How much does it cost to develop a social media app?

Back to the roots

The first social media website recognized publicly is Six Degrees. It emerged in 1997 and gave the users an opportunity to create profiles and friend other users. Two years later, the first blogging services got popular, introducing a social media sensation that is booming in the Internet to the present day.

And look how well that turned out

Even though social media started with websites, nowadays it is impossible to imagine them without an iPhone or an Android mobile phone. Social networking apps became an integral part of our daily routine, to the extent where most people check their smartphones first thing in the morning to see what’s new in the world, keep up with what happened overnight and let their community know they are back again. Every time a new viral social networking service is released, it changes people’s perception of communication and interaction completely, bringing up new cultural behavior of the community and altering society values in some ways.

As for now, the most popular applications for socializing are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumblr. All of them deal successfully with the primary task of every social network — connecting people. Each one of these apps tries hard to adhere to the latest tendencies to satisfy the demands of widely different people and keep them equally engaged in the application. Development teams are constantly working on updates, doing their best to bring the ultimate value to the customers and to fight numerous competitors. Each of the big players has their ear open for the young blood and take up the ideas that are bound to succeed on the fly. You must have heard about giants buying smaller competitors (like Facebook buying Instagram, WhatsApp, MQDRD), or applications duplicating the features of other popular ones (like Instagram implementing features, almost identical to those of Snapchat) and many other stories of passions that run high in the social media app world. Why? Because it’s a fantastically powerful and flourishing business.

With an eye toward the future

New ambitious startups spring up like mushrooms overnight and work hard to get their place in the sun and elbow out the current leaders. Who knows, maybe you will be the person to change the whole concept of social media networking and its perception. One thing is sure: your idea should be unique and offer potential users value which they have never received before via usual communication channels. In case you were just thinking about creating a revolutionary social media app, let’s discuss what it takes to build one, both from financial and effortful perspective.

When you hear the words “social media app”, Facebook probably comes to your mind first. In fact, all of the applications that enable social networking belong to this category. Such services let users create their profiles, find people they already know, meet someone new, share their content and view the updates of other users, communicate and express their preferences by liking, disliking, commenting, reposting and so on. Most of the top apps of this kind are universal and can be utilized by any user regardless of their age (however, most apps require that the user is 13+), location and social status. Some networks aim at a certain customer segment, let’s say at college students (erodr, Yik Yak) or people who seek career opportunities (LinkedIn, Xing) for example. Whatever you would like to concentrate on and aim for with your social media application, it needs to have some core features that will remain the same in any case.

The main ingredients

Let’s take a closer look at the must-have functionality you need to implement when building a social network application. The features we’ll further discuss are taken from the best examples of the existing social media apps that are there in the market.

Thus said, social network app development should lead to the creation of the product with the following main features:

  • Registration;
  • User profile;
  • Messaging;
  • Posting media content;
  • Feed;
  • Search;
  • Commenting;
  • Groups of interest.

Those are the features the first version of your product should have. Let’s discuss how to make a social media app with MVP functionality in the continuation of the article.