startups · Clock7 min · 10 Feb 2021

Top 10 Dating Apps of 2021

Anastasiya Grinevitch

Anastasiya Grinevitch

Marketing Manager

best dating apps 2021
Illustration by Amir Kerr

Online dating has been around since the end of the 20th century. More recently, dating websites are being progressively replaced by dating applications, which is hardly surprising considering mobile and social networks' widespread adoption. As a result, the dating app market has been steadily growing; for instance: 

  • Global dating app revenue exceeded $3 billion in 2020 a 15% increase from 2019 seeing a total of 560 million dating app downloads.
  • More people joined the online dating community in 2020 than in 2019, and eMarketer forecasted the number of US dating app users to reach 25.7 million by 2023. 

With app revenue increasing due to a higher number of subscribers, the dating app business has become a profitable startup opportunity. To help you gain a deeper understanding of the industry’s established trends, we have prepared an overview of the 10 best dating apps in 2021.

Related: How to Create a Dating App: Trends, Features, and Costs

Tinder

tinder.png

The king of all dating apps among US users is Tinder. Tinder has surprised the industry with its simple yet highly appealing swiping functionality. 

With a right swipe, a user likes another profile, and with a left swipe, they move on to the next profile. When two users like or “swipe right” on each other, they “match” and can start chatting. This easy-to-use “swipe” feature is likely why Tinder’s has gained popularity among dating app users.

Since its release in 2012, Tinder has experienced significant growth. According to App Annie, users spent more money on Tinder than on any other dating app. It’s hardly surprising that Tinder’s revenue has increased by 15% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. 

This app’s audience is also growing, seeing 400,000 new platform users globally between June and November 2020. Most likely, many of its users belong to Gen Z given that Gen Z makes up half of Tinder’s audience.

Main features: 

  • Geolocation
  • Filterable search
  • Swipe functionality
  • Super Likes
  • Rewinds taking back last Like or Nope
  • Matches
  • Chat
  • Push notifications
  • Profile boost and super boost
  • Privacy features
  • Photo verification
  • Video calls

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $9.99/month

iOS | Android

Bumble

bumble.png

Bumble was built in 2014 by Tinder’s co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and Badoo’s founder Andrey Andreev to rock the US market. The app implemented the same swipe system as Tinder; however, it only allows women to make the first move. 

Further, if a woman doesn’t respond within the first 24 hours, the match will disappear. Due to this functionality, should Bumble be on a list of the best dating apps for women? We think so!

Despite having quite a similar business model to the US market leader, Bumble shows outstanding performance. For instance, in 2020, the app saw a 19% increase in the number of users when compared to 2019. 

Currently, Bumble has approximately 100 million users, and 72% of its users are under 35. The revenue for the first nine months of 2020 exceeded $376 million, which is slightly higher than in 2019. 

Main features:

  • Geolocation
  • Filterable search
  • Swipe and SuperSwipe functionality
  • Chat
  • Matches
  • Profile verification
  • Video calls
  • Profile Boost
  • Spotlight — opportunity to advance the profile to the top of the stack for 30 minutes to be viewable by more people.
  • Ability to search for friendship and business connections (not solely romantic connections)

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and paid features can be tested via a free trial

iOS | Android

Match

match.png

The app is a 21st-century complement to an online dating website, Match.com, that was introduced back in 1993. 

This mobile analogue has a majority of the initial platform’s features. However, the Match app follows contemporary industry trends by adopting Tinder’s swiping functionality.

Main features:

  • Geolocation
  • Filterable search
  • Matches based on location and photos
  • Swipe functionality
  • Chat
  • Profile boost
  • Incognito mode lets browsing Match in secret
  • Video calls
  • Date check-ins
  • Virtual events

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $17.99/month

iOS | Android

Hinge

hinge.png

“Designed to be deleted” is Hinge’s slogan, and it precisely captures the app’s intended purpose. To elaborate, the application aims to establish meaningful connections rather than casual meet-ups. However, this wasn’t always the case. 

It wasn’t until 2017 that Hinge adopted their strategy to create long-term relationships, which was five years after the app’s launch. Hinge’s updated strategy stands out from the other brands in Match Group’s portfolio. Match Group is a tech company that owns apps, including Tinder, Match, and other dating apps.

Although it may seem that many are no longer interested in commitment, the app statistics suggest otherwise. For instance, Hinge’s revenue in Q3 2020 grew by more than 200% since 2019. Further, Hinge subscriptions were 82% up YoY as of Q3 2020. 

Main features:

  • Filterable search
  • Personalized matches based on user data
  • Filterable matches
  • Chat
  • Video calls
  • Profile Boosts
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • 'We Met'lets users give feedback on their Hinge dates

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $19.99/month

iOS | Android

Badoo

badoo.png

Badoo is another dating application that evolved from a website. Overall, the dating app is rather standard and offers users the majority of the common features, including swiping to match with another user. 

This app was launched in 2006 by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, who later created Bumble when Badoo failed to expand in the US. Outside of the US, Badoo has gained a decent market share, specifically in South America and Europe.

Although Badoo is among the largest dating platforms globally, some believe the app has been losing active users over the past few years. Yet, this doesn’t mean that the app is stagnating; as of December 2020, iOS users alone downloaded Badoo around 700,000 times, and Android reported three million Badoo downloads. Further, the app’s revenue amounted to $6 million. 

Main features:

  • Chat
  • Filterable search
  • Video calls
  • Matches
  • Geolocation
  • Swipe functionality
  • Automatic blurring of explicit photos

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $8/month (for a half-year plan)

iOS | Android

OkCupid

okcupid.png

OkCupid is another sibling of Tinder since it was acquired by Match Group in 2011. Like many apps on this list, the OkCupid app was initially a website that later found reincarnation in a mobile application. 

The OkCupid team boasts their outstanding expertise in the niche. Specifically, OkCupid welcomes all users, regardless of their gender and sexual identity. 

OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan once said that the app is for ages 18 to 80. In reality, though, OkCupid’s demographics vary from Yagan’s statement. As of April 2020, the majority of the app’s user base are Gen Z and millennials, according to Statista.  

Main features: 

  • Advanced personalization: matches are generated based on personal preferences
  • Chat
  • Profile Boosts
  • Geolocation
  • Filterable search
  • Comments
  • Incognito mode to hide the user’s activity

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $9.99/month

iOS | Android

Grindr

grindr.png

Grindr is the pioneer among dating apps for the LGBTQ community. The geosocial mobile platform revolutionized the market in 2009. 

Even now, Grindr is considered to be the largest dating platform for the LGBTQ community globally. The application offers standard dating app features, and its most unique feature is its enhanced safety for LGBTQ users. 

Since it’s the best dating app for the LGBTQ community, its outstanding reach and engagement are hardly surprising. For instance, 13 million users open and navigate around the application every month. 

Further, Grindr’s revenue is also impressive. Its new chief operating officer Rick Marini stated that Grindr exceeds $100 million annually

Main features:

  • Chat
  • Group chats
  • Geolocation
  • Discreet app icon
  • Search with filters
  • Ability to favorite a profile
  • Expiring photos — sending an unlimited number of photos that can be seen only once for 10 seconds
  • Incognito mode to hide the user’s activity

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers a premium experience for $49.99/month

iOS | Android

Happn

happn.png

Happn is a French-based dating app that was launched in 2013. Its business model slightly differs from the majority of market players. Instead of traditional matching with random people, the app tracks the user’s geolocation to match the user with others who they have already encountered in the street. 

2020 was a period of ups and downs for Happn, as the app experienced constant ups and downs throughout the year in the number of downloads. For example, French users installed the app almost double the number of times in July 2020 than in November 2020. 

Main features:

  • Geolocation
  • Profile Boost
  • Matches 
  • Filtered search
  • Chat
  • Video calls
  • Invisible mode

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $24.99/month

iOS | Android

Tantan

tantan.png

Founded in 2014, Tantan promotes casual dating, which isn’t commonplace for the East. The application itself is a typical mobile dating platform that makes matches based on mutual likes. 

Tantan’s achievements are rather sizable on the global market. For example, the net revenue in Q1 2020 was $53.9 million from its 4.2 million paying users. Overall, Tantan has an impressive 360 million registered users. 

Considering this information, do we think Tantan is one of the best dating apps from China? We sure do.

Features:

  • Chat
  • Swipe functionality
  • Matches
  • Likes and Super Likes
  • Filtered search
  • Q&A game where matched users both answer ten questions to learn more about each other
  • Geolocation

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $8.99/month.

iOS | Android

Plenty of Fish

pof.png

Plenty of Fish (POF) was released in 2010, and the app helps singles find their perfect match. POF also belongs to the Match Group. This app stands out from others since it offers more free features and doesn’t apply rigid limits for users on the free plan. 

The application was booming in 2020. Further, POF was granted the 2020 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Silver Award, just behind Tinder.  

Features:

  • Speed video dating
  • Live streams
  • Chat
  • Matching
  • Sortable matches
  • Geolocation
  • Search
  • Likes

Pricing: 

  • Free to use and also offers subscriptions starting from $38.99/three months

iOS | Android

Wrapping up

These applications are amazing examples of what is currently trending in the dating app niche. With the right marketing plan, unique ideas, and top-notch development, any application can undermine the market and become a competitor to these already-established brands. 

Related: 

If you are eager to try making a dating app, let’s pool our efforts. On our end, we guarantee a team of experienced professionals with a passion for app development. Contact us at Orangesoft today!

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