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Are you looking for how to make a social media app? You’re in the right place. In the world of social media, building a social network has become a lot easier. Whether it’s making friends, finding potential partners, or keeping updated with the latest news and trends, social media is the all-in-one platform to cater to all your digital needs. With the booming rise of the social media market, partnering with a reputable mobile app development company helps you grow your business to success.

According to recent data by Statista, the average daily social media usage of internet users amounts to up to 143 minutes globally. Currently, the most used social media per day is detected in Brazil, which accounts for 3 hours and 49 minutes. Moreover, the daily time spent in the U.S. is 2 hours and 16 minutes.

statistics showing daily time spent on social media apps globally

Are you struggling to navigate through how to make a social media app like Instagram or Facebook? This blog covers all the burning questions about starting a social media platform.

How to Make a Social Media App?

Are you planning to create a social media app, but you’re an amateur in this niche? Don’t worry, we’ll cover the step-by-step process on how to build a social media platform:

Step 1 – Exploring the Financial Benefits of Social Media Apps

Social media is a platform that allows users to create profiles and share various content with their connections. The 2022 stats revealed that the social media app market was valued at $49.09 billion and is expected to grow by up to $939.679 billion by 2026.

If you’re asking yourself, “how to start a social media platform,” you need to dissect the financial benefits the social app network can bring. Not to mention, Facebook and YouTube have the largest monthly active users.

So, you need to keep in mind the giant competitors.

However, this doesn’t mean that the social media app market is saturated. One well-known app, TikTok, was launched in 2016 when all these apps already had billions of users. All the credit goes to its unique idea of becoming a stand-out social media platform. So, when you are planning on how to make a social networking app, make sure to find out what value your app can provide to the users.

Moreover, if you want to create an app like TikTok, you can go for a professional team of app developers to bring your idea to reality.

Step 2 – Select the Right Social Media Type

Before proceeding with social media app development, it is crucial to understand the types of social media apps and then choose the right one based on your vision. This will help you uncover the market and competitor research if you’re navigating through how to make a social media app. There are various types of social media apps that you can approach:

  • Social networks
  • Media sharing networks
  • Discussion forums
  • Content sharing networks
  • Consumer review networks
  • Blogging and publishing networks
  • Relationship networks
  • Interest-based networks
  • Anonymous social networks

Step 3 – Target Audience and Purpose

After selecting your desired social media type, it’s time to explore your target audience and the purpose you want to convey to the world. Start by looking at similar competitor apps. Analyze how users interact with them and their stellar features and discover the unique selling point. This will help you in the process of creating a social app.

Above all, every app is different and has its distinct niche. For example, Pinterest mainly targets creative people who are looking for inspiration. So, you can begin by sketching out highly niche apps, which can later be expanded based on feature diversity. If this phrase, “I have an app idea,” is constantly nudging your mind, you need to discuss your vision with an expert to navigate the app development process.

To target the audience, you need to create a user persona based on these details:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Yearly income
  • Family status
  • Education level
  • Social media app usage
  • Media preference

Step 4 – Choose Revenue Model

Now, the most important part comes into play: revenue. You need to look for profitable monetization strategies for your social media app. So, if you’re wondering how to make a social media app, you can use common revenue models in apps are advertisements, freemium, and in-app purchases.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok work on advertising monetization. They use users’ personal information to create highly targeted ads and drive revenue. When it comes to a freemium model, they allow users to sign up for free; however, the basic plan has limited features. For example, you can access some of the features for free on LinkedIn, but you have to pay for a subscription to access features like job-matching, InMail, and educational courses. Also, to create an app like Tinder, many businesses follow the freemium model.

As part of monetization efforts, some social media apps offer stickers and filters to use in the app. These in-app purchases improve the user experience and provide premium functionalities that are not available in the free plan. For example, Snapchat’s in-app purchases include Snap Tokens that can be used to send special messages and access premium lenses and filters.

Step 5 – USP and Strategy

When researching how to make a social media app, the most important things to plan is the USP and strategy. Knowing about the target audience and app type is just a starting point. To ensure that the app has a chance of success, you need to develop unique features and a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Given that, you need to start with the SWOT analysis. Discover what problem your app will cover, its value, and what will make it stand out from others. SWOT analysis will help you identify your app’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to cover the areas of improvement.

For example, if you want to create an app like Uber, you need to analyze the gaps in the taxi-booking market, look for weaknesses, and stay ahead of the changing market trends.

After the analysis, you can use the Business Model Canvas approach to finalize the app’s Unique Selling Proposition. The model consists of nine parts:

  • Key partners
  • Key activities
  • Value proposition
  • Customer relationships
  • Customer segments
  • Key resources
  • Cost structure
  • Distribution channel
  • Revenue streams

Step 6 – Features and Functions

After all the research is in place, it’s time to look for features to integrate into the app. Some of the basic features that are added to the social media app are user profile, social authorization, content uploading, posts, feed, notifications, search, user interaction, in-app messaging, and analytics.

Furthermore, you can add additional features using innovative technologies to deliver an exceptional user experience, including augmented reality, face filters, AI chatbots, live streaming, ephemeral content, short video content, and a buy button.

Social media apps development deals with the app’s admin space. Admin must control the app, monitor and moderate content and users, etc. Here are some of the features that need to be taken care of when building a social media app:

  • Admin registration and authorization
  • Super admin
  • User management
  • Reported user management

Step 7 – Choosing Tech Stack

While building a social media platform, the knowledge of different app frameworks and tech stacks is highly important. The most common tech stacks used for app development are:

  • Android: Kotline, Java, Android Studio, Android SDK, Google Cloud Messaging, Google Map API, ML Kit, MongoDB, AQL, MySQL, Azure Stream Analytics, MixPanel, Amazon S3, Azure Server
  • iOS: Swift, Objective – C, Xcode, Cocoa Touch, Apple Push Notifications, MapKit and ARCore

If you plan to create a social media app for Android devices, partnering with a reputable Android app development company is a great approach.

Step 8 – Design and Development

After you’ve outlined your vision, it’s time to create a social network with the help of app designers and developers. You can go for various options, which include freelance developers, using app builder platforms, and hiring a social media app development company.

To answer your question, “How to make a social media app” for freelance developers can be an attractive option from a budget point of view, but you’ve to take care of project management, finding, and communications. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make a social media app for free, you can go for app builders. However, it can also create a simple type of app as it entails limited functionality and tools.

There are various frameworks in the development that offer various distinctive features and tools, such as Flutter. It is highly recommended to go for a Flutter app development company for professional service if you’re looking to build an app on Flutter. Working with them means there won’t be huge revisions, unexpected delays, scalability, and customization problems.

Step 9 – Growing Community

After the development, it’s time to promote your social media app globally. There are various strategies that you can implement to grow your user base.

You can opt for App Store Optimization (ASO), where you can optimize the app. ASO entails optimizing the app description, images, and title to attract a wider user base. Moreover, Organic User Acquisition (OUA) covers organic promotions, which include blog posts, product videos, etc.

As far as ads are concerned, launching ads on Google and social media will help you attract potential users and assist in the beginning of the brand awareness strategy.

Have you ever heard of influencer marketing? The recent trend in town can be a great way to promote your app. All you have to do is to partner with popular influencers to make your app seen in the market. If you’re collaborating with a renowned figure, that’s a bonus point!

Step 10 – Analysis

App tracking and analysis are highly important. To keep your social media app ahead in the market, you need to track key metrics and KPIs to understand how the app is performing regarding user acquisition, retention, and revenue.

Some of the important metrics to keep an eye on are:

  • Installations and uninstalls
  • User activation
  • User retention and churn metric
  • Session duration
  • Cost Per Install (CPI)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Burn Rate
  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

The data received during the analysis will help you uncover areas for improvement, which can help resolve app development issues in the future.

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Partner with us today to build a user-friendly social media app.

How Much Social Media App Development Cost?

Are you wondering about how to make your own social media app? The cost of building a social media app can vary from $30,000 to $250,000, depending on various factors such as the feature list, UI/UX design, and tech stack. For more specific insights, here are the following estimated cost and time frame based on the app’s complexity level:

App Complexity Level Estimated Cost Time Frame
Basic $30,000 – $80,000 3 – 6 Months
Intermediate $80,000 – $150,000 6 – 9 Months
Advanced $150,000 – $250,000 9+ Months

Moreover, the cost of social app development also depends on the location of the outsourcing. You can check out the below table for the average hourly rate depending on the geographical location:

Country / Region Average Hourly Rate
USA $150 – $250
Europe $50 – $100
UK $100 – $150
Armenia $25 – $50

If you’re planning to reach out to a social networking app development company in the USA, the cost can be higher than that of other regions. For more information related to cost, you can see the table below that showcases costs based on the app’s complexity:

Country / Region Basic App Development Advanced App Development
USA $200,000 – $300,000 $500,000 – $600,000
Europe $100,000 – $120,000 $200,000 – $240,000
UK $150,000 – $180,000 $300,000 – $360,000
Armenia $50,000 – $60,000 $100,000 – $120,000

Not to mention that the calculations presented above are general. For more accurate cost estimates to build your own social media platform, you can go for our mobile app development cost calculator.

5 Steps of Social Media App Development

Are you wondering how long does it take to develop an app? What are the steps it entails? Social media application development goes through the following steps:

Step 1 – Discovery and Strategy

The social media application development process begins with a discovery phase, during which the existing idea is audited and turned into a structured roadmap. This roadmap helps select essential features for the MVP and map out a focused development path.

Timeframe: 2-4 Weeks.

Step 2 – UI/UX Design

This step includes creating a basic outline of the app’s layout to examine the user flow and interface visually. Build interactive prototypes to cover the app’s functionality and flow, ensuring the colors and the overall look are appealing and consistent with your brand.

Timeframe: 4-6 Weeks.

Step 3 – Feature Development and Improvement

Are you navigating through how to code a social media app? The social media platform development step undertakes critical activities to bring the app’s envisioned functionalities to reality and ensure it meets user needs. The developers work on backend development to enable data exchange and operations, implement backup solutions, handle load balancing, etc.

Moreover, the frontend development step is built on various frameworks based on your requirements. It can be built on platform-specific languages like Swift, Kotlin, React Native, and Flutter.

Timeframe: 8-16 Weeks.

Step 4 – QA and Testing

This step includes performing quality assurance and testing the app’s functionality to ensure it works seamlessly across all devices. Functional testing includes unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing. Moreover, to check the app’s user experience, the team can perform user experience and A/B testing to identify usability issues and gather feedback on the interface design.

Timeframe: 3-6 Weeks.

Step 5 – Launch and Beyond

After performing all the necessary tests, you can make your app available online on Google Play and the Apple Store. To keep your app ahead in the market, monitor its performance and user feedback. Use analytics tools to track user acquisition, engagement, and retention metrics. In case of bugs, implement regular updates to improve the app’s stability and performance.

Timeframe: 2-4 Weeks (for launch preparation) and ongoing for post-launch support.

Must-Have Features of Social Media Apps

infographic showing must have social media app features

In the competitive social media market, you need to integrate must-have features to grow your app to success. Here are some of the essential features you can find when searching for how to make a social media app:

1. User-Centric Design

If you plan to create a social media platform that resonates with users, it needs an attractive user-centric design. This approach allows you to focus on the users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors to provide a satisfying experience. The features of user-centric designs are:

  • Intuitive Interface

It combines an aesthetic look and clean layouts, easy navigation, and a minimalist design look. The first look of the user interface could grow the conversion rate by up to 200%. That means first impressions matter. Great examples of intuitive interfaces are Instagram and TikTok.

  • Personalization

The more personalization your app offers, the more people will likely interact. You need to integrate personalized tools to offer tailored experiences. For example, YouTube recommends videos based on past views and searches.

  • Accessibility

This feature is crucial to your app’s ability to cater to a wider audience, including those with physical disabilities. You can integrate tools like voice commands, screen readers, and adjustable text sizes.

2. Robust Security and Privacy

While technology is advancing at an accelerating pace, data breaches and privacy concerns are growing front and center. That’s why implementing robust security and privacy features is important. Here are some of the features you must add:

  • End-to-End Encryption

Implementing end-to-end encryption ensures that your conversations and data transfers remain private. Many social media apps, such as Whatsapp and Signal, have set this standard, and the feature has become a benchmark for user trust and the app’s credibility.

  • Transparent Data Policies

Users are becoming highly concerned about their data. Therefore, it is imperative to communicate the data and security policies to users to gain their trust. Many social media apps, especially LinkedIn, implement this approach.

  • Regular Security Updates

Do you know security breaches can drive many people away from social media? A recent study revealed that 81% of users would stop using social media platforms following the data breach. Integrating regular security update features can grow user trust and protect their profiles from potential security breaches and threats.

3. Easy-to-Navigate Search

People look out for things that are simple and easy. Making the app’s functionality seamless and easy is a lifeline for users. To make the app’s search efficient, here are some of the must-have features to integrate:

  • Advanced Search Algorithms

Advanced search algorithms enable users to find content quickly and accurately, enhancing the experience and engagement. Many platforms, such as Twitter and Pinterest, have strong search algorithm features integrated into their apps.

  • Search Filters and Tags

Search filter results based on parameters like date, location, hashtags, or post type allow users to streamline the search process and make it less time-consuming to find the right content.

  • Auto-Suggestions and Predictive Search

This feature is a great way to provide users with auto-suggestions based on previous searches and activities that make the search experience faster and more intuitive. Moreover, adding the Natural Language Processing (NLP) feature enhances the search feature and processes user queries more humanistically.

4. Social Sharing and Connectivity

Integrating social sharing features is essential. To improve the social connectivity, here are the following features to implement:

  • Sharing Options

Social media works on the foundation of seamless sharing and connectivity. Adding social sharing and connectivity features gives users a seamless social experience. Whether you’re reposting stories or tweeting a link, social media will cater to every user’s sharing requirement.

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility

To broaden the content’s reach and impact, making it accessible to a wider audience is the key. Integrating cross-platform compatibility allows users to share content within the app and across different platforms. For example, users can share Instagram stories on Facebook.

  • Real-Time Interaction Features

Real-time interaction features provide access to tools like live streaming and real-time commenting to amplify user interaction and build a sense of community.

5. Profile Customization

Profile customization is a great way for self-expression. It allows the users to personalize their profiles and give them a feeling of a space that is entirely theirs. You can add these features to your social media app:

  • Diverse Customization Options

You can implement diverse customization options to help users create their personal digital identity. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a range of customization features, such as profile pictures, cover photos, bio sections, and featured content.

  • Theme and Layout Choices

This feature offers various themes and layout options to enhance personalization. The themes include dark mode, light mode, and various color palette options. Moreover, users can also customize layout templates for profile elements like photos, posts, and bio information.

  • Interactive and Dynamic Elements

The library of interactive and dynamic elements makes social media profiles aesthetic and engaging. You can integrate visual options like animated avatars and icons, interactive widgets, and other customization tools.

6. Automated Content Moderation

Content is known as king, and automated content moderation stands as the forefront tool for online safety and community standards. In order to foster a secure environment for users, you need to integrate the following features:

  • AI-Driven Moderation System

The integration of AI algorithms assists in quickly identifying and flagging inappropriate or harmful content, creating a safe online space for users. YouTube and Facebook use sophisticated AI algorithms for content moderation.

  • User Reporting and Feedback Loops

The implementation of this feature allows users to feel a sense of control over maintaining a safe environment. In case of content violations or explicit data, users can report the violation.

  • Regular Policy Updates

The digital platform is constantly evolving, and moderating the content will become a challenge in the future. Regular updates of the community guidelines and moderation policies ensure the platform remains a safe space for expression.

7. Open Forum

The open forum feature allows conversations to flourish and build communities. Fostering an open dialogue creates a sense of belonging and exchange. To create an open dialogue space, here are the must-have features that need to be integrated:

  • Discussion Threads and Comment Sections

This feature provides structured spaces for discussion threads and comment sections. The thread format encourages active participation and exchange of ideas among users.

  • User-Generated Content Space

These spaces allow user-generated content on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Users can express themselves and engage with the community through likes, shares, and comments.

  • Moderated Discussions

While open forums are valuable, security control is crucial to maintain transparency and quality. Implementing professional community standards ensures that discussions are kept constructive and respectful.

Ready to Make Your Mark in the Social Media Market?

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Advanced Features to Add When Creating a Social Media App

infographic showing advanced features to add in social media app

The power of AI and Machine Learning (ML) has transformed the social media landscape. To make your social media app stand out, you can add these advanced features when starting a social media app:

Targeted Advertising

Integrating targeted advertising delivers ads relevant to the user’s interests and online behavior, increasing the likelihood of user engagement and conversion. For example, Instagram shows ads related to the user’s search and activity.

Smart Chatbots

Smart Chatbots use AI to interact with users and deliver instant response and assistance. They help users understand and respond in a human-like manner, enhancing user support and engagement. Adding smart chatbots will be an excellent tool for resolving common issues without human intervention.

Automated Content Curation

The automated content curation feature uses AI to analyze and organize content in the order where users can see the most relevant and engaging posts. AI algorithms analyze the user’s interactions, including likes, shares, and comments, to curate personalized feeds that display content most likely to interest them.

Gamification

Gamification involves integrating game-like elements to grow user engagement and motivation. Incentives such as rewards, badges, and leaderboards are great ways to encourage participation. For example, Snapchat’s daily streak is a gamified element that compels users to maintain consistent communication with friends.

AR Filters

Filters are one of the most engaging social media app features, offering users a fun and interactive way to enhance their photos and videos.  This feature overlays digital effects onto real-world images and offers a wide range of effects, including face filters, scene effects, and artistic overlays. AR filters can be implemented in videos, images, stories, and live streams.

Language Translation

This feature is essential in connecting users from different linguistic backgrounds and fostering global communication. Integrating language translation will assist in interface localization, content translation, and automatic language detection. Moreover, users can customize language through preferred language settings and manual translation options.

How to Make Money from Social Media Apps?

Ever since the world went digital, social media has become a profitable business for entrepreneurs. It offers unprecedented opportunities for monetization, marking itself as one of the top benefits of mobile apps for business.

If you’re watching out for ways how to develop a social media app with the right monetization strategy, here are the most common ones involved:

1. Paid Subscription

Subscriptions allow users to access exclusive content, features, or services for a recurring fee. It is particularly effective for apps that demand regular updates or continuous value. The subscription services may include:

  • Monthly or annual membership to access premium content
  • Get access to exclusive social communities and groups
  • Advanced analytics and insights for professional users

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It offers predictable and recurring revenue streams. It requires continuous access to high-quality features and content.
Subscription services foster strong user loyalty and retention. The lack of value may cause the subscription to be canceled.

2. Affiliate Marketing

This strategy involves promoting products and services from other companies and earning a commission for any sales or leads generated through referrals. It is widely used among bloggers, influencers, and websites. The affiliate marketing includes:

  • Collaboration with other businesses to promote their products
  • Access to referral links or codes to track sales or leads
  • Earn commission for every sale or lead generated through the referral

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It requires minimal investment to start. The income relies on the success and reliability of the partner companies.
It helps in generating passive income as users engage with the content. Overwhelming promotions and biasedness may cause trust issues.
Affiliate marketing has the potential to scale up traffic and conversion rates. Income can fluctuate based on market trends or changes in commission rates.

3. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases include selling virtual goods and providing additional content or premium features within the mobile app. It works best for mobile games or applications that tend to offer premium functionalities. This monetization strategy entails the following:

  • Virtual items like game currency, skins, or power-ups
  • Deliver additional content like levels, characters, or storylines
  • Works on the subscription-like model

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It assists in generating revenue, especially in gaming apps. Implementation and maintaining IAPs can be technically complex.
It is accessible to a global audience and hence grows the user base. App stores take a percentage of IAP revenue, which reduces overall earnings.
The user engagement with new content improves retention rates. In-app purchases may be subject to regulations and scrutiny.

4. Events and Activities

If you’re not aware, organizing virtual or physical events, workshops, or webinars is also a great strategy for monetization. This approach is commonly used by educational platforms and other entertainment entities. This monetization strategy includes:

  • Charging users for tickets to attend virtual or physical events
  • Provide access to exclusive live sessions or activities
  • Partnering with sponsors or other brands to monetize events

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is great for user engagement and community building. Organizing events requires significant planning and resources.
Conducting online events fosters brand loyalty. Physical events are limited by location and capacity.
It builds a long-term customer base.

5. Advertising

Advertising is one of the most lucrative monetization strategies, and it involves delivering highly targeted and relevant ads. The types of ads include display ads, sponsored posts, video ads, native ads, story ads, carousel ads, and interactive ads. This monetization strategy includes:

  • Collecting extensive data on user behavior, preferences, and demographics
  • Displaying ads to users while they browse the social media platform
  • Track ad performance through metrics like impressions, clicks, and conversions

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It offers targeted ad placements based on detailed user data. The ad blockers option can reduce the likelihood of growing revenue.
There are diverse ad formats to make your way through the wide audience. Collecting user data can raise privacy and ethical concerns.
It has the potential to generate substantial revenue. Ad revenues can fluctuate based on market conditions and advertiser budgets.

Best Technology Stack for Social Media Apps

The use of technologies and tools depends on the app’s specifications, available budget, and the platform where your app will be released. If you’re wondering what a technology stack is, it is a combination of technologies used in an app to develop and run a single application.

To sum up, a tech stack is a combination of software, programming languages, frameworks, and databases stacked together to run an app. The most commonly used tech stacks for coding a social media app are as follows:

  • Programming Language: Swift, Kotlin, Node.js
  • Networking: Alamofire
  • Framework: Express 4
  • Database: MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Chat: Twilio, PubNub, Socket.io
  • API: Swagger, Postman
  • Push Notifications: FCM
  • Geolocation: Google Maps
  • Storage: Amazon S3
  • Search: Elasticsearch

So, if you’re struggling with how to create a social networking app, check out the commonly used tech stacks based on the type of app (Android and iOS). Are you looking for a web application development company with a proven track record? You can check out our portfolio to see the range of projects we’ve catered for over the years.

Popular Social Media Apps and Their Features

While the world entered the pandemic, social media has garnered huge popularity. The Global Stats indicate that Facebook is one of the most successful social networks in terms of the number of users. In the first quarter of 2023, Facebook gained over 3 billion monthly active users globally.

inforgraphic showing statistics of most used social apps worldwide

Are you also wondering about how to start a social media app? Here are some of the popular social media apps with their distinctive features:

App App Type Key Statistics Best Known Ratings
Facebook Social Networking App 3.4 Billion Monthly Users

5+ Billion App Downloads

$85.9 Billion in Revenue Annually

Social Networking and Community Building (Profiles, Events and Groups) Google Rating: 4.4

Apple Store Rating: 4.4

Instagram Media Sharing Network 1.3 Billion Annual Users

$24 Billion Annual Users

3.8 Billion App Downloads

Photo and Video Sharing with Filters Google Rating: 4.3

Apple Store Rating: 4.7

TikTok Media Sharing Network 2.8 Billion Users

$1.9 Billion Revenue

3+ Billion App Downloads

Short-Form Video Content Creation Google Rating: 4.3

Apple Store Rating: 4.7

YouTube Media Sharing Network 2.3 Billion Users

$19.7 Billion Revenue

30 Million Premium Subscribers

Video Uploading and Sharing Google Rating: 4.1

Apple Store Rating: 4.7

Quora Discussion Forum 190 Million Monthly Active Users

$2 Billion Annual Revenue

Question and Answers Thread Google Rating: 4.4

Apple Store Rating: 4.7

Pinterest Content Sharing Platform 478 Million Monthly Active Users

$1.6 Billion Revenue

Visual Discovery and Bookmarking Google Rating: 4.5

Apple Store Rating: 4.8

Medium Blogging and Publishing Network 60 Million Monthly Users Publishing and Reading Articles Google Rating: 4.4

Apple Store Rating: 4.8

LinkedIn Relationship Network 756 Million Members

$8 Billion Revenue

Professional Networking and Job Searching Google Rating: 4.5

Apple Store Rating: 4.2

Ask.fm Anonymous Social Network 12.6 Million Monthly Users

99 Million App Downloads

Anonymous Questions and Answers Google Rating: 3.9

Apple Store Rating: 4.3

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Most Common Types of Social Media Apps

Social media plays an integral role in building brand awareness, fostering communication with customers, and building a niche audience. While navigating through how to make social media apps, understanding the contrast between different types of social media and how users interact is essential. Here are some of the popular social media types:

1. Social Networks

Social networking platforms help you connect with your targeted audience and are designed to share text and visual content online. They are best for networking, event organizing, and advertisement. Are you wondering how to create a social network? You need to analyze the gaps in the market to structure the successful app plan.

Used for:

It is best for building connections directly with customers in specific geographical regions, communities, and interest groups.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It facilitates real-time communication through messages, calls, and video chats. There’s a risk of personal info being exposed.
Social apps enable the dissemination of news like wildfire. The platform can be used to spread false information.
The platform can be great for professional networking and career opportunities. Excessive ads while scrolling can be overwhelming.

Examples

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • X (Formerly Twitter)
  • Threads

2. Discussion Forums

Discussion forums are an excellent way to engage in discussions in a community-oriented space. They allow users to ask and answer questions and share experiences, insights, and tips. The platform is organized into threads and categories, making it easy for users to participate in discussions based on their interests.

Used for

It is best for having discussions, networking, and forming niche-based communities.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It facilitates in-depth and focused discussions. Too many threads can be overwhelming to navigate.
You can find expert opinions and answers. There’s a potential for off-topic discussions and spam.
It encourages community building.

Examples

  • Reddit
  • Quora

3. Content Sharing Networks

Content-sharing networks help users upload, share, and view various media types, such as images, videos, and links. These types of social networking platforms focus on aesthetics and shared content quality.

Used for:

It is best for visual storytelling, brand-building, and social commerce.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is great for building engagement through visuals. It doesn’t cater to content creators who focus on text content.
The platform is excellent for brand promotion and personal expression. It may increase privacy risks across the internet.
It is feasible to discover new content and trends.

Examples

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr

4. Bookmarking Networks

Social bookmarking websites allow internet users to share their web pages, articles, blog posts, images, and videos. This plays an integral role in growing your site’s organic traffic and search engine rankings.

Used for:

It is a great platform to save, organize, and share links to their favorite web pages.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is great for organizing and finding resources. It is dependent on user curation for quality.
Users can easily share valuable links. The platform can become cluttered without proper organization.
The platform is great for discovering content based on user preferences.

Examples

  • Pinterest
  • Flipboard
  • StumbleUpon

5. Consumer Review Networks

Consumer review networks allow users to post reviews and ratings of products, services, and businesses. It delivers valuable feedback to other customers and businesses alike, helping brands grow credibility, online visibility, and overall positive online reputation.

For instance, if you want to check out the ratings of apps like Tubi, Trustpilot is a great option to find the right movie streaming services.

Used for:

The platform is great for finding out potential customers’ satisfaction and experiences, including numerical ratings and written comments.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It helps consumers make informed decisions. There’s a potential for fake reviews.
The platform provides businesses with feedback. The negative reviews can impact the business’s credibility.
It can boost or harm a business’s reputation.

Examples

  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Trustpilot

6. Blogging and Publishing Networks

Blogging and publishing platforms allow users to write, publish, and share long-form content, including articles, essays, and blog posts. Since blogging has become a staple of successful marketing, it is a great option for businesses to promote their offerings and services on a large scale.

Used for:

It allows users to build, write, publish, and manage content online, giving a greater scope for personalization.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It is an excellent platform for content creation and editing. It requires constant efforts and content creation.
The platform offers various customizable templates and themes. It can be difficult to attract and retain an audience.
It is best for building a personal and professional brand.

Examples

  • Medium
  • WordPress
  • Blogger

7. Relationship Networks

Relationship networks focus on building and maintaining personal and professional relationships. These platforms can help users find career opportunities, build connections, and stay updated on industry news.

Used for:

It is best for facilitating networking, communication, and social interaction among users.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It strengthens personal and professional relationships. These types of apps may raise privacy and security concerns.
The platform offers various connection-building tools and features. These types of platforms are more prone to misinformation and fake news.
It has advanced features for planning, promotion, and event management.

Examples

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace

8. Interest-Based Networks

Interest-based networks connect users based on shared hobbies, interests, and passions. Users can access niche communities where users can share and discover content related to their interests.

Used for:

The platform is best for gathering information about your interests and fostering connections with like-minded individuals.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It helps you find communities based on your interests. It may cause a limited audience that is outside of specific interests.
The platform encourages niche content creation and sharing. The platform can be less dynamic than broader social networks.
Users can get a focused community experience.

Examples

  • Goodreads
  • fm
  • DeviantArt

9. Anonymous Social Networks

If you don’t want to display your identity, anonymous social networks are a great place to interact and share content without revealing your name or personal information. These platforms encourage privacy and foster honest and open discussions.

Used for:

It is best for users to express themselves freely without any fear of judgment or exposure.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It protects user privacy. It may spark abusive or triggering arguments.
The platform is a safe place for sensitive topics. The platform is not right for building trust and credibility.
It offers advanced moderation tools to prevent any conflict.

Examples

  • Whisper
  • 4chan
  • Yik Yak

10. Sharing Economy Networks

Sharing economy networks provide peer-to-peer sharing of goods and services. It connects users who are looking to rent, share, or sell items and services, promoting resource efficiency and community trust.

Used for:

The platform is a great collaborative marketplace where opportunities are created, and extract value is extracted from idle possessions or talents.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
It promotes resource sharing and sustainability. It may cause trust or privacy concerns.
The platform provides income opportunities. The app may face regulatory and legal challenges.
It grows community trust and collaboration.

Examples

  • Airbnb
  • Uber
  • TaskRabbit

11. Social Shopping Networks

It is a combination of social media and e-commerce platforms that allow users to discover, share, and shop for products. Social shopping networks offer features like reviews, recommendations, and influencer partnerships.

Used for:

It is best for marketing, browsing, shopping, and completing purchases on products or services.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Its advanced social elements enhance the shopping experience. The users may encounter scams and frauds.
Users can find new and trending products/services. It causes delivery issues due to poorly maintained feeds.
It entails social proof for purchasing decisions.

Examples

  • Instagram Shopping
  • Etsy
  • Poshmark

12. Video Hosting Platforms

Videos play an integral role on the internet, helping marketers achieve a positive return on investment. The video hosting platform simplifies the process of storing, managing, and delivering video content. If you’re looking to make your social platform stand out online, use apps like CapCut for visually stunning video content.

Used for:

The platform is best for content like short clips, full-length movies, and other social features.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Its advanced social elements enhance the shopping experience. The users may encounter scams and frauds.
Users can find new and trending products/services. It causes delivery issues due to poorly maintained feeds.
It entails social proof for purchasing decisions.

Examples

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Dailymotion

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Quantitative Metrics for Social Media Apps

Social media platforms are being evaluated through quantitative metrics to track the performance and impact of content. These metrics provide insights into how well your content is resonating with the audience and how effectively the social media strategy is implemented. Many companies are now focusing on social media efforts and spending. According to Statista, the social media advertising market is expected to grow by around $220 billion in 2024.

While figuring out how to make a social media app, you need to understand the common metrics to keep track of social media profiles. Here are some of the most important ones below:

1. Engagement Rate

The engagement rate measures the level of interaction the people have with your brand. It strongly showcases how well your content is resonating with the audience.

The definition of “audience” may vary. You might want to calculate engagement on the basis of the number of followers. Other than that, engagement can be driven by people who haven’t yet followed you.

2. Reach

Reach is the number of people who see your content. It is great to monitor your average reach and the reach of each individual post, story, or video. You can also measure the overall reach of your page or profile.

How do we measure it?

The metric calculates the percentage of your reach made up of followers vs. non-followers. If non-followers look up to your content, it means it’s being shared or doing well in the algorithms.

3. Impressions

Impressions identify the number of times people saw your content. They can be measured by post and by the overall number of impressions on your social media profile.

They are a good indicator of how well your piece of content is performing. Impressions tell a lot about your content’s potential visibility on social media.

4. Follower Growth

Follower growth helps track the increase or decrease of followers over time. It indicates the effectiveness of your content strategy in garnering new followers. The ideal graph shows steady follower growth, which means you’re reaching out to more people.

5. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who view only one page and leave the site. It helps in getting insights into how well your page is working. If there’s a high bounce rate, you may need to reevaluate your current strategy.

Evaluating the bounce rate metric helps determine the strategy’s loopholes and covers the areas of improvement.

6. Video Views and Engagement

Video views and engagement measure the number of times a video is watched. The engagement metrics include likes, shares, and comments on the video.

Video metrics are commonly in-depth, and they’re getting more advanced with every app update. You can track data points like total playback time, average viewing time, number of replays, complete views, demographics of audience reached, and traffic source.

7. Amplification Rate

The amplification rate is the combination of shares per post and the number of overall followers. The rate your followers take your content and share it through their networks is the amplification rate metric.

According to the metrics, the higher the amplification rate, the more likely the follower base will be expanded.

8. Story Completion Rate

The story completion rate is the number of users watching your stories from the first frame to the last. This indicates how engaging and compelling your stories are for the viewers. If you see the metric falling off after a certain point, then you need to reevaluate the specific part of the campaign.

9. Audience Demographics

The demographics showcase insights into your followers’ age, gender, location, and interests, allowing you to tailor your content strategy effectively.

For instance, if you sell women’s clothing, your ad campaigns need to be tailored to women. Audience demographics ensure that you’re reaching the right people.

10. Virality Rate

This metric identifies how fast your content is reaching a wider audience. Calculating the virality rate is useful for short-form video content such as TikTok or Instagram reels. It also gives you insights into what kind of reels or YouTube Shorts are likely to be recommended on respective platforms.

How Do You Acquire Users for Your Social Media App?

Garnering users for your social media needs a strategic approach that combines marketing, engagement, and optimization techniques. In order to build a social media app and grow your user base, here are the following methods:

1. Define Your Target Audience

First, you need to identify your ideal users’ demographics, interests, and behaviors. If you’re figuring out how to make a social media app, it is suggested to use market research tools and conduct competitor analysis to gather data. After conducting the evaluation, create user personas tailored to your research.

2. App Store Listing Optimization

Then, you need to create an engaging and informative app store listing. To optimize it, use relevant keywords and compelling descriptions to cover the app’s benefits. Moreover, include high-quality app screenshots, videos and app icons.

At the same time, you can also encourage your loyal users to leave positive reviews and ratings.

3. Implement Social Media Marketing Strategies

The most important part is promoting your app on popular social media platforms. You can share content such as videos, infographics, and user testimonials. Moreover, partner with influencers and well-known personalities to reach a broader audience.

You can also use targeted ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach potential users.

4. Content and Email Marketing

To improve your app’s reach, create valuable and shareable content online. Write articles about topics relevant to your app’s niche and publish them on reputable websites to reach new audiences. Moreover, implementing effective SEO strategies will help in growing organic traffic.

For more specific targeting, you can send personalized and engaging emails to nurture leads and encourage app downloads.

5. Incentives

To attract users, you can implement an incentive strategy. You can offer referral programs, discounts, and promotions and host contests with attractive prizes to create a buzz in the market.

6. Partner with Other Apps

For promotions, you can also collaborate with complementary apps or websites. You can go for cross-promotion, where you can promote each other’s apps to your respective user bases. Also, you can offer commissions to partners who refer new users.

7. Utilizing Retargeting Campaigns

Many users show interest but don’t download the app. To reach these types of users, you can use retargeting ads. Use platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads for retargeting. Moreover, create personalized ads that showcase the app’s benefits and encourage users to download.

How to Build a Social Media App: Design Best Practices

Creating a social media platform can be tricky, yet it can become a money-making machine if done correctly. You must ensure the app’s design is intuitive, easy to navigate, and drives audience engagement. If you’re navigating through how to design a social media app, you need to go for the following best practices:

1. Simplicity

People love simplicity. A clean design enthralls users towards the app’s value rather than distracting them away from it. To create social media platform with intuitive and user-friendly elements, here are the following practices:

  • Use a minimalistic layout and avoid clutter and excessive elements. Adopt clean lines, ample white space, and clear visuals to make the interface easy to navigate.
  • Highlight the most important features and functions that ensure users can access them quickly without any unnecessary distractions.
  • Design seamless user flows that guide users through tasks with minimal steps and clear instructions.

2. Communication is Key

Effective communication helps in enhancing user engagement and satisfaction. To maintain a transparent communication:

  • Use concise and easy-to-understand language for instructions, alerts, and notifications. Avoid complex technical jargon or ambiguous terms.
  • Provide immediate and responsive feedback for user actions, such as button presses or form submissions.
  • Incorporate interactive elements like chatbots or help icons to assist users and answer real-time questions.

3. Focus on Navigation

Making navigation easier is the key to driving users towards your app. To make your navigation seamless and efficient, here are some of the best practices to follow:

  • Design intuitive and easily accessible menus, including a bottom navigation bar or a side drawer. It helps users to find what they’re looking for quickly.
  • Add a robust search feature that allows users to find content, profiles, or features efficiently.
  • Use of familiar navigation patterns to reduce the learning curve and enhance usability.

4. Keep Consistency

If you’re looking to build your brand identity, consistency in design elements is crucial to give a cohesive and professional look. To maintain consistency, here are some of the best practices to follow while you create your own social media app:

  • Maintain consistency in colors, fonts, button styles, and other UI elements throughout the app.
  • Use consistent terminology for actions and features in order to avoid confusion.
  • Use interactive elements that are consistent across the app.

5. Round Design Elements

Soft aesthetics are highly preferable as they’re softer and less aggressive to the eye than sharp corners. Let’s drag you a bit towards the science behind this. Some researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute published a paper in 2019 stating the exact amount of the neural response when the eye sees an object based on the corner angles.

The results below the graph show that the sharper the sides, the more neural spikes they evoke in the visual system’s neurons. However, rounder shapes are easier for the brain to consume.

infographic showing neural activity study for round shaped app design

Here are some of the common best practices to make your own social media app:

  • Incorporate elements like rounded buttons, profile pictures, icons, and edges.
  • Make sure the size and proportion of the rounded elements are balanced and appropriate for the overall app design.
  • Give adequate spacing around rounded elements to prevent clutter and improve usability.
  • Use contrasting colors and shades to make rounded elements stand out against the background.

6. Allow Personalization

Users are always looking for personalized, tailored experiences that understand their preferences and intent. To build a social media app, here are the best practices to follow:

  • Add personalized content recommendations based on the user’s interests, behaviors, and interactions to keep the feed relevant.
  • Enable users to customize their profiles with personalized avatars, cover photos, and bio sections.
  • Integrating inclusive design to ensure it is accessible and caters to diverse user needs and preferences.

Are you steering through how much does app design cost? There are many factors involved, including app type, complexity, location, and functionality.

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Why Build a Social Media App?

Social media is a great platform for creating and developing a brand. If you’re still thinking about why create a social media app, here are the following reasons below:

1. Growing Market

The social media user base totals 4.89 billion people. This means that there’s a significant opportunity to tap into untouched audiences and communities. Social media appeals to a wide range of demographics, allowing niche targeting and specialized communities.

2. Monetization Opportunities

With a large and engaged user base, you can gather substantial revenue through targeted advertising, integrating user data to deliver relevant ads. Moreover, there are various types of monetization strategies to generate a steady revenue stream.

3. Community Building

Social media platforms are great for helping people connect, share, and engage with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community. The features of social media apps encourage interaction, such as messaging, commenting, and content sharing, to keep users active on your platform.

4. Innovation and Differentiation

Creating unique features and functionalities helps you differentiate your app from competitors, address market gaps, and offer a new perspective. Focusing on an intuitive and seamless user experience garners high user satisfaction and engagement.

5. Brand Loyalty and Recognition

A successful social media app assists user in growing their brand’s visibility and reputation, making your platform an innovator in the digital space. Moreover, a well-designed and strategically positioned app can potentially capture a large market share from established players.

Build Your Own Social Media App with Trango Tech

Looking into the fast-growing networking market, creating a social media app can be a rewarding endeavor. These apps facilitate connecting with people globally and assist millions of businesses in thriving in the digital world of the Internet. To build a successful social media app, these above factors and best practices will help you decide on the right tools and strategies.

Are you thinking about how to create a social media platform? Then you need Trango Tech by your side. With our extensive years of experience in the app development market, our developers are experts in building social media platforms that can be a great future competitor to giants like Facebook and Instagram. Make your own social media app today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it possible to create a social media app for free?

Yes, it is possible to create your own social media platform. If you’re navigating through how to create a social network app from scratch, here are the steps you need to follow:

Define Concept and Goals

You need to outline a clear concept and identify the purpose, target audience, and the problem your app will solve.

Conduct Market Search

It is important to analyze current trends, competitors, and user preferences. To gather information, you need to conduct surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

Define Key Features

Based on your research, you need to find the core features that need to be incorporated into the app, including user registration and profiles, news feed or timeline, content creation and sharing, messaging and notifications, search functionality, and privacy settings.

Development and Design

You can use no-code or low-code platforms to create your app. It offers pre-built templates, drag-and-drop interfaces and automatic code generation to help you build apps without any extensive coding knowledge. Furthermore, use free design tools like Canva and Figma to create UI and UX designs for your app.

Testing

After your app is ready using free development tools and platforms, conduct beta testing with a small group of users to identify and fix bugs.

Launch and Market

After everything is finalized, prepare for the launch by strategizing the marketing plan. The plan should include social media campaigns, influencer partnerships, content marketing, and email marketing. Moreover, optimize your app store listing to make it accessible to a wider audience.

App Monetization

Integrate the chosen monetization strategies based on user behavior and market trends. You can opt for various types, such as in-app advertising, subscription models, in-app purchases, and affiliate marketing.

Q. How much does it cost to create a social network app?

A. The cost of a social media app varies depending on its complexity, features, location, and app development company. Here are the following cost estimates for different types of apps:

  • A simple social media app with basic capabilities like user profiles, photo sharing, and messaging costs between $30,000 to $80,000.
  • Moreover, an intermediate social media app with complicated features like geolocation, actual-time notifications, and video integration costs $80,000 to $150,000.
  • Last but not least, advanced social media apps with AI integration and other innovative features cost over $250,000 or more.

The costs of each app mentioned above are a general estimate. If you’re wondering how much it costs to build an app, partner with our team of experts to discuss a quote. Furthermore, if you’re wondering how to build a social network app, expert assistance will help you navigate through the challenges.

Q. What are the challenges of creating a social network app like Instagram and Facebook?

A. When you create an app like Instagram or Facebook, there are various challenges involved which include scale, complexity, and user expectations associated with these platforms. Developing an app like these competitors requires a skilled design, development, and marketing team.

Moreover, monetization is another factor that needs to be considered to enhance user experience. However, with the right resources and tools, making a social media app is achievable.

Besides how to make a social media app, if you’re wondering how to create a dating app, read our recent blog to find out the most common functionalities and tech stacks involved. Moreover, if you’re looking to find a partner, there are many popular apps like Tinder to find a potential date.

Q. How to choose the right features for a social media app?

A. When you’re navigating through how to make a social media app, make sure to study the existing social media platforms to find the most suitable features and USP. Not to mention, look out for the respective type of social media you’re building. The most important features that need to be integrated are:

Signup

This feature needs a new account for app users who sign up. User registration impacts crucial metrics, such as engagement, retention, and referrals.

Profile

A profile feature is a set of information about the user that includes details such as name, age, gender, location, education, personality, and so on.

Chat

The chat in-app feature allows users to contact customer support for assistance or to report an issue. It is also a great way to connect with like-minded individuals.

Search

A search bar is a great tool for finding items, organizations, topics, or people. However, to find the desired thing, this bar needs to be prominent in the app’s user interface.

Posts

This feature allows users to discuss and post topics with their peers and share information and news. Users can easily make posts and receive notifications of recent updates.

Newsfeed

Users can independently upload information through status updates, check-ins, and video, music, or photo uploads.

Notifications

It allows users to receive information about new posts posted by connections, likes, comments, and upcoming events.

Uploading Files

This feature allows users to upload different types of content, including videos, photos, and documents.

Q. Is creating a social media app profitable?

A. Social media platforms facilitate the creation and sharing of content among users. To create a social media app, you need to uncover several factors, such as the app’s unique value proposition, user base, monetization strategies, and market competition.

Social media apps attract a large number of active users and can generate significant revenue through various monetization methods. Moreover, the social media market is highly competitive, and focusing on a specific niche or community can help you carve out a space in the crowded market and attract a loyal user base. If you’re figuring out how to make a social media platform, partner with a reputable app development company today!

Q. Is it feasible for a one person to create a social media app?

A. Are you wondering how to make a social media app individually? Theoretically speaking, it is possible for one person to create a social media app but doing so would be quite challenging and time-consuming. Before you create a social media app, it is crucial to have understanding of the app development complexities. You need to have the technical, design and server management skills to build a successful app.

Furthermore, if you don’t have extensive coding knowledge, you can use online development platforms to build an app with drag-and-drop tools. For more control and customization, consider using frameworks like React Native and Flutter.

About The Author

blog author
Rida Shahzad

Rida is a seasoned content writer with over four years of writing background in app development company. She holds a degree in Business Administration and has a keen knowledge in writing technical blogs, conversion-driven web pages, and online guides. Beyond her skills as a writer, Rida is also an artist, often found painting landscapes and expressing her creativity through poetry.

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