How Do Dating Sites Make Money? How Does Hinge, Bumble, Tinder Make Money? How To Monetize A Dating App, How Do Free Dating Apps Make Money
There have never been more dating apps on the market than there are now. There are apps owned by conglomerates such as Match.com, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tinder. Dating app reviews here.
There are privately owned apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and The League. Then there are apps like Bumble that recently went public.
Then there are apps that promise no costs, privacy, free hookups, no credit card, international audiences, country specific individuals and the like. These niche apps target vulnerable crowds that don’t know any better.
Related read: Bumble vs. Hinge vs. Tinder
Dating Apps By Ethnicity, Race & Religion
These are just the main dating apps out there but there are hundreds if not thousands of apps out there that claim to fill a niche (BBW – big beautiful women), J-Date, The Lox & J-Swipe (Jewish dating sites), dating sites for Muslims (Salams formerly known as Minder), and sites likes DilMil that cater to Indian and South Asian communities.
There are also apps for 50+ (Silver Singles, Our Time) and apps that cater toward height (Short Kings), religion (DilMil – Indian, eHarmony – Christian), those with kids (Stir) and lifestyle apps like Farmers Only.
These apps generally promise a focused audience vs the grab bag that are the main apps but with that promise often comes fewer users – generally fewer than exist for the corresponding groups on major apps.
Business Models Of Dating Sites, Freemium Dating Apps & Premium Services; How Do Dating Apps Make Money
Each of these apps has their own unique business model but some apps use common tactics to monetize users.
Most apps (except Match.com) operate a freemium business model in which users can use basic aspects of the apps without having to pay to use core functions. Match allows users to create free profiles but requires a subscription to send/receive messages.
In all of these cases, these dating apps offer a subscription service that allows for extra bells and whistles (you can read more about each here).
With these subscription services, users can unlock certain non-core aspects of the apps but given the psychology of users, these non-essential features are often highly coveted.
These apps though rarely capture the attributes people care about most such as smoking, drinking, wanting/having kids, personality, orientation and current status i.e. never married, non-ENM (ethically non-monagomous) etc.)
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Online Dating Sites: Monetization Efforts Of Dating Apps – Bumble, The League, Hinge
The method of monetization efforts varies from app to app. Apps like The League make money from membership subscriptions (to gain access to the app without the waitlist) but also from privacy angles (hiding profiles from the general population unless the user likes the person first).
The League charges a monthly premium charge ranging from $66-$200+ to then access more profiles daily while privacy functions can command $999 as most users are executives, high net worth individuals and the like.
Apps like Hinge charges users extra subscription fees to unlock advance filters such as height, politics, smoking, drug use, education, children and family plans. They also charge extra fees to see more profiles daily (limited amount on the free version) but also to access matches sooner (they are throttled one at a time).
Bumble charges a subscription fee to allow users to remain hidden until they decide who can see their profiles. They also require fees so that users can maintain matches whereas they would otherwise expire if each user does not take action within 24 hours of matching, receiving the first message.
These fees sound ridiculous but given lop-sided gender ratios, men can’t help but to gain an edge in any way possible. Similarly, women can’t help but to maintain privacy from stalkers, creeps as well as filter out unwanted messages on apps like Hinge which allow any user to message others on the platform.
Psychology of Dating Apps, How Dating Sites Prey On Insecurity, Impatience
Fear of missing out, lack of patience, advanced filters, anonymity and visibility (boosts) are the main ways apps monetize on their users. Expired matches and conversations, profile boosts, ability to treat users like menu items on a DoorDash order or granting privacy so that users can cheat on their spouse when traveling.
There are lots of unintended consequences of dating apps and largely these companies deploy advanced algorithms to understand and act on the fears and greed of users. People are impatient when it comes to love, not know who likes you, not being app to use certain filters or making filters less customizable are ways apps make their money.
More on the psychology of dating apps here.
How Does Hinge Make Money? Hinge Business Model, Revenue Model, How Do Dating Sites Make Money
Hinge makes money from advance filters, ability to see likes, ability to send roses, profile boosts and unlimited likes. Subscriptions in various renewal tiers along with a la carte features is what generates most of the company’s revenue.
Related read: Hinge Premium
How Does Bumble Make Money? Bumble Business Model
Bumble makes money from ability to change location, ability to extend matches, superlikes, ability to see likes, ability to move to the front of beelines and unlimited likes.
Related read: Bumble Premium
How Do Free Dating Sites Make Money?
Likely sell your information or get paid by advertisers. In most cases, they make money from registration, verification and upgrades (bells and whistles).
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About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating coach for men & women and a professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, Silicon Valley, London, Washington DC, Boston, Sydney and beyond as seen in the NYT, WSJ, SFGate, ABC7News, AskMen, Women's Health Magazine & more.
Former analytics professional and user of dating apps himself, he possesses unique insight into dating app algorithms, user behavior, first impressions and communication styles. He provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, messaging, image consulting, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, and offline tips for meeting people organically.
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