We live in an era where we are increasingly becoming dependent on technology for socializing. The internet now connects people who run short of time and lack a dynamic pace of life. Online dating sites/apps are perfect examples of such technology that are helping people meet each other to find their soulmate or even a partner for short-term relationships.
For people who are not much outdoorsy or who have an incredibly busy schedule, finding a soulmate is tough, which is where online dating comes in. It makes life easier for singles. Online dating websites/apps have already connected numerous people, which has led to their growing popularity worldwide, especially among the millennials.
A few weeks ago, I heard this news of a couple who only conversed on a dating app for more than three years. They recently met each other for the very first time, in front of the whole world on TV.
Here are some of the online dating industry statistics that showcase the popularity of online dating websites/apps:
Dating apps and websites typically belong to the “Family” of social media platforms, which is why special attention ought to be paid to human interaction and user needs while designing this business. A dating website/app majorly focuses on connecting two people with similar preferences. It also helps users connect and communicate with potential matches. Here is a step-wise description of the basic process a user needs to follow on a dating website:
Step 1: Sign up on the website or app
Step 2: Select your basic preferences
Step 3: Check others preferences to find potential matches
Step 4: Explore all the potential matches and find the best one for you.
Founded in: 2003
Founders: Max Krohn, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, Chris Coyne
Investors: Andrew Boszhardt, Jr. Great Oaks Venture Capital
Founded in: 1995
Founders: Gary Kremen, Fran Maier
Investors: Three day rule, Zhenai
Founded in: 2003
Founders: Markus Frind
Founded in: 1999
Founders: Neil Warren
Investors: Sarofim Fayez and Co., Sequoia Capital, TCV, Tuputele Ventures
Founded in: 2012
Founders: Justin Mateen, Dinesh Moorjani, Sean Rad, Jonathan Badeen, Christopher Gulczynski
Founded in: 2014
Founders: Andrey Andreev, Whitney Wolfe
Founded in: 2011
Founders: Dawoon Kang, Soo Kang, Arum Kang
Investors: Azure Capital Partners, CRCM Ventures, DCM Ventures, Lightbank, Peng T. Ong, Quest Venture partners, Sandy Cass, WE Harper Group
Founded in: 2008
Founders: Scott Lewallen, Joel Simkhai, Dario Fazlic
It is very important to have a revenue model for the website to function smoothly and cater to the end goal of the owner. The owner can choose among the below-mentioned models to earn maximum profits along with customer satisfaction.
While most dating websites/apps are free, some prefer their users to pay for the services on a monthly or yearly basis. The users of a paid dating website/app usually look for higher quality of services and more serious type of dating.
Usually, dating websites/apps prefer providing users with a free access to their services as it encourages impulsive sign-ups. This model gives a boost to the number of users but does not bring an automatic revenue. Therefore, it is essentially important for these websites/apps to inculcate a revenue stream into their system that generates profits incessantly.
This is the most common way any website/app earns revenue. Most of the dating websites/apps are using advertising as their top revenue source.
Advertising alone does not guarantee the app’s success. Rather, displaying the right ads does the trick. You must ensure that ads relevant to dating are displayed in your app.
One of the best and latest ways to earn revenue on a dating website is by allowing users to send each other digital gift. This revenue method stands out as it lets users introduce themselves while communicating a gesture of gratitude. Digital gifts may vary from greeting cards to stickers to vouchers from advertising partners.
One way to earn extra revenue on a dating website/app is by offering access to extra tools or content at a small fee. For the success of this revenue model, websites/apps need to keep multiple payment options.
Example: Let user pay for a boost to appear on maximum searches on the website or app, and enable them to find more information about potential matches.
Some dating websites/apps offer two-tier memberships, where users can sign-up for free and use the basic features or pay for VIP membership that provides them with additional benefits. Dating websites need to ensure that they offer enough VIP features to justify the cost of membership.
Before starting a website/app, an entrepreneur should check the features of their competitors’ websites. There is no dearth of dating websites/apps in the market, but success comes only to the ones with unique features which attract the attention of visitors.
FATbit did an in-depth analysis of various dating websites/apps and found some key features that every good and conversion-focused website/app should have. Here is the top online dating website/app features’ list that you can consider incorporating in your website to make it stand out among the crowd.
The basic aim of a top online dating website/app is to find a partner perfect according to a user’s choices and preferences. Therefore, your website/app should have a well-planned form that helps match a user’s preferences with another’s. Some of the basic questions that your form should include are preferred sex, age, type of relation interested in, and so on.
A few dating websites/apps have a detailed preference-related questionnaire. For example, OKCupid asks 15 questions to understand the user’s personality and their ideal personality to find the best match for them.
A communication channel is one of the most important things on a dating website/app. On finding a potential match, a person should be able to send across a message to initiate a conversation. Instant messages help your website members converse and know people they are interested in aswell.
While most of the websites/apps provide an instant messaging feature, Bumble allows only the girls to make the first move to start a conversation. If the girl chooses not to ping the potential match, there is no other way to communicate.
Not everybody can be active all the time on a dating website/app, which is why they want to check how many people checked out their profile or liked them. Out of the whole lot, deciding who the perfect one to talk to and date is the main challenge with a dating website.
Only a few dating websites/apps like OkCupid and Match allow users to check who checked or liked their profile.
People prefer finding a partner close to their proximity so that they can meet them face to face and get the time to understand each other well. Therefore, make sure your website or app has the geo-location feature. It can then suggest matches in nearby or preferred locations as per the selected range of proximity.
To know if the person creating an account is real or fake, a dating website/app should authenticate each user’s identity by gathering access to details like name, email id, and photograph. Make sure all the members on your website/app are real with an additional feature of 2-step authentication as it helps decide the fate of your portal.
Not many dating websites/apps screen every user but most of these allow users to sign up with their Facebook profile, which is one way to check the authenticity of the person. Apart from this, users should be able to block members who they identify as questionable.
With no less than 2 billion people on social media today, it is a wise idea to integrate your website with social media platforms. It makes signing up faster and more convenient for users. Social media integration also facilitates collection of data related to likes and dislikes. This helps you match them with someone who has similar interests, thereby ensuring a potentially successful relationship.
Some websites have a built-in search algorithm to identify the who, what and why of matchmaking. This helps in finding a match based on users’ preferences. Also, it should show those with a high count of swipes or matches first.
A good dating website should allow its users to add a photo to their profile or a complete photo gallery if they want to. You can even add the video gallery feature to your site or app, letting members add a short clip or two about themselves. Allow the members to keep it as private or public, as per their preference. However, make sure that these pictures or videos are clean and not revealing.
Providing users with different payment options is to provide them the flexibility to pay however they are comfortable. Allow them to pay via different gateways such as debit card, credit card, and Google Pay. Also, be open to accepting different currencies to make the payment process easier. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and an expanded customer base.
One of the several ways to identify a person is by their picture. Therefore, a dating site should provide a feature where users can upload their multiple pictures. One way to judge whether you like the person or not is by the picture they upload and the description they write about themselves. To reduce the efforts of the user, a website/app can activate an algorithm which organizes your pictures to put your best face forward.
For a dating app to become popular, the owner needs to think of some out-of-the-box features. A feature that attracts a user is what is required for the success of a dating website/app. Allow users to upload snap style videos to their profile—a short video which disappears after a few hours (typically after a period of 24 hours). Such videos can shed light on the personality and lifestyle of the user while also maintaining their privacy as it disappears in a few hours.
Everyone wants online dating to shift from virtual to real. Give access to a feature where users get a notification every time a member crosses paths in real life, for instance, in a shopping mall.
Every business has its own shortcomings. How an entrepreneur handles those shortcomings decides the fate of their business. One of the most common shortcomings that entrepreneurs planning to start an online dating website/app need to address is:
Not every dating portal validates the identity of a user. Even if it does, it only asks for basic information like name, interests, relationship status, and physical attributes, which can always be falsified if someone wants to. Reducing this challenge requires a dating site to take a few quick steps:
The competition is high with a large number of websites already striving to meet people’s dating needs. Nevertheless, creativity and imagination has no bounds. The more you can think of innovative ideas, the more your business is likely to become a success.
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