2020 taught us a lot of things to do online: work, communicate with friends, watch movies and find couples. So if you are planning to launch your own application, dating service is a great option for an investment of knowledge and investment.
In this article, we analyze the main stages of creating a dating application – from market analysis to launching and finding the first users.
The first thing to do is research the market and conduct a competitor analysis. Highlight the biggest players and niche apps that target narrow audiences: dating based on political beliefs, sexual orientation, or favorite music. Explore general trends in online dating, audience needs, and the functionality of popular apps.
The better you know the market, the easier it is to find your own niche and develop your app.
“The online dating market is extremely competitive and users are very selective and prefer well-known brands. Advertising is expensive. Therefore, if you decide to create such a service, do not underestimate the importance of competent marketing and having a sufficient marketing budget right at the start. It will not work to launch a dating project with little money, since you need to immediately attract a critical mass of users. If you decide to make an analogue of existing services, be prepared to compete with the advertising budgets of the market whales. If there are no such resources, it is worth examining the existing services and choosing a direction in which no one has yet dared to start work. This will not reduce the need for marketing to zero, but it will partially simplify the task. “
Yana Kashaeva, Business Analyst at AppCraft studio
The target audience
Market analysis will help you find free niches, determine your target audience and functionality that can satisfy its needs.
In addition to major players, niche applications have gained popularity in recent years, where you can find a partner who is close in political beliefs, interests, specific appearance, food preferences, profession, income level and nationality.
Here are some examples of apps with a narrow audience:
Hater – if you want to find someone who hates the same as you.
Tastebuds is for those who are looking for like-minded people in their musical preferences.
Trump Singles – for Donald Trump lovers.
Parikhozhane.ru – dating for Orthodox Christians.
Bristlr – for men with beards and their female fans.
Vegan Dating is an app for vegans.
Twindog – dating for dogs.
Anaem is a site for dating Tatars.
Tall friends is an app for meeting tall people.
Choose several categories for your application at once – your audience should not be too large and scattered, but also not too small for the application to gain popularity.
Decide in advance how the app can be monetized. Here are some basic ways:
Subscription for premium features. Users will be able to connect paid services (view closed user pages, hide information about themselves, connect an unlimited number of likes, etc.) for a month, six months or a year.
Gifts. For a fee, you can give bouquets, emojis, compliments and other ways to remind you of yourself.
Advertising. Advertisers love dating services for the ability to show ads to well-defined people, as developers have detailed information about each audience segment.
Partnership programs. Collaborate with flower delivery, restaurants, taxi services and entertainment venues your users may need.
Application development stages
Building interactive prototypes
An interactive prototype is a visual representation of all pages of the future application. It helps to test all the features of the service, ease of use, see errors in functionality and plan the cost and timing of work. Also, the prototype is shown to potential investors and users in order to assess the relevance of the project.
For dating applications, several prototypes are usually created at once in Figma or Marvel services. It can be with or without design – the main thing is that with the help of it you can see the algorithm for using the future product.
This article explains how the prototype is useful.…
The team is created individually for the project, since each service requires narrow experts and specialists with certain experience. In the process of work, the team can be supplemented by other people, but the main composition must be determined at the beginning of the project. Usually this:
Communicates with clients and the team, coordinates common actions, controls timing, resolves conflicts and manages risks.
They think over the architecture of the application, write the code and, together with the manager, decide how the service functions will be implemented.
UI / UX designer
Thinks over the interface design and plans the user experience.
Check if the application is working properly.
Mobile app design isn’t just about colors and fonts. UX designers think through to the smallest detail how the user will navigate through the application, which button is more important and how quickly to get to it, and make it so that a person can easily navigate the application, and all buttons, forms, fields and data are convenient.
At this stage, programmers think over and create the architecture of the service, create databases, develop the main functionality and make up each screen of the future product according to layouts, adapting it to different sizes of devices for each platform: iOS and Android.
Testers extensively test the application more than once. After that, it is sent to the stores for verification – for this, you need to register a developer account in Google Play and the App Store in advance.
After launching the application, work on it does not end: over time, the application will need to be optimized, new features added and removed, and the application tested and updated. Manufacturers of smartphones and operating systems regularly roll out updates for which you need to adapt some functions of the applications so that they work stably and meet modern requirements.
It includes essential features that enable people to perform basic actions and use the product:
- User registration
- Filling out and editing the questionnaire
- Setting up search for other users
- View other profiles
- Chat with couples and tech support
- Push notifications
- Integration with social networks
These features are usually paid and provide additional benefits to users and an opportunity for developers to monetize.
Here are the main ones:
- Raising the profile to the first place and in the TOP, additional promotion of the profile, etc.
- The ability to hide your location and age, anonymously visit other profiles and not show the time of the last visit.
- Disabling any ads
- Ability to change swipe and re-view another profile
- Gifts for other users.
Engaging an audience
It is important for the application to constantly increase the base of new visitors in order to maintain the interest of existing ones. The cost of promotion will depend on the country and region, the type of platform, advertising platforms and other parameters.
Partnership with other applications. Popular dating services offer affiliate programs. They give you a base of profiles in exchange for traffic and share the profits.
Viral mechanics. Get people and the media to talk about you. Leverage the unique features of your app and create creative ways to tell your story.
Advertising. This is the most expensive but fastest way to reach early adopters. Post ads on social networks, search engines, app stores, local publications.
How do you plan to react to aggressive actions of users, scammers, advertisements for intimate services and mentally ill people? All this needs to be thought out in advance so that you have a plan of action for such cases.
Timing and cost
The full development cycle of a mobile dating application takes 4-6 months. We at AppCraft understand that during this time the market and audience can change, so we try to create and test the application on real users as quickly as possible. It is better to make the minimum version in a month and a half, release it to the world and gradually improve and add new functions, instead of immediately developing a large number of additional functions with unknown value (after all, you can understand what exactly users like only after the product is launched).
The cost of developing an application is from 2 million rubles – it all depends on the type and complexity of the application and its functionality. In our article, we describe in detail what constitutes the cost of developing mobile applications.
The AppCraft team has extensive experience in mobile app development. We create and launch our own applications for iOS and Android, design, web. If you are thinking about developing a dating app, write to us – we will help you bring your ideas to life and share ideas and best practices.