Social Media App Development Guide – Types, Features, Tech Stack & Process

social media app development

Social media applications have taken user communication to the next level. People spend most of their time on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, scrolling the news feed or searching for relevant information. From a business perspective, niche-based social media app development is one of the promising markets.  

When building a social media platform, you must understand that having a user-friendly and engaging mobile app is a prerequisite for achieving success. Moreover, if we talk about the cost of social media app development, it is worth noting that in most instances, costs are related to backend development. 

An experienced social media app development company can either build your app from scratch or create a mobile app for an existing web version. At Mobibiz, we can work with both options as we have experience in handling the development process at any project lifecycle stage.  

If you want to learn about social media app development, feel free to read this comprehensive guide and explore the details. 

Social Media App Market Size 

Here are some useful statistics social media statistics to consider: 

  • 58.6% of the global population uses social media. The average time spent by users daily is 2 hours and 27 minutes. 
  • 99% or 4.43 billion active social media users access networks via mobile. 78% or 2.97 billion social media users access networks exclusively on their mobile phones. (We Are Social, 2022) 
  • The average online user has created profiles on 8 different social and messaging services. (DataReportal, 2021) 
  • Ad spending on social media is expected to reach $177 billion in 2022. (Zenith report) 
  • Social media platforms will lead the market with a 15% yearly growth by 2024. 
  • With approximately 2.93 billion active monthly users as of Q1 of 2022, Facebook continues to be the most popular and widely used online social network globally. (Statista, 2022) 
  • YouTube is the second-largest social media platform with more than 2 billion users across the globe. (We Are Social, 2022) 

Considering these statistics, you can clearly see that the social media industry is growing rapidly, with a constantly increasing user base.  

Choose from Various Types of Social Media Applications 

If you’re opting for social media app development, you should first understand what type of social media app you want to build. The type of social media app you choose will help you define your niche competitors, and target audience, and provide users with useful functionality.  

Here are the different types of social media apps: 

  • Social Networking  

This type of social media platform mainly focuses on connecting people from all over the world. Social networking sites connect global users chasing different goals. For example, LinkedIn helps users to find and offer jobs as well as build professional relations. Facebook offers numerous groups and over 2 billion active users to connect with.  

Most social networking sites allow users to share thoughts and ideas, upload photos and videos and interact with their connections. Therefore, you must include these features if you’re building a social networking app. 

  • Media Sharing 

This type of social media app allows users to share a variety of content like photos, videos, live videos, etc. Some famous examples include Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. Nowadays, there is hardly any difference between social networking applications and media-sharing apps. Facebook has also started to offer media sharing facility. 

However, other media sharing platforms like YouTube allow sharing of only one type of content – videos. Therefore, you must build a more intuitive and engaging social app based on user expectations and requirements. 

  • Discussion Forums 

Some of the popular discussion forums are Quora and Reddit. These social apps gain popularity since people love to learn new things and discuss various topics. Users can use this platform to ask questions and get solutions from experts or knowledgeable people.  

  • Content Sharing  

Pinterest and Flipboard are striking examples of this type of social networking app. Content sharing and bookmarking applications allow users to save and organize links to different websites and resources. Users can place these links in multiple folders depending on the topic.  

Platforms like Pinterest offer users to upload and download pictures they like. Many users use this type of social network app to look for ideas and get inspired. 

  • Customer Review Repositories 

This form of social media application allows users to share their reviews about brands, products, services, etc. Positive reviews can bring new customers to brands. Moreover, companies can use customer feedback to improve their products and services if required. 

Some platforms review restaurants and hotels as well as show relevant sights as per the geolocation. 

  • Blogging and Publishing Platform 

WordPress and Medium are the two most popular social platforms for bloggers. They can easily write and publish blogs and articles from all devices.  

So, these are some of the types of social media applications you can develop with the support of an experienced social media app development company. 

Must-Have Features of Social Media Applications 

When you opt for social media mobile app development, you have two options. First, start with an MVP with basic, must-have features. Second, create a premium final product with advanced features. 

It’s recommended to build an MVP first because this will ensure quick time to market and help you gain user feedback before you spend more on your product. With an MVP, you can attract investments because stakeholders are likely to trust more on fully-functional social media apps. 

To impress both your users and stakeholders, you need to build an MVP with the most relevant and engaging features. So, what are the features that you must have in your social media app MVP version? Let’s take a look! 

Features for a Social Media MVP Version 

  • Signup with email, phone, Google, or Facebook accounts 
  • User profile creation 
  • Search functionality 
  • Daily newsfeed 
  • Chat 
  • Media file sharing 
  • Push notifications 

Features for an Advanced Social Media App Version 

By incorporating advanced features, you can make your social media app more intuitive and engaging. Here are some of the top features you can add to your social app: 

  • AR filters to deliver a unique user experience 
  • A photo editing feature to allow users to crop, edit, and rotate images, remove unwanted objects, or create a photo collage. 
  • Location-based content using Google Places 

It’s worth noting that the more features you add, the higher will be the cost of social media app development. So, make sure to consult with a professional mobile app development company in Gurgaon that can evaluate your requirements and suggest the best features for your app. 

Want to Make Your Social Media App Stand Out from the Crowd?

Social Media App Development Tech Stack 

There are various tools and technologies available for social media app development. Here is a common technology stack used for building social media apps: 

iOS App Development 

  • Programming language – Swift, XCode, Maya, Objective-C 
  • Networking – Alamofire 

Android App Development 

  • Programming language -Java, Kotlin Networking – OkHttp 3 

Cross-platform App Development 

  • JavaScript and HTML 

Frontend Frameworks 

  • Angular 
  • Express JS 
  • ASP.Net 
  • Ruby on Rails 
  • Ionic 
  • TypeScript 

Backend Frameworks 

  • Django 
  • Laravel 
  • CodeIgniter 
  • Phalcon 
  • CakePHP 

Database 

  • MySQL 
  • PostgreSQL 
  • NoSQL 
  • SQLite 

Backend Development 

  • Selected Programming language  
  • Selected Framework  
  • Database – MySQL 
  • Signup – Amazon SES, Amazon SNS 
  • API – Swagger 
  • Chat – Socket.io 

Tools 

  • Geolocation – Google Maps 
  • Push Notifications – FCM 
  • Emails – Elastic Emails 
  • Search – Elastic Search 
  • Storage – Amazon S3 
  • AR Filters – ML Kit, AR Core 

Admin Panel 

  • Angular Material 

To choose the right technology stack, you must consult with a social media app development company. The professionals will finalize the tech stack based on your requirements and preferences. 

Different Stages of Social Media App Development 

Social media application development is a systematic process that involves different stages. If you’re outsourcing your project development to a social media app development company in India, for example, here is the development pipeline for you: 

1. Contact and Leave a Request 

Your project development process starts with this stage. First, you need to contact the company and submit your project requirements. The company manager will process your request. Once it is approved, the company contacts you to discuss your requirements in detail. 

2. Project Discovery 

In the discovery phase, meetings are held with a business analyst to gain a better understanding of your business goals, and project idea. After gathering all the relevant information, the business analyst documents the requirements to prepare the final project estimate.  

Meanwhile, the UI/UX designers create wireframes for all app screens during this stage. 

3. UI/UX Design 

Once the project discovery phase is over, the active social media app development phase commences. App’s UI/UX designers use the wireframes, project requirements, and the latest design trends to build intuitive and fully-functional mockups that resemble the final look of the app. 

4. App Development 

After the mockup creation phase, the design is sent to the mobile app development team. The development process is divided into sprints, which take two weeks approximately. During this time, developers develop the features and functionalities approved by the client. 

5. Testing and Quality Assurance 

To create a smooth and delightful user experience, your mobile app should be completely bug-free. QA engineers test all the app functionalities to see if they are working as expected. If they find any bugs or glitches, they document them in a report and deliver the bugs report to developers. The developers can easily identify the bugs and resolve them quickly. 

6. App Launch and Maintenance 

After the product is tested thoroughly, project managers deliver the final, bug-free application to the client. However, an application requires ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that it is always up and running. You can hire mobile app developers from a development company, who can take care of your app updates and maintenance needs. 

Social Media App Monetization Models to Choose from 

If you’re creating a social media app, you would definitely want to make it profitable. Here are some popular app monetization strategies you can choose from to generate revenue. 

  • Advertisements 

Advertisements are the most common ways to generate revenue from your social media application. Most app owners implement this strategy to let users use the app for free. For example, Instagram shows sponsored posts and stories to the users in their newsfeed. In the case of YouTube, ads are played before or in between the video. 

  • In-app Purchases 

This model allows you to monetize your app by adding paid content that app users can buy. For example, Facebook offers its own sticker store from where users can purchase their favorite sticker packs and use them in their Facebook chat messenger. 

  • Premium Features 

Most social media applications like YouTube or LinkedIn offer premium subscriptions with additional features. For example, LinkedIn offers premium features for job seekers. They can check who viewed their profiles and access more than 1,500 learning courses to enhance their knowledge and skills. 

Become a Leading Player in the Social Media App Market 

 If you’re planning to build a social media application, there are several factors that you need to consider before you hire mobile app developer for your project. Product features, integrations, development time, geolocation of the developer, and the expertise level of the developers are some of the factors that may affect the social media application development time and cost. 

Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind: 

  • The more features you add, the higher will be the cost of social media app development. 
  • The more time the developer takes to build and deliver the final product, the higher will the development cost. 
  • If you have limited time and budget, building a Minimum Viable Product first can be the best option for you.  
  • If you focus on high performance and user experience, you must opt for native application development. 
  • If you want to target both iOS and Android users with lower development costs, then you should opt for cross-platform application development. 
  • If you’re a startup or small business, you can outsource your project development to a social media app development company in India to build applications within your budget and timeline. 

 If you have an exciting social media app idea in your mind, you may consult with our experts and get started with the development process. 

FAQs 

Q.1. Could you help me publish my app on the app stores? 

Ans. Yes, of course. Our development team knows the guidelines and best practices to get your app approved and published on the Google Play Store and/or the Apple App Store. They will handle the hassle of app approval and publishing for you. 

Q.2. Who all are there in a dedicated mobile app development team? 

Ans. Our dedicated mobile app development team comprises: 

  • A Project Manager 
  • UI/UX designer 
  • iOS/Android app developer 
  • Backend developer 
  • QA engineer 

Want to Make Your Social Media App Stand Out from the Crowd?

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