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How to Make Your Own Tinder: Create a Dating App Step-By-Step
20 JUN 2022

When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, one of the important tricks that attracted users was relationship status. Instead of asking a person whether they’re available for a relationship, you can go to their profile and see that they are actively searching. Today, for online dating, there are dozens of applications, e.g.:

✔️ Tinder,

✔️ Badoo, or

✔️ Bumble.

Dating services help people find partners of interest — for romantic relationships, sex, or friendship. While the world is dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, safe online dating has become the most popular. So, dating app development is a great option to pay attention to.

But, first, HI! I’m a mobile developer at Brivian. In this article, I will tell you what a dating app is, describe the typical development process, and the must-have features. Also, I will tell you about the tech stack to create dating apps and where to find the team to develop one. Let’s go!

What is a dating app?

A dating app is a service where people meet other people for different purposes. The interfaces of such platforms allow users to view photos and profile descriptions, chat, and call each other. There is a stereotype that dating apps exist only for so-called one-night stands, but history knows that people have often found friends or a partner for life on Tinder. The functionality of dating apps helps the users find the right person thanks to segmenting people by age, location, interests, and even political views.

This method of dating increases the chance that the user will find what they are looking for. In a dating app, people intentionally sign up to find friends or partners. This distinguishes dating apps from social media apps like Instagram, where it is possible to get a negative reaction to an offer to chat or meet because that is not why people are there.


How to create a dating app like Tinder: information in users’ profileIn apps like Tinder, users put their own information about themselves.

Because of the pandemic, this way of communication has become more socially acceptable, as offline meetings in cafes or going to the movies were not available in 2020-2021, and somewhere they are still not available. To match the new reality, dating services have added video calling features to their apps.

There are quite a lot of dating apps now, but not all of them are the same. Let’s take a look at what apps there are.

Four groups of dating apps

Dating services can be divided into 4 categories depending on how their algorithms select people:
  • Geolocation. Apps that use the geolocation feature match people who are geographically close to each other. The user sets the radius in which they want to look for a partner, and the algorithm suggests people who are on the right geolocation. This is how Tinder or Badoo works.
  • Compatibility. Such apps ask a user to fill out a profile of their interests. There are questions ranging from hobbies and having pets to life goals and relationship expectations. An algorithm analyzes the answers and matches the users.
  • Dating agency. These dating app platforms look like online catalogs from a dating agency. The user scrolls through profiles and connects with those they like. An example of such an app is OkCupid.
  • Audience. Such apps target a specific group of users. For example, Pure is a service where users can anonymously search for sexual partners. Another example is Grindr, a service for gay and bisexual men.
Of course, if you want to create a dating app, you don’t have to choose one of these options. This classification will just help you outline the path to creating a dating app. Whether you want people to search for other people simply by their location, or you want users to know if their communication goals are the same — it’s up to you to decide! Or maybe you already have an idea of your own that needs to be implemented!

Building dating apps: core features

To overcome the competition, a dating app must have some features to make the user’s experience as pleasant and efficient as possible.

Security. Users are concerned about their security, and registering through social networks will increase the likelihood that the user’s data is truthful. That’s why it’s worth setting up the option of signing up via Facebook or another social media platform. We recommend determining which method of user authentication is right for you. To avoid reputation-threatening problems, implement a multi-step verification system. This could include verification using:

✔️ social media,

✔️ photos,

✔️ phone numbers,

✔️ email, etc.

Selection algorithm. It is possible to develop an algorithm for selecting a person according to physical parameters or compatibility of interests. But this option is not perfect, because a person can simply lie about their characteristics. Therefore, it is worthwhile to focus on information based on a person’s digital footprint (information about social networks, search history, YouTube playlists, visited pages, etc.)


How to create a dating app: the use of a digital footprint for selection algorithmA digital footprint can tell you more about a person than they can tell about themselves. Image source: ictreverse.com.

Geolocation. Using geolocation data, the algorithm can suggest options to users in their immediate vicinity or where they are traveling or relocating to. Geolocation matching has a wide range of benefits. It’s an important aspect to consider when developing dating apps. Plus, extending geolocation increases user retention in the app — the greater the radius in which the user searches for a mate, the more options are available to them.

Notifications. After surfing the dating app space, the user waits for a reply message from the person they like. In order not to miss this moment, it is important to add a notification system so the user can get information about the interactions with their profile or response to the message. Plus, notifications affect the user’s engagement with the app.

Premium account. You can be monetized by adding a premium account feature, for example. For a fee, the user will have access to a wider range of functions of the application. For example, on Tinder, you can see who has liked you just by paying. On the one hand, this feature reduces the likelihood of a quality match — when people express a desire to communicate with each other solely on the information in the profile. On the other hand, if the user sees those who want to communicate with them, it also increases the engagement rate of the app.

Messenger. Once the long-awaited match has happened, it’s time for the magic of communication. People get to know each other, discuss common topics and decide whether they should continue to communicate further, online or offline. It’s good if the ability to correspond is in the app because when people switch to another social network, they might get lost and not want to use the app again. To improve the experience of using the dating app, consider implementing GIFs, symbols, stickers, or video calls for more advanced communication.

  How to create a dating app: a messenger with a cool UI/UX design as a core feature

An example of a messenger with a cool UI/UX design. Image source: Dribbble.

How to create dating apps?

The development of a mobile dating app consists of several stages.

✔️ Market research

Before starting to develop a product, you need to find out the goals and needs of the business. Market research is conducted to make the application competitive. This is how experts determine your target audience and find solutions to user problems. This approach takes into account all potential opportunities and provides financial benefits for the products. Business analysis is then conducted to prioritize the features and scope of the project.

✔️ UI/UX design

Mobile app development starts with UI/UX design. UX designers think through the information architecture of the product, create a layout, work out the navigation and describe all the user flows. Thanks to a well-thought-out UX design, the user understands how the application works. Then, it’s time for UI. The designer adds visual elements:

🔴 colors,

🔴 buttons,

🔴 fonts,

🔴 and images

and creates cool UI animations.

✔️ Development

You need front-end and back-end developers to develop a mobile app. The front end is the client side of your app. It deals with the user interface and user interaction. The back end is the server side of your product. It refers to how the website works and how the main functions are performed. How well this part of the job is done determines whether users will enjoy the app or whether it will always “crash.”

✔️ Testing

The task of QA engineers is to find all the possible bugs. They do this by running the same script with different settings on different devices, as well as performing thorough manual testing at the end of each development iteration. At this stage, it is important to fix all bugs so that the user experience was more convenient.

✔️ Release and support

After release, the work on the product doesn’t end. It’s important to get support for your product from an experienced team. This way, you can quickly fix some things that will only be discovered with the first influx of users. Also, the support team will help you add new features that users will request.

Tech stack for a Tinder-like app

The choice of the technical stack depends on your resources and the goals of creating a dating app.

For example, if you are a startup owner, we recommend cross-platform development using tools like React Native. It will allow you to create a mobile app for iOS and Android at once, spending less money and time than with native development. The sooner you release your app on the market, the sooner you’ll know if the idea is worth it: if users will like your concept, and what your app is missing.

If you are already a more experienced entrepreneur, you have more resources, and you want your app to include a more complex design and a large amount of functionality, we recommend choosing native development. With native development, the app is created separately for two platforms. For example, Swift and Objective-C for iOS and Java and Kotlin for Android.

What about money?

Any custom software development requires proper planning in terms of budget. In general, the cost of creating a dating app depends on the following factors:
  • Approach to development
  • Platforms (plus device adaptation — web responsiveness)
  • Location of the software development partner and their rates
  • The complexity of application design
  • Number and complexity of features in the development of a mobile dating app in the first and subsequent versions of the app
At Brivian, cross-platform mobile app development with React Native costs starting from $30.000 and takes about 3 months for an MVP, while native development costs starting from $45.000 and takes about 4 months.

❗️ P.S. Please note that this estimate is based on limited information. Different projects involve different levels of design complexity and different amount of functionality. You can get an accurate estimate of your project by contacting our managers.

Who can help you with mobile app development?

There is enough demand in the market for a new dating app. To develop a good mobile app, you need to come up with a fresh and valuable app idea, focus on a specific target audience, and prepare your business strategy well. If you already have experience in this, you can hire your own app development team. But remember, this will take time to interview, find the right people, make sure they work well with each other, and manage the whole process yourself. It will take more time, money, and energy, but in the end, you will have your own app development team. It’s hard, but it’s possible!

But there is an option for those who don’t want to spend time gathering a team and recruiting, and just want to make a product and launch it — go to an outsourcing agency! Such agencies already have a full-service and well-coordinated mobile app development team. Instead of having to manage the project yourself, you have a project manager who will coordinate the team and keep you informed. Instead of a motley crew of freelance developers, there will already be people with a high level of teamwork. Plus, designers who will make your product look and feel cool, testers who will check it for bugs, and those who will support your project after release!

At Brivian, we develop web and mobile apps. Using our strong development expertise, we can integrate cutting-edge technologies like AI and computer vision into your products and provide consultations on IT projects. Tell us about your project and we will help you with the realization of your software idea!

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