How To Make A Social Media App: Useful Hints From Our Team

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01 Oct 2018
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14 min
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Sergey L.
Copywriter

Do you like chatting on the Internet? No? Come on, you must have been born on another planet! A wide variety of social media app have significantly changed the notion of communication and revealed its new features. It is worth noting that only Facebook alone has 1.1 billion of mobile users monthly! Yes, it is hard to believe such figure but we are not kidding! It is real. 

Not to mention other social apps that are also very interesting for the specific circle of users and even can motivate somebody to develop something similar in his or her own way. The secret of the popularity of such apps is the freedom they give to users. You can share your dreams and achievements with the whole world! Social apps development is one of the most leading directions of the IT-industry. People want to chat to share their emotions and exchange ideas with like-minded people. And if you want to find out how to build a social media app, we will recommend some appropriate solutions for you.

How to create a social media app

If you plan to create your own social media app, follow these steps below: 

  • Step 1. Choose the type of your future social media app 
  • Step 2. Get acquainted with the main reasons to create social network app 
  • Step 3. Follow 5 steps to start a social media business 
  • Step 4. Build an MVP of social media app 
  • Step 5. Keep up with the main trends to enhance your social networking app 
  • Step 6. Choose your way to attract users to your social media app 

Types of social media app to choose from

If you plan to build a social media app, you should choose the type of your future app. It will help you address this app to the right target audience. Let's check out existing types of social media apps. 

Top 10 popular social media apps as of 2018 in the US
Social media apps Monthly active users (mln)
Facebook 168.76
Instagram 116.99
Twitter 70.21
Pinterest 58.23
Snapchat 52.09
Reddit 33.44
Tumblr 23.35
WhatsApp 20.94
Google Hangouts 15.28
GroupMe 10.82

News apps

News websites owners see in the social news apps very serious competitor. It is not a surprise since social networks provide users with the latest news. If video streaming is popular, news streaming app should also be interesting for users. 

designing a social media app

News app example (Twitter channel from Cleveroad)

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Hint from Cleveroad: first, you'd better find an appropriate news source that will be used for news posting in your app. Decide on a number of social networks where users can share their news with. As for design, it is necessary to think over how news will be displayed in the news feed. In addition, it is necessary to build a correct strategy for social media app development.

Social blogging apps

Do you like blogging? If you are an enthusiastic blogger, you know that it is not an easy activity. First, you must have good writing skills, a way with words, and of course, you simply should love writing. Blogger must have an app that would allow him or her to write posts from all his portable gadgets. It is not difficult to build a social media app like this.   

how to make a social network app

Social blogging app

Messengers

If you just like chatting, a messenger app is created exactly for you. Messenger is the mobile app or web service for instant messaging. In addition to common talks with friends, messengers are actively used in business. They make it possible to provide the client with timely service. So if you plan to make social networking app, a messenger app can be your choice. 

how to make your own social media app

Messenger app

Hint from Cleveroad: before you create social network app, you should understand how to make a social media app, what features it should have, what bonuses users will receive, and how they will chat. Also, you should select what chat type your messenger will have - group or only individual, call types - voice or audio calling/both of them. If immersing in details, you can add typing status feature in your messenger - it allows users to see when their interlocutors are typing a message.  

Lifestyle apps

An active way of life suits successful person of today. Fashion, movies, hobbies, sport, leisure, travel, daily routine - all these activities make life versatile and interesting. Lifestyle apps conquer mobile apps market since they simplify some of our daily routines. Every day such mobile apps send us news from our friends, remind us to visit a gym or drink the required amount of water. Generally, it seems impossible to find the best social apps for Android or iOS since each app can be attractive with its own features.  

how to create social media app

TripAdvisor as an example of lifestyle apps

Hint from Cleveroad: if you make your own social media app for lifestyle category, you must consider the same features as in Messenger apps category. Chat types, audio/video calling, as well as geolocation-based search. 

Entertainment social media apps

This type includes different apps like dating apps, live streaming apps, media sharing apps, and so on. So if you focus on a younger generation, then entertainment social networking app development will be a better choice for you. 

how to develop social media app

YouTube app as an entertainment app

Hint from Cleveroad: to create a dating app, you cannot ignore feature of users banning since somebody can be very importunate. In addition to it, you can add captcha code feature for registration to convince that only real human will create a profile. When building a live streaming app, pay attention to how your database will be updated - manually or automatically.

!

Find out more about Tinder-like app development. Read How to make Tinder app and how much does it cost?

In the case of media sharing app, you should think about adding some additional features to your app. For instance, Instagram can boast of such interesting feature like native filters for photos. 

Apps for business

This category cannot be interesting for everybody due to its specific goal. But people who are looking for the job or want to develop useful contacts will surely find business social media apps more than helpful. 

how to build a social app

Business app as LinkedIn

Hint from Cleveroad: First of all, you must select what user profile types will be. Search by company/category/professional field, type of user account - simple/premium etc. A correct understanding of how to build a social media app will help you build the correct business strategy.

5 steps on how to develop a social media app

There are 5 important steps you should undertake if you plan to occupy social media app niche.

how to develop a social media app

How to create a social media platform

Target audience comes first

Of course, before you order the development of the specific social media app type from social media app developers, you should understand who will use your app. What is the most appropriate target audience? When you define this issue, it will help you build a solid basis for your future app. So, it is necessary to conduct research and find out what people are looking for today, what they are interested more in. Good research means a successful start when you create your own social networking app. Also, when the first version of the app is ready, share it with other users to perform beta testing - it will give you a right insight.

Determine your marketing strategy

It is hardly possible that your app will be 100% unique and no competitive products are on the market. That is why you should think about how to create better software that will be more interesting for future users. Hint from Cleveroad: start small and expand your business as needed step-by-step. Facebook followed this strategy and it succeeded. So keep it in mind when you are building a social network app. 

Consider three main factors

You already know what strategy you should choose and what target audience is yours. But now, before you hire a skilled software development team for making a social media app, make sure you have prepared everything. The first one is money, good social media app development requires large investments. Create MVP feature list to determine basic features. The second one is a platform. It is better to start either with Android or iOS to see how popular your social media app will be. If everything goes well, you will be able to create an app for a second platform as well. And the third factor is traffic estimation. Nobody can predict how large your traffic will be, so we recommend using such tools like MySQL for structured data. 

UX/UI should be simple

When social media application development is started, mind that it is not necessary to complicate UI/UX and make it very intricate. Users should not spend a lot of time to define how your app is working, UX should be intuitive. Because social media app goal is to provide users with clear features and understandable interface.

Boost your social media app

Your software is ready and you plan to make money with your social media app. And it is necessary to apply a few tactical methods to succeed in the promotion. Wise SEO strategy (that will help your product be the in the top list in Google search), lead generation (landing page of your software with some interesting features will attract more users), and, of course, attractive brand name (you can use online brand name generators or make your own analysis). 

Follow all these steps and your social media app will gain new users very quickly. Our developers are ready to assist you if you intend to make social networking app. 

MVP features for a social media app

Let's start with the explanation that the number and types of features may vary depending on the social media app niche. But some features remain unchanged since they should be available in each mobile social network. Let's consider them.

User profile. It is the first thing users see when they want to contact somebody. The user profile which is created competently can attract a lot of users and it may become the reason for subscribing. Whereas bad user profile can lead to the opposite actions and retain users. So people need an opportunity to create a user profile. 

how to make social media app

User profile in social media app

Search. It is impossible to find something or someone without a search bar. So this feature should always be available by default. 

News feed. This feature helps users stay always tuned. All updates and new information from friends and communities are located in one place like news feed, and users can browse it to see what's new happened. Add this feature when you will make a social network app. 

News feed

News feed in social media platform

Messaging. Social media implies chatting between users. Sending messages, images or videos is an integral part of many social networks. Moreover, chat should have privacy settings to let anybody customize their chatting experience as they need. 

Media files sharing. As we noted in Messaging point, sending various multimedia files is highly recommended. And sharing should be possible as well, users often want to share interesting posts or video with their friends. 

Push notifications. If something new happened in social media, for example, a new post was published in the community the user is subscribed for, or a new message is received, the user will get a push notification right on the screen of a mobile device. As a result, users remain more engaged.

Push notification

Push notifications by social media app

Editing and customization. If users create a community in your social media, they should have a capability to edit communities, friends' adding and removal should also be available. Many users want their profile to be customized and be different from other profiles.

Invitations. Users often send invitations to other users with an offer to join their community, or it can be a simple invitation to somebody to join a friend list. It is hardly possible to imagine social media app without this feature. 

Keep up with the main trends to enhance your social media app

Basic features are not everything for your app success. Some popular trends in the world may augment your app, make it stronger and more crowd-pleasing. We will list a few trends that be useful for your social media app. Think about adding them when you are building a social media app. 

!

Discover useful tips on building an app like Snapchat. Read How much does it cost to create an app like Snapchat?

In-app payments

Social commerce is a trend that gains momentum rapidly. For example, some social networks already offer users integrated purchases and they can buy different products right from the app. So payment gateway integration can be a very interesting option. Moreover, P2P payment via the app also makes the app more appealing. By the way, WhatsApp has already launched P2P payments recently. 

Marketplace

This trend is directly connected with the previous trend. Social media platform is a very good place to distribute specific products. Many business owners prefer promoting and selling their product in social media since it is really beneficial and profitable way. Moreover, it is an additional advertising for businesses. Users will be attracted with this feature. 

VR/AR

I think there is no necessity to reveal what virtual and augmented reality is, these technologies are very popular today. It means you have a brilliant opportunity to integrate it into your app in the process of social media app design and let users modify their videos and the overall experience. Of course, the total app development cost will be much higher, but, in turn, it will multiply your revenue as well. 

Live streaming

By the way, you can think about the development of a Periscope-like app. This app is also referred to social media. But you can add live streaming as an additional feature that will let your users create streams, attract more users and make the app more popular. Today live streaming is available in many apps, so consider it as well. 

how to start a social media app

Trends to follow to strengthen your app

Think through all these trends we have shown above, and mind to add some of these trends in your app. You can do it later after you release an app with MVP. If users accept your new app, you'd better modify it in further. 

Our expertise in social media app development

Underneath, I listed just a couple of social media projects we built for our clients.

MetKnow

It may be hard to keep all the connections in mind. MetKnow was created to help users handle this task. Types person’s name, select a photo, which is automatically pulled from Google, and add a note. That’s it.

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Catch on basic principles Cleveroad follows to build mobile app design. Read Mobile app design process: How we build UI and UX at Cleveroad

The application organizes all connections as cards and helps to remember them by doing quizzes. Even if you forgot someone’s name or appearance, you would easily find them among the created cards.

Tech we’ve used to make it alive:

  • .NET Core 2.0
  • SQL
  • Alamofire
  • Amazon S3
  • LinkedIn API
  • Google Custom Search API
Interface of MetKnow social media app

MetKnow app’s interface

Ayoo

Ayoo is a global social network to connect dancers from all over the globe. It’s equipped with a bunch of interactive features like battle or duets where users can dance with or against one another to show their talents. The app’s interface is based on traditional news feed so that all friends will be able to see your performances.

Tech we’ve used to make it alive:

  • Swift 4
  • NodeJS 8
  • JavaScript
  • Express 4
  • MySQL
  • Sequelize
  • Elastic Email
  • Freshchat
Ayoo social media app

Ayoo app’s duo feature

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