How Do Dating Apps Make Money

Oct 23, 2017

Dating Pro: How do dating apps make money

Last time we talked about the types of dating apps and why it’s worth starting a dating app. Today, we are going to discuss the ways dating app owners can make money.

The monetization opportunities fall into 3 main categories: subscription plans, advertising, and single purchases.

Subscription plans

The users pay a certain fee to be able to use the app for a week or a month or another period of time. The payments are most likely to be recurring.


The app owner accepts ads from third parties to display them in the app and to earn from clicks, views or transactions.

Single purchases

Single purchases, or in-app purchases, are more spontaneous. People can pay for virtual gifts, conversation tokens, more daily matches, extended search radius, and so on.

The most popular monetization strategy with the dating apps is the freemium model where the basic functionality (find people, talk to people) is always free of charge. One can make small payments if one wants extra perks like unlimited access, better profile visibility, and the like.

You can use any combination of the above methods in your app.

Let’s take Badoo for example. Its Super Powers feature lets people see who liked them and who added them to favourites, use the invisible mode, have their messages highlighted so they have a preference over other messages. The ‘Super’ users are also not shown any advertising.

Dating Pro: Monetizing dating apps

Tinder is another great example of how customers are motivated to go premium. Let’s say you accidentally swiped left on someone you like. This is where the Rewind feature, a part of the Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold membership, comes in. It allows you to take back your swipe.

It took Tinder almost three years before they started charging the users though because one will want to establish the brand recognition and win the loyalty of one’s users first.

This is where we come to the potential hurdles.

– It is difficult to always keep attracting new users, and the growing user database is the foundation of your success.

– It is important that there are enough women in your app because where women are, men will follow. Here we are of course talking about the heterosexual majority. The dynamic is different with the same-sex couples.

– It is important that you not only attract new members but also keep the existing ones. Many of them use several dating apps simultaneously and may be lost forever.

– Another point of loss, albeit a positive one, is that people will actually be finding their matches on your app and will, therefore, stop using it. You can only bring more new members to compensate for that.


Next time, we are going to talk about user engagement tactics that will help you attract new users and keep your existing members entertained.


The main post photo is by grafxart photo at Unsplash.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)