Mobile applications that allow users to find likely dating candidates based on their personal preferences regarding physical appearance, personality, gender, and sexuality are on the rise, with more and more people utilizing them in hopes of finding a partner. In fact, the dating app market is predicted to reach over $2.9 billion this year, making it a highly lucrative industry. So, if you’re looking to start a profitable business, building a dating app tailored to a specific niche is a solid bet.
Of course, building a successful dating app is not without its challenges. Not only will you need to build the app securely, you’ll also need to effectively market, and monetize your new platform. Fortunately, in this article, we explore how to do just that. Keep reading to learn more about the fundamentals of creating a dating app.
Defining Your Audience
When building your own dating app, it’s important to identify your target audience, as well as their demographics, interests, needs, and wants to ensure the platform can satisfy their requirements. If you’re building a data app for pensioners, for example, you might opt to add minimum age limits or update your branding to match their preferences.
So, how do you reach your target audience? Connecting with your target audience can be achieved through advertising, which we’ll touch on more later, and also social media. For instance, you might choose to browse Instagram hashtags relevant to your audience, reaching out directly to users to get a better understanding of what they might like in a dating app.
Understanding the Market
In addition to understanding your target audience, you must also have a thorough knowledge of the market, as this will help you to effectively position yourself against the competition. For this, it’s a good idea to spend time analyzing your competitors, asking the following questions:
- What are their features and pricing?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How can you make your app standout against theirs?
- What are their unique features?
- How is their advertising targeting?
- What levels of customer service do they provide?
Determining the answers to these questions will enable you to compete more aggressively with other dating apps, matching them like-for-like in terms of features and service and going the extra mile where appropriate. For instance, if a competitor offers customer service during office hours only, you could opt to offer 24-hour support.
Developing Your Features
After analyzing your competitors and identifying your target audience, it’s time to develop features for your data app, based on potential users and market standards. Here are some features to consider:
- Profile Creation: Users need to be able to create profiles that showcase pictures of themselves and a short bio about their personality.
- Matching: Users should be able to “match” with one another. On Tinder, for example, when the same two users like each others’ profile, the app “matches” them, allowing them to send messages to one another.
- Messaging: Users need a way to communicate with their prospective dates.
- Location-Based Search: Most people don’t want to date someone long-distance, so enabling users to connect with those in their local area is vital.
Of course, the above features are standard in dating apps; however, you’ll need to also develop additional functionality unique to your target audience in order to satisfy their requirements. For example, if you’re building a dating app for dog owners, you might allow them to connect with one another based on their favorite dog breeds.
After determining your dating app’s features, you’ll then need to ensure they are developed securely to avoid any data breaches or privacy concerns. If you’re working with an expert mobile app development agency, this should be no concern of yours, as they will make security considerations throughout development. Nevertheless, it’s good practice to read up on any industry regulations so you have all bases covered.
Choosing a Platform
Once you’ve determined your dating app’s features, you’ll then need to decide on what platform you want your dating app to run. There are three platforms you can choose from – native, cross-platform and web, each of which have their own pros and cons.
- Native: Native apps are built for specific platforms and only work on their native operating system. For example, a native iOS app would not work on Android without a separate native Android app being made.
- Leverage native functionality
- Consistently high performance
- Familiar user experience
- Less value for money
- Restrict potential user base
- Cross-Platform: Cross-platform apps are made using one codebase for multiple platforms, usually iOS and Android. This means, an app development using a cross-platform framework can be deployed to both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store without making any changes to the code.
- Good value for money
- Easy maintenance – only fix one codebase
- Consistent branding across devices
- Reduced access to native functionality
- Less stable than a native app
- Web-App: A web-app is similar to a cross-platform app, only, instead of running on the mobile device’s hardware, it runs through a web browser or a cloud server. Most eCommerce apps, for instance, are web-apps that simply take their mobile website and remove browser UI elements to appear as a native or cross-platform app.
- Fast and affordable development
- Accessible on most internet connected devices
- Lacking functionality
- Less stable
Ultimately, choosing the right development platform is crucial, as it will affect what features you can implement, how they will function, and how many people can access your app.
Right Tech Stack for Your Dating App
Before you actually begin development of your dating app, you’ll need to determine the technology – or tech stack – you want to use for your frontend, backend, and database.
Unless you’re technically experienced, choosing your own tech stack may prove challenging, as it requires a knowledge of capabilities and compatibility with different parts of development. As a result, it’s best to leave this to your dating app development company, which will likely have a standardized tech stack for mobile app projects.
However, when consulting your development agency regarding their tech stack, it’s essential to inquire about the potential for scalability. This is because, as your dating app user base grows, your platform will need to be able to properly scale in order to meet growing capacity demands.
Creating an MVP
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the most basic version of your dating app that still functions as intended – the “no thrills” version of your platform, in other words. Using the MVP development model, you can get your app to market swiftly and add new features later down the line as your user base and budget grows.
Of course, whether or not you want to dive in the deep end and build a feature-rich app from the start is up to you, but it’s recommended to start with an MVP and refine later. This way, you can determine if your app is likely to be profitable while gathering user feedback and making changes accordingly.
So, once you’ve worked with your dating app development company to determine the right tech stack, you and your team should then work toward building an MVP. For this, you should outline the app’s most essential features, non-negotiable unique functionality, and a basic yet user-friendly design.
Monetizing Your App
To continue maintaining your dating app and recoup your investment in app development, you’ll need to work toward monetizing your app. To do this, you have several options:
- Subscription Fees: You can charge your users a monthly subscription fee to access all available features.
- Multiple pricing tiers
- Free app preview
- Recurring income
- Takes a long time to recoup initial investment
- Some users will never upgrade from free version
- In-App Purchases: You could offer users free access to your dating app, but ask them to pay one-time fees for certain features such as “likes” or “messages”.
- Entice users with free access
- Charge large one-off payments
- No guarantee of repeat purchases
- May frustrate users
- Advertising: Allowing businesses to place advertisements within your dating app is an excellent way to generate repeat passive income.
- Repeat income
- Passive income
- You set the rate
- Requires large user base
- Must collect user data
- Makes user interface unattractive
While each of these monetization strategies offer an effective way to generate revenue through your dating app, it’s best to use them in combination with one another, unless you build a subscription model. For example, in-app purchases and advertising pair well, but users will feel frustrated if you advertise to them after paying a monthly subscription fee.
Marketing Your App
Now that you’ve built your dating app and have determined a monetization strategy, you’ll need to generate a user base by marketing your app. There are several marketing channels you can use to promote your app, including:
- Social Media: Social media marketing involves regularly posting to platforms like Instagram and Twitter, providing information about your app and engaging with users. This is not only an optimal form of free, organic marketing, it can also be used for paid advertising.
- Pay-Per-Click: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising involves placing advertisements on a website or social media platform to direct users to your app store page, paying a small fee each time the ad is clicked. While PPC ads are a great way to get in front of a large audience, they can be costly over a long period of time.
- App Store Optimization: If you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then App Store Optimization (ASO) should be a breeze. Basically, ASO is the process of enhancing your app store pages to appease algorithms. As a result, your dating app will be organically boosted by iOS and Google Play.
It’s important that, once you start marketing, you measure the success of your efforts and refine them accordingly. Generally, your ad click-through and conversion rates will provide a solid indicator of your app’s success.
Contact Idea Maker to Create Your Dating App Today
If you’re looking to build a dating app that can rival the likes of Tinder or Bumble, then you’re in the right place. At Idea Maker, we have a team of expert mobile app developers dedicated to delivering apps that exceed your expectations. So, schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help you.