An Insight into the Technology world.
Analysis and Insight from Savvycom Team.

Social media apps have already taken over a large portion of our lives and the app market, and their number continues to rise. In 2020, the global social penetration rate reached 49 percent, with East Asia and North America having the highest penetration rate at 71 and 69 percent respectively, followed by Northern Europe at 67 percent With the growing number of smartphone users worldwide, new opportunities for social media app development with more advanced features have emerged.

To say that social media is a global phenomenon is almost an understatement, as the number of worldwide social network users is expected to grow from 3.6 billion in 2020 to around 4.4 billion in 2025, around a third of the entire global population.

As a result, many entrepreneurs can’t pass up the opportunity to participate in the booming market and are considering developing new social media platforms. Follow us as we will show you how to make a profitable social media app in this article.

1. Understanding Social Media

“Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. While challenges to the definition of social media arise due to the broad variety of stand-alone and built-in social-media services currently available, there are some common features:

  1. Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications.
  2. User-generated content—such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions—is the lifeblood of social media.
  3. Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social-media organization.
  4. Social media helps the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.” – Wikipedia

The term “social media” refers to how people interact in virtual communities and networks by creating, sharing, and/or exchanging information and ideas.

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2. Types of Social Media Apps

Let’s start by defining the different types of social media apps. This will assist you in determining which niche you will enter and which major competitors will be waiting for you there. The following are the most common types of social media to be aware of:

2.1. Social network apps

They’re used to connect and communicate with other people over the internet. These social networking apps can be used for personal or professional communication (Facebook, Twitter) and LinkedIn).

2.2. Media sharing networks

Users of such social apps can share a variety of media files (photos, videos, GIF files, etc.). Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Vimeo, and Imgur are the most well-known examples of this type.

2.3. Networks for consumer reviews

Customers use social media apps like these to find and review businesses with which they have had dealings. One of the most well-known examples in this category is Yelp.

2.4. Community and discussion forums

These platforms are excellent for posing questions and receiving responses, as well as sharing news, ideas, insights, and experience. Of course, Quora and Reddit are the best social media apps in this category.

2.5. Bookmarking and content curation networks

These apps allow users to share their own content as well as discover and save the content of others. This category of social media includes apps such as Pinterest, Mix, and Flipboard.

2.6. Blogging and publishing platforms

Users can create their own blogs and post content on these social media platforms. Tumblr and Medium have become extremely popular in recent years, with thousands of people posting daily.

2.7. Interest-based networks

People with similar interests are brought together through this type of social networking. On such platforms, users can share their interests and experiences. Check out sites like Goodreads or Last.fm for some ideas.

2.8. Anonymous social networks

Teens particularly enjoy this type of social network because it allows them to communicate anonymously with one another. Whisper, Ask.fm, and Hiddenpost are some of the most popular social media apps in this category.

As you can see, social media apps come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These categories are important because they define the key features of the apps that belong in them. Once you’ve decided on a course of action, make sure you’ve thoroughly researched and analyzed your options.

Jio Health - Telemedicine App Built by Savvycom
Jio Health – Telemedicine App Built by Savvycom

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3. Social Media Trends – Which Features to focus on

Every year, people working in the social media industry discuss the most recent social media trends. This topic may appear to some of us to be threadbare, but it is not. Trends are crucial to keep an eye on and follow in order to keep your social media app current and viable. If you want to create a social media app, pay attention to the following social media trends for 2021:

3.1. Augmented reality and face filters

The trend-setters here are Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok. The funny face filters are still popular, and they don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

3.2. Artificial Intelligence and chatbots

During the forecast period from MordorIntelligence of 2021-2026, the AI Market in Social Media was valued at USD 815.33 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 3,714.89 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 28.77 percent. One of the most important sources of customer intelligence data is social media.

3.3. Live streaming (live videos)

This feature is already available in the most popular social media apps. Users would rather watch live videos than read social media posts. Because people nowadays prefer to watch rather than read, video content is more popular than written content. It’s due to their lack of time and the fact that visual information is easier to comprehend.

3.4. Story content

It’s the type of content that stays on your feed for up to 24 hours before disappearing. Once again, Snapchat and Instagram are at the top of the heap. The amount of time people spend on these social media apps daily has increased due to stories. Isn’t it an excellent way to attract users?

3.5. Focus on Generation Z

According to studies, Millennials are no longer the most influential demographic. A new Generation Z will soon push them aside (people born after 1998). If you’re thinking about how to make a social media app right now, make sure you’ve considered the needs of Gen Z, the next generation of influencers.

3.6. Publishing content on social media

People (and businesses) are increasingly eager to share their content with as many people as possible. Websites are no longer the only place where content can be created. Users of good social media apps can already publish.

4. Social Media App Development

4.1. Social Networking App Basic Guidelines

If you’ve done your research and have all of the materials you’ll need to build your own social network (a mind map, functional specifications), the first step you’ll take with your development team is UX/UI design.

If you want to learn how to make a social media app that looks and feels good, you should first learn some basic design requirements for your future product. These are pieces of advice based on some industry trends, designers’ experience, and related researches, if I’m not mistaken.

Nowadays, all social media apps should follow these simple guidelines:

  • Use blue shades because this color isn’t considered obnoxious.
  • On every screen where they are required, use the same navigation bar with search functions, notifications, and a profile icon.
  • For users to feel comfortable using the app on their device, the entire design of the app should be adapted to a specific platform (there are design guidelines for iOS and Android). At the same time, your app’s key features should be consistent across all platforms. If a user switches from iOS to Android or vice versa, it is necessary to ensure a consistent user experience and feel.
  • To make the user experience similar on any device, a smooth transition from a web app design to a mobile app design is required.
  • Round profile images help to focus on a user’s face, making it easier to remember or distinguish them from the crowd.
  • Posts can be scrolled indefinitely.
  • Simplicity in design and a focus on user content
  • Possibility of expressing oneself through design (custom opportunities like changing a profile picture, cover image, or even profile colors)
  • Users and relevant content can be found easily.
  • Quick sign in or app entry without registration in the early stages to allow users to learn more about your product.

Overall, the quality of your social network design will be largely determined by the designer you hire. Nonetheless, the aforementioned best practices will assist you in finding a happy medium between what you want and what your design should be.

Making designs for the full app version is a good way to design the first (basic) version of your custom app (social media apps included). It’s critical to take a broad view of your project, plan for possible interactions, and create an appropriate app architecture. When your development team sees the big picture, it’ll be clear how to make the social media app you want. They decide which features to save for later versions and which can be implemented in the first version of the app.

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4.2 Features of Social Media App Development

Even though every case is different and every social media app should have at least one unique feature to set itself apart from its competitors, there are a few essential functions that every social media app must-have. The following is a list of features that are recommended for creating a basic social media app:

Social Media App Feature Description Notes
Social authorization Users can register/login via a social network
  • One social network – Facebook or Twitter or G+ (two or more networks influence the estimate)
  • Transfer of account photo and full name included
  • Creation of Facebook developer accounts (develop, staging, production)
  • Facebook review process and support communication are handled by a project manager and not included into the estimate
Feed Users can see a feed with posts by one criterion/logic (basic)
  • Each next criterion/logic influences the estimate
Post creation Users can create posts (basic)
  • Text, photo, geolocation
Post likes Users can like and unlike post
Social notifications Users can like and unlike post
  • New likes, comments on your posts, new friends
  • Automatic refreshing of displayed data on the fly should be implemented additionally
  • Push notifications in background are not included (should be implemented additionally)
User profile Users can manage a profile (basic)
  • Personal information (text fields, birthday, gender), one photo
Search Users can search for one type of entity by one criterion
  • Each next entity influences the estimate
Chat Users can chat (basic)
  • List of chats
  • Send a text message or image, list of messages (with time and a user avatar)
  • Push notifications for new messages and new chats
Push notification module Integration of a module for push notifications (hidden for users)
  • Unsubscribe from push notifications if a user is logged out
  • Specific push notification implementation influences the estimate
Analytics Basic integration with analytics (hidden for users)
  • One Analytics tool (except Fabric)
  • Flurry or Google Analytics/ Firebase or MixPanel
  • Basic SDK configuration (minimum analytics
  • OS versions, devices etc.), screen tracking for Android
  • Develop, staging, production
CMS: Admin authorization Admins can register, log in, and log out
  • Log in, log out
CMS: Admin management Admins can manage other admins
  • CRUD on administrators
  • Full name, email
CMS: User management Admins can manage users
  • Basic sorting, filtering and searching (by name, by email, by ID) included
CMS: Reported user management Admins can manage reported users
  • One entity (a photo or user or post), each next entity adds % to the estimate
  • Can be removed
  • Sorting by amount of claims

5. How to Monetize Your Social Media App?

So, how do you monetize your social media application? To stay in the market for longer, you’ll need a solid monetization strategy. To get you started, here are some techniques.

5.1. Direct Sales

Make direct sales to your social media audience if possible. You’ll need to strike a balance between too much self-promotion and a good mix of interesting content and a good product. Consider direct sales if your product has a visual nature—and visual appeal, such as interior design, fashion, or real estate.

5.2. Video Marketing (Ads)

You can make money with video marketing in a variety of ways. Ad revenue from views, affiliate marketing, and influencer promotion are all examples of this strategy. The video content can be product-centric, resulting in high engagement and viewership, which aids in the development of a large audience and the creation of appealing brands. The videos on YouTube receive millions of views, implying that they generate passive income.

5.3. Lead Generation

Converting potential social media customers is another important monetization strategy. There are numerous ways to generate leads using social media, which can be overwhelming. Still, the most important takeaway is to provide something appealing, engaging, and valuable to your potential customers as they enter your sales funnel.

You can monetize your social audience in a variety of ways, and you can choose the ones that work best for you. With ever-increasing interests, occupations, and hobbies, new platforms to bring people together are needed. If you have a great idea for a social media app, now is the time to put your efforts together to make it a reality.

Check out our guide to learn about different mobile app monetization models. So go ahead and get started, and watch your social media app transform into brilliant digital solutions.

6. How Much Does It Cost To Build A Social Media App

Budget estimation is probably one of the most crucial part of any software development and the costs of social media app depend on a few facets, such as:

  • Number of features
  • Technology stack
  • Timelines set
  • The project design (UI/UX design, custom development)
  • Project management
  • Quality assurance
  • Business analysis
MVP App Medium App Sophisticated app (1+ Platform)
UX/UI Design $5,000+ $15,000+ $25,000+
Custom Development $40,000+ $95,000+ $200,000+
Quality Assurance $5,000+ $15,000+ $25,000+
Project Management $7,500+ $15,000+ $35,000+
Business Analysis $2,500+ $10,000+ $15,000+
Total setup $60,000+ $150,000+ $230,000+
Time 3 to 6 months 6 to 9 months 9+ months

Please keep in mind that these cost estimates for social media app development are estimates only. They only give you a general idea of how much you’ll need to start a social network. Trying a lean approach is also considered to be one of the best practices to save money. As a result, you can create an MVP for a social media app. However, because each case is unique, it is best to seek professional advice, contact us now to get your free tech consultation and estimated quote.

7. Social Media App Development Company

Even if you know exactly how to build a social network from the ground up, that doesn’t mean the process will be simple and quick. Famous social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter were not created overnight, so be patient and take small steps. Making a social media app and turning it into a successful product in this manner is a wise decision.

Our team has expertise in creating social network apps among which is Wanna Train project. This app is a fitness platform that helps to track, find trainers and share your gym, body building adventures with like-minded people. It allows logging your personal training logs, share them with friends. Wanna Train is available on both Android and IOS with core features. You may check the Case study of Wanna Train on our Behance Showcase and find there links to download the app on Google Play or App Store.

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Savvycom is right where you need. Contact us now for further consultation:

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