Dating apps limit the number of free likes to encourage users to purchase their premium subscriptions which increases their overall revenue and allows them to grow their business.
When dating apps like Tinder were launched, there was no limit on the number of likes. Users could go on swiping for hours without any worries and there was no like limit to stop them. This was a tactic to grow their user base and get users addicted to the platform so they cannot just quit the next day.
Once Tinder reached a significant amount of users, they put a limit on the number of likes and presented users with a purchase screen with their premium subscription models and they found that a decent percentage of users did end up purchasing a premium subscription because the users were addicted to the dating app.
Once other dating companies like Bumble and Hinge saw Tinder’s huge growth in users and revenue, they followed suit and put a limit on the number of likes and introduced premium subscriptions for users to get unlimited likes.