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How much does it cost to make an app like Tinder?

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fastlanedoll

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With all its features?

I'm interested in getting into this space. There's tons of complaints about Tinder. It's about time for a rival :devil:
 

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Raja

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I see you jumping from idea to idea.

it depends on the features you want. a simple app can be implemented within a week or 2.

EDIT: the app is easy, getting users is the real battle.
 

fastlanedoll

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I see you jumping from idea to idea.

it depends on the features you want. a simple app can be implemented within a week or 2

Ballpark, how much would it cost to manufacturer a fully functional tinder though. I will need a figure as I need to know how much money I need to raise.
 

Raja

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Ballpark, how much would it cost to manufacturer a fully functional tinder though. I will need a figure as I need to know how much money I need to raise.
for MVP under 2k USD.

but the app will require incremental upgrades, bug fixing, and maintenance which will cost you after its built.
 

fastlanedoll

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Yea, I'm afraid I will run out of money (on the off chance) that the app does become a hit.. ideally, I want to raise enough money to cover the whole thing.

I WILL, give lifetime full access to people who give money, of course :p
 

fastlanedoll

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*Improved* version.

Crowdfund!
 

fastlanedoll

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So how much to raise? I mean.. I need to safely account for unexpected expenses... and all the expenses you mentioned.
 

Raja

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So how much to raise? I mean.. I need to safely account for unexpected expenses... and all the expenses you mentioned.
depends on your marketing and advertising budget and the number of users.

first, think this though, don't rush into such things, give it a week for ideas to settle down.
 

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fastlanedoll

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depends on your marketing and advertising budget and the number of users.

first, think this though, don't rush into such things, give it a week for ideas to settle down.
I toyed with the idea for months now.

It was either this, an app to help people find jobs / make money off their skills or my beauty / health brand.

For now, this idea seems more promising. So I'm going to bite the bullet on this one.
 

Hadrian

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There's a thread on this already I think with LOTS of info my good man....


My Thoughts:

1.) App development with a proper backend will be 5k minimum more likely 10k-20k for a realistic MVP.
2.) The App is non-viable without a ready made market already to go. Unlike other businesses you can't start with zero and work your way up...
3.) You can try white label dating app software... like what the guys from Bristlr offer to get started maybe?

Interesting info on here: How To Build a Dating App


Feel free to PM me... I think approaching this from a unique non threatening side-angle may be the trick... and I have a solution for the number one complaint I see from women.

View: https://vimeo.com/387435254
 
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Matt Sun

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I understand Tinder started with offline events (party's) where you had to download the app to get in, and then you could match people in the party. Thats how they got their first user base.

So kind of difficult doing that in controla virus times
 

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There are many dating apps that are better than tinder. Tinder shouldn’t be your benchmark to start with. Better than tinder is not saying much lol. You should be looking at bumble and others like it.

I don’t have any experience with making apps, but my best guess would be that a $50k budget would get you going with the app plus some marketing.

Getting users is really the tough part and where you would spend most of the money.
 

Tom H.

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I would think more in terms of what it will cost to hire a full time staff to build and operate the app.

There is zero chance that once a developer builds the first version that you'll be able to just use it after that without technical staff.

So then you have to think about calibrating the design of the system to the type of developer you can afford. Let's say a really cheap developer is $2k per month, can you manage the project in a way that keeps that developer productive and your business moving forward?
 

Beerbread

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If you make a dating app, the LGBT scene is criminally under utilized. Especially the lesbian community can't have a space of their own with little to no vetting (aka some couple looking for a third.) The ones that do exist are extremely clunky and it's difficult to filter what kind of girl you're looking for.

That's one way to stand out amongst a sea of sameness.
 

thechosen1

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I see you jumping from idea to idea.

it depends on the features you want. a simple app can be implemented within a week or 2.

EDIT: the app is easy, getting users is the real battle.
A good idea to get users...

Try to start this in a college town, and get it endorsed by sororities. Do this at enough campuses, and before you know it, many, many guys will sign up.

You would need to get the fraternities and sororities both to start using it. Just sign up their members and send them the link. Give them a T-shirt or something.
 

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Mike Stoian

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I'm a developer and an entrepreneur in the software field. I'm a complete noob to running businesses but here's some things that came to my mind reading this thread:

1 - If you app is going to be better than Tinder or others, make sure it is MUCH better. Users won't switch over to a new app unless It's WAY better. It can't be just a little but better.
2 - There may already be other apps out there that do what you have in mind. Do more research.
3 - Since your app's value depends on the customers, when you first release it, it will have zero customers essentially zero value. Nobody wants to join an app that is empty. However there are some ways to get around that. Will explain later but you might wanna do some reading on this for yourself.
4 - In terms of cost, it's almost impossible to estimate. I could build an MVP in a month or so. However the tech needed to host a few hundred concurrent users will likely be completely different than the one needed to host thousands. So it could get really expensive over time. If you plan on hiring devs to do this work for you, you need to pay them.

So here's some steps you could follow :

1 - Figure out if there's a need :
Go on reddit, twitter, facebook or anywhere where people who use dating apps could hang out and ask them what they think and what apps they are using. What they like about them, what they don't. Try to find out what people HATE about current apps. Then based on that, create a sort of idea in your head of how you could fix their problems with your app. Then after you have your ideas all set, go ask them again if such an app exists or if they would like it. Based on information like that, you'll know whether there's customers to be gained or not.

2 - First MVP : ( or apparent MVP )
You don't need the app itself at this stage. You could do some photoshop or powerpoint or short video presenting how your app would work. Emphasize how it solves exactly the problems you got out of step 1. Then wait and see the feedback from people. Again, you can go as ask for honest feedback for regular people on reddit / social media or whatever. Reddit in particular has a lot of subreddits. I bet there's ones for dating, relationsips, LGBT, etc where you can ask.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
- It's always easier to start with a very specific small niche market than a big one. For example, you could start with trans dating. I don't think they can use Tinder or most of the other apps effectively. You could market your product specific for that Niche.

3 - Second MVP:
If things still look good and people want your app, now's time to think about building it and costs. At this point, you could learn to build it yourself if you wanna cheap out or get a freelancer. I still wouldn't recommend investing a lot at this point. Just build something functional that does the main point of your app. ( this could be like 1 - 3k dollars ). In my case, I chose to build it myself. After it's built, send it around to people again. This time specifying that it's in ALPHA and you just want feedback. People hate being sold to. So don't sell the app. Be excited about it but don't be an obvious salesperson.

4 - Great. At this point you may have a few registrations. And some very important feedback on design, on how the app works, on speed and stuff like that. But mostly you're going to hear that there's nobody on there I assume. Nobody to match with. If that's the main issue and not some horrible bug or technical issue, then you're golden. ( do make sure the app works before telling them to test it. If they can't even register then all you're gonna hear is about that and you won't get actual feedback about the value of the app )

5 - If people still want your app at this point, then you've passed most of the issues of early development. If nobody wants your app, try to pivot. See what else you could use this app for. Maybe try asking other people. Or instead of dating , maybe match people with extra legos with people who need more legos or whatever. A major issue entrepreneurs have is they have a vision but are unwilling to change that vision. They start with an app idea and they refuse to realise the idea sucks. If it doesn't work, then it sucks and see what else you can turn it into that might not suck.

TLDR:
Assume that your idea isn't needed / doesn't work. So go out there and ask people if they want it. If yes, proceed with development. If no, ask them why and figure out what they actually want. Then proceed with development. Act like a blind man trying to make his way around a new city. Ask for directions as often as you can.

Going into marketing and making such a business model work is a whole other can of worms.
I recommend reading 'The lean startup' and 'Zero to One' to learn more.
If anyone got stuff to add or correct me on, please do so. I'm still pretty bad at this stuff so please don't take my word for it.
 

S.Y.

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Might not need to be that complicated

Realtime X (Userealtime.com), raised 4 millions in Q4 2020. He didn't complicate his app.
 

fastlanedoll

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Thanks all!! Definitely something to think about :D
 

Martin.G

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When I worked like freelance, one time I had to work in an app like WhatsApp but with some mayor changes. It was a complete disaster.

The problem is that if you don't know how to program, maybe you think that an app (or any software) is only something of one time. But the reality is that you need someone or a team working all the time, like an employee. You are going to want to make changes when the app interact with users.

Also, bugs is a problem too, because it doesn't matter how good is the programmer is, you are going to have a lot. So, if you think that you can spend $2.000 or $5.000 and that's all, you are going to hit to a wall. Companies like WhatsApp or Tinder has hundreds of employees.

I don't want to say that you can achieve an MVP with a couple thousand dollar, but I see a lot of entrepreneurs wanted to create apps like the ones I mentioned before and failed.

When I was starting I took a lot of jobs like this and probably was the worst thing that I could do. So you can find someone that said yes to you to, but at the end is not worth it.

One time someone asked for a price, and I was expensive for him, so he hired someone cheaper in China or India (I don't remember). Long story short, 6 months after that he came to me to fix the mess.

My advice is that you choose someone good and create something really simple, less functionality equals less chance of problems. But if you think that the app can work (after tested), start hire people and create a real company, unless you want to learn how to program and do all by yourself at the beginning.
 

Xeon

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The hard part is not about making the app itself.

It's about convincing people to download and sign up for the app, and upload photos of themselves on there.
With apps like these that requires a community (Uber, Lfyt as well), there's always that chicken-egg issue : if people realize there's only a few profiles there, they will leave, and you'll never get that traction.....

I think you need at least 9 figure funding to pull this kind of thing off to get traction and mass adoption.
 

Tats1515

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I'm a developer and an entrepreneur in the software field. I'm a complete noob to running businesses but here's some things that came to my mind reading this thread:

1 - If you app is going to be better than Tinder or others, make sure it is MUCH better. Users won't switch over to a new app unless It's WAY better. It can't be just a little but better.
2 - There may already be other apps out there that do what you have in mind. Do more research.
3 - Since your app's value depends on the customers, when you first release it, it will have zero customers essentially zero value. Nobody wants to join an app that is empty. However there are some ways to get around that. Will explain later but you might wanna do some reading on this for yourself.
4 - In terms of cost, it's almost impossible to estimate. I could build an MVP in a month or so. However the tech needed to host a few hundred concurrent users will likely be completely different than the one needed to host thousands. So it could get really expensive over time. If you plan on hiring devs to do this work for you, you need to pay them.

So here's some steps you could follow :

1 - Figure out if there's a need :
Go on reddit, twitter, facebook or anywhere where people who use dating apps could hang out and ask them what they think and what apps they are using. What they like about them, what they don't. Try to find out what people HATE about current apps. Then based on that, create a sort of idea in your head of how you could fix their problems with your app. Then after you have your ideas all set, go ask them again if such an app exists or if they would like it. Based on information like that, you'll know whether there's customers to be gained or not.

2 - First MVP : ( or apparent MVP )
You don't need the app itself at this stage. You could do some photoshop or powerpoint or short video presenting how your app would work. Emphasize how it solves exactly the problems you got out of step 1. Then wait and see the feedback from people. Again, you can go as ask for honest feedback for regular people on reddit / social media or whatever. Reddit in particular has a lot of subreddits. I bet there's ones for dating, relationsips, LGBT, etc where you can ask.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
- It's always easier to start with a very specific small niche market than a big one. For example, you could start with trans dating. I don't think they can use Tinder or most of the other apps effectively. You could market your product specific for that Niche.

3 - Second MVP:
If things still look good and people want your app, now's time to think about building it and costs. At this point, you could learn to build it yourself if you wanna cheap out or get a freelancer. I still wouldn't recommend investing a lot at this point. Just build something functional that does the main point of your app. ( this could be like 1 - 3k dollars ). In my case, I chose to build it myself. After it's built, send it around to people again. This time specifying that it's in ALPHA and you just want feedback. People hate being sold to. So don't sell the app. Be excited about it but don't be an obvious salesperson.

4 - Great. At this point you may have a few registrations. And some very important feedback on design, on how the app works, on speed and stuff like that. But mostly you're going to hear that there's nobody on there I assume. Nobody to match with. If that's the main issue and not some horrible bug or technical issue, then you're golden. ( do make sure the app works before telling them to test it. If they can't even register then all you're gonna hear is about that and you won't get actual feedback about the value of the app )

5 - If people still want your app at this point, then you've passed most of the issues of early development. If nobody wants your app, try to pivot. See what else you could use this app for. Maybe try asking other people. Or instead of dating , maybe match people with extra legos with people who need more legos or whatever. A major issue entrepreneurs have is they have a vision but are unwilling to change that vision. They start with an app idea and they refuse to realise the idea sucks. If it doesn't work, then it sucks and see what else you can turn it into that might not suck.

TLDR:
Assume that your idea isn't needed / doesn't work. So go out there and ask people if they want it. If yes, proceed with development. If no, ask them why and figure out what they actually want. Then proceed with development. Act like a blind man trying to make his way around a new city. Ask for directions as often as you can.

Going into marketing and making such a business model work is a whole other can of worms.
I recommend reading 'The lean startup' and 'Zero to One' to learn more.
If anyone got stuff to add or correct me on, please do so. I'm still pretty bad at this stuff so please don't take my word for it.
This is the perfect explanation of how Lean Startup approach works! Thanks for this great piece of information on product development @Mike Stoian
 

fastlanedoll

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Tons of excellent advice ITT, gratitude!
 

srodrigo

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I agree with some people above. An MVP for this kind of app would probably cost around a few tens of thousands. Not sure how you can get a mobile app with a backend for $2k, no matter how cheap is the country the developer(s) live in. A quick search on Google will give you some insights about how much this kind of apps cost.

But building a rough version of the app will be the least of your concerns. Acquiring users it's going to be expensive, as this is the kind of app that's attractive only if there are lots of users.

Best of luck!
 

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