How to Create a Social Network App from Scratch [A Complete Guide]Home » Guide » How To Create A Social Media App Published On: February 19, 2021 Last Updated: November 14, 2022 Before Facebook, no one really knew what social media was and if there could be a platform to communicate with the world in a tap. Now, the scenario is reversed! Even new social media trends like Clubhouse is bringing intense competition to the social networks’ main players (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat). It is valued at $100 million in just a few weeks! This forces every budding entrepreneur to think of how to create a social media app. All thanks to Mark for setting a power trend!However, these social media apps often get failed if have no plan beforehand since the market is wide and packed with diversity. So, full-proof planning is a must if you want to create a social networking app for your business. What sort of planning? Read this entire blog post and you will understand all facets of the development process for social media apps.ContentsSocial Media App StatisticsHow to Create a Social Media App?Cost to Create a Social Media AppMVP Features of a Social Media AppAdvanced Features of Social Media AppSocial Media App Technology StackHow to Make Money From Your Social Media AppBest Practices of Social Media App DesignTypes of Social Media AppsBenefits of Creating a Social Network AppOptions for Creating a Social Media AppFAQ About Creating a Social Media AppDevelop Your Custom Social Media AppSocial Media App Statistics1996. That’s the year when the first-ever networking site Bolt (now closed) was released. Following that, services like Six Degrees, Live Journal, and Friendster launched all paving the way for the leader, Facebook, in 2004.YearApplication1996Bolt1997Six Degrees1998Open diary1999LiveJournal2000Habbo2002Friendster2003LinkedIn2004Facebook(Source: Wikipedia)Since then, social media networks are booming so much that now there are over 3.6 billion people using social media globally, which will grow to 4.41 billion by 2025.(Source: Statista)But, each social media platform has a special and distinct number of audiences.For example, in 2020, Facebook had the most audiences active on the app, following Youtube and Whatsapp.(Source: Statista)However, as a businessman, you will need to decide on the target demographic for your social media app product. So, here is the gender-dependent overview of social media site users. With this, you can analyze who you need to target more.Social NetworkMaleFemaleFacebook63%75%Instagram31%43%YouTube78%68%Twitter24%21%LinkedIn29%24%Pinterest15%42%Snapchat24%24%Tiktok56%44%WhatsApp21%19%(Source: OurWorldinData)As seen in the table, most females prefer to be on social networks for photo sharing (Instagram & Facebook), whereas most males prefer to be on social networks for video sharing (Youtube). This analysis adds value to target the audience for your unique mobile app product category.Besides that, you will need to look at the profits per share to finally settle on your start-up. So, let’s look at these giant brands’ quarterly sales as of 2020 – the biggest concern of any businessman! Social Media AppsRevenue(Q3 2020)Facebook$21.47 billionInstagram$13.86 billionYouTube$5.04 billionLinkedIn$8.05 billionTwitter$936.23 million(Sources: Business Insider, Business of Apps, Statista, Statista, Statista)While Facebook and Instagram lead the chart, the increase in the usage of other social apps also suggests that it will further impact the way customers communicate with products in a mobile world. As most social media users use their cell phones to reach these social media sites, isn’t it a brilliant idea to build a social media app like Instagram and Facebook and have it installed on their devices?Next, let’s check the process to know how to build a social media app.How to Develop a Social Media app?An effective social app can be assured only by a structured approach to social media application development. So, where to get started? Follow the below steps to know how to create a social network app from scratch.Identify Your Target AudienceYou must first identify the essence and then develop a social media network based on set criteria and principles. Decide what your network will be all about. Be sure that you have a full view of the business and developed competition in the community. For that, you must;Research the idea and the competition field carefully,Evaluate the criteria and draw up a portrait of the target audience,Find out how much does it cost and how many resources do you still need,And, set the main success metrics to be accomplished.All this helps you find a distinctive niche when creating a mobile social media platform.Decide on Features and FunctionsIt’s possible to get lost in the many different functions and basic features you want to incorporate when you first begin designing your own social media app like Instagram.But initially, to ensure that all the features are necessary at this early stage, make sure to consider the limits, budget, and business requirements. You can also make a list of features by checking existing social media platforms.Approach Mobile App Development CompanyTo create a social media smartphone app, you need to hire a custom social media app development firm. The firm will assist you with strategies to make your idea into a live application.A professional app development company has years of experience and follows a standard mobile app development process to create your social media network application.To help you find the best social media application development team, you can refer to the technology stack, portfolio, and references from prior clients.UI/UX Design Workflow & BuildTo craft a perfect UI design flow, it has to go through various stages like,Deciding on frameworks for ModuleReviewing the framework chosenPlanning the app’s route mapDeveloping wireframes and prototypesCreating an effective UI strategyPlanning sprint & designing graphicsCo-relating demands for the interfaceOnce the prototyping of the app is done, the social media application development team will build its back-end by setting up servers, databases, APIs, and working out perfect storage solutions. To break down this process, you can follow the below-mentioned points:Deciding on an approach to developmentBuilding each iteration of the screenCoding and encoding models at the back-endExecuting iteration and framesContinuous testing for quality assurance for both Android and iOSLaunch & MaintainIf you decide to develop your own social network app with our development team, our technical staff will also ensure the publication process, providing all documents, including screens, and video guides that explain the application effectively. All this allows brands to stand out in the Apple Store and Google Play Market for social applications.Once the project is launched to the application markets, we also promise all forms of service and the introduction of upgrades for our clients.Looking for tech collaborators for building a social media app solution like Instagram?Hire Us How Much Does it Cost to Create a Social Media App?To get down to the financials, you first need to understand the performance indicators that affect the social media app development cost, such asBusiness modelNumber of featuresStack with innovationsSet of timelinesPlatform of developmentProject managementUser expectations & User managementUI/UX complexityControl of programsQuality assurance and consistencyAnalysis of social media marketHowever, if you need a rough figure, simply refer to the table below where we have stated the average number of hours it can take for basic and advanced features integration for both Android and iOS social media app.Furthermore, check this detailed guide out on how much does it cost to develop an app?Features of Social Media AppicationEstimated Man HoursAndroidiOSSign-In77User Profiles & News Feed1820Post Likes & Comments1414Chat2120Uploading Photos and Videos88Push notifications34Privacy & Settings66Live Streaming2220Geo-Location & Tagging98Transient Stories1215Block or Disable64AR & Face Filters3230Multi-Language Support2020Data Analytics1010MVP Features of a Social Media AppAlthough social media apps typically approach overlapping demographics, starting with MVP features (essential features to create social media app) is advisable and they are listed below.Sign In: This minimum viable product feature helps users to sign up for user activation of different options to create an account, such as an email & password, or register by phone.User Profile: It is to provide users with space and resources for building a social media custom account and how they consume the content, in line with its social design. Name, gender, phone number, website, profile image, bio, etc. are the basic changeable fields.Upload Photos & Videos: Adding a feature for post creation that helps users to share images and videos is one of the keys to creating a social networking platform like Instagram. Details such as previewing, downloading original content, commenting, tagging, taking photos, etc. should not be ignored.Post Likes & Comments: Encouraging people to generate content is the entire point of creating a social media app. Only if the users interact with the website, whether by liking the post or commenting on the posts generated by the people within their network, the social network app will flourish. Hence, to create a social media app, this is a must-have feature.Search: A working search bar makes it easier for users of your app to browse inside the application and locate the persons, websites, items, a relevant discussion, or some type of information they are searching for.Chat: Regardless of what is the subject of the app, the chat feature is crucial. It allows users to communicate with text, voice, photos, or videos whether in person or group chat.Push Notifications: Users in your app want to grasp what is going on with their favorite app. As an app owner, you want to launch promotions, submit files, and communicate better with your app users. So in both cases, push notifications do wonder to share updates on their mobile phones without having to log in to the app.Privacy & Settings: To ensure that the users of the app can access the social media app anonymously, and all their sensitive data are safe, it is very important to have a high degree of privacy and settings. This includes editing their profiles, enable/disable push alerts, customizing the account as private, etc.Have no idea of what MVP is? Read our detailed guide on minimum viable product development.Advanced Features of Social Media AppIf you have set up your social networking company and are ready to take it to the next stage, incorporate advanced features into the Android and iOS social media app like Instagram as stated below.Live Streaming: As more and more people are accustomed to watching live streams, it is becoming increasingly popular. People tend to watch live streams over posts these days because users can directly communicate with an audience and perform product or workout demos.Transient Stories: Much like a normal post, users will add their stories with text, photos, videos, stickers, live face filters, and stickers and are shown in a slideshow style. But in 24 hours, they will disappear, unlike posts.Geo-Location & Tagging: The geo-location integration will help to expand your application’s features as users enjoy posting locations where they take profile pictures and images. With tagging feature, users would be able to tag the person with whom they capture images.Block or Disable: Unknown individuals trolling your post, videos, or trying to defame is one of the things to worry about on your social network. But, with the block and disable functionality, users can remove any damaging behavior and put a ban on comments.AR & Face Filters: Computer-generated effects added to the real-life image reflected by your camera are augmented reality (AR) filters and funny face filters. This feature allows users to modify the image that their front or back camera shows.Multi-Language Support: Apps for social networking must transcend, creating devices that hit a foreign audience. Think of Twitter, more than 40% of users choose a favorite language that is not English, but market analysis helps to explain the language support you need to draw users from your app to empower each other.Link With Social Networks: This function lets you connect your app with other common social networking sites, to create a social media app popular among the masses (Other than Facebook and Instagram). You will not only boost the app’s visibility with this integration but also increase organic traffic volume in a limited period of time.Data Analytics: Enabling access to data and analytics helps you to monitor where your users are situated, the type of computer, and the content in which they are most interested. This will help you to ensure that you have the greatest user experience.In search of expert developers to integrate advanced features to your app idea? We can help.Talk With Experts Social Media App Technology StackThe bigger the project, the larger the stack of technologies to be used. At Space-O, here’s what we use for create a social networking app for Android and iOS app.Tech StackProgramming LanguagesSwiftKotlinPHPNode jsIDEXcodeAndroid StudioCloud StorageAmazon S3DatabaseMongo DBRedisMySQLPostgreSQLUtilitiesGoogle AnalyticsMixpanelVisual Website OptimizerPayment GatewaysBraintreePaypalStripeMessaging PlatformTwilioNexmoSinchRestCommLibrariesGoogle MapSocketAnalyticsMixpanelGoogle AnalyticsKeen.ioEmailGmailAWSSendGridDeployment platformsCloudiOSAndroidUltimately by making a social media app, you want to make money out of it. Here’re some monetization strategies.How Social Media Apps Make Money?Most social media apps are free to use. So, advertising is the primary source of revenue. However, there are other ways to make money from free software, aside from putting advertisements. Such as,Direct SalesWith a mix of entertaining content feed and an enticing commodity, you will need to find a balance of so much self-promotion and self-expression. In that case, aim to create a social media community with direct purchases. If the mobile app product has a graphic nature and visual appeals, such as interior design, fashion, or real estate, direct sales may be the best option to consider.In-app PurchasesExcelling in a course, ebook, video, or audio file that you know members of your community would love to pay enough for? Offer them the ability to access digital content through in-app purchases right from the app, being part of the monetization strategies.Paid SubscriptionsAs long as the content presents the audience the real value, plenty of them will be ready to opt for a paid subscription. So, do not miss offering a free tier with decent content and one or two premium levels offering more in-depth or high-value content. Also, with an app-based culture, payment systems from Apple and Google make paid subscribing extremely simple.Sponsored ContentHaving lots of committed members of the society on your platform doesn’t promise the money. Paid sponsorship does! To turn your audience reach into money, sponsored posts on your platform is the biggest source (Instagram, for example). Sponsored posts are normal posts with a sponsored tag and a button for call-to-action. However, your company has to be transparent and allow only responsible sponsors to fit the member base.Events and ActivitiesThrough your community site, you can encourage activity and online user experience for various purchases. Your company just needs to add them to your preferred ticketing site and begin selling them.We develop and deploy mobile apps for diverse sectors. Do you want to discuss your idea?Consult With Us Best Practices of Social Media App DesignIn the field of social network architecture, there is a lot of diversity out there. Some sites, including LinkedIn, maintain a rather professional approach, whilst others have a more organic, free-form look (like MySpace). But what is the right way for a social network to be designed? Let’s find out.Social network app design must be simple and recognizableTo stop misleading the users, make sure the look and feel stay consistent across the site and smartphoneAn account should be easy to fill in and should provide others with many forms of transparencyThe content generation and sharing of basic features should be simple and make the process quickAllow the user to categorize the content according to its various characteristics, popularity, or other natureFrom any point of the network use, direct contact functions such as conversations and chatting should be accessible, transparent, and usableLet active users identify groups and exchange dataFor a smooth user interface, tailor colours to the brand guidelinesMoving forward, let’s describe what categories are split into all social media applications.Types of Social Media AppsWhen you are thinking about how to make a social networking app, you must consider these types. This will help you realize which social media niche you’re going to be joining and who are your major rivals.Types of AppsDescriptionTop AppsSocial Network AppsThese apps are used to connect and engage people online, either for their personal needs or professional communication.InstagramLinkedInFacebookClubhouseMedia Sharing NetworksThese are social applications that allow you to exchange media files of all kinds like photos, videos, GIFs, etc.TwitterVimeoTiktokConsumer Review NetworksThese apps are used by users to search or review companies, products, businesses, or brands they have used or experienced.YelpGoogle My BusinessContent Curation NetworksUsers operate such social networking apps for content sharing, discovery, and saving.PinterestMixFlipboardBlogging PlatformsSuch sites for new social media trends allow users to create blogs and post their creative, informative, or technical content.TumblrMediumCommunity and Discussion ForumsThese spaces are used for asking questions and answering them, exchanging stories, perspectives, and tips.QuoraReddit Messenger AppsApps that allow users to chat, call, or initiate a group chat with friends, family, or any individual who is on the application.FacebookSnapchatWhatsAppViberInterest-Based NetworksPeople with common interests are united through this form of social networking app. On such websites, users can share their hobbies and related experiences.GoodreadsSoundcloudBenefits of Creating a Social Network AppWhile the social networking industry is already packed with opportunities, let’s take a look at more reasons why you must not miss the opportunity to be part of the fastest-growing field.High User EngagementIf your social media app is designed with a captivating interface, it is needless to say that you will have more engaging enterprise customers and buyers visiting your app every day right from the moment you create a social media app like Instagram. This improves the traffic and opens a wide scope for more function and achievement growth.Complete Access to DataMainstream social media sites do not offer absolute consumer data access. They keep all information to them only. But, when you create your own mobile application, you have full independence in terms of data which significantly helps to boost your social media marketing and customer acquisition cost.TraceabilityFacebook, for example, creates new leads for any company as a social media app and aims to turn them into revenue as well. You will visibly track the company’s return on investment and make the required adjustments to increase sales. Similar to how Instagram uses Facebook’s Advertising Manager program and affiliate marketing, you can even have a personalized social media software platform and encourage users to profit from it.Purchasing PowerAs per the record, one-fourth of social app users, which is not a small number, purchase goods online. While company owners strive for regular sales, social media platform makes it easy in the least effort. The conversions that happen with social apps are one of the influential advantages of social media app development that improves the global community.Easy MonetizationIn most cases, it is not possible to sell stuff to the audience on established social media sites. But, that’s not the case with your custom social media app product. You can build digital marketplace solutions with social networking apps quickly. Features such as one-click and express purchases are also feasible. You get money and make it convenient for users to purchase the goods and services they want.Want to optimize your social networking services with Android and iOS mobile solutions?We can create a social media app for your business.Contact Us Options for Creating a Social Media AppWith the exponential growth of technology and the emergence of no-code product development, there are various options on how to develop a social media app now. But which one is apt for your platform? Let’s find it.SaaS SolutionSaaS solutions give you the ability to build a social network design for both websites and mobile. To monetize the content, you can customize the look, get an app running quickly, and have customized options based on your preferences. However, this might not be an apt choice if you choose to create an app product for a long-term purpose.Open-Source SoftwareIt is easy to compile and configure open-source applications on your own server. While they provide further customization flexibility for free, you’ll still have to pay for every hosting. Plus, you can not benefit from any customer service or any app upgrades immediately.Develop From ScratchWhen you have an idea, the most suitable option is to develop a social media app like Instagram from scratch. You just need an idea and resources and you can have your entire website or app built with the least effort as everything from ideation to deployment will be handled by the social media mobile app developers. For this, development companies specializing in building social media sites can help you the most.Let’s build a social media app solution that is tailored to your business requirements.Connect With Us Do you still have questions about social media applications? Read the following frequently asked questions searched by users on Google.FAQ About Creating a Social Media AppWhat is a social app?Social media apps, also known as social software, provide personal and professional networking and multimedia resources based on the internet. They concentrate on creating and sustaining user connection, promoting the mechanics of user interaction and conversation.What are the types of social network apps?Social networks (Connect with people)Media sharing networks (Share photos, videos, and other media)Bookmarking networks (Discover, save, and share new content)Consumer review networks (Find and review businesses)Blogging and publishing networks (Publish content online)Discussion forums (Share news and ideas)Interest-based networks (Share interests and hobbies)Which are the best social media applications?FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitterLinkedInPinterestSnapchatTikTokWhatsAppHow much does it cost to make a social media app?<To develop social media platforms with complicated features, sophisticated architecture, and support for two and more channels, the cost of designing such a project is likely to be over $110,000. If you want to create a social media app as MVP, it may cost you around $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the requirements.How much time does it take to make a social media app?Based on the various factors like platform, type of app, project management, complexity, it may take 7 to 12 months to make a social media app.What are the trending features to add to social media apps?AR and Face FiltersNews-feed & Transient StoriesLive StreamingGen Z Psychology-Fused FeaturesMulti-Language SupportThe Virtual Reality (VR) ShiftArtificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatbotsDevelop Your Custom Social Media AppWith no strings attached, people want a true digital connection these days and nothing is better than social media platforms. An app like social media channels helps companies and consumers to connect on a real-time basis on a broader scale. Plus, there’s never been a better time to build one.So, if you are thinking to make a social media app like Instagram for your startup, let’s get connected. We are a professional mobile app development company in Toronto, known for digital transformation for years. Our expert team will help you grasp the new business environment and build a social network app masterpiece. For more queries and consultations, fill out our contact us form and we will connect you with our experts for a 30-mins FREE consultation.Subscribe4 Written byRakesh PatelRakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311. ×WAIT!Do you know we offer FREE 30-min consultation?If you have a project in mind, let’s talk.We are here in Canada. If required, we can meet in person. 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