In our digital age, dating apps are a godsend for people who are too busy, shy, introverted, or lazy to actually go out and try to start relationships. Dating apps have something for everyone – for those who are looking for a one-time date as well as for those who focus on longer and stronger relationships.
The Covid-19 pandemic boosted the popularity of digital dating services even further. Now even the most sociable and easy-going are forced to stay inside and resort to online dating instead of going out. There is hardly anyone who has not heard of Tinder or Match.com, and recently even Facebook launched its Facebook Dating. According to the statistics, the number of dating app active users worldwide reached as many as 270 million in 2020.
However, dating apps are not only match-making but also money-making, if only for their owners. For example, in 2020, Tinder alone raked in as much as $1.4 billion in revenues. But how do dating apps monetize if you can use most of them for free? Well, there are certain monetization techniques that dating apps use to increase their revenues. Let’s look closer.
You can start using dating apps for free, however, if you want to explore the full potential of their matching algorithms, you may find that the basic functionalities available in the free plan are not enough. For example, in Tinder, your number of likes is limited in the free version. If, however, you subscribe to Tinder Plus, you get access to its premium features, such as unlimited likes and five daily super likes. Surely, this feature increases your chances of getting good matches, which makes the Tinder Plus subscription an attractive option for users.
Most dating apps have subscription services like Tinder Plus that are not available in a free plan. The key thing is to make them attractive enough for users to want to subscribe.
In-app purchases are another way for free plan users to get certain premium features. If you want to enhance the default – rather limited – functionality that is available to you for free, you might consider making a one-time purchase.
In Bumble, for example, you can have the Spotlight feature activated for a limited time for a certain price and have your profile displayed on top and, as a result, have more views. Spotlight is available as a part of the Bumble Boost subscription package but if you are not ready to commit to a paid plan, you can activate Spotlight temporarily through a one-time in-app purchase.
Of course, the ultimate goal of using a dating app is to find the right person with whom you would want to continue a relationship with in real life. However, before going on a real date with someone you have never met before, it may be helpful to have a real conversation and to confirm that your first impression of your matched partner was right. Moreover, with the current quarantine restrictions, a “video date” may be the preferable, and sometimes, the only option.
All dating apps offer instant text messaging where a user can exchange private messages, but hearing the other person’s voice or even seeing them face-to-face before meeting them in real life can take the relationship to a new level. What’s especially important is that with in-app voice or video calls, you do not need to use your private phone number or any other personal account. If after the call you decide to pull out of the relationship, your contact details remain secure.
However, in some dating apps, voice and video calls are only available in paid plans. For example, eharmony offers this option to its Premium Members only. But if security matters to you, it may be worth subscribing to a paid plan.
Paid ads are used not only in dating services. Any app or website with high visitor traffic and a solid SEO strategy will want to take advantage of it. The principle is that the app or website earns from their visitors clicking the ad links that are posted on their platform.
Here, we need to take into account the fact that many users are annoyed by in-app ads. This problem can be fixed by limiting the number of ads that are shown in the app and their format to continue using this monetization model without deteriorating the user experience. At the same time, users’ unwillingness to see ads can be another monetization-promoting factor – there is no in-app advertising for premium users.
Rewarded surveys and videos can be considered as an extension of in-app advertising, as the app owner collects revenue for each view or survey completion. With these techniques, you engage users to complete a survey or watch an advertising video in exchange for special benefits.
What can you offer to your users? If you have an in-app currency, that’s the go-to solution. Other options include access to certain premium features or even covering your subscription payment.
If you are launching a new dating application and want it to be both, on the one hand, engaging and user-friendly, and, on the other hand, profitable, consider implementing a comprehensive communication platform and making it a part of your monetization strategy.
Why would you need it? Well, first, you need to allow your users to chat with each other, otherwise, dating just does not happen. Second, in addition to an instant messaging feature that enable one-2-one private messages, consider offering video and audio calling for your users to be better prepared for their first date in real life.
What does QuickBlox offer? With the APIs and SDKs developed by QuickBlox, you can integrate communication features in your dating app adding a powerful calling and messaging platform to your functionality. Your users will surely appreciate the chatting options and the conversation security that QuickBlox provides. You might also consider making some of them special features available by subscription only.
At the same time, using our APIs and SDKs will make your development process easier and more streamlined. They are thoroughly tested and support multiple platforms, so you can integrate the QuickBlox features in your dating app seamlessly.
We invite developers of digital dating platforms to check out how adding a communication module can create a better user experience and increase revenues. If you are interested in adding this robust communication tool to your dating app to improve customer satisfaction and explore monetization opportunities, contact us for more details and a feature demo.
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