IDAP BLOG Mobile Application Development

Build a Dating App Like Tinder Reasonably: Price, Features, Process

If you’re here, you definitely decided to create a dating app and look for opportunities to launch a unicorn at a fraction of the cost. The choice of industry is right since dating is one of the most profitable ones with enormous potential – a whopping USD 7.55 billion in 2021 and growth at a CAGR of 12.65% from 2022 to 2030.

Here we’ll share best practices and valuable insights on how to create dating app and how much it can cost. Scroll down to explore details.

Related: App-solutely Amazing: 40+ Killer App Ideas for Startups [2023 Update]

The phenomenon of Tinder: How does this app work?

Tinder is a location-based dating application that allows users with a mutual interest in one another to chat. All it takes is one look at the potential partner and swiping either left (to dismiss) or right (to like).

Tinder requires users to register through their Facebook accounts. However, the app does not use personal information for purposes other than matching and does not post anything on the user’s Facebook. Tinder profiles are minimal. They contain a name, age, interests, and a short bio. Thus, users can also connect their Instagram accounts to show more photos. Therefore, it may lower the level of users’ anonymity.

After users turn on the app, their location is reported to the app’s servers, which provide a set of profiles to match them. To connect them with possible partners, the app uses Facebook account information such as name, age, number of friends, interests, occupation taken together with geographical location, and even the number of matches the user gets after some time passes.

After matches are found, the user sees a picture of the nearby users with a name, age, and profession given below. To stand out, users will often take flattering photos of themselves and edit them. For example, you can enhance your images using AI and improve image quality and resolution.

This screen contains five large buttons:

  • Back arrow for returning to the previous pic;
  • Large cross (= to “swipe left”) to dismiss the pic;
  • A lightning bolt to increase user’s visibility in the app;
  • Heart (= to “swipe right”) to like a pic and hope for a match;
  • Star to “super like” a user.
building a dating app

The main idea of Tinder was explained by one of its creators Sean Rad, 

“No matter who you are, you feel more comfortable approaching somebody if you know they want you to approach them.” 

Users can chat only after matching with one another. Otherwise, one cannot contact someone they’ve liked on the app.

That is the limit of the app’s functionality. It does not figure out what a user wants their future partner to be like. Therefore, it can also be used for making new contacts and meeting new friends.

Cost-forming factors in a Tinder-like dating app development

Time and cost planning for building a dating app

Worthwhile projects take time. To create an outstanding online dating experience to outrun Tinder, you should be ready for sleepless nights of planning and calculating. Research the main competitors, and get to know their strengths and weaknesses. It should help you understand the industry, what it lacks, and what it expects for a new app to succeed.

Of course, not everything in the online dating market has been invented. There are lots of niches to be taken. Thus, to get to the top, it is necessary to grasp what kind of people will use the app. What is their age? What do they need for the app? The product should be tailored to match the everyday needs of its target audience.

Also, consider how much money you can invest in the app or where to find investors. Making another app with an exquisite design is not a cheap affair.

Related: Discovery Phase in Software Development: Importance, Stages, Tips

Finding a technology vendor to build a dating app

Before settling down with a vendor, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do their rates correspond with your budget? How far are they located from your office? Can you deal with language and time zone differences that will strain the communication between you and the outsourcing company?

It’ll be good to investigate the company, collect testimonials and even talk to their previous clients. Look up their works in the App Store and Google Play to ensure their reputation is good and they have relevant experience building dating apps.

Want to build a best-in-class dating solution with comprehensive functionality? Involve the IDAP team in the development. 

Contact our sales to share your concept and see what steps can turn it into reality. 

Dating app development: wireframing and UI/UX

Building a prototype is one of the significant price-determining factors that decide how much a dating app development is going to cost you. It is necessary to think through every screen, button, and icon. Every small block has to be planned and placed correctly. Every link has to take the user, and each button should be in the right place. All elements have to be consistent to deliver a seamless user experience. Only 10-20% of the design time is spent making a final layout. Other 80% – on thinking about user needs. After all, application design is key to a product’s success.

Developing Tinder-like features

The primary cost driver is tech development: the scope of app features, work principles, etc. For example, Tinder is a location-based app that uses geolocation for matching. Other dating services may utilize algorithms to analyze personal information and survey user fills in. Since the functionality is crucial for your customers and affects the cost & time of development, let’s consider the list of essential Tinder-like features to explore what Tinder has inside:

Dating app development

User Profile

Add or edit information taken from the user’s Face Authentication book account.

User Settings

Filters user sets to look for people nearby, e.g., sex, age, and distance.


Geolocation is crucial for Tinder matching. Backend development of processing users’ location and finding users nearby is time-consuming.

Private Chat

When users match, they get to text each other to continue communication while their private data remains discreet. Therefore, only users themselves decide what to give out.


Tinder uses geolocation to match people. But you could add a feature that would analyze users’ photos and show matches according to their preferences, e.g., beard, no beard, eye color, type of face, weight, and so on.

Push notifications

Every time a person gets a new match or a message, they receive a notification.

Tinder Social

A user can connect with a group of friends and swipe together or recommend a possible partner to a friend.

Tinder Plus

Also, a premium Tinder Plus package allows users to change their age and location and gives unlimited super likes and rewinds.

How to create dating app? – Start with MVP 

All applications are different, especially when estimating how much time and money the online dating app development requires. You cannot buy custom-built applications at the supermarket with a fixed price tag. Expenses depend on the hired company rates, the app development complexity, and the variety of features you want to stuff into the product.

From a technical perspective building a simple MVP of a dating app like Tinder can take about 3 to 4 months. The process of creating a minimum viable product for iOS and Android consists of 6 milestones:

  • Project planning;
  • Design for iOS and Android;
  • iOS app development;
  • Android app development;
  • Back-end development;
  • Quality assurance.

As we have figured out the list of primary features for any online dating application, let’s calculate how much a Tinder-like MVP will cost you.

How to create dating app

Based on the given hourly plan, the MVP of a dating app will cost around $35.000. The more features you would like to develop, the more money it will cost.

Related: Why is it Important to Create a Good MVP and Where to Start With it?


The bold idea to create a dating app like Tinder is worth the effort and investment since you can still improve the functionality and opt for fresh approaches to the dating process. Meanwhile, remember that people would not use something 100% similar to a perfectly-worked and already-existing app. Know your audience, their needs, and habits to develop something new and valuable.

Want to build a dating app in the near future? Let us know. Our experts will share best practices and valuable tips on how to create dating app and make it widespread among customers.

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