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Social Media App Development: Cost, Features & Trends!

262 Views | 7 min | Published On: February 22, 2024 Last Updated: June 12, 2024

As an entrepreneur, the trickiest part is deciding the right market to invest in for your business to succeed. Nonetheless, of all the options, social media app development is the most beneficial field that will propel your business to new heights. 

Of course, creating a social media app is a lucrative option, which has become the epicenter for many entrepreneurs. But do they all succeed? – Well, No! 

Startup Genome research demonstrates that 9 out of 10 startups fail. But why? – 

Certain factors, such as tech problems, operation, team, marketing, and other aspects, determine the success of your social media app. To avoid that, you must have a solid foundation that will help you navigate through developing a social media app platform

This detailed guide will help you understand every aspect of social media app development. Let’s get started!

3 Reasons Why to Invest in Social Media App Development

We've discussed the top 3 reasons to invest in a social media startup. Let's learn:

1. Huge Market Potential for Growth

The following data demonstrates a distinct trend of rising sales and market growth in the social networking sector over the ensuing years.

social media app development overview

Take a look – 5.04 billion people around the world make use of social media. Around 266 million users joined social media last year. – These figures clearly state the vast market potential of social media app development. 

Investing in social media development will offer you a vast scope to reach a huge user base and target the right audience. You must take advantage of this market potential and develop an app offering users a platform tailored to their requirements, interests, or demographics.

2. Monetization Opportunities

Over the years, mobile app downloads have soared. Look at the following figures (2023):

top social media app worldwide downloads 2024

Social media app downloads increase user base size, boost engagement, and make it easier to gather valuable user data that may be sold for advertising, subscriptions, and other income sources. All of these factors help to create prospects for monetization.

3. Data Insights and User Engagement

Social media apps collect data about users' online activities and interests. Utilizing this data, you may develop social networking apps that better cater to users' interests and enhance their overall experience. 

Additionally, you may increase your revenue by using the data to offer users adverts that they are more likely to find interesting.

Latest Trends in Social Media Development

Following, we’ve listed the latest trends in social media development. Let’s discuss:

social media development latest trends

1. Video Content Dominance:

With an increasing emphasis on short-form videos, video content is becoming more and more dominant. It includes TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and Instagram Reels.

2. E-commerce Integration:

E-commerce functionality is integrated into social media networks so users can purchase directly from the platform. Businesses and brands use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and others to advertise their products and services. 

3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR):

AR/VR capabilities have been incorporated into social media apps that offer users unique immersive experiences. AR filters and effects on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok are increasingly sophisticated, enhancing user engagement. VR social spaces like Meta's Horizon Worlds are also gaining traction, offering immersive experiences.

4. Live Streaming:

Numerous social media sites have upgraded or added live streaming, providing users and marketers new opportunities to communicate with their audience in real time. Live streaming remains a key feature, with apps like Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok offering live options. Real-time interaction through live comments, Q&A sessions, and live shopping events are becoming mainstream.

5. P2P Payment:

P2P payment capabilities for business accounts make smooth transactions between businesses and individuals possible. It simplifies financial procedures, allowing companies to receive and send money quickly.

Must-Have Features to Include in Your Social Media App

Check the listed essential features for social media that you can incorporate into application development. Let’s learn:

top features to include in social media app
  • Registration/ Login: Social media apps include easy account registration and secure login steps. 
  • Interactive UI UX Design: A user interface enhances user experience and engagement; it must be simple to use and visually appealing to users. 
  • Photos/ Videos Uploading: Allow users to publish and share photos and videos with their network to promote the creation and exchange of content.
  • In-App Chat & Video Calling: Enable users to message and make video calls within the app to foster community and interaction.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication to strengthen security and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.
  • Push Notifications: Users may stay engaged and informed with push alerts for messages, updates, likes, comments, and other app activity.

Advanced Features to Include in Social Media App

Check the advanced features that you can incorporate into your social media app:

  • Location:  Incorporating location-based features will enable users to find their friends, businesses, or activities nearby. It helps to enhance user experience. 
  • AI Chatbots: AI chatbots make it simple for users to seek support around the clock and swiftly fix their issues. It helps to boost user satisfaction and retention. 
  • AR/VR Technology: AI/VR technology allows for creating immersive and interactive content for users. It gives customers a wonderful experience and motivates them to utilize it more frequently. 

Social Media App Development: Step-by-Step Guide

Following, we’ve discussed a step-by-step guide to building social media apps. Let’s learn:

step by step guide to build social media app development

Step 1: Planning

Planning is the first step of custom social media app development. Here, you need to establish the ultimate objective and target market for your social media app development process. Additionally, at this stage, the app's design, functionality, and other elements are decided. 

It's also critical to do market research, identify rivals, and ascertain consumer preferences throughout the planning stage. A project timeframe, budget, and resource allocation plan must be considered as well in this section. The team proceeds to the design step after completing the planning stage.

Step 2: Design

Now comes the designing UI/UX stage. Designers employ colors, typefaces, logos, and other distinctive features to attract the audience. Also, designers must ensure the layout is accessible, responsive, and readable across all devices and platforms. 

Step 3: Development

Now, let’s move on to the development phase. Here, developers select the appropriate technology depending on the platform (iOS, Android, or cross-platform). 

Furthermore, they implement the backend infrastructure for user authentication, content delivery, and data storage. Also, they incorporate front-end components such as programming languages (Swift, Kotlin, Java).

Additionally, third-party API integrations are implemented for features like analytics, social sharing, or location services. Security measures are also inculcated to protect user privacy and data. 

Step 4: Testing

At this stage, developers test the app regarding functioning and other components. The application is evaluated across various devices or operating systems to identify, find, and address bugs or incompatibilities. Additionally, accurate user testing is crucial to gather input on the functionality and user experience of the app. 

Step 5: Deployment

Last comes the deployment phase. Developers prepare the app for deployment by finalizing configuration and optimizing performance. Then, they launch the app on relevant app stores such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 

Once everything is approved, the app is deployed online and developers monitor its performance and user feedback. 

By following these steps, you may successfully plan, design, create, test, and launch a social networking app that satisfies user needs and corporate objectives.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Social Media App Development

Several factors implement the cost of social media app development. We've thoroughly discussed each one of them. 

factors influencing social media app development cost

1. Choosing Platform

The choice of platform significantly affects the total cost of developing a social networking app. 

Creating a cross-platform program that runs on both platforms is usually more expensive than developing for a single platform, such as iOS or Android. 

Cross-platform development, however, uses a single codebase to reach a larger audience; it may be less expensive in the long run.

2. Features & Functionalities

Your app's efficiency is determined by its features and functionalities. Including cutting-edge features will make your software stand out from the competition. Nevertheless, the price will be more than if you were to just include the most basic functions, including chat, content sharing, and user accounts. 

On the other hand, advanced features include augmented reality filters, AI-driven content suggestions, and real-time collaboration. Every additional feature increases the complexity of the development process, including time and resources.

3. UI/UX Design

The user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) are critical factors in drawing in and keeping users. Well-designed and user-friendly interfaces can boost user pleasure and engagement but also drive up development costs. 

Custom animations, intricate layouts, and tailored user experiences all need additional labor during the design phase, which could significantly increase expenses.

4. Location of App Development Company

The location of the app development business affects the total cost. Development agencies in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America typically charge less than those in North America and Western Europe.  This is because of the higher cost of living and wages in these regions. 

However, in other situations, selecting less-priced services could compromise communication or quality due to linguistic or cultural barriers.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Social Media App?

Let’s now discuss the elephant in the room – social media app development costs.  The cost of developing a social media application depends on several factors. These factors include:

  • Project Complexity
  • Features & Functionalities
  • UI/UX Design
  • Technology Stack
  • Quality Assurance
  • Timeline and more!

However, the estimated cost to build a basic complex social media app with simple features & functionalities ranges between $25,000 to $50,000. On the other hand, incorporating complex social media apps with advanced features will cost around $80,000 or more. 

Note:

Do you want to build a social media app at a low cost? – Then, you must follow a strategic approach – MVP (Minimum Viable Product) social media app development. 

You can build and launch your social media app with essential features and functionalities here. Once you've tested the waters – you can obtain funds and go for a fully-developed social media app with advanced features and functionalities. 

Get your free tech consultation and estimated quotation by contacting Apptunix Experts.

Unlock Potential with Apptunix – Your Trusted Mobile App Development Partner

Investing in such a lucrative and competitive market is a risky route. Taking the first right step is essential to reach your thriving final destination. Partner with Apptunix, a leading mobile app development company that will assist you in turning your vision into reality. 

Our social media app developers use the most recent technology to provide custom app development solutions tailored to your business's objectives. Whether you need Android social media app development or iOS social media app development, we've got you covered. From social media networking apps to dating app development, our expertise spans a wide range of platforms and functionalities.

Wait no more. Contact Apptunix experts, and let's work together to make your social media app development dream come true!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q 1.How much does a social media app development cost?

The estimated cost of social media app development with may range from $25,000 to $80,000 or above depending on project’s complexity, features & functionalities, UX UI design, tech stack, and more. 

Q 2.How long does it take to build a social media app?

It may take around 3 to 6 months, depending on the project’s complexity, features, and other aspects. 

Q 3.Is creating a social media app beneficial? 

Yes, social media app development is definitely a beneficial option. Your app will be open to specific monetization options, can reach a more extensive audience base, connect with other brands and businesses promoting their products and services, and so on. 

 

Q 4.What are the different things to consider for the process of social media app development?

Some of the factors you must consider include selecting the type of social media app, choosing the target audience, deciding on the revenue model, selecting the basic and advanced features you want to incorporate into your app, and choosing the right social media app development company

Q 5.Which are the most popular social media app platforms?

Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and TikTok are dominating the social media landscape with billions of monthly active users. Facebook leads the list, followed by YouTube. TikTok also boasts over a billion monthly users, showcasing its significant global influence.

Q 6.How I can make money from social media app development?

Monetize your social media app through targeted advertising, subscription models, in-app purchases, and offering premium features. Partner with brands for sponsored content and leverage e-commerce integrations for additional revenue streams.

Q 7.What are the different types of social media apps

Social media apps encompass various types, from social networking platforms like Facebook to media sharing apps like Instagram. They also include microblogging platforms like Twitter and messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

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