

    1. Psychological factor which helps to match people according to their temperament, values, lifestyle and so on.
    2. Physical state which can take into account your photos and such parameters as height, physique etc.
    3. Compatibility of interests includes personal preferences (like music or movie, for instance), hobbies and other common experiences.

    Matching algorithms

    The example of matching algorithms (image by Johny vino™)

    We can make the app to take all the needed info from user’s profiles and implement machine learning algorithms that will analyze previous choices and come up with the most accurate matching variants for every user.

    Read Also What is Machine Learning and How to Use it in Your Mobile App?


    All roads in the world lead to Rome. All roads in a dating app lead to a chat. So no matter which matchmaking pattern you choose (swipes like in Tinder; surveys like in eHarmony; simple yes/no questions like in Zoosk etc.) it’s all about making 2 strangers interested enough in each other to start a conversation and, who knows, eventually find a partner for a whole life.


    In-app chat (image by Breeze Ye)

    However, when building a dating app you can improve the in-app messaging with a number of cool additional features. What are they? Read on, we will talk about it a bit later!

    And, again, all eyes on security. Believe our experience: one of the things that users expect the most from your app is that their private conversations will stay private. For this purpose we in Stormotion advise you to implement an end-to-end encrypted messaging system.

    Push Notifications

    When someone asks our developers how to build an app like Tinder, he often neglects push notifications. Yet, this feature is indispensable when it comes to engaging mobile users with your app.

    Push notifications

    Push notifications keep people engaged (image by Andrew McKay)

    Such regular reminders that inform about new matches or messages in chat induce users to use your app more often and spend even more time in it.

    So, these were 7 must-have features that are necessary to create a dating app. However, keep on reading as we’re going to share 7 additional features. Despite they influence the dating app development cost, these features will help you attract even more users!

    Read Also [How and Why] Outsource Your Mobile App Development?

    👍 7 Impressive Ways to Improve your Dating App

    Tinder became a real legend because it has offered its users something that his main competitors haven’t. This is a good lesson for you. You also have to offer your target audience either something unique or at least not too widespread in the mobile dating industry. So here are our 7 ideas that will help your create an app like Tinder that looks fresh and valuable for users of the XXI century.

    # 1: Feed


    Feeds allow users to discover each other's personality (image by Sergey Valiukh)

    Yes, we agree that feeds can hardly be considered as an innovative feature. Yet, now it’s more common for social networking apps like Instagram and Facebook. Some dating apps already use feeds (for example, the app called Her) but it’s still not a common practice so you can take advantage of it too.

    Moreover, having a feed in your app lets users express themselves even better by posting their photos, thoughts or other content they find valuable or noteworthy. Thus, they have more chances to meet a person who shares the same interests and outlook on life.

    # 2: Stories


    Well-known Instagram stories (image by Shpetim Ujkani)

    Shortly after stories were first implemented in the Snapchat app, many other mobile giants (like Instagram, Facebook or even Skype) has nicely “borrowed” it. Yet, it’s needless to say that many millennials (and they’re going to be your main target audience) are literally obsessed with this disappearing photos or short video. So why don’t you take an advantage of it too?

    Interesting fact: Instagram Stories has reached the audience of 150 million daily active users during the first 25 weeks since launch.

    # 3: Missed Connections

    Missed connections

    Missed connections in the Match app

    This feature is rather new so it’s a good solution if you want to boost interest in your application among new users. How does it exactly work?

    Missed connections remind you that the world around you is full of opportunities and the person you are looking for dines at the next table in your favorite restaurant or attends the same gym as you. Thus, the app finds people you’ve already crossed paths with in the real world and allows you to communicate with them.

    From the dating app development perspective, this feature uses geodata to determine intersection points with other users and the number of times your paths have crossed to provide you with the personalized experience.

    # 4: Date Suggestions

    Date suggestions

    Date suggestions may be a very helpful feature for your users (image by Vilém Ries)

    Suggestions are the interesting thing. People listen to them and then still make their own way. Yet, the situation may be a little different when we’re talking about dating.

    Stormotion developers can enrich your app with pre-composed suggestions that will help users select a place for going out. For this purpose we may collect data from such services like TripAdvisor to make up a list of bars, restaurants, parks, museums, clubs and other similar places. Later, the app will analyze your and your possible partner’s temperament, interests, hobbies and so on to suggest you the best place for spending the evening there.

    For example, the app may suggest you attend a karaoke bar if you both like singing or visit a local park if there is an interesting event planned that evening.

    # 5: Improved chat

    Improved chat

    Improved chat brings more joy to users (image by Siddharth Arun)

    We’ve already mentioned end-to-end encrypted messaging as a must-have for the chat in your app. However, if you not just wondering how to build an app like Tinder but also want to provide your users with the stunning experience, pay more attention to the communication inside the app and feel free to implement the best practices:

    • GIFs.
    • Stickers.
    • Video calls.
    • Simple in-app editor when you upload a photo into a dialog.

    These and other elements will definitely make communication more desirable and exciting.

    # 6: Message Editing

    Message editing

    The message editing feature helps to avoid many embarrassing situations (image by David Wilson)

    If you’re an active Skype or Telegram user you should know that the message editing feature is indeed life-saving sometimes. Of course, a simple misprint or autocorrect isn’t a catastrophe. But getting into some “covfefe” situation with the person you like сan hit hard on your confidence. So make sure it never happens to your users!

    # 7: Gift-giving Feature

    Gift-giving feature

    Everybody likes gifts (image by Alejandro Vizio)

    There is a humorous expression “a roses & candy relationship” in some countries of Eastern Europe. It indicates the stage of courtship, during which lovers make each other more pleasant small gifts (like bouquets, chocolates, cakes and soft toys) than for the remaining years of marriage.

    The funny thing is that this is more or less applicable to couples all over the world, so you can advantage of it too! Take the example of The League app and team up with delivery services to create a unique experience for your users. Such a cooperation will allow them to send flowers, drinks, cakes or other nice presents to their matches.

    However, we can come up with even more cool ideas for your dating app like Tinder if you contact us on this matter. Now let’s move on to some raw figures because I bet you’re eager to find the answer to the question “how much does it cost to develop a dating app?”.

    Read Also How Can Outstaffing Mobile app Development Relieve Your Headache?

    💰 Dating App Development Cost

    Especially for you, Stormotion team has estimated the development in hours and dollars. Look what we’ve got:

    Thus, the cost of making a dating app MVP starts from $36,880. However, you can also enrich your app with additional features that we’ve reviewed earlier.

    Note: we took an average rate of $40/hour but it depends on many different factors so don't think of it as the final price.

    Since every case requires a specific approach, this estimate is rough and approximate. Contact us and we will send you the personal estimation within 24 hours!

    As usual, we also prepared a little tech bonus for you. Check out the list of tools which will definitely come in handy when building a dating app.

    🖥️ Tech Tips from the Stormotion Team

    1. You may use Mongo DB like a database framework for your app.
    2. For a messenger app development it’s possible to use Sendbird, Firebase or Twilio SDKs.
    3. If you’re going to integrate in-app purchases, our developers advise using StoreKit framework for iOS and In-app Billing API for Android.
    4. Geolocation services from the MVP list can be implemented using Android SDK Class or Core Location Framework for iOS.
    5. If you decide to enrich your app with video communications, TokBox and ooVoo SDKs are going to be your best helpers.
    Read Also Android vs iOS Development: Which Platform is Better?

    💸 Monetization Models for a Dating App

    As any enterpreneur, when making a dating app you will think of ways to get some revenue from your project. Here are a few tips on how you can make money with a Tinder-Like app:

    • Forget about paid downloads. It doesn't work anymore.
    • Think of freemium model. It means that your app will be free (basically) but users can buy a full version or subscribe to unlock extra features (e.g. upload more photos, have unlimited access to chat history and so on).
    • You can also implement ads. However, don't make them too intensive and intrusive.

    💡 Conclusion

    Despite we tried to make this article a bit funny, hope now you also know how to build an app like Tinder or even a better one! Development costs start from $27,660 and may rise as you add more features.

    Curious what the Estimation for your Dating App development would be? Drop us a line and we'll prepare it within 24 hours!

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