How to Make an App Like Tinder: Things to Know and Costs
Not only have modern technologies changed man-machine relations, but they also impacted interpersonal relationships. Can you remember when you sent a hand-written letter or notified anyone about the upcoming meeting personally last time?
More and more people are going online to find a life partner. That is why apps, chats, and dating websites have become extremely popular these days. If you're going to build a Tinder clone app, you should be familiar with some ground rules.
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Are you interested in how to make a Tinder app and how much it costs? Go ahead and check the video and article below.
How much does it cost to make app like Tinder?
In short, the cost of a Tinder-like app depends on the complexity of it's functionality and the development company you choose. Roughly, the basic Android or iOS app may cost you $50,000-$55,000 based on average hourly rates of $50 in Eastern Europe. If you want to build apps for both platforms simultaneously, your budget will strike and exceed $100,000.
Let's move forward to find out the details on how to develop an app like Tinder.
Algorithms behind Tinder
The aspiration to build a Tinder clone doesn't fade over the years. Obviously, that's due to it's stunning popularity. Just take a look at the figures below:
Popularity of Tinder
The statistics are quite impressive. So you may be interested in what makes the dating app like Tinder so in-demand. First of all, Tinder functionality is really simple for users. Actually, it lies in swiping right and left for liking or skipping a particular person respectively. In case the other person returns the affection, Tinder creates a match.
Discover practical tips on how to create a dating app and monetize it properly
Tinder is open for integration with Instagram. Users can access the Instagram profiles of their matches. Note that Tinder supports logging in with a Facebook account. So users can see whether they have common friends, common interests and favorite places.
Techniques to know to make your own Tinder app
Despite the fact that the Tinder functionality may seem very simple at first glance, it hides fairly complex algorithms invisible to users. Consider the following peculiarities when before you build an app like Tinder:
- Users can only see one person at a time but there are thousands of users swiping left and right simultaneously.
- Each user (or, at least, particular groups of users) sees people in a different order. It means that the developer's task is to structure the profiles into different groups.
- A specific algorithm must be in charge to define who and when to show to create a match.
Tinder's matching flow
The logic described above should be implemented on the server-side of the application. The back end can be made with the help of Java, .NET, React or other server-side technologies. It’s a good idea to ask specialists to help you with tech stack for Tinder app clone development.
Tinder app features and technologies in use
The algorithms above are not the only points that you should pay attention to when considering how to make a dating app like Tinder. The app has many other functions. Their implementation needs a certain amount of time and money. Let's look at them one by one.
1. Authorization and user profile
To build an app like Tinder, you should use a Facebook authorization engine. It is usually implemented via an open authorizations protocol, like OAuth. The registration is implemented so that the app itself does not remember the login and password of the social media account (in our case - Facebook). However, it uses these credentials to create a new account within the application. Another way to log in is by using the phone number. To make your own Tinder app, you can go further and use any of the existing kinds of user authorization. Our specialists will eagerly help you choose the best.
After authorization, it'd be a good idea to onboard them showing the main app’s functionality. We’ve developed an open-source library named SlidingTutorial for that case.
Sliding tutorial example
Profile editing is implemented using both the client and server sides of the application. On the client-side, the user enters/edits the data (gender, bio, photos). On the server-side, appropriate records are saved.
Tinder allows creating a web profile so that it could be found even beyond the application. When clicking the 'Like me on Tinder' button the user is redirected directly to the application or to the Play Market/App Store in case the application is not installed.
The mechanism is as follows: the client-side sends a request to the server. The server remembers that the user wants his photo to be seen when clicking the link. The server generates the link and shows the photo to everyone who clicks it.
This is how Tinder works with users and their profiles. Try to use the same approach when you create an app like Tinder.
2. Settings and notifications
Like any other app, Tinder allows adjusting settings for the convenience of users. For example, you can enable or disable notifications for new matches, receiving messages, likes, super likes. You can also choose preferable units of measurement for displaying a distance (km or mi).
Receiving notifications can be implemented via the interaction of your application with Apple / Google servers. The server sends push notifications to the app. To build a Tinder clone with similar functionality, your development can use FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) for Android and APN (Apple Push Notifications) for iOS.
There are a lot of ways of integrating push notifications. Find out the most popular of them!
Along with usual settings described above you can adjust Tinder-specific settings, like enabling/disabling discovery so that other users could or could not find a profile, choose to show men, women, or both, specify the search distance and the age range of the users to be found. So, if you want to make an app like Tinder, ensure that user accounts are set up properly.
3. Geolocation and Communication
Geolocation is the basis of the application. Without it, the app would be useless since it is all about finding people near you. Your app development team can make use of Geolocation API and Core Location to create a dating app like Tinder. For Android, they may use android.location package and MapView classes, for iOS — the CLLocationManager class and Map Kit framework.
In Tinder users can chat with each other only when they have mutual likes. Otherwise, the chat is disabled. As a rule, this function is implemented via the RESTful API or using HTTP. Permanent socket connections are not involved in order not to overload the server. The polling interval is set up depending on the frequency of the messages being sent.
Users can connect their Tinder profiles with Instagram to make recent Instagram photos available on Tinder. The content from Tinder does not go to Instagram though.
4. Monetization: In-app purchases
Users can buy a paid subscription and get more functions on Tinder. For example: change their location, rewind the last swipe, turn off ads. In-app purchase is integrated via the In-app Billing API for Android and Store Kit framework for iOS.
How to create a dating app like Tinder: Possible tech stack
Now you have an image of how to make an app like Tinder. However, the list of features cannot make the whole list of costs needed to build a Tinder app clear. Visible options are just the tip of the iceberg. Do not forget that you should implement such important things as the database structure, data access object (DAO) layer, Rest API, etc.
Expensive Simplicity: Tinder app design
Quality and simple design are, probably, the main things that attract customers in Tinder. Users do not want to spend a lot of time trying to find out how to deal with your app. They expect it to be intuitive and easy to use. In this regard, Tinder is a great example of a user-friendly interface.
Here’s a detailed look at the UI/UX design process at Cleveroad.
So consider UI/UX design services as a part of your budget for app development. Focus on looking for a vendor with a relevant experience of designing dating apps.
Interface of a social media app by Cleveroad (source: Dribbble)
How to create an app like Tinder: Development Team
Pay attention to the location of your team. If you are going to hire someone to build an app in the USA or Western Europe, be ready to double the costs of the project. However, developers from Eastern Europe can do the same for much less money. For example, the average Ukrainian outsourcing company charges $50/hour to build an app like Tinder.
So, if you want to build a Tinder clone, the project team will most likely consist of:
- 2 Backend developers
- 1 UI/UX designer
- 2 Android developers
- 2 iOS developers
- 1 Project Manager
- 1-2 QA engineers
Taking this into consideration, let's find out how much it costs to build a Tinder clone.
What is the cost of Tinder app made up of?
All the features listed above require a certain time for development. Take a look at the table below to know how many hours iOS and Android developers need to deliver the basic functionality of a Tinder-like dating app.
- Authorization - 22 hours
- GPS location - 7 hours
- Settings - 60 hours
- User profile - 85 hours
- Matching functionality - 90 hours
- Notifications - 25 hours
- Communication - 125 hours
- 3rd party services integration - 30 hours
However, it's never enough to know the time of development. The project delivery process covers points that significantly add up to application costs.
Underneath, we’ve estimated an approximate time required to build a Tinder-like app. The total price is based on an average hourly rate in Eastern Europe (Ukraine) — $50/h.
Please note that quality assurance time isn't included in this estimate and should be calculated additionally.
|Type of work||iOS||Android||iOS & Android|
Web (back-end, admin panel)
670h (equal for one and two platforms)
DevOps and meetings
Release to production
Estimate the cost of creating an app like Tinder with your own set of features using our app cost calculator below.
We’ve already delivered several dating projects to our clients. GreenLight is one of them. This app focuses on US regions where Tinder isn’t very popular offering an adjusted user experience.
The app works similarly to traffic lights. Greenlight stands for superlike, Yellow light is used for ordinary like, while the Red light means dislike. Apart from that, the app has a full-fledged chat and offers to answer daily questions so that matching users could know each other better.
Here are some technologies from the tech stack our team used during the project:
Tech stack we used to develop GreenLight, a dating app
The Bottom Line
To create a Tinder-like app and learn the approximate budget required for it's development, you should decide on the set of features. It’s impossible to estimate the time to build an application without knowing it's functionality in detail.