How to Develop a Social Media Platform like Twitter?

Updated on Apr 17th, 2023


Twitter has to be one of the most known and popular social media platforms of its kind in the entire world. Millions of users use Twitter daily, and almost everyone using social media has heard about it. What makes Twitter so special is how it introduced hashtags to the world, the bite-sized status updates, and the sheer reach it offers.

As of this day, Elon Musk has taken over Twitter at his initial offer of $44 Billion, making it one of the largest buyouts in history. Must it be something special, right? Over 240 million users worldwide use Twitter, and we are here today to discuss what makes it so special. Let’s get started, and we hope by the end of this blog, you will know everything you need to know about developing a social media platform like Twitter.

  • Twitter caters to hundreds of millions of users are their daily choice of social media platform.
  • An app like Twitter offers microblogging, video broadcasting, and image-sharing platform to its users.
  • The tech stack that Twitter follows includes JS and RoR, but your choice would be determined based on your specific requirements.
  • Planning unique feature offerings and monetization methods are the most important part of developing a social media app like Twitter.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is officially known as a microblogging platform, and the ideology is to allow people to post text-sized updates on their profiles. What makes Twitter extremely popular is how famous people and government agencies use it to post updates. Anything new happening is supposedly posted on Twitter first, making the platform irresistible to users. The platform also allows posting pictures, and videos, along with text updates, making it an all-in-one social media platform.

Where is Twitter Available?

You can use Twitter through the web on all devices capable of running a browser or download applications native to devices including both Android and iOS.


The website is highly optimized and built using various technologies. There are multiple API integrations for the smooth flow of information from different sources as well. The website is responsive and can be virtually used on any device which can open a website.

twitter-desktop-versionImage Source: Mapping Returns

Mobile App

Twitter offers mobile apps covering the demands of phone users. Both Android and iOS apps are available on respective app stores, and users can simply download them and start using Twitter.

Twitter-AppImage Source: App Advice

Popular Features on Offer by Twitter

There are various features which users can directly use and those which affect how the platform operates. If you plan to develop a social media platform like Twitter, this list is a must. A platform like Twitter operates on its offerings, and the USP is the functionality it offers. Let us walk you through the most popular feature offerings by Twitter.


The most popular and essential feature on offer by Twitter is Tweets. Tweets are text-sized content updates that users can post on their profiles. Each tweet can include another person, organization, or hashtags(more on it later). Once posted, the tweet is instantly available on the platform, making it much faster than other forms of updates on different social platforms.

tweet-featureImage Source: Business Twitter

Verified Accounts

Twitter offers a service where it can verify accounts to add an extra layer of protection for users and organizations. The blue tick was introduced to differentiate original content owners from fake ones. You will usually notice the tick in front of celebrities and organizations, so you will know anything posted by their account is relevant.

verified-twitter-accountImage Source: Geo News

Ads Management Platform

Using ads on Twitter, one can reach potential customers, increase their following, and amplify their messages. The state-of-the-art management platform allows various filters, bids, timings, and more. While, as a user, it may only seem like a simple feature, for Twitter, it takes a lot of computation and data analytics to achieve relevancy towards ads posted.

twitter-ads-platform-featureImage Source: Business Twitter


The platform uses advanced computational vision and image filtering to keep the platform safe. The graphic images are already blurred out, giving the users an option if they want to see them. The photos are blurred for all users, and one can choose in settings if they are comfortable viewing such images.

twitter-safety-featureImage Source: engadget


These ought to be one of the most well-thought-of features on offer by Twitter. Hashtags allow the grouping of relevant tweets where users can navigate the topic as much as they want. Everyone posting about a certain topic can include hashtags, and users seeking information about it can follow the hashtag to see everything posted on the site about it.

hashtag-twitter-featureImage Source: Twitter Business


Re-tweets allow users to re-share updates from another user. The feature is helpful in both building threads and increasing the popularity of a tweet. Users usually reshare something they care about or have an opinion on, and the tweet would be visible on their profile while maintaining the original source.

twitter retweet featureImage Source: Slate

Twitter Shopping

Twitter US rolled out a feature where people can directly integrate their Shopify stores and publish the catalog on their profile. The features enable users to shop on Twitter itself, easing the process and opening up a world of possibilities. If Twitter could conquer the eCommerce space, it would be the most successful transition in history and would certainly affect the overall growth of such a platform.

shopping-featureImage Source: Twitter Business

Twitter Pixel

Twitter pixel allows tracking click-throughs of a user’s website for which they have published an ad. The feature allows tracking of where a customer landed and the actions they have performed specifically. It lets users dwell deeper into insights generated by the ads and perform better by making the necessary changes.

twitter-pixelImage Source: Twitter Business

Twitter Spaces

Twitter now lets users create spaces where they can talk to people attending or are subscribed to that space. The platform supports audio conferencing and works on the concept where people can host discussions and tell their stories. The same has been adopted by popular apps and is a lesser lesser-known feature of Twitter.

twitter-spaces-featureImage Source: Twitter Business

Technology behind Twitter

Twitter uses Ruby on Rails and Scala for its web development needs, which partly helps with mobile apps as well. There is a prominent use of different JavaScript tools and frameworks as well, including Node.JS, React, and ExpressJS. There are various other services being used to drive results in terms of on-spot scalability. There are talks for new implementations as well to increase Twitter’s reach in a few countries where it works really slowly.

Monetization Model of Twitter

The monetization of Twitter includes majorly of two things, the ads platform and data licensing. The majority of revenue in FY 2021 came from advertisements for Twitter, accounting for 89% of the total revenue. The rest of the revenue came through data licensing and other sources.

The ads platform focuses on creating spaces where advertisers can directly reach their target audiences based on different factors. It allows advertisers to pinpoint target audiences based on locality, age, education, and whatnot.

Twitter currently offers the following ad formats:

Promoted Ads

These support all the media types available to post on Twitter and are the most basic ad format we have all known. It works on the concept of promoting the post, whatever it may be. You can link it to your website for a customer to follow through.

twitter-promoted-adsImage Source: Twitter Business

Follower Ads

Follower ads are targeted to increase the reach, awareness, and of course, the following. These ads help gain an overall reputation on the platform and help people be realized and known to their audience of choice.

twitter-follower-adsImage Source: Twitter Business

Twitter Amplify

Twitter Amplify works on the concept that advertisers can utilize popular videos from publishers. The ads are broken into pre-roll, and sponsored formats; whichever the advertiser chooses can curate their ads on specific parts of the video.

twitter-amplifyImage Source: Twitter Business

Twitter Takeover

The takeover is as intimate as ads get; the user would see the first ad of the day as yours when you choose this. It is the most premium and expensive offering and is applied to both timelines and trends.

trend_Takeover_mock_1Image Source: Twitter Business

Twitter Live

It enables businesses to broadcast their live streams to audiences of their choice. It is hugely popular with brands holding events for launching their products as the reach of Twitter lets them broadcast to hundreds of millions of users.

twitter-liveImage Source: Twitter Business

Dynamic Product Ads

Retargeting and prospecting are the two most popular ad types for dynamic product ads. It allows them to keep showing the same ad to the customer until they can make a buying decision. The ad format is hugely popular and supported by Twitter in all possible ways.

Twitter also tried to monetize verified profiles under Elon Musk as an experiment. The confusion seems well over the head of everyone right now, but Elon has claimed it is going to be one of the main revenue sources for Twitter in the future. The plan was to simply charge a set amount of dollars for verified profiles per month, a win-win for everybody.

Image Source: Twitter Business

The Process to Develop a Social Platform like Twitter?

Social media app development requires intimate knowledge and resources. Especially for an app like Twitter, the development would require you to hire resources for many different technologies based on the platforms you plan to target. Let’s briefly discuss each point you will need to go through for social media platform development.


Every great application starts with planning, and you will need to pen down everything from features to monetization approaches before beginning development. Since an app like Twitter takes up a lot of resources, it is best to tread lightly and mitigate as many risks as possible. If you hire a company for enterprise software development, they will help you with proper consultation.

Planning can be divided into four parts:

Competitor/Market Analysis

The most important part of planning an app these days is to analyze the competition. It is specifically difficult in today’s age due to everything being competitive on a global scale. The best way to do it is to list the main feature offerings of popular platforms and list down their USPs. Creating an app like Twitter is no small feat, and while it may require a lot of initial market analysis, succeeding in creating something better can change the world.

Planning the Features

Once you are ready with the offerings of the market, you can start preparing a list of features you are going to offer. There can be things like AR/VR support, integrations with wearables, and more as exclusive features. The goal is to fulfill user demand for something that the other platforms lack. The whole idea is to find something like that and build a platform around it; if you already know what users want, you are halfway there.

Setting a Budget

The number one reason for startup burnout is not setting the budget and jumping it into unnecessary places. If you plan to create your social media platform, you will need to budget everything. Most people have investors to back their thoughts with their experience, but you can also consult your mobile app development company. Their consultants are experienced in creating a successful app and can help you budget.

Gathering Resources

You can’t just go ahead and create an app just like that. Even if you wish to avail yourself of staff augmentation services or to outsource the entire project, you will need to gather resources. Start by looking at prospect partners with experience building social platforms. A company like ours employs absolute experts in the segment and can help you build the app you want.

Also Read: How to hire Dedicated Software Development Team?



Once you are done with planning, you will need to select the technology to work with.


There are various technologies and development languages for web apps to choose from. You can even initially choose different technologies, and if your idea works, move on to more intricate ones. Twitter uses a combination of Ruby on Rails and Scala, JS, and HTML5 with many other technologies for their web platform; you can choose the ones you are comfortable with.


For mobile apps, you have various different options on development paths. You can choose to create native apps, hybrid apps, PWAs, and more. Based on your requirements, you need to first choose the OS you are targeting. You can choose between Android and iOS or both. For PWA, you can work with your web app; for native, you can choose between Kotlin and Java, Swift and C#; for hybrid, you can choose between React Native, Flutter, Ionic, etc.

Next Generation Technologies

As we briefly discussed above on how Twitter uses computational vision and AI, you can implement the same for your app as well. There are various new technologies to choose from, including IoT, wearable integration, different types of data analytics and filtering, AR/VR, Blockchain, and more. Your mobile app development partner will guide you about the possibilities once you decide on the exclusive features you plan to offer.


Data analytics and computational vision are the two basic uses of AI such a platform can utilize. Given how much revenue is generated through ads, it is easy to deduce how important data analytics is. As far as the safety of the platform goes, computation vision keeps the platform usable over the world. Both combined also help combat issues like the spread of fake news and pornography and save Twitter from possible hacks.


Mixed reality is the new way to go for the world, and so can be said for upcoming social media platforms. While it has been a while since everyone has implemented it, there is a real possibility with devices like Google Glass to integrate with such platforms. No one is sure which way to move ahead first, so launching a platform capable of it can be a great first step.


The world is decentralizing, and creating something like Twitter which is decentralized, can make the world go upside down. The concept is the verification of tweets by individual sources and creating an ecosystem where no false information could persist. The prior is just an example, and the space is an open playground for fresh ideas.


A minimum viable product is essential when you want to try out the possibilities of your idea. With an app like Twitter, it is almost always better to create an MVP first, so even if things go south, the loss of resources won’t be exorbitant. If you are pitching an idea or USP, an MVP can help get investors up to speed with your thinking. Once you secure the funding you seek, you can create the entire necessary apps and website.

Also Read: MVP Development for Startups

Development Model


The waterfall model has been used since the beginning and is chosen by people who have very specific and set requirements for their projects. While for an app like Twitter, it may or may not work, it certainly isn’t the top choice. Read on to know more about more modern approaches where the development is more dynamic in all respects and even allows technology integrations and changes in the middle.


Almost every modern mobile development service follows this approach. The concept revolves around continuous feedback and improvements down the line. The model helps make continuous changes based on developments found during the software creation cycle. The project manager loops you in for every major milestone and seeks feedback on improving every bit of the app.


DevOps furthers the offerings of Agile methodology and integrated development environments through a team managing both operations and development. The approach allows for a product that is more on both the development and deployment ends in all respects. DevOps consultation services are a must before choosing your development model if you are planning social media app development. The advantages are many, and Twitter itself uses DevOps to a major extent.


Choosing Who to Hire

After making all the choices above, it comes down to who would actually do the development of your app. There are certainly all sorts of choices here, and you can hire your own team, augment staff for a development firm, or outsource to app development companies. Based on your budget and requirements, one might be a better fit than the other. Most established companies, when they have proved their potential go on to hire their own team, while staff augmentation services and project outsourcing top for the ones starting up.

If you need clarification about which way to go is the best for you, you should consult with experts. We at Matellio excel in creating social media apps of all kinds while offering curated hiring models for all kinds of needs. If you are interested in our services, all you need to do is contact us, and our experts will help you with everything you require. We offer free consultation as well, all you need to do is reach out, and we will take it from there.

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