Aug 15, 2020
by Alexei Falco

How to Make a Dating App Like Tinder?

In the famous Eleanor Rigby song there’s a line “Ah look at all the lonely people”. A lot has changed since 60s, and here we mean the way people find their soulmates too. Dating apps of all sorts are up and running now, but the real revolution was caused in 2012 by Tinder.

At the first glance the niche is full and there’s not even a single chance for the newcomers here. But though the apps are numerous, most of them are of low quality and do not meet the users’ needs. So that can be a chance for entrepreneurs.

Should I start a dating app?

A dating app is a good idea for startup, as well as business. Here are some figures to prove this idea:

  • Almost 1/3 of all the committed relationships started in the web.
  • More than 40 million people use dating apps all over the world.
  • The annual revenue of all existing dating apps is somewhere between $2 and $2.5 billion.
  • Almost 60% of the Tinder users are from the USA.
  • Tinder’s total worth is more than $1.5 billion.

The market is growing, but the users’ demands and needs are growing too. That is why it’s high time to start your own dating app

What features a dating app should include?

Kaspersky Lab has recently conducted a research, stating that security is the main point the users value and look for in the dating app. And the reason is quite clear. So if you want to override Tinder or at least to create a product popular enough to get you some income, invest into the security checkups first. Safe user experience will definitely be your app’s competitive advantage.

Also don’t forget about making your UI intuitive and simple. Tinder is famous and popular because of its simple navigation system and friendly interface. It’s plain, intuitive, fast.

But the list of the most popular dating apps includes others as well, for example Hinge, Zoosk, Bumble OkCupid, Her and Grindr. The last ones are the main stars in the gay dating world.

Other apps worth attention are Veil, JSwipe and Dine, so you can be invited in the restaurant for a date directly from the app. These apps are highly appreciated by thousands of users.

Now we are almost at the point where it’s time to be discussed how to make an app like Tinder, providing good user experience and meeting all the customers’ needs.

How to create a dating app in 3 easy steps?

We strongly believe in three main points, standing for the best user experience possible, and they are access control, matching, and messaging. So we will focus on them and have a detailed look below.

Access control

Most of the dating apps allow logging in with FB or other social media account. And it is not because logging in in one tap is faster and easier than typing the password and email

If the user signs in with FB, the app gets the access to the user data. This data can be used later on to fill the profile information, suggest single ones in the area and so on.

If you decide to use this strategy and allow to log in via FB, make it absolutely clear to the users that their data is secure and there will be no shares about their activity in FB. Yes, dating apps are a common thing, but most people still feel a bit embarrassed using them. However, they do not trust all these “log in with social media” options, being concerned about privacy.

A famous lesbian dating app uses logging in via FB to check if the user is a female. However, “Her” checks if the email is used to create accounts in the social media, so they can verify if a newcomer is a real person and if she is a woman as well. It helps to prevent accidental matching with straight men and time wasters.

Zoosk uses picture verification. Hinge and Bumble get a lot of data about you – including your full name, education, mutual friends as soon as you matched with some person.

Dating apps tend to display pictures in a Pinterest-like way. One of the reasons is to make the apps look like a kind of “dating Instagram”. Another (and, well, the main one) reason is just to increase credibility. It is possible to validate the pictures manually so they don’t include nudes.

Earlier, when the dating apps appeared, they became the synonym to the word “face”, simply because people were hiding behind weird nicknames and fake pictures. Nowadays the situation in the market is different and users value transparency among the other things.

The main purpose of a dating app is to meet another person, so you will have to push people to post their real pictures and use real data.

Celadon Case Study - Dating App

Matching people

To successfully match people, regarding all the factors, with the help of old good Math and algorithms is nearly impossible. Maybe it can sound strange, but we do believe that complicated matching algorithms is not a critically important point for a dating app. And a lot of examples prove it.

For example, Tinder uses interests and location to match the singles. Hinge goes further and allows matching only with the ones your friends know. Surely, it limits the swipes. But the suggestions are much more secure and accurate.

Dine uses a complete unique way of matching users. They can be taken out to the restaurant as far Dine is integrated with Yelp. As soon as the profile information is filled, the app requests to pick three places where you would like to go for a date. Then it matches you with a couple of people who chose the same places, so you can ask them out.

Should you forget about algorithmic way? Of course, not. There are successful apps, using it for matchmaking too. For example, OkCupid. The app will guide you through the poll and compare the answers to the ones, the other users gave. You will see the “percentage of matching”, which is, technically, the percentage of the same answers.

Zoosk’s learns and matches using simple Yes/No questions. Another app, Match, uses Synapse, matching algorithm under the hood and make suggestions using lots of factors.

It is not the point how exactly you are about to match people, but you should definitely do it, as far it is one of the main purposes of the dating app.


If you want to make a good dating app, make a good messenger first. It is simple – the point is to start a conversation after the matching. There are a lot of options – for example, you can encourage the users to play more, as Tinder does.

The truth is, in most cases people simply ignore the matches. Maybe, you can push retention rates up if you specify who can message first? It is the way Bumble works, by the way. There ladies have to message first. JSwipe uses the “expiring matches” method, so the parties are literally enforced to get in touch immediately.

OkCupid is in another team. It means that there’s no limitations and restrictions on the messaging. It leads to more conversations, but to more inappropriate messages as well. So users may leave the app and stop trusting the dating apps as well.

One of the safe and simple way to encourage people to start talking is push-messages and reminders. So they will not forget about the matches, selected for them.

How do I make my dating app successful?

Yes, functionality is the king, but it is not the only thing making an app popular and successful. We have collected a set of tips to increase your chances to create an app of high quality.

  1. Difference matters. Dating apps in the niche are competing all the time. As soon as the users get bored or do not get the experience they are looking for, they leave and the app shuts down.
  2. Simplify. Today the simpler the better, and it works for all the categories of users, including the ones who are looking for some serious relationship. So people are looking for some simple and user friendly app.
  3. Don’t omit gamification. Gaming is everywhere. And yes, in the dating apps as well. The first example coming to mind is Badoo and their left-and-right swiping techniques.
  4. Remember about marketing. A new app will never ‘skyrocket’ without good marketing strategy even if the niche is not a high-competitive one. In case of dating apps the marketing can do almost half when it comes to monetization.

How long does it take to build a dating app?

One of the most difficult questions related to the development process is how much time it will take to create an app. Here you should keep in mind a whole set of points - feature set, app complexity, development service rates. However, if you are about to create a unique app from scratch it will take more time to complete the task.

Take Tinder as an example. In total the development time is somewhere around 4-5 month, because of high skill level of our development team (we got wide experience in the field). So frontend takes approximately 640-840 hours and UX/UI takes up to 160 hours. Add here 700-900 hours for backend and 600 hours of QA.

To sum it up

We will be right if say that it is a profitable investment – to create a good dating app. But the development procedure is complicated, requiring high skill level of the team. So financial resources are also a must.

We do hope the guide was useful and you got some insights, as well as the concept of making a dating app in general.

Follow along with us and we will talk about the most thrilling topic – how much the development of such an app cost and how to start getting an income from it.

Now the only thing you need to do is to find the team with relevant experience and skill level, so your idea will be implemented successfully.

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