Case study: Temptr
A GPS-driven dating app for iOS and Android

Temptr is a social discovery app that combines dating and social features. Crossed-paths and location check-ins help facilitate new connections alongside real-time chat, rich bios, and photo and video upload.

Technologies used

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Node.js
  • Redis
  • MongoDB

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Our favourite features in the Temptr mobile app


Monetisation and rich settings screen

  • In-app purchases for Tempts (Super likes)
  • A rich settings screen giving users full control
  • Smart push notifications to increase engagement and daily active users
  • Walked-by GPS tracking feature, creating local matches

Real-time chat between matched users

  • Real-time chat with push notifications
  • Image and video upload support
  • Picture messaging from Facebook photos
  • Ability to block users who are problematic

Social media profile with status updates

  • Social media sign-in using Facebook
  • Facebook location check-ins
  • Facebook photo import to bootstrap dating profiles
  • Background location tracking

Behind-the-scenes and other top features

Not all heroes wear capes. These behind-the-scenes features don't have screenshots, but form an important part of the project.

  • Scalability that can support tens of thousands of users
  • Analytics and statistics on user activity
  • User and report management admin dashboard
  • High-frequency automated backups of key data stored on Amazon S3
  • Multi-server architecture with load balancing (horizontal scaling)

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– Jack Knowles, Founder, Temptr and Positive Parcel

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Project outline: Building Temptr's social discovery mobile app

The idea

The core idea for the mobile app was to bring together the best of Tinder, Twitter and Instagram into one neat, polished and simple package - swiping, statuses, checking-in, instant messaging and photo sharing were to be Temptr's core features. The social discovery app was to be developed for both iOS and Android as native mobile apps, ensuring near full market coverage - a critical aspect of such a platform, where the number of users in an area needs to be as high as possible in order for there to be content within the app.

Tinder profiles were extremely limited at the time, only featuring photos and a short bio, making it rather superficial and difficult to get a feel for potential matches' personalities. Temptr aimed to solve this problem by providing more well-rounded profiles. It was also felt that Tinder's user interface left much to be desired and could be improved upon.

A step-by-step approach

Our iterative approach to development allowed the project to be built up over a number of stages, dictated by feedback from early testers, to grow the product towards a market-fit, without the need to fully define every aspect of the project at the outset.

Temptr planned to see large numbers of users from day one, as a result of its marketing campaign and expected press coverage. We ensured that the back-end cloud architecture was designed to scale with demand at short notice, to avoid the risk crippling marketing momentum gained resulting in large burst of users.

Delivering the mobile application

Temptr was available on iOS and Android from day one, with a worldwide release. Keeping the familiar swiping to like and dislike, made popular by Tinder, Temptr made several improvements of the user interface, such as creating more room for full-sized photos.

Temptr has undergone continuous innovation since its initial release, further extending its feature-set and value. One of the most notable additions was adding background location tracking to support showing potential matches that users have crossed paths with in the real world. In app purchases were added to the app, opening a revenue stream, allowing users to purchase 'Tempts' - the ability to place your profile at the start of a selected user's queue, increasing the chances of matching.

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Feature overview

Real-time chat Popular

Chat with matched users

Exchange instant messages and images with other users that you have matched with.

Admin panel Popular

Monitor app analytics from the web

Allows the Temptr team to view key insights into user activity in the app. Allows content management, such as verifying celebrity profiles that show up in the app.

Facebook login Popular

Start using the app straight away

Logging in with Facebook allows us to import and pre-populate account data, such as name and age.

Analytics Popular

Insight into user behaviour and marketing performance

Analytics helps us gain key insight surrounding popular trends, as well as monitor SEO and marketing campaign performance.

In-app purchases

"Tempts" - pushing a user to the front of the queue

Temptr's in app purchase involves purchasing packs of "Tempts" which can be used to show other users that they are especially liked. Tempt-ing involves pushing the user to the front of the suggestions queue, having a visually distinctive profile, as well as sending a push notification to the recipient - constantly bringing users back into the app.

Facebook profile import

Instantly begin with a pre-populated account

Instead of a multi-step registration, asking for many pieces of information from the user, we import Facebook data to automatically perform this task. Accounts come pre-populated with data such as name, age, gender, profile images, gender preferences, and so on.

Crossed paths

Discover users you have crossed paths with

Using low-power background GPS tracking, the app is able to show you other users who you have encountered physically in real life. This helps to build trust in the platform, showing the users are real - as well as increasing the chances of a match, and therefore user engagement.

Location check-in

Check into Facebook locations

Select from a list of nearby locations to show other users on your profile that you are there. Suggested users can be filtered by their check-in, showing users currently in the same physical location - making an approach much easier.

Facebook image import

Bring your Facebook photos into the app

Temptr users can select profile images from their Facebook account, as well as being able to send them via instant messages. While adding convenience for users, and not having to use their data to upload images, utilising Facebook photos helps to significantly reduce moderation effort, as most inappropriate photos are removed by Facebook - allowing the app to scale using a smaller team.

Cloud scaling

Multi server, cloud-based infrastructure

To be able to meet the growing demand of an expanding user base, often sudden bursts of traffic during publicity, we implemented an robust software architecture that could meet the rising international demand.

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