Android, iOS Tuesday November 2, 2021

How to create a social media app in 2021? – A complete guide

Social media apps have become increasingly popular in our lives, as well as in the app business. The development of social networking apps has risen to the top of the app market.

As a result, many firms consider establishing new social media platforms to take advantage of this growing industry.

Table of contents

Types of social media apps
Basic features of social media apps
How to build a social media app: Team
Social media app development process – step by step guide
·  Step 1: Preparing a strategy
·  Step 2: Designing
    ❖      Sketching
    ❖      Wireframing
    ❖      Prototyping
    ❖      App design
·  Step 3: Development and testing
·  Step 4: Publishing the app on the store
·  Step 5: Maintenance and support
How much does it cost to build a social media app?
Social Media Application: Monetization models
Wrap up

This article will go through how to create a social media app for free, how much it costs to build a social media app, monetization methods, and other topics.

Before starting with the social media app development, you must understand the types of social media applications which can help you know your competitors, target audience, and more appropriate options.

Types of social media apps

Here are some types of social media applications that are available now.

Social networking applications

These applications aim to bring people together and expand the network. Users with a variety of purposes can connect through such social networks. Most social media applications enable users to share their ideas, photographs, and videos. As a result, such functionalities are a must for creating a social networking app.

LinkedIn, for example, can assist in the job search and the development of professional relationships.

Discussion forums

People enjoy learning new things from experts and debating, which makes these social media networks popular. Using discussion boards, you may find the information you need.

For example: With Quora, you can start a conversation, ask questions, and get responses from experts or other informed people.

Media Sharing Network applications

As the name implies, these networks cater to the sharing of many sorts of content. Photos, videos, and live videos can be shared by users using these applications.

These applications are crucial for brand exposure, lead generation, audience engagement, and other marketing objectives.

Example: Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat

Content Sharing Networks

Users can collect and organize connections to other websites or online resources using content sharing networks or bookmarking applications.

Pinterest, for example, allows users to submit their photos. Other users can download images that they find appealing.

Blogging and Publishing Networks

Blogging isn’t as simple as it appears. To begin, you must have good writing abilities and a strong desire to write. Bloggers require an app that allows them to write content from any of their devices.

WordPress and Medium are two examples.

Basic features of social media apps

Some features are mandatory in your social media app that can enhance the popularity of your app. Most often, these features are used as a foundation for your app and act as fillers.

Here is the list of some must-have features for your social media application.

  • User profile

Your app should give users – the ability to create and modify their profiles and fill in the necessary personal information they wish to share with the rest of the world. A profile biodata should be included on a profile, asking individuals to fill out facts that best represent them.

  • Signup

This option is one of the most basic features that every app contains. You should provide your users with different registration processes. You can combine choices such as Email and password or phone number and password. It’s also important to mention the “forgot password” option to make your social app more user-friendly.

  • Social Feed

This feature allows users to stay in the loop. Hence, this is where you will find all of your friends and communities updates and information. Make sure this functionality integrates effectively into your application. You may enhance this functionality by including an infinite scrolling news feed in your app.

  • Chat

Any social network relies on users sending messages, pictures, and videos. Hence, it is necessary to include a user-friendly chat function feature in your app. It would be better if users can start a group conversation on your app. Make sure to impress users with the functionality of your app feature.

  • Notifications

It is crucial to let users know what’s going on in their network, such as when someone liked their post, shared it, put it into their story, and so on. This function meets such requirements and informs users about the updates through notifications. Hence, they are effective in increasing user engagement.

  • Post creation

Users must be able to share a variety of content (text, photo, or video) to their networks and create postings. As a result, users can make use of this feature to write their posts and share them with their friends.

  • Search

Users require a user-friendly search bar to find friends and profiles to follow. The search function makes it possible to find the necessary information with just a single click.

How to build a social media app: Team

Developing a social networking app for iOS and Android necessitates the involvement of several professionals.

The required team members are mentioned below:

  • UI/UX designer
  • Project Manager
  • Back-end developer
  • QA engineer
  • 1 or 2 iOS developers
  • 1 or 2 Android developers

Social media app development process – Step-by-step guide

Let’s get started with the development process of the social media app that shows how to make a social networking app for android.

Step 1: Preparing a strategy

This is the first step of the app development process which includes proper investigation and research about the idea, accessing the requirements, and defining the target audience.

Step 2: Designing

The process of designing itself contains various steps that are mentioned below:

  • Sketching

This includes sketching the outline of your future application. Hence, it helps in getting a clear idea about the project.

  • Wireframing

Wireframing is the most important step of the design process that helps in better visualization of the social media application by giving a structural view to the application.

  • Prototyping

Prototype refers to a functioning model of the future application that has been built. It gives better knowledge of the product to both customers and engineers.

  • App design

At this stage, the wireframes get converted into the social app design.

Step 3: Development and testing

To create a social networking app, the designing and development processes are generally combined. The back-end servers, databases, and APIs must all be set up when the prototype is completed. Manual and automated testing are required at all stages of development. This not only verifies that your social network app functions properly, but it also evaluates the UX and UI for simplicity. You must consider the most recent technical developments when developing.

Your application must be bug-free in order to deliver a nice user experience. QA engineers thoroughly test every functionality, and if defects or malfunctions are discovered, they are documented in bug reports. These reports assist developers in identifying and swiftly resolving issues.

Step 4: Publishing the app on the store

Now, here comes the process of publishing your app. Once your app is ready for development and testing, you need to publish it on the store. Also, make sure to ensure promotional materials in the application publishing process. It is essential to take marketing into account for your success in the social media market.

Step 5:  Maintenance and support

You should guarantee that your app is highly accessible, dependable, and up to date with current company demands once it has been posted to the market places.

How much does it cost to build a social media app?

The cost of creating a social network app is mostly determined by the features you want in your final product. In addition, you’ll need to budget for premium third-party services like maps, payments, and cloud services.

In general, there are two methods for paying a social network app development business to create your app:

  • Fixed pricing
  • Hourly-based pricing

Fixed pricing strategy implies that you and the company will agree on a certain price for the whole project.

An hourly-based contract means that you will be charged for the number of hours spent on each step of the development process.

The average time taken for the development of a single application (iOS/Android) is 800-1500 hours.

Now, here is the estimated cost (per hour) to build an iOS/ Android application in the different regions of the world:

Country  Rate range (per hour)    Average rate (per hour)  
North America$10 – $220$165
India$8 – $80$25
United Kingdom (UK)$32 – $165$70
Eastern Europe$20 – $99$34
Australia$32 – $143$108
South America$20 – $105$31

Social Media Application: Monetization Models

Once you complete the publishing process of your social media app,  you should look for the reasons to make it more profitable. Hence, it necessitates the implementation of app monetization strategies.

Here is the list of several monetization strategies that can help you enhance your profit in several popular ways.


Advertisements are the most commonly used method for a social media app to generate income. Many applications use this option to allow customers to use the app for free.

For example, Instagram displays relevant posts and videos in user’s feeds.

In-app purchases

The in-app purchase concept is often used to make large sums of money by selling virtual or actual things from within a social networking app. App producers must pay a fixed commission to app store owners for these transactions.

Premium features

You can offer more additional features for your app by offering premium subscriptions.

For example, LinkedIn provides premium alternatives for job seekers.

Sponsor and partnerships

You may partner with some brands to improve your monetization. This is closely related to understanding your target audience. By making use of these target audiences, you can simply attract sponsors and partners if you know your users.

Events and promotions

You may make money by allowing your users to utilize your social media app platform to advertise events and online activities. You may even charge your users by allowing them to advertise their content to gain more exposure.

Wrap up

Building such kinds of applications is usually a complex project to deal with. That is why we recommend you hire a developer team for your social media app development project.

We at Ailoitte, deliver all the app-building solutions using the best technological advancement tools and software. If you are looking for a web and mobile app development company, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you with the solution of how to build a social media app with your target audience in mind.

For more information about social media app development, visit our website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(1) What is a social media application?

A social media application is any web-based application that allows users to post and share content (text, video, audio, and photos), create personal profiles, connect to a community, and search within that community.

(2) List the types of social media apps

There are 5 main types of social-media applications listed below:

  • Social networking applications:
  • Discussion forums
  • Media Sharing Network applications
  • Content Sharing Networks
  • Blogging and Publishing Networks

(3) What are the steps involved in the social media application development process?

The social media app development is carried out in  major steps. These are:

  • Step 1: Preparing a strategy
  • Step 2: Designing
  • Sketching
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • App design
  • Step 3: Development and testing
  • Step 4: Publishing the app on the store
  • Step 5:  Maintenance and support

(4) What are the basic features involved in social media application?

Here is the list of basic features involved:

  • User profile
  • Sign up
  • Social feed
  • Chat
  • Notification
  • Post-creation
  • Search

(5) How can a social media application make money?

Here is the listy of some monetization strategies that help the social media applications to earn more profits:

  • Advertising
  • In-app purchases
  • Premium features
  • Sponsor and partnerships
  • Events and promotions

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