In old times, people used to interact with each other via writing letters or phone calls but now, everything has been changed with the way of interaction. The advent of social media apps has shifted people’s interest along with the way they communicate. In comparison to old times, now people are spending most of their time scrolling these online apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and many more.
These apps are on the priority list of people as it provides users with what they want. App users can share or post their to-do things, successes, ideas, etc. that will be visible to only those who they want. In short, these are easy-going platforms for users to convey what they feel.
Even having social networking apps is becoming a new way for organizations to expand their business. Below are some of the important steps to consider if you intend to develop a social media app to gain more profits. Let’s dive into details-
What are the Market Estimates & Growth of Social Media Apps?
By looking at the upsurge in the users of social media apps, it is obvious that the social media app development market will grow higher in the future. With time, the number of social media users has been powerful with 409 million new users over the past year till October 2021. Have a look at the below graph-
A normal user visits or uses the different social media apps an overage of 6.7 every month and spends his time an average of around two and a half hours using these apps every day.
With the further add-on, the entire world spends over 10 billion hours using these social networking platforms that are equal to about 1.2 million years of people’s existence. These numbers are so huge that businesses can surely find their niche here. Check out the graph to get deep knowledge about the popularity of different social media apps-
With this enormous rise in the number of users, this industry also has the possibility for user retention. It is to be said that every user spends almost 3 hours regularly on social media networks. With the available statistics, it can be seen clearly that the on-demand app development industry has a bright future when it is to social media apps.
What Are the Different Types of Social Media Applications
People always look for more and more communicating ways that are innovative and fun as well. The diversity they want can be found in social media applications as there is always a different app to meet different purposes of users. Let’s get to know about the diverse social media app categories-
1. Media Sharing Networks
Social media apps like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat fall under this category as these networks are be inclined to provide different types of sharing content. Millions of users can share their videos, photos, and live videos via these platforms.
In the current time, there is left a thin line between the media sharing networks and social networks as the famous app Facebook has also come up with the media sharing feature.
Although, there are apps like YouTube that only prefer similar content types. Hence, users need to make a more instinctive social app design while fulfilling users’ expectations and needs.
Example of Media Sharing Networks
2. Social Networks
The primary goal of social networking apps like LinkedIn and Facebook is to connect people who are far away from each other. This app is used by people to pursue their different purposes.
For instance, Facebook provides a wide range of users with whom you can be friends and varied groups as well. Whereas LinkedIn helps to search for a job to strengthen their professional relations. These apps also allow users for sharing photos or videos as well as thoughtful ideas.
Example of Social Networks
3. Content Sharing Networks
There is high demand for social media app developers to build content sharing networks like Flipboard and Pinterest for business purposes. These are also known as bookmarking apps that permit users to both save and manage various links to different online resources or websites.
Users can organize these links to more than one folder as per the preferred topic. There are some amazing features as well. For instance, Pinterest offers its users to post the images on their feed and others can download them if they want. It is famous due to the picture clarity and creativeness it provides.
Examples of Content Sharing Networks
- Growth Hackers
4. Discussion Networks
Apps like Quora and Reddit are preferred by experts and professionals who want to gain knowledge about different subjects. These forums help them to search for the needed information. Users can ask questions, start discussions, and can get answers from different fellow users on the same app.
Examples of Discussion Networks
Read More: How to Develop an App Like Quora?
5. Blogging & Publishing Networks
People who are experts in writing or love to write on different topics use the Blog publishing networks like Medium and WordPress. After writing, bloggers need such apps that can edit their content according to them and can make that worth reading.
Example of Blogging Networks
6. Consumer Review Networks
Apps such as TripAdvisor and Yelp are specifically designed for users who love to share their reviews about diverse products & services, brands, or places. These platforms help to bring new customers to your business by providing good reviews.
Organizations and companies can also improve their services according to the feedback of the clients. Some users also provide reviews about different places, hotels, and restaurants that help visitors to know about that place.
Example of Review Networks
What are the Main Features for a Social Media Application?
It is significant to include core and advanced features in a social media app to facilitate users and make it successful in the market. Adding features is one of the important aspects to consider the overall social media app development cost. App owner needs to look at the required features carefully, otherwise, he/she must bear the higher app development cost.
1. Basic Features
Some features are offered by all types of social media apps to their users. Below is our list of excellent features to include in the social media app, have a look-
Sign-up or Register
There must be multiple sign-up options for users such as sign-up via different social media accounts or by entering their email, name, phone number, and password. It helps to make an app user-friendly and facilitates them to recover their password in case they forget it.
User Profile Setting
Users should be allowed to set up their profiles the way they want. For this, they must have settings to add the picture and personal information. They must have the right to subscribe or unsubscribe from the content on the app.
It is a necessary feature to include in a social media app as everyone needs to search the content according to their choice. It can be anything a person, a page, any group, or something else. They can also search a particular content by using hashtags.
The newsfeed of the app comprises the updates from the app members and users’ connections. Users can here see the content in sequential order or can also choose the posts they want to see and what they don’t want to see. It works as a home screen for users where they can see what the updates from their friends and acquaintances are.
Adding photos or videos to the app library or newsfeed help to update your connection about what is going on in your life. Users can create content by adding different effects, stickers, and have the chance to show them to their fellow people. They can also put a short caption with the photo or video they post.
The cost to develop a social media app can be affected by the integration of this feature. People can use this feature to communicate with the other person or send them photos, videos, or posts personally. Users can also create a group to chat with more than one person or can join channels.
This feature helps users to get alerts and notifications about the new post of their friends, if someone has followed them recently, any new message, or if somebody has reacted or commented on any of your posts, etc. It is a necessary feature to increase user engagement with your app.
Tagging (Friends and Locations)
It permits users to post the location along with their photos on social media platforms so that their connections can know about that place. It is an optional feature, if you don’t want to reveal your location, it’s up to you.
2. Advanced Features
Despite the basic app features, it is important to add advanced features as these will provide more outstanding capabilities to your app and will make it stand apart in the marketplace as well. You must hire mobile app developers who are experienced and skilled to assist you in this. Find the advanced features below as-
App modules related to analytics purposely focus on the network admins to make them understand the needs of audiences and twist the ongoing marketing campaigns to get better results and outcomes.
It is the best way to keep app users engaged effortlessly and helps in customer retention as they return for interacting and networking. It can be done through surveys, doing polls, tests, and running competitions. After all of these, users must be given some goodies or badges that will keep reminding them about your platform.
People have been fond of different effects and filters provided by different social media apps. To make your app unique, you can also add some of the interesting AR filters & effects to make the app worth using. These filters offer an amazing and top-level experience to the users, and you can provide them with an in-built AR library as well.
Almost all the social media & networking apps are offering this feature to users as it is the most used feature nowadays. People love experimenting with their picture in terms of enhancing its colours, making it brighter, or changing the background. Choose a mobile app development company that can understand these types of users’ needs and can implement them into the app.
Network admins need appropriate features to manage the app users and their content. Execution of CMS feature will help them to handle the entire registration process, getting details about filters users & their content, evaluating the registered entries, and many more.
How to Create a Social Media App?
The process of mobile app development goes one-after-one, you can’t jump to the next one until you complete the previous one. The development process is one of the most important factors to determine the cost of mobile app development. Let’s look at the points to read directly to get a better understanding-
1. Required Team Structure
You need a team of experts and professionals to make your own social media app but keep it limited. The team must contain only those members who have skills and can help you in the app development. The team structure includes-
- Project or Requirement Manager
- UI/UX Designers
- Android App Developers
- iOS App Developers
- Back-End Developers
- QA Engineers
An appropriate team structure will help you to have a flawless and quick development process. They will consider your requirements in terms of industry and technologies and provide you with a quality app.
2. Social Media App Development Process
The mobile app development process of ‘how to create a social media platform’ for Android and iOS platforms needs to undertake various important aspects that are as below-
Step 1: Market Research & Strategy Formulation
In the first step, market research and review of the competitive area are essential. You can evaluate the current demands and build a picture of your target audiences & market. To get success in the market shortly, you can create the performance metrics to be attained in the decided time. These all will help you to work for a specific niche along with social media app development.
Getting an understanding of your weaknesses and strengths will help you to enter the market strongly. You can also conduct a SWOT or PESTEL analysis to know everything about the competitors.
Step 2: App Designing
Before starting the app design process, you must know that it comprises several steps that should be managed one by one to create a masterpiece.
- Sketching- Decide the project’s logic, included the number of screens, and interaction with the app.
- Wireframing– It includes the structural framework of social media apps. For more details check our detailed guide on how to create wireframes for mobile app
- Prototyping– It works as a working model and provides better knowledge of the product to both developers and clients.
- Final App Design– Wireframes will be turned into the final UI/UX design for a social media app via tracking the latest trends.
Step 3: App Development
It is the most important step when it is about ‘how to create a social networking app’? In this phase, a team dedicated developers will execute the process to provide you with a scalable social media solution. Though, the app designing and development process overlap each other throughout the development life cycle. Once the app code is prototyped, developers can start the back-end process by setting up the databases, servers, APIs, and building ideal storage solutions.
Having an MVP app will be profitable to you in the trial phase so that you can know the user’s feedback. It is proving as a smarter option for various enterprises despite launching the feature-packed social media mobile app. The MVP version of the app consumes less development time and cost in comparison to the full-fledged mobile app.
Step 4: Quality Assurance
After creating an efficient app with the help of a top mobile application development company consisting of the server, API, and base configuration, it will go to the QA team. The quality assurance engineers will check if there is an error or issues in the app functionality. All the errors will be fixed in this segment, and then, the MVP version will be ready to launch. The final solution will be matched to all the technical needs, standards, and guidelines of the platform where it will be launched.
Step 5: App Launch & Marketing
After getting through the testing phase, the app is ready to launch on the platform. But only an app launch will not make it successful, it will also need a proper marketing strategy, campaigns, and branding. The team you chose to assist you with the app development will be the same to help you in managing the publication process, creating all the advertising elements comprising of videos, guides, images, etc. They will also ensure that the app will be launched in the suitable category of the app store.
Step 6: Maintenance and Support
The app launch is not the final stage of the app development. After publishing, the app also needs time-to-time updates and support from the development team. Support executives will be there for the app users to solve any issue they are facing regarding the app. According to the user’s feedback, the technical team will update the app regularly.
3. Essential Technology Stack
Designing and developing a social media app requires an appropriate technology stack so that it can be competitive enough in the market. Picking the right tech stack will help your app to make the space easily and fast in the market. What is the ideal tech stack? Have a look-
- Frontend Development– Angular, ASP.NET, ExpressJs, Ionic, Ruby on Rails, etc.
- Backend Development– Codeigniter, Django, Laravel, CakePHP, etc.
- Databases: PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, MongoDB, & NoSQL
Android Tech Stack
Following tech stack is suitable for Android social media app development:
- Programming Languages: Kotlin, Java, and Flutter
- Architecture: MVVM (model-view-ViewModel) architectural pattern
- Library: RxJava2
- Framework: Google Play Services for Firebase, Cloud messages, Geolocation, etc.
- For UI Layer: RecyclerView, Fragments
iOS Tech Stack
Following tech stack is suitable for iOS social media app development:
- Programming Languages: Objective-C, Swift, and Flutter
- Architecture: MVVM (model-view-ViewModel) architectural pattern
- Library: RxSwift
- Frameworks: Dip framework as a service locator
- For UI Layer: DTTableViewManager/DTCollectionViewManager, LoadableViews
Monetization Model: How Social Media Apps are Profitable?
Now, when you have been considerate about how to build a social media app, it is time to be attentive about its monetization model. There are some of the monetizing ways that you need to consider getting huge revenue and maximum benefits via social media apps. Let’s move to them-
Though, all the features comprising in the social media app will be accessible to users but some of them will be provided to only those who have taken the premium subscribers of the app. To get access to these additional features, users must pay some amount. These features can be anything such as you can see who visited your profile, important jobs, access to learning courses to enhance your skills.
At present, various apps are adopting this popular way to earn money. They just allow other businesses to display the advertisements on the top of their app. These displays can vary according to the amount they are paying. If they want to pop up their ad on the top, they must pay the higher amount. For instance, YouTube ads in the middle of the video, or Instagram showing related stories or posts.
This monetizing way allows users to purchase paid content. For instance, Facebook owns its sticker store, and users must pay to purchase the pack of the stickers. After buying, they can use them in the Facebook messenger while chatting.
Read More: How Mobile Apps Makes Earn Money
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Social Media App?
To estimate the cost to build social media app, you must be concerned about a lot of factors that can affect the complete social media mobile app development cost. let’s get to know about them below-
- App Platforms (iOS or Android)
- List of Features
- UI/UX Design
- Location & Experience of the Hired Firm
- Team Structure & Tech Stack
- App Complexity
- App Maintenance
These are some of the factors that can vary the cost higher or lower of developing a social media or networking mobile app. Considering all these discussed points, the cost to build a social media app would be around $10,000 to $50,000 comprising the required features and functionalities.
If the app requirements change due to any reason, the final price will vary according to that. If the owner wants to have cross-platform app development services, then the estimated cost would go higher.
In the above article, we have given you an idea about how to develop a social media app and involved cost. If you are also looking to get details about the cost to develop an app like WhatsApp, Facebook, or any other social media app, the cost would depend upon similar factors.
People’s interest in social media apps is increasing day-by-day, hence it is occurring as a golden chance for businesses to turn this idea into a growing business opportunity and go for it open-handedly.
It is the reason why businesses are eager to have mobile app development services as they want to avail all the benefits as soon as possible. If you are also thinking to get social networking app development services, go for a reliable firm that can assist you right from the market research to the app launch phase. Feel free to reach out to the SemiDot infotech while searching for a top-notch social media app development company to get a better consultation and guidance about creating a scalable mobile app solution. Let’s join hands to make the future great together.
Check below question and answers related to grab knowledge about social media app development
- How much does it cost to build a social media app?
The cost to build a social media app will range from $30,000 to $80,000 including basic features & functionality. If you want to have advanced features & functions, it will cost you more than expected and further, it can vary based on the factors like features, complexity, platforms, and different rates of development teams.
- How long does it take to make a social media app?
It will take around 6 to 12 months to develop a social media app, but this estimated time can differ based on different aspects including additional features, complexities, development process, and so on. Alongside this, the time can vary due to the number of platforms, team size, and backend infrastructure.
- How to build a social media app from scratch?
To build a social app from scratch, you can follow these steps:
1. Define the app’s purpose and research the market & target audience.
2. Create a wireframe, prototype, and design the app.
3. Choose the right tech stack and decide on the features.
4. Go for back-end infrastructure and write code.
5. Test thoroughly to ensure the app's performance and functionality.
6. Launch the app.
- Is creating a social media app profitable?
Due to the increased social media craze among people, it is always profitable to create a social media app. Businesses can generate considerable income through sponsored content, ads, premium features, and data insights along with gaining a huge customer base with the help of social media apps. A social media app also helps businesses to better their online presence and reach global audiences.
- How do social media apps make money?
Through social media apps, businesses can implement various monetization strategies such as in-app advertising, in-app purchases, sponsored content, collaborations, freemium model, etc. to make money in the easiest way possible. Some social media apps also go for affiliate marketing or partnerships to contribute to higher profitability.
- How much does it cost to build apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?
The cost to build social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will range from $80,000 to $200,000 or more than that. The estimated value can vary as these apps include high-end designs, advanced features & functionalities, and best development practices to follow. To maintain their performance and functionality while staying competitive, you need to update them time-to-time and that also requires a high budget.
- What makes a social media app successful?
To make a social media app successful, you need to include an intuitive user interface, a strong sense of community, engaging content, and user-friendly features. The app should have engaging content and smooth navigation so that users can relate to it. Also, you are required to consider innovative features addressing the privacy and security concerns of users. Apart from that, effective promotions & marketing, swift integration, and timely updates will also play a crucial role in the success of your social media app.