There was a time where it was uncommon, and even a bit weird, to say, “I met a great guy/girl online!” In some cases, meeting someone online even seemed a bit taboo. To stir the pot even more, at some point someone figured out how to create a dating app for smartphones – and finding love moved from online to the palm of our hands.
How To Create A Dating App That Doesn’t Suck
Today, online and mobile dating is a natural part of our culture. According to The Knot, online dating is now the most common way of meeting for engaged couples. But let’s face it, there are almost as many dating apps on the market as there are daters; and out of all of them, only a handful are able to secure more than a couple of thousand users.
If you’re looking to launch a startup in the mobile dating sector, I’ll be honest… you’re facing a tough challenge. There’s a very thin line between great dating apps and cheesy dating apps, and a disappointing ratio of dating apps that succeed to those that don’t. The good news is if you know how to create a dating app startup the right way – you can drastically minimize your risk of failure. There will be a next greatest dating app, will you be the one to create it?
In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about creating and developing a dating app, and specifically, we’re going to explore exactly how to create a dating app that doesn’t suck.
Why Dating Apps Suck
First, let’s clear something up – not ALL dating apps suck, just most of them. Also, not all of them suck for the same reason. There are some apps out there that have millions and millions of users, like Tinder and Bumble. Some others serve super niche markets and may have a smaller but still significant user base; like Bristlr, the dating app for beard lovers, which has around 150,000 users. If there are millions of mobile daters out there, why do so many dating app startups fail? Simple… because they suck, and here’s three reasons why:
- User Goals: Most dating app entrepreneurs don’t actually know what their intended user really wants – and if you don’t know what they want, you’ll never know how to build a dating app that meets their need. What does it mean to date? Does this mean someone is looking to date a bunch of different people and enjoy their single life – or that they are dating to hopefully find a special someone? Dating apps are easily accessible and often used by a wide variety of daters with conflicting goals. Some users may be looking for a whole life companion, while others may be looking for a one time hookup. Popular online sites like Match were able to attract individuals with similar goals by charging higher fees and making the matching process extremely thorough. For someone searching for long-term potential, swiping on Tinder may lead to many many low quality dates before a real match is ever found. According to Psychology Today, only 8.9% of Tinder’s users actually use the app due to a desire for a relationship – while the majority of people have signed up solely off the hype.
- Copycat Innovation: While there are probably hundreds of dating apps on the market, many of them seem almost identical in technology and functionality. Or, they use the same technology but serve a niche market instead. Tinder introduced the “swipe dating” model for instance, and since then, a hundred other swipe dating apps have hit the market. Maybe one is a swipe dating app for farmers, or a swipe dating app for people who love country music – but innovation in the mobile dating industry has been relatively flat over the last several years. Many brands have figured out how to create a dating app, they just haven’t figured how to create one that actually moves the industry forward.