How many social networking profiles do you have? How much time do you spend on social media every day? A lot, right? Social media networks have changed the way the world interacts and connects. Initially developed with an intention to build connections with like-minded people, today, social media apps have also become powerful marketing tools for businesses.
Are you thinking “But why create a social media app when we already have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and the like?” Let me ask you a question. If a new social networking app were to be launched tomorrow, wouldn’t you want to be a part of it? Imagine an app that connects you to people who share a similar hobby. Say, an app for guitar enthusiasts where guitarists worldwide post covers, share tutorials and discuss all things guitar. If you like the guitar, even if you don’t play it, the chances are that you would want to be a part of it.
Thus with the diverse interests that people all over the world have, there is always space for a new platform. New ideas open up new opportunities, so social media app development is here to prosper.
Of course, you know different social networks, but what exactly is a social network?
In broad terms, social networks are any digital communication tool that allows users to share content with the public. These communication tools were first built for computers, but today the majority of people use smartphone apps to access social media. From sharing texts and comments to sharing photos and videos, social media has come a long way. Today, it has become a platform for sharing interests, information, ideas, career opportunities, and a lot more.
If you want to create a social networking app, then it is essential to know about the different types of social media apps. Then only you can figure out in which category your mobile app idea belongs. And according to that, you should define the functionality of your app, its features, your target audience, and such.
Thinking of social media app development? Then it would be best if you watched out for the latest mobile app development trends in the market to stay in the game. Here are the top 9 social media trends for 2020 that you should know about if you are looking to create a social media app.
Why should you create a mobile app that is customized for your use? What are the benefits of a custom social media app? If you are wondering about this, then let’s make it clear once and for all.
Once you have decided to venture into social media app development, you should determine what all are the features that your social media app should include. Although it should have some unique features to stand out from other apps, there are certain basic features that every social media app should have.
By just implementing the basic features, it could be difficult to achieve substantial engagement from users. That requires the addition of some advanced features. Some of the trending additional features are:
Now, how to get on with social media app development? What are the steps to follow? In this section, we will see what are the five steps to follow to create a social media app.
The first step is to define your idea thoroughly and to know the exact purpose of your social media network. Then only can you understand the market, identify your target audience, and find out competing players. In this step, you will get an idea about what is lacking in the current market that you can achieve with your app, what the potential users are looking for, and how you can target them to engage with your app.
Keeping your purpose in mind, and by considering the budget and scope of the app, determine the features and functions that are to be included in it. Think about whether you are going to implement all the basic features that we have discussed in the earlier section. For each feature, you choose, establish how it can be executed and what functionalities it will cover. Research on advanced features to further scale up your app.
The app design consists of creating an initial sketch to provide a basic layout, then moving towards wireframing, and finally prototyping to develop a working model of the app. Once the model is approved by all parties involved, the final design begins to take shape.
Development runs parallel to the design process. It also needs careful planning and strategies. You have to decide the platforms on which you want your app to be published, that is, whether it is Android or iOS or both. Depending on this, the technological aspects would differ.
If you are not well versed in design and development, the best option is to avail the expertise of mobile app development services.
Ideally, marketing should begin when your app is in the development stage. You have to think about how you will drive users towards downloading your app, what incentives will you offer, etc. Once the app is launched, you have to do promotional marketing to attract users and get maximum downloads within 24 hours.
After launching, you need to assess how well it is doing in the market. This is crucial as it helps you to identify the areas of improvement and develop actionable plans for the future. There are several analytical tools that you can use to achieve this. Using them, you can understand how much time people spend on your app, which features they like to use, what are the user pain points, etc.
The look and feel are very important for a social media app. It is a platform where users will spend a lot of time, so its design should be easy, intuitive, and appealing. Some best practices to follow are:
You know your target audience, you have implemented features that would interest them, now how do you lure them into using your app? Word of mouth is a reliable, good old technique, but first, to increase awareness, digital marketing is the best option. Some great ways in which you can drive people to your app are:
Indeed, the cost to develop a mobile app depends. The approach you choose to create a social media app, the features you plan to implement, the time for development- everything influences the cost of social media app development. The cost can also vary depending upon the location of the development team. Developers in North America, Western Europe have higher hourly rates as compared to those in Asia and Eastern Europe.
Based on an average rate of $50 per hour, the cost to develop a mobile app for either Android or iOS would come to $94500 and might take 1900 hours on an average. For both platforms, app development cost would come to $152850. In countries like North America and Australia, the standard hourly rate is $100 per hour, and the cost will vary accordingly.
We saw how beneficial it is for businesses to create a social media app. But you also have to think about how to make it profitable. You are investing money into social media app development so you have to consider ways to generate revenue from it. Popular monetization models are:
The most popular, the most used. This is widely used by several existing platforms such as Instagram and Youtube. But make sure that the advertisements are relevant and it doesn’t overwhelm users.
When your content has value, people will want more and will be ready to pay for it. So along with offering good content for free, your app can have a provision to give exclusive, high-quality content that interested users can subscribe to.
When your community is strong, people will be interested in purchasing cool merchandise that carries your brand image. This can also act as a great marketing strategy, along with generating revenue.
Creating a provision for your community members to purchase digital products such as e-books or podcasts related to your niche is another good monetization strategy.
With the advancements in technology, there are several options for creating a social media app that involves even no-code development. In this section, we will see some of the prominent options for social media app development.
SaaS Solutions are quick, simple, and secure. Using SaaS platforms, you can build your own social media app on the web and mobile. It provides easy customization, better access, and rapid development. It also eliminates any need for hardware or software installations, maintenance, and updation.
A widely used approach, open-source software provides more flexibility in terms of development. It requires coding knowledge, so you would need a developer to create a social media app using this method. It provides more options for customization but is expensive than SaaS solutions as it requires payment for domain hosting and developers.
You can create a social media app using CMS platforms like WordPress or Drupal by integrating social network extensions. These extensions or plugins are both free and paid and provide several options. However, they might not always meet your custom requirements. Further, this approach is better for social media websites than mobile apps.
If you have a unique idea that you want to bring to life, then the options discussed above cannot meet your needs. Then, you have to build an app from scratch and to achieve this, you need the expertise of a mobile app development company. This is a very effective approach; however, it is more expensive and requires more development time and effort.
Mindster is a top mobile app development company in USA and India that has years of experience in bringing several app ideas to life. If you have a unique social media app development idea, get in touch with us and let’s discuss more!
13 Mobile App Ideas That Will Inspire You In 2021
October 1, 2020
A Complete Guide to Outsource Mobile App Development in 2021
September 10, 2020
Android Apps (5)
Case Studies (2)
Covid-19 Apps (2)
Ecommerce Apps (6)
Education Apps (2)
iOS Apps (4)
Mobile Apps (75)
Social Media App Development: A Definitive Guide to Create a Social Networking App
By Fazmeena Faisal | November 3, 2020
How to Create a Food Delivery App Like Uber Eats in 2021
By Fazmeena Faisal | October 13, 2020
13 Mobile App Ideas That Will Inspire You In 2021
By Thejes Udayan | October 1, 2020