The online dating scene has witnessed tremendous growth over the past few years. This is due to the increased usage of smartphones and the broad reach of these dating based apps.
The demand for these apps is far from over. Similar, to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, almost every user would have or will be acquainted with dating apps at least once in their lifetime.
But, since the market is overflowing with numerous apps, there aren’t many apps on the market which will satisfy the user’s needs and requirements. However, for entrepreneurs, this is an excellent opportunity, as the market is loaded with old redundant dating solutions.
An ever-evolving market with vast scope for improvement
The market is booming, as the online dating market is presently evaluated at around $2.2 billion with mobile dating market revenues increasing gradually from 43 to 381 million dollars between 2009 and 2016.
Approximately more than 15% of American adults are registered and actively using mobile dating applications with more than 80% of them feel that it’s an excellent way to meet new people.
A study was conducted in April 2017 which has revealed that a total of 84% dating app users have stated that they used an online dating app only to find a romantic relationship or a partner who drive them towards a more stable relationship.
An additional 43% indicated that they were using online dating apps to look for new friendships, and only 24% of the respondents said that they were explicitly looking out for sexual encounters.
Recent research studies have revealed that these dating sites and applications are more popular among the younger generation with more than 30% of the users aged between 18 to 29.
Evolution of dating apps over the years
Ten years back online dating was considered the least good chance to get a hint of romance for the hopeless and the broken hearted.
It was considered taboo and a last desperate resort for finding their special ones as they would have completely exhausted all other chances of searching for their one true love.
However, all these opinions have completely changed today, and online dating has become the second most popular way for couples to meet and, the first factor and the most popular way is still meeting through mutual friends/acquaintances.
We spend the majority of our lives on the internet, and one of the biggest draws to online dating is of course easy accessibility and information.
During the late 20th century dating was considered as a hit and miss affair as partners need many dates to get an accurate assessment of their date.
But with the emergence of online dating, all these obstacles are removed, and it gives the people the option to perceive a person based on their virtual profile and their bio rather than just their appearances.
In addition to that dating websites will help the users in sorting out the exact person they are looking for, based on their lifestyle, their religion and even usage of recreational drugs.
This is possible because most of the dating websites use an intricate matching mechanism which encourages people to look for someone with whom they can potentially spend the rest of their lives. The advent of mobile phones has propelled the usage of online dating in today’s world.
Not only can users browse through all the eligible partners in their town but mobile dating takes it a little bit further by showing the users the people that are looking for a date in their particular locality.
Essential features that need to be implemented.
Before we further discuss the various nuances of creating a mobile app, you must understand the features and factors that go into making a useful dating application.
Most of the present-day apps require social media integration, i.e. requiring the users to sign in through their Facebook or Instagram account; this will allow the application to access the user’s personal information such as their bio, their employment details, and even their education details.
The application will let the user set their gender preference, age, and location inclination. Dating apps like Tinder allow users to either swipe left or right and even give the option for super-liking at least one profile each day, considering the user is showing keen interest.
If a match has been achieved the app works similar to the Instagram messenger where the users can send their paired dates messages, emoji’s and gifts through an inbuilt chat system.
The following features are a must before you even consider designing one
- Social media integration
- Options for liking or disliking a profile
- Real-time chat feature – For instant messaging
- Matching algorithm – which will match the respective participants with their potential partners
- Instant push notifications – This will inform users when a new match has been found.
- Gamification- For letting the users play virtual games with their potential partners.
- Social sharing- Acts as a points system for sharing through social media outlets
- And most importantly Geo-Tagging for more accuracy and location-based integration.
Absolute necessities for developing a location-based dating app
With the above-mentioned features, it’s absolutely necessary that you decide on the type of app that you are building and who would be your primary target audience.
If you are going for a geocentric dating app, then you must integrate fencing features similar to Tinder and Bumble. Realistically, it is possible to assimilate more innovative features; however, practicality comes into question.
You need to understand four critical elements that will define the specificity at this stage. This will help in monitoring your costs while designing your mobile app.
A catchy name is a must
The name of the app must be unique and should identify with your target users.
Find your target audience
A plethora of dating apps are out there in the market right now, but it’s not a bad idea to target a specific section or a niche social segment. This will give your platform to stand out from the crowd.
Overall interface and design
No one prefers to use an app which has an unresponsive interface and users generally prefer to use mobile applications which are simple and easy to use.
The outline and the look of the app is the first thing what people notice, hence it is imperative to use bright colors, thick textures, minimal design, and simple usability.
A solid marketing plan is needed
In order to be successful in this segment, you need to create an aesthetically pleasing highly interactive dating application with high usability.
But this is not possible without a solid marketing plan as you have to keep expanding your customer base.
Development process and the intricacies involved
The next stage you would possibly explore is the technology part. If you want to implement real-time chat options, then, C++ Socket Programming, with XMPP Server Integration, and a third party chat, for example, is a much safer option for those having a reasonable budget.
You must remember that the more features you add to the application, the more expensive it’s going to be. Apps that have minimal features are much economical to build compared to applications that have more exhaustive features.
Development for iOS devices varies in cost compared to developing for Android devices. One of the advantages of developing devices exclusively for iOS devices is that you can target a specific segment of users from specific countries.
The coding aspect differs as well. Last but not least you have to think about how these applications are generating revenue.
By setting a daily limit for the matches, will encourage users to avail for special packages which will let people get more than 50 matches in a day.
After the users set their preferences, the app needs to reward users with an attractive point system. This will allow the users to increase their daily usage of the app
Promotions and advertisements
These are a great way of earning revenue, but care should be taken to not go overboard with these promotions as they can upset the users.
To avail for a free or a premium version
Depending on your users and their statistics, you can go for a premium version or a free version. A premium version will guarantee more benefits to loyal users.
The evolution of mobile technology has impacted our lives, and recently mobile applications are changing the rules of dating in modern society. This is a basic outline for creating a location-centric dating app for iOS devices.
If you are looking to build your dating app, you don’t have to incorporate all the features; you have to make sure your app stands apart from the crowd. Many apps have been built similar to Tinder with very few making it big; the problem is the stagnation of this segment.
By creating something unique and out of the box will help in attracting new customers and assist in capturing the market. Going for a simple, but the effective business model will help you in reaping profits for a long time.