Before you build your own dating app

In last few years we could notice that market of dating portals and apps is growing very quickly. If you ever search for  “dating” word in app stores you would see hundreds of results, from general dating apps for everyone through more sophisticated results narrowing the audience to traveling alone singles, Hindu people, Jews, tube commuters, Canary Wharf Singles and so on, and so forth. You could think that dating apps market is saturated already for any occasion, nothing could be further from the truth…


During the period from 1st of February to 20th of March 2017 I have reviewed 36 job offers that were strictly related to development of another dating app which gives almost one request for new dating app per day. Here are some brief findings about the new apps candidates,  requirements, technology stack and what’s the most interesting – budget.

Geographics


First, let’s check where such a demand came from. Half of the offers originated from the USA 14% from the UK  then Australia, Austria and Canada- all equally 5.5%. It’s worth to note the fact, that the source platform with posted offers is mainly targeted for English market.

Target Platform

As mentioned above, most of the demand came from the USA so it’s nothing unexpected to see that only two offers were not iOS related. One fifth of all requests were limited to iOS exclusively.  Android was requested in ¾ of offers.  It’s worth highlighting that in all the offers for Android system people required iOS as well. 14% of apps were targeted as web app from which only 3 offers were limited to web app development only. This brings us to a conclusion that creators of new dating apps focus mainly on mobile market.

Technologies

Almost ⅓ of the offers had no details about the technology stack. The main platform for dating apps in this data set is iOS so nothing special to see that iOS-related technologies were mostly required. Swift was mentioned as a main technology in 33% of cases, Objective-C in 14%, whereas Javascript in just 5% of offers- we can assume it was about a cross-platform/hybrid solution such as React Native.

For backend technologies, PHP takes the most of the market, required in 9% of offers while Python in less than 3% of them. Absence of Ruby seems interesting.

The question mark goes to Java- only 14% of observation listed Java in the technology requirements but it cannot be distinguished whether it was about frontend or backend.

Features

I think it’s clear that those app ideas were based on already existing software and apparently most of them were simply Tinder clones– one third of offers; yes, literally, “like tinder” sentence occur very often.

The fun fact is that one third of offers had no requirements at all or were not specified. Only 2 offers stated that further details (including features) would be delivered after signing NDA.

Here is the list of features including the most common: social network integration, profile view, chat rooms,  location based searching, voice and video call, payments gateway integration.

Budget

This is probably the most interesting for all of you who are thinking about your own dating app. Only half of observations had defined budget and these represents as follow:

Minimum budget: $600
Maximum budget: $10,000
Budget Average: $3,600
Budget Median: $3,000
Std. Deviation: $2,365

 

Conclusion

For me most of these offers are underestimated in terms of budget, even if creating a tinder clone, when everything is delivered on a golden plate, the budget could only cover the app development. What about the backend which holds the business logic? It seems that requesters were focusing only on visual layer of the app forgetting what is under the hood which, as most of IT people know, is way more important than what user actually sees.