Social media apps have taken the world by storm. Also, with millions of people spending countless hours on their smartphones every day, the social media trend is here to stay.
VSCO is a popular social media app that has captured the hearts of many with its unique filters, editing tools, and engaged community of creators. Its success has led many entrepreneurs to consider developing their own social media products and applications.
And what ignites their motivation further is the growth projected by top research firms in this market segment. According to reports, the global photo editing software market is expected to reach $394.39 Million by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 8%.
These numbers clearly indicate that there has never been a better time to tap into this growing industry and launch a photo editing and social media application like VSCO or Instagram.
But, what is the process to do it successfully?
In this blog, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to create an app that combines the best of both worlds – stunning photo editing tools and a thriving social community. So, let’s get started!
Basically, there are many photo-editing apps out there with social networking features. But, each application has its own business model and features. While some give more importance to photo and video editing tools, others prioritize community building.
For example, VSCO is an application that is more aligned towards providing better editing tools for the users and Instagram focuses more on community building. Here is How Instagram Works and Makes Money.
Similarly, the revenue models of both these apps vary. While VSCO uses a subscription model to monetize its operations, Instagram depends heavily on the advertising model.
But, here is how these applications work in general:
Generally, apps like VSCO works by providing users with powerful editing tools, a supportive community, and a sustainable business model that can be used to generate revenue.
The VSCO community is an important aspect of the app. Users can browse through the work of other photographers, follow their profiles, and interact with them by liking and commenting on their photos. Also, the app works using a subscription model where users can pay a monthly or yearly fee to access all editing tools and features.
However, it is not necessary that your app should also work this way. It is best to have a New and Unique App Idea for developing something that gets traction. Let’s now see how you can proceed.
Building a social media app like VSCO requires careful planning and execution. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
Step 1:Conduct Market Research
The first step to building any successful app is conducting market research. You should start by researching the market and identifying the gap that your app can fill. Here are some of the steps that you can follow:
Find out the demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics of your target audience.
This will help you understand their needs, interests, and behaviors. For example, if you are building a social media app like VSCO, your target audience may be Gen-Zers and young adults between the ages of 13-35 who are interested in photography and social networking. Your goal here should be to identify everything about their likes and dislikes.
Research your competitors to identify their strengths and weaknesses, their target audience, and the features they offer. Look at similar apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, and identify what sets your app apart.
For example, VSCO offers unique photo and video editing tools that are not available on other social media apps. Similarly, you will need to have your own USP to build a successful app. Think of something that helps you stand out in the market.
Market research is an ongoing process that involves constantly gathering data and feedback to improve your app and stay ahead of the competition. However, initially, you will have to do a lot of research to define your unique value proposition.
Step 2:Define Your App’s Business Model
Having a strong business model is crucial for the success of an app. Once you are done researching your app’s target market and audience, it is time to use that information to create a solid business and revenue model. Just note down the problems you want to solve for your users, turn them into your app features, and find ways to make money out of them.
The business model of an app is important because it determines how the app will generate revenue and how profitable it will be. It can influence your app’s user acquisition strategies, cost structure, revenue streams, and financial sustainability and growth. Thus, make sure you craft the business model carefully. Here are a few things you need to define here:
The first thing to define here is – how will your app add value to the user’s life. How is it different from other similar apps present in the present? For example, VSCO capitalizes on being a low-pressure social media application.
It lets users post images without a caption, like, or comment. Unlike Instagram, all that users see in the photo published, is a follow button, the date, and the filter used on the picture. The app sells a sense of belonging and Gen Z loves that. That’s also how it is different from Instagram. Similarly, your application needs to have its own USP to make its place in the market.
Determine how the app will generate revenue. VSCO’s revenue streams include subscription fees, in-app purchases, and brand partnerships. On the other hand, Instagram makes money by letting advertisers promote their brands on the platform. Similarly, you can decide your own revenue streams. Here are some of the most popular revenue streams used by major players in the social photo editing app industry:
Decide on the pricing strategy for the app. VSCO offers a free version with limited features and a paid subscription model that unlocks premium features. Determine the pricing structure that will be most attractive to your target audience while still being profitable.
Define a marketing strategy to promote the app and increase revenue. This can include social media advertising, influencer marketing, and email campaigns. VSCO has a strong presence on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, where they showcase user-generated content and promote their subscription service.
In addition, you must clearly define your customer segment, key resources, partners, and cost structure of the app in the app’s business model to provide clarity to all the stakeholders involved. It is best to create a business model canvas for your app. Here is what it looks like:
Step 3:Select Your App Features
Once you have identified the gaps in the market, define the features you want to include in your app. Your app features should be decided based on the data you collected in the first and second steps and they must align with the needs and preferences of your users and your app’s business model. Here are some of the must-have features for social photo editing apps:
A social photo editing app must be designed to be user-friendly and accessible, with a wide range of features that allow users to enhance their photos and share them with others. The choice of features depends on the business model of the app and the development budget.
You can also include advanced features like AR filters, frames, retouching, and others to make your app more compelling. However, remember the more features you add, the higher will be your app development cost. So, instead of adding everything at once, it is best to use an MVP Approach to build a social media app like VSCO.
Step 4:Design and Develop Your App
Once you are clear about how your app will work, it is time to invest in app design and development. Keep in mind that you need to design a user interface that is intuitive and easy to use. Consider how users will navigate through the app and how they will interact with the various features. Although it is recommended that you hire a development partner in the beginning, it also makes sense if you want to do the initial research all by yourself.
However, once you are clear about the app idea and concept, you need to hire a proficient social photo-editing app development team. Here is what the structure of your app development team should look like:
Developing a social photo editing app like VSCO requires a significant amount of time, resources, and expertise in software development, UI/UX design, and security. Thus, it is important to work with a team of experienced professionals to ensure that the app is successful. You can decide things like targeted platforms, technology stack, security features, and others with the help of app development experts you hire.
Step 5:App Launch
Launching an app involves several steps, including app store submission, marketing, and user engagement. And you need to take all of that into consideration.
Also, it is an ongoing process that requires a lot of effort and attention to detail. It’s also important to continue iterating and improving your app based on user feedback and market trends. So, when hiring an app development team, make sure you clear things about post-launch support and maintenance.
Once your app is ready, submit it to the app stores (Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS) by following their guidelines and requirements to ensure it gets approved.
There are many social photo editing apps available in the market like Instagram, Snapseed, VSCO, and others. However, it is an industry where there is always room for improvement and scope for new app ideas. If you have an out-of-the-box app idea to build your social media app, get in touch with pre-vetted developers at Apptunix. Our team will not only help you with development, but we are experts in providing cost-saving tips, post-launch support, and funding solutions for budding Mobile App Startups.
Get in touch to know more! Also, do not forget to check our Mobile App Development Guide for 2023 to build an amazing product while saving development cost.
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