How Dating Apps Grow the ‘Hard Side’ of their Network

Dating apps run an interesting business model.

As with any two-sided platform, dating apps have a “hard side” of the network and an “easy side.”

In the two-sided app world, the “hard side” of any network constitutes the cohort of users that you’re most challenged to enroll. Usually you need to motivate this group with some special perk. With dating apps, it’s basically attractive women.

Now you might think these apps are targeting just anyone who’s single. But their real target customer, the one who the entire business is built around, is basically the single guy. That’s who their “easy side” of the network is.

The broad business model for most dating apps revolves around in-app purchases and monthly subscriptions for a premium version. 

But, without modelesque women on the app, guys won’t stay and swipe. That’s a problem.


This might russle some feathers 😟… but if youve ever wondered how the most popular #datingapps work, im breaking down what REALLY goes on behind the curtain… in this #businessmodel breakdown. ⚙️ #datingappsbelike #businessmodels #strategy #platformapps #coldstartproblem #appgrowth #marketing #marketingbooks #businessbooks

♬ original sound – Michael Becker • Author

And, most beautiful women don’t need to get on apps and match with weird guys. From a business model perspective, this presents another problem. So what do you do?

Well, if I’m a Tinder or a Bumble, I’m picking and paying women to make profiles on my platform, and even giving them a quota which they should hit to match and converse with “X number” of people. They don’t even have to meet up with anyone. All you need is their presence on the app, and for your “easy side” of the network to engage with them every so often in order to keep coming back. 

As a result, and done in the right way, these apps make most of their money from men who buy SuperSwipes and monthly memberships; that solves for retaining your “easy side.”

With this model, you can further incentivize your handpicked “hard side” by offering commission for transactions used on their profile, for instance.

Dating apps present a fascinating business model, one in which the marketers and behavioral scientists behind the scenes must figure out how to create the right balance of men and women, of supply and demand.

CONTENT CAPITALIST is on pre-sale NOW! Prices jump up in two weeks for launch – so get your VIP copy NOW!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *