Dating App Business Model: How Do Dating Apps Make Money?

Bharat Patel
~ 16 min read
Dating App Business Model: How Do Dating Apps Make Money?

Summary: In the world of live-ins & online hookups, there is a whole new genre called digital relationships. In other words, we can say, that the dating app business did change the landscape of dating world. Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge are the pioneers that made a huge difference in the shift. These dating app business models did take the online dating world at a wooping reach of US$1.39bn as of 2024. And further more, it is suppose to reach at US$1.51bn by 2029. 

The growth is indeed shocking! How have these dating apps managed to gain profits and loyal audiences all at once? Our experts have jotted down a study for you that has all the key factors to earn money online with dating apps. Learn more about how do dating apps make money and other insights over here!


We are in an era of digital courtships and evolving love. People want to make matches online instantly and get to know the other person in real time. Apps like Tinder have truly learned how to blend tech and psychology to obtain profits online. 

One can easily lure their audiences into in-app buys, subscription models, ads, etc. For example, users will easily upgrade their profiles to look into other favourable matches. This is one method of attracting them into such ventures.

To cope with the online trends of dating apps, you will have to monetize in many ways. And maintain your user loyalty and grow with the flow.

Market Analysis: Online Dating App Market Size

  • The dating apps have grown steadily. Their global position has increased and remained consistent for the past five years. So, there is a precise market for online lovers to mingle in real time.
Market Analysis

Source: Google Trends

  • The annual revenue growth rate will see a rise of 2.48% for the period of 2024-2029. This makes the market value of Tinder like apps to US$3.56bn by 2029.
  • The major chunk of the revenue is said to be generated by the U.S.A. So, if you plan to build a dating app, then study the U.S.A.’s audiences.
  • The number of users who will be on the platform are said to hit 67.2m by 2029.

The number of users who will be on the platform are said to hit 67.2m by 2029.

Indeed these numbers are insane! What are the major growth factors behind the hype? Let’s give you some gist before we discuss the dating app business model. 

Growth Factors of App for Dating

Growth Factors of App for Dating
  • Population growth

The crux of the increase in dating apps is the growing population. The new Gen Zs are all about quick mingle arounds. And they do love the concept of online dates. Thus it is an attractive idea for the new gen across the globe.

  • Change of mind sets

A behavioural change has been seen in the audiences. It accelerates the new ways of dating and living together. Thus, such a change has boosted the app for the dating genre.

  • Increased use of devices

There has been an upsurge in the smartphone market. People are always glued to some or the other app on their devices. Now, a smartphone is no longer a communication device; it has become a pocket entertainer necessary for every living human being.

  • Minimal in-app costs

There are loyal users of each dating app development. This is because, with time, they are able to afford a boost to their profiles and enjoy the new features and functionalities. Thus, it is an affordable way to date and get along with new souls for a short period.

  • AI driven apps

With the new trend setters, how can we not talk about AI? Trained algorithms in AI helps to match a suitable profile as per one’s filters. It becomes very easy for a user to navigate in the app with AI & ML. Thus, new tech stacks like these give a whole new drive to function in the app at ease.

 How much does it cost to build a dating app? Consult us!

Now, after the growth factors, let’s dive into the dating app monetization tactics. 

How Do Dating App Business Model Make Money?

How Do Dating App Business Model Make Money?

#1 Subscription model

Dating apps have survived in the online genre for a long time. They ace it by sustaining their user base and using these below mentioned dating app monetization model.

Subscription model

Freemium model

Of course, free is everyone’s favorite service. Human nature tends to make us use all the free services first and then look for the paid ones.

As per a study, there has been a new demographic of non-payers. These users exist in the app with the freemium model. And form a huge part of loyal customer base of the online ventures.

Users do join for free and use the app at ease. Thus, they become a large, diversified user base for the app. After that, with time, an online brand’s connect grows with the users which makes them vouch for the paid version of the app.

Some of the premium services, like unlimited swipes, advanced filters, etc., lure users to subscribe so they can use the app more efficiently.

To obtain such an online user base, one needs to strike the right balance of free and paid features. Thus, one can taste the sweet fruit of online financial stability. All in all, this tactic manages a high-quality user experience and maintains profits over time.

Subscription model

Who does not like to use exclusive functionalities? We all do, right?!

Subscribe and gain access to a whole new set of features which will help you make a match with the best date faster than others.

Such a sentence read in the app lures a user to go for a paid dating app business model. Upgrades are always welcomed by loyal users. You just have to build trust in your users before providing them with a subscription model.

Fees to use exclusive features are a must. Before you include such a paid version, you need to study the overall cost of an online dating app. Such extra features tend to add up to an SDLC as a major chunk of investment. Indeed, consumers invest in these to connect in varied ways in the app. And so, the subscription model fosters loyalty and sustained engagement.

VIP members

The word VIP does give a sense of pride to a user. This dating app business model gives an exclusive experience with a certain standard to selective users. It gives one extra perk in return for an extra fee but also tends to create a sense of exclusivity and prestige. One only needs a robust app infrastructure to provide users with VIP services.

The VIP membership model is an example of how specific services can attract a loyal user base prepared to shell out cash for a better dating experience.

Thus, this dating app business model is capable to strike a balance between economic viability and user experience. 

#2 Revenue channel

Revenue channel

There are many other ways to gain online profits. Here are some of the best dating app business model ideas.


An ad is a very clever way to generate money in a dating app. It helps boost revenue for the business. And the brands that are featured get exposure to a vast audience.

It is not just about financial security but also helps users function in the app at their own will. Thus, tailored ads are the best way to enhance user experience and align interests. 

Affiliate marketing

As per your dating app development cost, you need to look ahead to such revenue models. Affiliate marketing helps one to gain the best partners and promote related products or services online.

With the help of such promotions, the dating platform earns a lot of commissions or referrals. As the content is relevant to the platform, no users find it unattractive. So, one is able to manage both his business and customer relations in real time.

You can also say it as a user centric revenue model. It is indeed a long term cost efficient model for the dating apps online.

In-app purchases

It does not matter whether the project is a small or large dating app. This revenue model fits any concept. In-app purchases are very common in almost every online venture.

One just has to put them on the right features to obtain maximum profits. One can allow users to create their own personal experience and exclusivity. All of it adds up to build a user centric revenue channel.

Virtual gifts

Virtual gifts is a great way to invest in every user’s emotions online. They can send their match a virtual gift and grow his connections further. It is the best revenue model to get along the audience and gain profits. Indeed it is a pure marketing tactic.

Promote offline

This revenue model is for those who do have a high cost of dating app promotions. Both offline and online will help you attract users. In a world of so much clutter, it is essential to market yourself offline. What is your dating app? Why should people be on it? You can run contests, make a jingle and publish it on radio, do events, etc. Dating app costs will increase with this tactic, but it surely boosts your online traction.

Note: If you want to integrate one of these revenue models in your dating app, then you need a good team at work. Hire a dating app developer with the expertise to deal with the trends and manage all updates in real time for you. It has now become a mandatory move to keep your SDLC upgraded over time.

How Do Top Dating Apps Make Money?

Of course, after learning all the above, this question might have crossed your mind. Here are the best dating apps’ financial success stories.

#1 Tinder: How Tinder Makes Money?

Revenue as of 2024: $1.2 billion

Tinder: How Tinder Makes Money?

Dating has been made popular by Tinder. With a simple swipe feature, it did took the whole dating world on new heights. 

With the success of the Tinder app, there are many other Tinder clone apps in the market. They all have freemium models which then a user ungrades themselves to a premium version. Tinder Plus and Tider Gold were the two versions that allowed a user to purchase unlimited swipes, super likes, etc. 

The Tinder like apps have learnt to play along with user preferences. Thus, such boost ups help increase the revenue and engage users in the best ways possible. 

A major chunk of the Tinder app revenue did came from ads. A blend of in-app purchase, subscription, and ads created a robust online financial aid for the app. And thus, it did became the ace of all the other dating apps in the online  dating app market.

To sum it up:

  • Freemium: Per day limit on swipes, likes, and matches. One has to use premium version to get unlimited swipes, boosts, view who likes your profile, etc.
  • In-app purchases: Super likes to stand out, boosters for profile visibility

Our Project:-

At WebMob Techologies, we too have made one such app like Tinder– Hindeep. The app is all about attract a person with your characteristics. The user must modify the criteria of his unique qualities in the app. In addition, the dating app offers subscription options, virtual tokens, and two-way messaging. The strong algorithm of Hindeep, takes location and gender preference into account and generates user profiles accordingly, is another benefit of using it.  


#2 Bumble: How Bumble Makes Money?

Revenue as of 2024: $800million

Bumble: How Bumble Makes Money?

Bumble was all about women. It did pick a good take to empower women and is known for it in the online dating industry. The platform, too, went for the freemium model, where users were allowed to sign up for free and pay for extra features if they wanted to.

Bumble boost and Bumble premium were their major services. It consists of seeing whose swiped you right, rematch or match with the potential match as well as the expired ones.

It also earned well from SuperSwipes and Spotlight, the in-app purchases. The dating app model did focus on profits as well as user experience. And thus, created a value added app for the online world.

To sum it up:

  • Freemium: Limited swipes, message only to the matches who did liked you back; whereas for subscriptions, one gets unlimited swipes, Beeline, rematch, Spotlight Boost.
  • In-app purchases: Super swipes, additional Spotlight boosts, incognito mode
  • Partnerships: Brand collabs, events, merchandise

#3 Hinge: How Hinge Makes Money?

Revenue as of 2024: $300 million

Hinge: How Hinge Makes Money

Hinge is all about long term stable love. It attracts a serious user bae with its free and subscription based model. The premium version of the app for dating allows users to add filters as per preference and also look into who viewed your profile. Roses and Boosts are their popular subscription models. These help in boost ones profile and increase their in-app visibility to other users. 

The algorithm of Hinge gathers data and improves it for the users to find better matches in real time. All in all the venture has a great balance of personal and financial growth.

Thus, all the top dating apps have the best blend of innovative and impressive growth. Study them thoroughly and get the best out of them for your venture as per the dating app development cost criteria.

To sum it up:

  • Freemium: Limit on daily likes, send roses; premium version for unlimited swipes, send roses, etc.
  • In-app ads: Non-intrusive ads for specific locations.

#4 Coffee Meets Bagel: How Coffee Meets Bagel Makes Money?

Revenue as of 2024: $150 million

Coffee Meets Bagel: How Coffee Meets Bagel Makes Money

It helps send daily curated matches to its users and with it if they want to unlock other perks then one has to go premium. Coffee meets Bagel is one of the top most competitor to Tinder. The dating application has indeed given a great user experience across the globe.

To sum up:

  • Freemium: A daily beans limit to connect and match with other users. Premium version for those who want unlimited beans, invisibility mode, etc.
  • In-app ads: Occasional ads

#5 OkCupid

Revenue as of 2024: $250 million


The U.S. based free dating app is all about connecting to the best matches online. It does give online quiz and advance search filters to meet a potential match early. OkCupid also has freemium and ad based dating app business model. It is an intuitive app to be on and does have great features to lure the audiences at large.

To sum up:

  • Freemium: Limited quiz questions, search filters; premium version has incognito mode, advanced search filters, priority likes, etc. 
  • In-app ads: It has targeted ads in the app.
Do you want to build an app like Tinder? Let’s discuss!

How Profitable are the Dating Apps?

Being in the mobile and web app development business for over a decade, we have seen the tech world transform. Our team is proficient to cater your dating app idea with the best tech possible. We ensure to deploy your project on time with all the seamless UI/UX needs.

Our team of experts have nearly 5+ years of expertise which does ensure easy decisions for updates and glitches. We trust your idea and our process to create a successful SDLC. Consult us and get a free quote for your project! 


What is a Tinder business model?

The dating mobile app is a blend of freemium and subscription model. It has been around for a decade now, and does provide some of the great features to users. As a result Tinder helps a user boost his profile at an apt time and allows a great flexibility to come by.

What are the business models for the dating apps?

In-app purchases, gift vouchers, boost ups, VIP members, etc., are some of the best dating app business models. These tactics ensure to cover the overall cost of building a dating app. And gives an online venture its due goodwill and profit.

Which are the best dating apps in the market?

 Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, OkCupid, Happn, etc., are some of the top dating apps in the market. All of them are well established and have gained profits & popularity at the same time. 

Are there any other alternatives to Tinder?

There is now a whole new market of dating apps like Tinder. Hinge and Coffee meets Bagel are some of the best dating apps and a tough competitor to Tinder.

dating appDating App Business Modeldating app development

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