An Ultimate Guide to Social Media App Development in 2022

Prateek Saxena June 21, 2022
An Ultimate Guide to Social Media App Development

Social media applications have completely changed our ways of communication. Not to mention that the social applications and networks we use today have the power to shape the media, culture, education, politics, and business.

This is the primary reason why businesses of every scale and size are looking to build a scalable social media presence to reach as many audiences as possible. Therefore if your first query starts with “how to make a social media application that works for my business,” you are at the right place.

This social media app development guide familiarizes you with everything you need to know before you move on to creating your own social media platform. This guide will also help you understand whether developing a social platform is a viable business decision or not. Let’s jump right into the details.

Why should a business aim for social media app development in 2022?

The secret behind the increasing popularity of social media networks is the flexibility, and freedom users get while accessing the platforms. Moreover, social media applications provide the potential to connect with customers worldwide with engaging content, promoting trust and authority. Platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat make users more engaged with social media.

Before we explain to you the factors and whereabouts of social media app development, here’s the roadmap to the content ahead:

  1. What is a Social media app?
  2. Market prospects of social media applications/platforms
  3. Types of social media platforms
  4. Social media app features you need in 2022
  5. Social media app development cost
  6. How to create a social media app?
  7. How can Appinventiv help you with social media app development?

What is a social media app/platform?

Social media platforms or apps allow people, organizations, and companies to create, exchange and share information over a network of people. For example, people can post or share pictures and videos or express themselves through social media mobile apps.

Mobile application platforms are virtual communities where people create an account, fill in their details, and log in. Some of the examples of successful social media apps are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. They connect users with people, groups, and communities already present in that social media network.

If you have made up your mind to make a social media app, you have made a wise choice as you could make a lot of profit. Speaking of the profits, let’s look at the market prospects of social media app development.

Market prospects of social media applications and platforms

Market prospects of social media applications

  • As per Statista, total revenue in the social networking segment is expected to reach US$46.43 billion by the end of 2022.
  • The number of downloads in the social media networking segments is also projected to reach over 11,190.8 million downloads by 2022 end.
  • Moreover, the average revenue per download currently is estimated to amount to US$4.15.
  • All these figures direct that the total revenue could result in a projected market volume of US$64.11 billion by 2026.

If the above figures don’t impress you, let’s say there are 16 new users added to social media platforms every second. As you can see, social media is a fast-growing industry that is only going to stay on top of all trends for years. It’s high time to grab the opportunity and create a social media presence for your business now.

If you are confused about the type of social media platform you want for your business, let’s see what your options are.

Types of Social media platforms

It’s important to know what types of social media platforms belong to your business. This way, you can easily set your brand audience and competitors, simultaneously offering complete functionality to your users.

Types of Social media platforms

Here are a few examples of different types of social media applications:

Social networks

The primary objective of social network applications is to connect people worldwide.

For instance, Facebook allows users to chat, voice/video call, and share thoughts with almost any other Facebook user.

LinkedIn connects professionals, helps build professional networks, and acts as a job portal for users.

Media sharing networks

These applications allow users to share any media content online. Users can share photos, videos, and reels, perform live incidences and connect with other users.

The thin line between social networks and media sharing networks have started to blur out with recent updates. For instance, Instagram and Snapchat carry almost the same set of features as Facebook.

Another instance is YouTube, where users only entertain video content. However, YouTube single-handedly accounts for managing more than 43% of the digital businesses/channels online.

Discussion Forums

Applications like Quora and Reddit come under the discussion forums category. Here, users can raise questions, comment, answer any query, and share valuable information. These platforms have gained massive popularity in the past few years since a major chunk of the digital population prefers looking for solutions online.

Consumer review networks

The objective of these applications is to let users share their reviews about products, brands, services, and more. Many users prefer reviewing services on such networks before availing them for trust and authenticity.

Ambition Box, Yelp, Glassdoor, and Tripadvisor are some of the popular references of consumer review networks.

Publishing and blogging networks

It’s not an easy task to build a platform for blogging and publishing. However, many businesses rely on publishing niches since there are avid readers worldwide.

Medium and WordPress are the most popular blogging platforms that work under social media networks.

Read case study

Now, if you have decided on one of these platforms, it’s time to see what advanced features a social media app requires in order to be successful in 2022.

What are the features of a social media application or platform?

Features significantly affect the cost of social media app development. If you want to know “how to create a social media app,” you must be familiar with the features the platform offers.

Typically there are two different kinds of categories when it comes to social media app features- MVP and Advanced, and we are going to discuss both of these categories ahead.

MVP (Minimum viable product)

Features that are a must-have come under the category

The MVP social media mobile platform features are described by functionalities of profiles, feeds, connections, and more.

social media mobile platform features

Profile

The best way to create a user profile is to connect the app to an existing social media account through which the data can be retrieved. Another approach is the signup process, where you can fill in your user updates by entering your email id and password, but this requires more effort, which nowadays users don’t usually like.

Feeds

Users share the contents which are uploaded to the feeds in the form of videos, audio, photos, presentations, etc. This content is known as user-generated content and could be anything like

contents through status updates or photos and video.

The social media app you are developing should be capable of sharing photos, videos, and status updates. You just need to upload, share the content, and specify the target audience you want to reach out to. Video-based social media apps like TikTok’s statistics for 2022 exhibit that sharing videos and similar content can help establish growth and presence easily.

Connections

The connection can be in the form of content, group, event, social network, SMS, address book, search, and recommendation.

Content connection is totally dependent on the user. Users could be travelers, readers, or enthusiasts. Groups are the communities where people are connected to chains at a large scale. These create an additional advantage in social media mobile apps.

Sending invites for an event or selling event tickets is another way that may help you monetize through social media apps. It also helps in growing connections in the social media domain.

Signup

You should offer customers several registration alternatives to make it easy for them to come to your site and register themselves. For instance, you can incorporate options like email and password, phone number and password, or guest user option.

To make social networking apps more user-friendly and easy to understand, adding the ‘Forgot Password’ feature is important. For technology purposes, social media app developers can use Facebook or Google SDK or Amazon SNS/ SES.

Chat

If you are thinking about how to create an app like whatsapp or instagram? Then it’s necessary to add a helpful chat feature. Sending messages, images, or videos is essential for any social network. It’s possible to integrate group chats and channels to allow customers to chat with two users and more. You can use socket.io to create scalable chats.

Search bar

Clients need an easy-to-use search bar to search for friends or bloggers to follow. For instance, it can be made possible to look by labels, user names, and location.

Push notifications

There are other push messages that users can get, like a new post from the community area they are subscribed to, a new message, a response or remark to their post, and so much more. Push messages are useful for user engagement.

Media sharing

Such network applications permit users to share a wide range of media files (images, videos, GIFs, and so on). The most popular sites of this kind are Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Vimeo, and Imgur, among others.

Advanced features

These features can make your social media app unique and popular. They need special tools and tech stack and are considered important for the success of a social media app.

Advanced features

Location-based contents

It is an option that lets you know what people are doing or at what place they are. This is done by tagging your location to the post, or you can find people who are in nearby locations and can socialize with them. The data is received through a location-based API which retrieves a particular location from your mobile network provider.

AR Filters

In order to make a social media app more unique, you can integrate certain filters into the videos and photos. For reference, Snapchat and Instagram have a bunch of AR filters that help attract users to the social media network to become a part of the trend. Not to forget that AR technology also offers a unique user experience.

Editing

It’s a great idea to offer users the features to edit their photos and videos in your social media app. You can integrate options to crop or rotate the image, trim the video, create a collage, etc.

Also, check out:- 5 technologies and features that are taking social media platforms to the next evolution set.

You can also add features that align with your niche and are unique from your competitors. However, that requires thorough market research and analysis. Once you are aware of what features and functionalities you need in your social media application, you can cover the last important factor (Cost) before moving to the actual development phase.

Social media app development time and cost

Estimating the budget for your social media app development is crucial since you need to be prepared financially. Let’s take a look at the time factor first. Here we will consider the development time of the backend part and provide you with an appropriate time range for each feature.

Feature (MVP and Advanced) Backend development time
Sign-in and Log-in 50-54 hours
User Profile 70- 72 hours
Newsfeed 60-62 hours
Search bar 35-40 hours
Chat 90-100 hours
Push notifications 15-20 hours
Add post (media sharing) 10-12 hours
Filters 4-6 hours
Location based content 10-15 hours
Editing It depends on the editing options you provide

Apart from these features that cost you, there are other significant expenses you might want to take into consideration before moving to the development stage.

Design

Social media app design is an incredibly demanding process since every user asks for a unique design pathway. The trick is to settle on a design trend that most of your target audience would like. Here, you will need a knowledgeable social media app development team to guide you through the entire process.

Admin Panel

The Admin panel is typically the command center for your application. With this centralized panel, you will have control over the entire system, features, and everything that happens within your social media app. You can also register new users, ban users in case of any violation and monitor the user behavior on the social network.

Moreover, you can also go for analytics and advertising integrations, where you can advertise services and products and monitor the success of your application.

Post-release marketing

Post-release marketing is a costly affair; however, it is compulsory now that you need an audience base after release. With post-release marketing and promotional campaigns, your user base grows, and your social media app scales faster.

The process of post-release marketing generally includes buying ads on thematic platforms, buying promotions on app markets, video reviews and informational articles, etc.

Considering all the factors mentioned above, let’s estimate the development time and cost of your social media app development.

Features Total Time (backend development)
Basic features (MVP) 320-330 hours
UI/UX design Depends on your niche and development team
Admin panel 140-150 hours
DevOps 40-50 hours
Quality assurance 140-150 hours
Frameworks and libraries (tech stack) 15-20 hours
Project management 110-120 hours

How to estimate the total cost of your social media app development?

All you need to do is add the total backend development time and multiply the final figure with your development team’s hourly salary. However, to give you a range, the cost might start anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 to create an engaging social media app for one platform (Android/iOS).

The price range also differs according to the location and experience of your development team. However, make sure to put quality before the cost factor. Now that we have covered everything let’s talk about the actual development stage.

[Also Read: 10 Social Media Startups that Failed and What to Learn from Their Failures ]

How to develop a social media app – Tech stack and development stages

In order to build a social media app, you need a team of reliable professionals. Your development team must have:

  • Project manager
  • UI/UX designers
  • iOS/Android developers
  • Backend/frontend engineers
  • QA specialists

Talk to our experts

You can also go for various tools and technology stacks when you create a social media app. Some of the most popular tools and technologies are mentioned below for your reference.

Android app development

Programming language: Kotlin

iOS app development

Programming language: Swift

Backend development

  • Framework – Express 4
  • Database – MySQL
  • Chat – Socket.io
  • Sign up – Amazon SES, Amazon SNS
  • API – Swagger
  • Programming language – Node.js

Tools

  • Search bar- ElasticSearch
  • Storage- AmazonS3
  • Emails- Elastic Email
  • AR filters- MLKit, ARCore
  • Geolocation- Google Maps
  • Push notifications- FCM

Now, we will see various stages of development:

Product idea and business expertise

To understand the concept of mobile social media apps, web resources, or automated business processes, choose a knowledgeable and experienced social network app development company for your business that is apt for indirect free business skills and understands client requirements.

Project evaluation and proposal

To understand the needs and requirements, the project is assessed by the development group. From that point onward, the client gets a primer business proposition for the development of social apps.

Prototyping

Understanding what the clients expect from the application, it is advisable to prototype the process. A competently fabricated interface is an assurance that the user rapidly explores and knows how the social media app will take care of his problem. You get a chance to look into the functionality of the future app without the software part.

Product design

Draw and plan the social media app design of all the screens and the essential features of the social media (network) application. At Appinventiv, one of the social media app development services, we utilize the suggestions of Google and Apple to design the application. We assemble illustrations that are understandable and convenient to create a design that will set you apart.

Backlog and development contract

The development team builds a backlog for the whole project together with the customer. After the approval of the backlog, the contract on development is signed with the customer.

Further meeting with the product tracker, discussing the subtleties of the project. The development group assembles build-up for the entire task along with the client. After the endorsement of excess, the agreement on advancement is endorsed with the client.

Development process

Once the contract is all mocked up, designers send the final draft to the social media app developers so they can finally start creating your masterpiece. The development time is divided into sprints, where one sprint is equivalent to two weeks.

Quality assurance

Once the product is developed with all the features and functionalities, QA engineers check the working of your social media application. The quality specialists thoroughly check the bugs and malfunctions and pack them into bug reports. These reports help the developers fix the problems.

Release and maintenance

After the final polish of your social media application, developers transfer the application to you. You can now release your app to your target audience and make sure you update it from time to time.

Also, ensure that you provide your users with the best results from the main button to downloading the application.

Explore our social media services

How can Appinventiv help you with social media app development?

Developing a social media app is one of the most happening things today, but understanding social media and your target audience are of utmost importance.

Know what your business needs and explore the infinite possibilities of social media applications like Tinder, quora, etc.

Appinventiv is a top-rated social media app development company with expertise across all the major mobile platforms, including Android and iOS. Our special media development services range from custom social network and messaging apps to full fledged video based app development. Our experts have worked in the field of mobile app development and have helped clients across several industries with their social media apps.

Connect with our social media app development professionals to start now.

FAQs on social media app development

Q. How long does it take to create a social media app?

A. Social media app development time majorly depends on the complexity of the app, features and functionality of the app and the experience of the development team. The mobile app development process has different stages and all of these stages require different time slots.

From the planning process until the launch of the application, the entire process is interdependent on each other and requires proper attendance.Moreover apps with different sizes and different features have different app development time.

Q. What makes a social media platform successful?

A. A successful social media app or platform is built keeping strategies that allow users to engage with your content as much as possible. Some of the most popular tips that businesses follow while developing the social media apps are:

  1. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes
  2. Pick a niche and cater to it completely
  3. Observe and follow your competitors
  4. Keep trends in place

Q. What questions should I ask my social media app development company?

A. Here are few questions you can ask to your social media app development company for better engagement:

  1. How can we display the USP of my app?
  2. What designs can we use for the maximum user experience?
  3. How can we manage the complete project in the required time?
  4. What is the technical expertise of the team I must be aware of?
  5. What is the post development support?
Prateek Saxena
THE AUTHOR
Prateek Saxena
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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