Social Media App Development – A Comprehensive Guide

Updated on Jun 16th, 2021

Social Media App Develop - Complete Guide

Social media applications are an essential part of our lives now. It is not just limited to communicating with your known contacts; people connect with other individuals with the same mindset or skills to grow. The advancement in mobile technology has paved the path for the success of social media app development. Today, almost everyone owns a smartphone and dozens of social media apps for several purposes. As the market grew, the types of social networking app development began diversifying itself. Each platform has different sets of advanced features and functionality that allure users towards them. 

You can analyze the growth and demand to create a social media app on a personal level, just check your phone and count the social networking platforms you have installed. As per Statista, an average person spends around 145 minutes daily on these social networking platforms. These platforms have shortened the distances around the world in terms of communications. Do you know, initially, these apps were developed with an intent to connect with like-minded people? Today, it is being used for almost every purpose, such as online classes for skills learning or academics, business meetings, marketing, advertisements, shopping, and much more.  

Despite an increase in the number of dominant social platforms on the web, there is an abundance of room available for another platform in the market. You ask why? The human mind is the most unpredictable thing, and we get bored of things quickly, and our interests change with the trends. There are millions of people with diverse interests, and you can build a social media app, targeting any of these interests, and your app can make it big. 

Social media app development is here to stay and prosper; various entrepreneurs are interested in building new social platforms as the amount of revenue generation is skyrocketing high. If you are among those entrepreneurs, in this blog, you will learn all about the process of developing a social media app and monetize it. Along with the development process, you will learn about the successful implementation of your networking platform. 

What is a Social Media App?

When you connect with people in real life, it’s called socializing. A social network is the same as socializing, just that it happens online. These networks are designed to connect people that share common interests, backgrounds, etc. You also connect with your known people like family and friends with an added advantage of connecting with people from all walks of life. Apart from connecting individuals, these platforms are excellent marketing tools and can take your brand to an international scale. In terms of sharing, people share their photos, videos, ideas, posts, achievements and share real-life activities from around the world with the people in their network.

These networks are revolutionizing the way of making connections. Such apps have a set of features that varies according to the type of social media app. These features are designed to make the connection or search of a person online straightforward. Users can search for a person by his name, city, etc. If you are looking for someone with the same mindset, some features make it possible. Apart from individual connections, social networking apps allow users to create groups and connect with them all at once and share ideas and stuff.

An easy-to-use and simple UI is the key to success when it comes to social media app development. People just want to get in touch with their contact without any hassle, hence a simple UI. Social media apps are becoming the revolutionized French salons, as they are also being used to carry out discussions on important topics by various intellectuals worldwide. Now that we know about the social networking platform, let’s understand it’s working.

Classification of Social Media Apps

Social platforms operate on different levels and offer various features and functionalities as per their niche. However, you can choose any niche to build your app on and offer the appropriate set of features. These classifications can also help you in analyzing your competitors. Here are some of the most common types of social media app development in the market.

Social Networks

Connecting with people can have various reasons; it can either be professional or personal. There are times when users want to share their views on a current situation in the world or about something personal. For this purpose, they use such apps, and the popularity of such apps is skyrocketing high. Apart from the personal views, there are times when you want to share something with your professional network, and these apps come in handy. Currently, apps like LinkedIn serves the purpose of professional networking, and Facebook, Twitter, etc., serves the purpose of personal networking.  

Community and Discussion Forums

When you connect with a set of like-minded people, you want to discuss a particular niche that is the core of that community; that’s where such apps come into the picture. Users from all over the world share their insights, experiences, ideas, and much more. These portals deliver answers to some community questions and help people explore different prospects of their lives. Currently, apps like Quora, Reddit, etc., are the most common community and discussion forums available online. 

Media Sharing Networks

Every day something good, bad, and exciting happens in people’s lives, and they want to share it with their friends and the whole world. Media sharing networks avail them the platform to share their experience in terms of photos, videos, and audio files. Such apps have a rating system in the form of likes, comments, etc., that appreciates their creativity or work. 

Users love to upload their favorite photos or tutorial of something they want to teach other people. This niche has a huge user base and is used all over the world. Currently, there are numerous media-sharing networks operating online, but YouTube, Snapchat, and Vimeo are the most popular apps in this category. 

Blogging Platforms

Informing others about something is a fundamental trait of the human race. People are intrigued by the fact of sharing something knowledgeable about something such as blogs, articles, and short posts. Blogging platforms like Medium and eBlogger serve the same purpose. You can target this category as it has a knowledgeable user base and popularity.  

Consumer Reviews Portals

People buy several things on a daily basis, and they share their reviews about these products along with their experiences. Such reviews help other customers in buying better and learn about a product’s performance. Such portals are critical for businesses and user experience. In this category, Yelp is the most popular consumer review network. 

Anonymous Social Networks

The world is getting shorter in terms of connecting people, and there are times when users don’t want to reveal their identity while sharing content or posting something about a current issue. Networks like Whisper, After School, and enables them to share their contents anonymously. These networks are also popular as they ensure the privacy and security of the data of the users. You can also create a social media app that ensures anonymity. 

Relationship Networks

Dating is the most popular genre of the social networking app development sector. On these apps, people connect with each other to form a relationship with consent. Such apps offer matching systems that connect two like-minded individuals based on their profiles and interests. You can invest in this niche and build a social app just like Tinder and Badoo that are most popular in this category. 

Messenger Networks

Who doesn’t loves chatting with their friends and family? Everyone loves it, and the apps of this category deliver you the freedom to chat with whomsoever you like. Messenger apps are popular since the last decade and have been rising in terms of user base and revenue generation. Over the years, these apps have enhanced their usability and features that make chatting fun. Investing in a messenger social media app development will the wisest decision you will take. Currently, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and many others applications are dominating this category.  

This classification of social networks helps you in choosing a correct niche as per your interests. Once you are done with selecting the category, you can quickly think of what features to add and what functionalities to offer. You can ask your social media app developers‘ team to implement your idea as per the well-designed road map to make your app popular.

Social media for brand researh

Why Invest in Social Media App Development?

Investing a significant amount of your capital in some app development is a big decision. Before investing, you should be clear about the reason that urges you to start your own social media network. When you create a social media app, you gain the authority to reach your community on your terms and avail them of some extraordinary features that awe them. Here are some reasons that define why you should invest in social networking development.

Global Audience

In current times, everyone is connected with the internet, and as per reports majority of the internet traffic is generated by mobile devices. With the development of a social media network, you can connect with a global audience and enhance your reach. These numbers will help you in increased sales, revenue, and much more. You can easily promote anything and attract customers from all over the globe.  


Creating a website for social networking is good but creating an app where people can connect, discuss, and review something is even great. With a networking app, you can literally have millions of customers available anytime. You can generate revenue in multiple ways. With one tap, users can access your campaigns and other businesses.

Advertising On-the-go

Mobile networking apps deliver the freedom to access anything anywhere. Your user base can be doing anything, and they will still attend to the advertising campaign on your apps. You can start influencing people with your campaigns, and people are more likely to purchase or subscribe to these social media apps. Social networking apps can take your brand’s reputation to a whole new level. 

Audience Information

When a brand has a number of followers, it is more likely to be successful in terms of popularity and revenue generation. With the help of such platforms, a business can develop a blueprint for better serving the targeted audience. Such apps are the most significant sources of information about the customer, like their browsing preferences, their interests, etc. These data sets enable a business to personalize their services and increase customer satisfaction which ultimately increases the ROI. 

Value Creation

Social networking app development provides the users a platform where they can share their opinion about various things such as a current issue, a product’s review, etc. These reviews and comments help in building value for a brand, service, or product. When the reviews of a business are good, and the opinions are positive, it is most likely to succeed. On the other hand, it will help the business in attracting plenty of subscribers. 

Features to be Included in Social Networking App Development

The prevailing social networking apps are filled with features; some are useful and act as fillers. Your project should have a set of features that add value to the app’s content and usability. There are some features that are mandatory to have in a social media app, and some features are counted as the premium that is optional but, if included, can enhance the popularity and user base of the app. Here are some must-have and premium features to be considered while building a social platform.


Users love trying new things, but they should be guided perfectly to use a new app. Onboarding facilitates a guide to users about the functioning of an app. Further, users are required to fill up a registration form and provide their basic details such as name, email, age, etc. Please ensure the process should be easy and provide various options of registrations to the users such as using their other accounts on platforms like Facebook, Gmail, etc. The onboarding process is the first impression of your app to the users; you don’t want to bore them with extra-long registration.

Profile Building

On social media, everyone wants to look great and project great impressions. Your project should deliver the users the freedom to edit their profile and fill up their personal information, which they want to project to the world. A profile should also contain a bio section that asks users to fill up information that describes them the best. In the case of dating apps, you can also add columns of height, body weight, etc. 

Social Feed

Newsfeed or the social feed allows users to view other posts and content shared by their network in a scrollable form. Users are more interested in other’s feeds; hence, ensure that this feature should be well integrated into your app. To make this feature further, you can implement an infinite scrolling news feed in your app. 

Post Creation

Users should be able to craft their posts in any form, such as video, text, or photos. This feature allows users to create their posts and share them with their network. Your app should allow users to interact with other posts on the network by like and comment options. You can also allow users to broadcast their content live by implementing live streaming in your app.


Everyone likes to get appreciated; users like to know about everything that happens within their network, like when somebody liked their content, who shared their content, followed them, etc. The notification feature serves the same purpose; it notifies the users about various updates. You can also use this feature to alert a dormant user to join the app and enjoy the various updates.


Apart from sharing content, users connect with each other on these apps via text, audio, or video chat. Please ensure this feature is present in your app to attract a large user base. It would be better if users are able to initiate a group chat on your app. The functionality of your app’s feature should awe the users. 


It’s not easy to remember all the names of the people that are in your group; that’s where the search option comes into the picture. It has multiple uses; a user can use it to search for any person, place, or thing in your app. Search option delivers the feasibility to get the desired content in one click. 

Location wise content

While posting the content, you can add the option to provide the location of the user. It adds a hint of personalization, and users are intrigued by the idea of location sharing. You can also add this feature in the search section that allows the users to conduct searches based on a location. 


When a user’s profile gains a significant number of followers or posts, analytics becomes an essential part. If the user’s profile is significant or not, either way, your app should display the analytics of the user’s profile in terms of his post’s reach, numbers of followers gained, etc. You can integrate features like Google Analytics for this purpose. 


Introducing a number of filters on your social app can enhance its reach and user base. People are always excited about trying new filters and share with their friends. These filters should be able to enhance their photo or video quality with various effects. In another case, these filters should be able to animate the face of the users to make it more fun.

AI Chatbots

The involvement of AI in your app can never go sideways. Implementation of a chatbot is an added advantage. It can be used with various types of social media apps to answer the FAQs about your app. You can program it to ask for information from users and create their profiles based on the answers. The vital use of chatbots is in delivering optimum customer satisfaction by providing them quick and efficient responses. 

Social media app development services

Development Process

Now that you know about the features and reasons to invest in the social media app development process, it’s time to proceed to the next step. The development of any app comes with specific challenges, and to overcome those challenges, you need to develop an efficient road map. First things first, you have to decide which type of social media app you want to build, like a social network app, a consumer review network, a media-sharing app, a blogging platform, a community, a discussion forum, etc.  

Further, you need to know your audience and their expectations from a new social media app. Now, you have to choose the option of a platform on which you want to launch your app. Please be aware that the cost of development of the cross-platform app is expensive than a single platform app. In terms of development, you need to carry out extensive market research to get an overall idea about the trends, competition, and trends. You always have the option to hire a market research company to conduct the research on your behalf. Although, you can also carry out the market research yourself, and it will yield better results. 

After the market research, you will have all the details and strategies of your competition to proceed in the social networking app development process. Next, you have to decide your budget or the amount of capital you want to invest in such a project. This market research will give you a rough estimate. The budget is a variable quantity and can change as per the functionality of your app. You need your app to succeed and to make it famous; you have to deliver the best features, platform, and functionality. For an exact estimation of your budget, you can get in touch with your social media app developers. 

Technologies to Consider

The trending social media apps are now being developed with various attractive features that require a different set of technology. The functionality of your app will depend upon the technology stack you choose for the purpose of development. The technologies used for the development of frontend and backend development are different.

Front-end Development

The front end is the part that is available to the users. Everything that the user does on your app is done on the frontend side. It should be crafted well and precise, users should be allured by the design and feasibility. 

There are some specific popular frameworks that are being used in the development of social networking apps, such as Angular, ExpressJs, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, Ionic, etc.

Backend Development

Backend Development is known as the most critical phase of development. This part of the app behaves as the command center for your platform. Every function of your app can be controlled from here, and if needed, you can update it too. Since it is a crucial part of development, it needs to be developed with great precision. 

Various frameworks are available in the market and are considered perfect for backend development, such as Django, Laravel, Codeigniter, Phalcon, CakePHP, etc. 

Programming Languages

Apart from the frameworks, there is a need for programming languages that will carve the structure of your social networking app development. Developing these applications requires a set of programming languages for each platform, i.e., Android and iOS. 

Social media app developers use various programming languages. Still, some of the popular ones are Java & Kotlin for Android, Obj C & Swift for iOS, and JavaScript & HTML5 for Cross-platform. 

Database Development

The next step after the backend and frontend development of your app is database development. There is no doubt that social media apps generate a bulk load of data, and you need to manage that pile of data. 

Social media app developers focus on the functionality of the DBMS. It should be precise and fast. There are various databases available for the varying needs of different types of social networking applications that you can implement in your development process. 

You can choose from various databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, SQLite, and NoSQL However, it is always recommended to use PostgreSQL or MySQL for best results. In terms of cloud administrations, the most preferred among the app developers is Amazon Web Services. 

Monetization Models

Everything on the internet has only one motive that is to print money. Hence, you need to decide which monetization model you want to implement in your social media platform. Monetization strategies are being diversified as technological advancements are made every day. New models are being generated by various apps prevailing in the market. It’s up to your which strategies suit you the most. Here are some of the most popular monetization models.


Displaying advertisements on your app is the most traditional model for money-making. You can tie up with various brands related to the interest of your users and display them in your apps and charge a fee. You can display the ads between the news feed as a post, between stories, various other places. 

In-app Purchases

One of the most popular money-generating models is an in-app purchase. Your app can offer users to purchase some of the premium features to use and share content created by them. On the other hand, you can also offer them to purchase some physical goods from your app that carries your brand image, such as merchandise and accessories. 

Another method involves leveraging your audience’s power, charging third-party store owners, and allowing them to sell their products on your app.

Sponsors and Partnerships

To level up your money-making game, you can partner with brands and display their advertisements or promote their products on your app. If you want to make it more effective, you should try to match the brand’s products with your audience’s interests. Further, you can always promote any specific product or service of a company on your app.


This model allows users to take part in your revenue generation process. Allow users to organize or promote their events on your app and charge them a fee for it. When a user’s profile reaches a massive number of followers, they tend to organize such events and pay the platform for the same.

Data Monetization

Various companies online are always ready to purchase the data of the users to understand their shopping traits and browsing behavior better. Your user base will generate a massive pile of data every day. You can anonymize this data and sell it to such companies for good revenue. The best part is that this model doesn’t affect the user’s experience. 

Paid Subscriptions

Some features on your will be free for everyone, but to use other premium features on a daily basis, a user has to pay a subscription fee. To implement this model, you have to ensure that your app delivers excellent value to the users. You can also divide the paid subscriptions into tiers.

Team Requirements

To build a social media app, you need a team of mobile app developers. Now, to choose a team for your development process, you have to check the reviews and the capabilities of such developers and companies. 

You always have the option of hiring a team of freelance social media app developers that will cost you a lot less than a full-fledged company. However, you have to assemble every single position to form a team. If you managed to get a team together, there would be coordination and quality issues that most people face. 

If you choose a social media app development company, you will have a full-fledged team working on your project. These companies have experienced social media app developers and project managers that have handled numerous such projects. These mobile app development companies ensure quality and after-sales maintenance. A typical development consists of a couple of developers, a QA, a project manager, and a UI/UX designer. 

Cost to Develop

The capital required to create a social media app depends on various factors. Your vision about the app, the features you want to integrate, time invested in the development, etc., makes the cost figure fluctuate. 

There are plenty of features that require a different set of technology to implement, and that affects the cost. The cost will also depend upon your choice of mobile app team development. In the case of a freelance team, you will be billed per hour, and in the case of a full-fledged mobile app development company, you will be charged only for the human resources and time invested in your project. 

The region in which you are trying to get your app developed also influences the cost of development. 

Build Social Media App

How can Matellio Help You?

Social media apps are an essential part of our lives. Everybody is using it, and the market is full of opportunities. Despite the presence of numerous social networking platforms prevailing in the market, there is still room for another app. You can convert your user base into a good revenue generation model with efficient strategies. Always put the users first and try to understand their expectations to make it big in the field of social networking. 

Matellio is a leading firm in the social media app development industry. Our proficient social media app developers have delivered flawlessly engineered apps with great ratings and excellent customer feedback. If you have an idea of developing a social platform, connect with us, and let’s get started. 

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