Social media apps have become an integral part of your lives, and they are here to stay. Moreover, they are not just for social interactions but have immense significance as a promising market for all niches. So are you a budding developer planning on developing a social media app? One of the first questions that can come to your mind is, “how hard is the process of social media app development?”

In this article, we will answer all your questions about social media app development. We will also list the steps that are needed to develop such an app. Here are some of the significant aspects that we will cover.

  • The benefits of creating a social network
  • The main types of social media apps
  • The best options for creating a social media app
  • The necessary features that an app should have
  • Steps to create a social media app
  • How much it costs

The Benefits of a Social Network

When you think of social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, they are all online social networking platforms. The primary purpose is to bring together a group of people who share common interests or have real-life connections. It also allows the users to share views, ideas, photos, videos, information, and other posts. It has made these platforms emerge as handy marketing tools.

The interface of these apps is kept super simple to make them user-friendly. Here are some of the essential features of these platforms.

  • A profile of the member that includes their personal information, image, and lives update
  • An activity feed that displays the latest updates from the connected individuals
  • A messaging service for directly communicating with a user

Simultaneously, existing platforms can result in a distraction overload, suffer from data breaches, and hardly offer any personalization scope. There can also be a constant flow of ads and other forms of promotions. By developing a social media app of your own, you can not only overcome these limitations but also create a customized social space specifically designed for your community.

Take a look at some of the main benefits of your social media app development.

  • With your app, you can overcome the existing limitations and create your own rules.
  • You have complete control of your own space’s design and look and can set your creative limits.
  • You have complete access to the data related to the members of your community. It allows you to plan and communicate with others more effectively.
  • You can sell things to the other members and earn money on your terms.
  • The content is freely available to you and all the other members without competition or marketing algorithms that work as filters.

Types of Social Media Apps

Before developing a social media app, it is necessary to know about the various types of apps. It will help you choose a specific niche and also provide a better understanding of the competitive landscape. Here is a list of some of the major types.

1. Social Network Apps

These are also called relationship networks that most of us commonly used. They help people to interact and share information, personal and professional. The major examples are Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

2. Media Sharing Networks

These apps allow you to share media content which includes photos, videos, GIFs. Some of the most popular ones are Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Vimeo.

3. Consumer Review Networks

These are platforms like Yelp and Trustpilot. They help consumers to come together to discuss and review the businesses they have interacted with.

4. Community and Discussion Forums

In these forums, members share experiences, post queries, and share tips about various topics. They also allow users to learn from the experts of a subject. The best examples are Quora and Reddit.

5. Blogging and Publishing Platforms

These platforms are specifically created for bloggers and help them to publish their content. Some examples of these types of platforms are, Gator, etc.

Options for Creating a Social Media App

With no-code product development options becoming popular, there are plenty of options for social media app development.  There are four options that you can choose from.

1. SaaS Solution

A few SaaS platforms provide out-of-the-box features that allow you to build your own social community. Using platforms like Disciple, you can quickly create an app and customize the elements just the way you want.

2. Open-Source Software

There are free and paid versions of such software that can be downloaded and configured the way you want. They offer excellent flexibility in terms of customization, but you will have to bear the hosting expenses. Moreover, there is no customer support or regular software updates.

3. CMS with a Social Network Extension

The most popular CMS platforms like WordPress or Drupal can help build a social media website or app with the support of plugins. However, the features offered by these plugins are limited. Also, they are more helpful in creating a social media website rather than an app.

4. Develop from Scratch

If you have a unique idea that needs the support of advanced technology, the best option is to create an app from scratch. You may need to enlist the help of an app development company which can be quite expensive. The entire process can also be more time-consuming than the other options.

Features of a Social Media App

Before you start developing a social media app, here are some of the must-have features it needs to have.

1. Signup

Users should be able to use multiple registration options. A combination of email and phone number can be used to generate a password. There should also be a “forgot password” option.

2. User Profile

Each user should have a profile that contains their name, location, and photo. The page layout should be friendly and attractive.

3. Post Creation

Users should be able to create content and add photos or videos as they want. They should also be able to share news, upload media, and discuss issues with their community members.

4. Search

This is an important option that allows users to search for news, user names, and any location.

5. News Feed

This occupies the app’s central space and allows the user to see the main events in the other users’ lives.

6. Messaging or Chat Service

This is a convenient feature that allows users to chat in a private mode.

7. Security

The most crucial aspect of the app is to ensure that the user data remains secure at all times. There should be an accessible privacy settings option in the menu to allow the user to customize how much information or media is visible to their choice of contacts.

Apart from these, there are plenty of advanced features like chatbots, augmented reality, and ephemeral content.

Steps to Create a Social Media App

The first step in social media app development is to decide what your app will be about. Next, you need to study the market and the competition to understand the demands and opportunities. Finally, you need to develop strategies for delivering incentives and future growth options. Monetization strategies can also be planned as required.

Before the design phase, you need to decide whether the app is meant for Android or Apple users. The fact is, these two platforms use two different technical structures. It becomes more critical if you are developing the app from scratch.

In the next stage, you need to develop the app’s workflow. It is best to understand your design and budget limitations and then pick only those functions and features you can implement. Once the basic elements are planned, the development team needs to prepare a wireframe of the app. It provides a structured view of the app and provides an idea of the end-user experience.

The next step is creating a prototype for the app. It is a working model that allows the developers to understand the app’s functioning and make the necessary changes for the best experience. The goal is to create a user-friendly and intuitive design that the users will love.

Cost of Social Media App Development

The cost depends on the options that you choose for developing the app. Choosing a SaaS or CMS platform is the least expensive option and also requires less time. Using open-source platforms cost more in terms of software and developer expenses. Developing a social media app from scratch is the most expensive option. It depends on the overall development time, and the cost can rise as much as $95000 for a single platform- iOS or Android.

Final Words

Once it is developed, you need to focus on increasing the number of users and growing your community. Next, you have to use the right analytics tools to keep track of user engagement and assess the app’s overall success. It will allow you to make the necessary changes and development in the future.

There you have it. We have given you a concise list of actions about developing a social media app. Admittedly, it isn’t a simple task. But with the right ideas and a dedicated technical team, your concept can bring rich dividends in the long run.

Additionally, you can also hire an app development agency through Supersourcing to help you out. Also, before sharing your app ideas, sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the company. Make sure they have the expertise and talent to develop the right app.