Business Technology

8 Monetization Models for Relationship Apps Make Money

When it comes to internet services, dating has always been cutthroat. Customers are discriminating, and it’s difficult to gain and keep their attention. Investors deem such firms too risky for pouring their cash.

But the most popular dating apps bring in a tonne of cash. Even throughout the epidemic, when other businesses struggled to survive, Tinder & Co profits continued to climb. What exactly is the key? How Do Relationship Apps Make Even While Giving a Dating Service for free?

Learn about the most successful business strategies used by the leading companies in the dating sector and the outcomes that have resulted.

Monetization Models for Relationship Apps

Revenue Potential of Dating Apps Around the World

Since people were forced to spend more time alone due to the lockdown, they turned to online dating to fill the void in their social lives. A recent survey from Pollfish found that 7 of 10 Americans would continue utilizing services for online dating once the pandemic ended. The fact that customers are willing to pay for the service is also intriguing.

The vast majority of dating apps are free to download. A new user can establish a profile, start browsing for matches and send messages to people they like without paying anything. If most people use dating apps for free, how do they make money?

A user quickly learns that they have exhausted their allotted number of free swipes, cannot initiate a video call with another, cannot view potential matches outside their current city, etc. These restrictions are included in the app to maximise its commercial potential.

Users invested in the process are willing to pay to remove these restrictions and gain access to other features that will improve their time spent online dating. In terms of making money, this idea is fundamental to the success of dating apps.

Subscription-Based Revenue Models for Dating Apps

Think about how you’ll make money before releasing your dating app. Considering the chosen strategy before beginning development is important, as it will necessitate certain features and an administrative user interface. This factor also determines the potential revenue stream from prospective customers.

For this reason, you need to make this choice before the actual development begins. Making money on dating apps often comes from three main subscription categories. You have options, and you can select from them.


The term “freemium” refers to a business model where the core functionalities of an app are provided at no cost, but additional features need payment. For new ventures, this is the best way to generate revenue. Among its primary aims is:

  • Marketing the product by getting the word out.
  • Inducing people to try out a brand-new product.
  • Raising product recognition and understanding.
  • Growing faithfulness from existing clients.

Online dating apps typically have a freemium pricing structure. Example: Tinder offers a “Tinder Plus” membership that unlocks premium functions like unlimited swiping and the ability to search for matches in several areas. When using the free version of the app, users are limited to browsing in a single geographic area and receiving 25 daily “likes” before upgrading. Tinder Plus provides access to a wider variety of premium features and pricing tiers.

Bumble is another example of a freemium approach. If a user is interested in a match more seriously, they can pay for Bumble Boost and have access to the SuperSwipe feature. Bumble Boost also includes a function called “Spotlight,” which allows users to boost the visibility of their profiles.

The majority of people have heard at least one horror story concerning online dating. A necessary evil that all solitary people must endure. However, take on a slightly different form for those who identify as LGBTQ Dating Apps. Gay singles have to deal with a lot of isolating interactions, such as the usual awkward Hinge date narratives and photos of a cheesy bio dripping with secondhand embarrassment.

Paid Subscription

The membership model, in contrast to the freemium approach, forces users to pay for access to the program for a predetermined period. This means you won’t be able to use the app unless you pay for it. For most buyers, the presence of a required payment serves as a tipping point. Because of this, fewer scammers and phony profiles populate these kinds of apps. This model can increase confidence in your goods.

To generate income, membership dating websites typically provide a free or low-cost “Basic” plan and one or more paid “premium” membership packages. The longer you commit to paying, the lower your monthly rate will be. For instance, eHarmony’s monthly basic plan costs $59.95 to subscribe to. The annual basic plan subscription is only $239.40, or $19.95 monthly.

The service can count on a steady income from its paying members. The app’s user base grows more slowly than freemium alternatives, but its users are said to be “more serious” about finding love.

VIP Membership

Freemium and paid subscription models coexist nicely with a premium membership. A user might pay more to gain access to premium features. Regularly, there are two possible outcomes for VIP features:

  • Using numerous promotional tactics to raise a user’s profile’s visibility.
  • Including new features that improve the system’s performance.

More privacy and anonymity features, enhanced analytics on user activity, and improved matchmaking are all features that may be included in a premium membership package. It’s dependent on the app itself. After gaining market traction, dating apps monetize by selling premium memberships to frequent users.

Since 2015, Tinder, for instance, has gradually unveiled its VIP packages. There have been three versions of Tinder since 2015: Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum. In addition, it allows business owners to profit from upgrades and new features by charging extra for them.

Constructing a sustainable business model that generates revenue takes time, effort, and careful consideration. The key marketing team is happy to work with you to determine the best way to make money off of your dating app idea.

Revenue Beyond Subscriptions

Dating apps can monetize beyond subscriptions. Multiple income streams monetize free users. These are the most common methods.


Multiple industries target online daters. Thus, many companies advertise on dating apps. Dating apps convert well for restaurants, flower delivery businesses, jewelry stores, vacation companies, and others. Ad views, clicks, or purchases make dating apps money. Banner ads, messages, context ads, video ads, surveys, etc.

Premium customers don’t see adverts in most apps. If you want to develop an application with a special idea you have, hire mobile app developers.They will make things simpler for you and assist you from conception to deployment.

Affiliate Marketing

Like display advertising. Instead of product or service companies, dating app and website owners partner with affiliate networks. To sell ads, affiliate marketers must build an engaging dating platform and a loyal user base. You can then join affiliate networks to display adverts on your areas. You earn by sending app visitors to affiliate-advertised websites or applications.

In-App Purchases

Users can buy extras. Let them buy smileys, advanced text formatting, gifs instead of photos, etc. Many dating apps provide one-time premium choices. Bumble-free members can extend a match once a day, whereas Bumble Boost subscribers can extend it numerous times.

Virtual Gifting

Gifts encourage and communicate feelings. Virtual flowers, candy, gift cards, and greeting cards can be sold. This dating app money generator is quick and cheap to install.

Offline Promotion

Offline dating events may earn more in the future despite the pandemic. App parties are great for brand promotion and dating product interest. Tinder organised college and university student parties. Students had to install the app and find party promo codes. Tinder’s initial parties raised its user base from 5k to 15k. Since word-of-mouth attracts clients, it had a lasting impact.

Diversification is crucial in many businesses. A firm must find the perfect balance between using all feasible channels to make money from a dating app and not upsetting clients by charging for every tiny option. User comfort ensures brand loyalty, customer retention, and sustained revenue.

How Do Top Dating Apps Make Money?

To demonstrate the dating app monetization idea, look at how the top players generate huge income year after year. These techniques and updates can help you make money with your dating product.

Tinder’s Revenue

Tinder made $65 million from in-app sales in January 2021. It tops all dating applications worldwide. How do dating sites profit?

Tinder currently has 6.7 million paid customers and 66 million users. Two main revenue sources monetize free and paying members. Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum subscriptions, which vary by country, are its main revenue source. $9.99, $29.99, and $39.99 each month in the US.

Bumble’s Revenue

Bumble, the world’s second-largest dating app, goes beyond dating. Modes include:

  • Tinder-like Bumble Date.
  • Bumble BFF: friend-making service.
  • Bumble Buzz: business networking.

In heterosexual pairings, only women can start conversations on Bumble. It’s popular.

It earned $360.5 million in 2020. Bumble generates money in three ways:

  • Freemium.
  • Subscribers (Bumble Boost).
  • Premium in-app purchases.

Matchmaking, texting, and downloading the app are all free. You can use distinct accounts for Date, BFF, and Buzz modes. Bumble Coins buy in-app features like “Spotlight” and “SuperSwiping.” Bumble Boost, its premium package, costs $14.99, $29.99, and $47.99 for 1, 3, and 6 months.

According to Statista, Bumble’s in-app purchase income was $190,756 million in 2020, with $27.75 per paying user.

Hinge’s Revenue

Hinge, a Tinder rival, has a different goal. “Designed to be deleted,” it targets committed partnerships rather than hookups. Hinge’s freemium strategy assumes serious users. It’s free. Preferred Membership unlocks free subscription limitations. Paid options include:

  • Unlimited likes.
  • See who liked you.
  • Filters for detailed match selection.

One-month, three-month, and six-month Preferred Memberships cost $9.99, $20.97, and $29.94, respectively. A hinge had 400,000 paying customers and 6 million monthly active users in 2020.


A dating app has many methods to make money. Mobile dating apps have transformed the industry. An application must be adaptable to adapt to different monetization tactics as it gains popularity. An online dating firm must have a high-quality, easy-to-use app and a strong marketing strategy to advertise and earn income.

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About the author

Sophia Britt

My name is Sophia and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I offer real world experience to readers on how to save and smartly spend their money. Plus offer advice on organization, career, business, travel, health, home, education and life.