Building a Successful Social Media App in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide
Social media applications are crucial in connecting people, building relationships, and driving business growth. As the demand for innovative and user-friendly social media platforms grows, entrepreneurs and developers are eager to create their apps.
However, the social media app development process can be complex and overwhelming. This article aims to be a comprehensive guide that provides insights and strategies to help readers create a successful social media app without encountering common pitfalls.
The Future of Social Media Apps: Predictions and Possibilities
The social media app market is expected to be even more vibrant and promising by 2023, with billions of active users worldwide relying on social media platforms daily. Current trends point to a surge in video-based content, augmented reality features, and interactive experiences. Data supports this growth, revealing a significant increase in user engagement and a growing market for new, niche-focused social media platforms.
The social media and social applications industry is widely recognized as one of the largest industries in the contemporary world. In 2021, the global number of social media users reached 4.48 billion (in 2023, this number includes 5.19 billion), accounting for 56% of the total population. The user base is experiencing a steady growth of 13.1% per year.
Major Types of Social Media Smartphone Solutions
It is essential to understand that social media apps come in various forms, catering to diverse user interests, including general social networking platforms and specialized apps for professionals, hobbyists, gamers, and content creators. Therefore, it is crucial to consider these categories when conceptualizing a new app.
Major types of the social media apps and their examples
Forums For Discussion
Social media networks have gained popularity due to people's interest in accessing expertise and discussing various subjects. Discussion forums offer a platform for discovering essential information, starting conversations, and seeking advice from experts and knowledgeable users.
The primary purpose of this type is to enable connections between individuals. Social networks facilitate relationships between users with different objectives, and you can find it out in the example of the following. LinkedIn is a platform that can assist in job searching and building professional relationships. Facebook provides a wide range of thematic groups and a user base of nearly 2 billion people to connect with.
Apps for content sharing
Users may store and organize connections to other websites or online resources using content-sharing networks or bookmarking tools. Links may be sorted into many folders according to their respective subjects by users. These platforms could provide extra features that are more interesting. Using Pinterest as an example, users may submit photos and have the choice to download any attractive images.
Networks for client review
Customer feedback networks can increase brand visibility and attract new customers through positive reviews. Furthermore, companies can obtain valuable client feedback to improve their services or products.
Some of such platforms review hotels and restaurants and provide information about relevant places based on geolocation services. The main objective of these applications is to allow customers to leave their reviews about various brands, products, services, and other things.
Media sharing solutions
These networks provide a platform for sharing various types of content. Currently, there is a blurred distinction between social networks and media-sharing networks as platforms like Facebook now provide options to share photos and videos.
Media-sharing networks such as YouTube primarily focus on a specific type of content. For this situation, developing a social app design that aligns with user expectations and addresses their needs is recommended.
Blogging and publishing networks
Despite being seen as a simple activity, blogging can present challenges. Essential prerequisites include outstanding writing abilities and a passion for writing. Bloggers also need an app to write posts from all their gadgets. Building your own social media app like this is not difficult.
After you find out what type of social media app is perfect for your business, let’s decide what features you should include and the price of the defined functionality set.
Social Media App Features and Their Price You Need to Know About
Key features define the user experience of a social media app. From user profiles, friend requests, and messaging systems to advanced functionalities like video sharing, live streaming, and AR filters, each feature adds a layer of complexity to the development process. Estimating the cost associated with these features is vital for budgeting and resource allocation.
Let’s start exploring more about the social media app functionality and talk about the must-have features.
The core functionality you should think out to implement in your social media app, and the tools you can use for that
Signup. Users should be provided with multiple registration options. The available choices may consist of either an email and password combination or a phone number and password combination. The addition of a "Forgot password" feature would enhance the user-friendliness of a social media app.
Search. Users have the option to search for friends or bloggers to follow by using a search bar that provides different search options like tags, user names, and location.
Chat. Including a user-friendly chat feature is crucial for the success of a social media app. This feature enables users the ability send messages, photos, and video files, making it a necessary component for any social network. By integrating group chats and channels, users can participate in conversations with multiple users.
User profile. Various social applications may necessitate users to generate multiple profiles, providing features such as communicating with other users and accessing their media files or posts. An effectively designed profile has the potential to draw in customers and promote subscriptions, hence it is crucial to meticulously contemplate user experience and page layout.
Add a post. Social media applications like Instagram or Facebook provide users with the ability to create posts containing visual content, such as photos, videos, or text. Users have the option to either upload photos or videos from their gallery or take new ones using their smartphone camera. Afterward, they have the option to include a short description before sharing it on social media.
Newsfeed. Users can stay updated by using this feature. It displays all updates and new information from friends and communities. Instagram has integrated this feature, making the news feed the home screen of the social media app.
Push notifications. Users can receive various push notifications, such as updates from the communities they are subscribed to, new messages, reactions or comments to their posts, and more. Push notifications have been found to be effective in increasing user engagement.
This is the so-called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) description – the amount of features essential for the seamless work of your social media app. You can also use them while deciding how to create a social media platform in web.
When you successfully implement the MVP features, you are recommended to think about advanced functionality integration. These are the so-called “perks” for your users, that can help them utilize your social media app in a more comfortable way.
Advanced functionality to implement in your social media app along with helpful tools
The social media app development cost may vary from $30,000 to $250,000+. The time needed to create the app, also differs from 3 months to 9+. Let’s talk more about the factors influencing the development price and timeline.
The Cost-Forming Factors for Social Media App Development
The cost of developing a social media app can vary widely depending on various factors. We’ve prepared the significant aspects influencing your social media app cost.
- The choice of platform (e.g., iOS, Android, or both) significantly impacts development costs. Developing for multiple platforms is usually more expensive.
- The complexity and number of features you want in your app, like user profiles, messaging, photo/video sharing, geolocation, and AI-driven features, can dramatically affect costs.
- A well-designed and user-friendly interface can be costly to develop, especially if you require custom graphics and animations.
- Building a robust back-end infrastructure for user data storage, authentication, and server maintenance is a crucial cost-forming factor.
- Incorporating third-party services for functionalities like notifications, analytics, or payment processing can add to the cost.
Developing a social media app involves several cost-forming factors, ranging from platform choice to security, design, and maintenance. The total cost can differ significantly based on the specific requirements of your project. It's essential to carefully plan and budget for each factor to ensure a successful and sustainable social media app development process.
How to Develop a Social Media Solution: Tech Stack, Team and Development Steps
Developing such an app for iOS and Android requires diverse professionals' expertise. Therefore, it is recommended to have a project manager, developers specializing in iOS/Android and back-end, as well as QA engineers and UI/UX designers in your team.
Various instruments can be used during social media solution development. If you want to make a mobile application, there are programming languages like Swift (iOS) and Kotlin (Android). However, kindly note that the ultimate tech stack depends on your specific business needs and project requirements, the feature list, and many other factors.
You must also know how the development process works to create a robust and user-friendly social media app. It's advised to find a skilled social media app development vendor to help you with it. This way, the process will look like the following:
First contact. Through the vendor's website, you may contact the company and make a request.Once the request has been authorized by the company's management, you will get a call from the organization to go over the specifics of the application.
Discovery phase. The process involves meetings to gather information about your business, goals, and project ideas. The collected information is then compiled into detailed documentation, which helps with the final project estimate. Additionally, wireframes for each app screen are created by UI/UX designers during this phase.
Development and QA process. Designers send completed mockups to developers to begin the app development process. Development is broken down into sprints, each lasting two weeks, where developers implement the agreed-upon functionality.
In order to ensure a positive user experience, it is important for your application to be free of bugs. Quality assurance engineers conduct thorough testing of all features, and any bugs or malfunctions they discover are documented in bug reports. These reports assist developers in identifying and promptly resolving the issues.
Release and maintenance. The development process is almost done. The developers are making final edits and refinements to the project. Once finished, the application is given to the customer, marking the end of the cooperation. But the customer can still work with the vendor and update the application.
Monetization is a crucial aspect of social media app development. To earn money with the help of your app, you can think out and implement the following monetization models into it.
Monetization models and famous app examples that use them
You can also solve the monetization question with a vendor who will help you solve it in a way which will be the best appropriate for your business.
Building a successful social media app in 2023 demands a deep understanding of market trends, user preferences, and the intricacies of app development and monetization. By following the guidelines presented in the given article, you can embark on your development journey with confidence.
However, if you would like to know more about the social media app creation process and other related details, you can contact the skilled software development vendor specializing in social media app creation. The vendor’s specialists will give you necessary consultation and help you create a profitable application fully satisfying your business needs.
Yuliya Melnik is a technical writer at Cleveroad, a social media app development company in Ukraine. She is passionate about innovative technologies that make the world a better place and loves creating content that evokes vivid emotions.