How To Build A Dating App In 2023

Whether you’re a single Pringle and ready to mingle or happily wed until you’re both dead, you’ll have noticed that dating apps have become a lot more prevalent in the past decade or so. Dating apps such as Bumble, Tinder, and Hinge are now household names, and there’s a lot of money to be made from the dating game.

But is dating app development difficult? Do you need tons of developer knowledge to know how to build a dating app? Let’s take a look, and you can decide for yourself whether to swipe left or right on building a dating app.

Dating apps; the stats

First, let’s take a look at why dating app developers are now increasingly in demand.

  • The dating app market made a whopping $4.94 billion in revenue in 2022
  • This is a huge increase from the $1.6 billion it generated in 2015
  • Worldwide, over 300 million people use dating apps
  • Of those 300 million people, 20 million paid for premium features
  • In 2022 alone, dating apps were downloaded 256 million times

Convinced yet? Good. Let’s get into the specifics of how to build a dating app.

What’s the USP of your dating app? What’s your USP?

There are so many dating apps that you’ll need to decide how you're going to make yours stand out from the crowd. There are also a million different niches you could explore, such as sexual preference, dog walkers, the books you read, and even Cosplayers. Dating apps such as JDate and Christian Mingle are aimed squarely at those daters that place a big emphasis on religion, whereas apps like FilipinoCupid and AfroIntroductions are based on ethnicity.

Study your competition, find out what they do well, and then put your own spin on it.

Speaking of competition…

Who are your dating app rivals? Who are your rivals?

Once you’ve decided on a niche, you’re going to have to do some pretty intensive market research to see who you're up against. What features does your competitor's dating app have? How could you take their most successful aspects and tweak them to put your own unique stamp on them? What gimmicks do they have? How smooth is their interface? What offers do they have? The success of your dating app development hinges (no pun intended) on getting this bit right.  

Designing and branding

Dating apps are some of the best-designed apps you’ll ever use, and their branding is usually second to none. Why? Because people pour a lot of their hope into them and use them intently, so they need to be slick. Seriously, think about the last time you interacted with a dating app that had poor branding. You can't think of one, can you? So, make sure your branding is sexier than Jeff Goldblum and Mariella Frostrup speaking French and the UX is smoother than silk sheets, or your app will be friend-zoned.

The build

Once you’ve decided on your niche, planned out a workflow, and are happy that you’ve got the right blend of seamless user experience and kick-ass design, you can get down to the physical dating app development. Coding the app will take the most time, whether you’re using a no-code app builder or an agency such as ourselves, and it’ll also be where most of your money goes.

Once the app has been built, it’ll need to go through an intense period of debugging and troubleshooting to ensure that it’s ready to upload to the appropriate app store(s). This will include things that you haven't even considered, like wrangling with GPS permissions to match people within their desired geographical area. You should never scrimp on this part of the development process, or your dating app will be dumped for being a pain.

Now that you’ve got a functioning dating app, here are a few questions you should ask yourself when it comes to what happens next.

How will you market your dating app?

Not only is it important to assign a sizable portion of your dating app budget to marketing, but you'll also need to know where it’s going to bring you the most bang (snigger) for your buck. Where will you get the biggest ROI? Can you think outside the box and advertise somewhere unexpected? Could you collaborateteam up with a leading voice in the dating/sex industries for a special promotion?

For example, an eHarmony study found that 64% of people who use online dating apps seek someone they have something in common with. Surprisingly, only 49% say they are looking for a person they find physically attractive; could this be your marketing angle? Consider all options if you want to disrupt the dating app sector.

How to make money via a dating app

Okay, this is probably the reason you’ve read this far, so thanks for hanging in there. Most, if not all, dating apps now have some form of premium feature that you can pay for. This can be anything from the number of swipes you get per day, to being able to see when the people you’ve matched with were last online, or even suggestions on how to optimise your profile to get more hits. Then, of course, there are the tried and tested in-app ads, which are a staple of most free apps, as are in-app purchases.

You could always sell data about your app users to third-party companies for marketing purposes, but that’s as icky as crawling out of the bathroom window on a date to get out of paying for the meal.

Is it worth it?

Serious question. The dating app sector is extremely crowded, and you'll have to put a lot of effort into ensuringmaking sure that it doesn’t wilt and die faster than a bouquet of flowers from the local gas station on Valentine's Day. If you have the resources, time, energy, and passion to throw at it, then it can be a lucrative money spinner. If you don’t, then maybe it's time to dust off those plans you had for a peach de-fuzzer to get rich quickly instead.

How do I find reliable dating app developers?

We might be biased, but we think you could do far worse than clicking here! Foresight Mobile has been developing exciting apps for over a decade, and we could be the perfect match for you and your dating app. There’s no foreplay with us, no teasing, and no ‘it’s complicated’ status is needed; we just get down to business. We know how to build a dating app without catfishing you into a long contract, charging you the earth, or making the process tedious and a waste of your time.

Speak to our expert team for a free consultation, and who knows, maybe our eyes will lock over a table and we’ll become like peas in a pod.

Or, y’know, maybe we could just work together really well…

That’s cool, too.

No pressure.

Meet our CTO, Gareth. He has been involved in mobile app development for almost 20 years. Gareth is an experienced CTO and works with many startups

We'd love to show you how we can help

Get in Touch  

Latest Articles

All Articles