The world’s current situation creates favorable conditions for the proliferation of social media apps. The pandemic, the expansion of remote work, and on-demand services create a firm ground to say that this is the age of social media apps. If this is so, why not create one?
In this blog post, we will answer the most important questions that need to be answered if you consider creating a social media app. We will also clearly state what to expect in terms of cost.
Before we proceed to anything else, let me give you an estimate right away.
A typical social media app may cost you somewhere from $35,000 to $50,000+. And when I say “+”, the number may go up to $150,000. Why are these figures so different? In this article, we will show you what determines the price of a social media app and help you find a development team that can meet your expectations.
Even without any data, anyone can tell that social media apps are gaining momentum. Let’s look at the latest app trends and some statistics.
According to Statista, 84% of the US population uses at least one social media network. Do you realize what this figure means? It means 4 out of 5 people use at least one social media network. And if we turn this number into a bigger picture, here is what we get. The current population of the United States of America is about 334 million. It means 280 million people are using social media networks only in the United States.
Here is another interesting figure. According to the same source, 98,3% of Facebook users use the platform on mobile devices.
Just these two simple figures can give us an idea of the latest app trends. One, there is a market for the development of social media apps. And second, mobile is at the heart of social media apps.
Here are some more trends.
- Social commerce will continue to expand.
- Video content will dominate, especially short-form videos.
- Social audio will become more popular.
- Augmented reality will become more mainstream.
- Smaller networks will become more popular for ads.
- Livestream shopping will transform e-commerce.
There are lots of types of social media apps that you can consider. However, we will focus on those that are trending in 2022. Here is a breakdown.
Examples include YouTube, TikTok, InstagramStories, and Facebook Watch.
Why are video social media platforms popular? Research shows that videos are a better option for capturing attention and driving brand awareness than still photos. Therefore video platforms are popular both as a medium of entertainment and commerce.
Discussion forums have gained the likes of the major population. Examples include Reddit and Quora. People rely a lot on online recommendations and e-reputation has proved to be the major driver of commerce and brand awareness. They are rather helpful in answering questions relating to different industries and shaping customer preferences.
Online shopping has become the rule of the age. For example, just last year over 2.14 billion people shopped online. This accounts for about 28% of the total world population. Even if some customers don’t like shopping online, they still get access to your brand names and drive traffic to particular websites.
Examples are LinkedIn and Twitter. They are good for recruiting and hiring talent, building B2B relationships, and connecting with professionals in your niche.
Twitter has also built communities around industry-specific hashtags, like #MarketingTwitter and #FreelanceTwitter.
These are another group of platforms to inspire the target audience with content tailored to their preferences. These are used for searching for information or finding inspiration for anything from travel to shopping to food, and more. Examples are Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and blogs.
Your app’s success depends on how unique your app features are and how they align with the target audience. There are two groups of features – main features and advanced features. Here is a breakdown.
Your apps need seamless navigation features. Once you create even the slightest stress in signing up, logging in, or socializing, you will lose customers. There should be little effort required from users to connect for your app to be successful.
It seems the more ability users have to customize their pages, the happier they are. They should be able to upload videos, photos, and live updates. People like sharing their personal stories and your app should provide the ability for users to create customized profiles in order to stand out.
Your app should allow integration with other top social apps like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This is another way of growing organically and driving adoption.
We should have mentioned this as number one in the list. People are scared of losing their personal information that can be misused or used with the wrong motives. To adopt your app, people should have trust that their privacy and security will not be compromised.
With a greater and greater need for social presence and a vast amount of platforms available in the market, it can be hard to compete in the market. That’s why well-known platforms are always evolving and adding new features.
Brands are looking to build an audience from a certain industry. They should be able to create a business profile, categorize it with an industry type, and then use posts and messaging to publish updates.
Why do you think TikTok is reporting such a success? They know their audience and build the app around their needs. The youth is bored and they look for ways of self-expression and TikTok excellently meets this need.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are looking for new ways of user engagement and native video and photo uploads are used more heavily. They adjust their algorithms to even favor live video and image uploads.
Your app should be a medium for commerce and not only an entertainment tool. Instagram, for example, has tried to make the platform even more friendly for e-commerce businesses with the addition of Shoppable posts.
TikTok has 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone. TikTok and Snapchat have a variety of unique interactive and highly experimental features. They incorporate AR/VR filters, and musical and other interactive engagements.
The development team plays a key role in the success or failure of your app. Whether the team is responsible and competent will determine how much money you will spend and the quality of the final product.
But how do you choose the right development team? Of course, you can do the work in-house but that requires a lot of resources and time. The best thing to do is to outsource your social media app development. And here is how you can find the right team for you.
First, you can just search companies on Google. You can specify the country or the specialization you are looking for.
LinkedIn is a good source for finding professional companies. Here you can view their profiles and get linked to web pages.
There are a lot of review agencies like Techimply, Techreviewer, GoodFirms, and others that provide ratings and info on top companies.
Different companies will use different tech stacks as tools for development. This should be agreed on beforehand. Here is a breakdown of the tech stack used in social media app development.
Frontend development: AngularJs, Bootstrap, ReactJs
Backend development: Node.js, PHP, Ruby, etc
Database: MySQL, SQLite, NoSQL or PostgreSQL
Native Android apps: Java or Kotlin
Native iOS apps: Objective-C or Swift
Hybrid apps: Flutter, React Native, Cordova/PhoneGap, etc.
The way a social media app generates revenue from its audience is called the monetization process. So, how can apps make money? Here are the best tools and models for social media monetization.
Of course, your app type will determine what to focus on. Getting back to TikTok, we see that video marketing is the main source of revenue for this app. Your app may be totally different. Here are some monetization models that work best.
Try to sell other businesses' products and services on your app. The fact that you are using others’ products and services does not mean you are totally out of responsibility. Your reputation depends on this.
Your reputation should be on top of your priorities. Once you build up a reputation, companies will be eagerly advertising their products and services on your app.
You can make money by offering in-person or online events at a cost. This means you must eventually strive to grow your social following.
You can use a chatbot to launch a store. Chatbots have become an effective tool for sales.
And of course, you can choose among these different models:
- Video marketing
- Direct sales
- Lead generation
If you want a fixed answer to the question of the cost of a social media app, I might disappoint you. If you do a simple Google search, you will get different answers. But In this section, I will give you clues on how to calculate or have an initial estimate of a social media app in 2022.
There are two factors that determine the cost of an app – the number of hours spent on development and the hourly rate.
The number of hours spent on development depends on the complexity of your app. The hourly rate depends on the location of developers and the company you are hiring.
To give you a rough estimate, a basic app can be developed at USD 20,000 and more. A medium complex app will cost you up to $30,000 and a complex app usually is more than $50,000.
So, basically, you need to inquire about the number of hours needed to develop the app with the functionalities you prefer.
Here is a breakdown of the hourly rate of software developers in different countries..
I have made this blog post to help you understand the basic steps of how to create a social media app, what to look at and how to estimate the initial cost.
The success of your app will largely depend on how well you know your target audience and how targeted your app type is. Whether you build a business platform or a shopping app, it all depends on your preferences and how well you know the market.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate that it won’t cost you a fortune to create a social media app but the benefits you will see will outweigh the costs in a big time.