How Do Dating Sites Make Money? How Does Hinge, Bumble, Tinder Make Money? Online Dating Monetization, 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, 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 – Dating App Filters; Gamification Of Dating Apps

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.

Related read: Online Dating Preferences, Filters & Deal-Breakers


Business Models Of Dating Sites, Freemium Dating Apps; 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 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-monogomous) etc.)

Related read: Should You Pay For Premium Services On Dating Apps?


Dating Profile Critique, Review Services

App Choice, Photo Critique (Order, Captions), Bios, Prompts; Wardrobe, Hobbies, Grooming  Recommendations, Body Language, Facial Expressions, Lifestyle Choices (Men & Women).


Monetization Of Dating Apps – Bumble, The League, Hinge, How Dating Apps Keep You Single

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.

Related read: Psychological Effects On Online Dating


Psychology of Dating Apps, How Dating Sites Prey On Insecurity, Business Of Dating Apps

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 dating app anxiety here.


How Does Hinge Make Money? Hinge Business Model, Revenue Model

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 – Business Of Online Dating Apps

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 Does Tinder Make Money? Dating App Business Model, Tinder Business Model

They offer lots of premium products, bells and whistles like super likes and boosts, and don’t have many profile fields so that you are shown more people than you care for which hurts people who are not attractive and in demand.

Also, since people use Tinder for everything (hookups, dates, travel guides, IG followers and friends), people have to sift through more garbage, out of area profiles to see people in their area.


How Do Free Dating Sites Make Money? How Do Free Dating Apps Make Any Money?

Likely sell your information or get paid by advertisers. In most cases, they make money from registration, verification and upgrades (bells and whistles). 


How Much Money Do Dating Apps Make? Dating Site Revenue, Dating App Revenue

See here for Bumble quarterly revenue figures. And here for Match Group revenue figures.


How Does Match Make Money? Online Dating Business Model

They have various dating apps and sites that all have missing pieces i.e. user counts, incognito mode, boosts, filters, etc. They spread out the items so that no one app cannibilizes the others too easily by possessing all the features that one would want. They want you to bounce around from app to app.


How To Make Money On Dating Sites? How To Make Money On Dating Apps?

Some people put links to their onlyfans accounts, IG accounts.


Getting Likes After Cancellation, Getting Matches After Premium Account Expires

It’s typical to get more likes upon cancellation of premium services. Some apps boost profiles so that you sign up again. With apps like Hinge, when you cancel your premium account, your filters are reduced and more people are able to see you (some double-sided filters are no longer active). 

Dating Coach Services - Men & Women

First date ideas, wardrobe, places to meet singles, body language, conversation/social skills, grooming, hygiene, hobbies, lifestyle choices, reducing biases, weeding out time-wasters and more. As seen in the NYT, Bumble.

About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.