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How To Make A Social Media App — A Step-by-Step Guide

Social media influence grows exponentially, and businesses wonder how to make a social media app that helps make big fortunes. A new-age tech entrepreneur cannot miss the opportunity to become a part of the increasingly growing market with the social media application market, which booms with opportunities. In recent years, the new social media app development has shaped amazing ideas and prospects. The best way to leverage the market right now is to create your social network with the latest technology by hiring top social media app developers for Android and iOS. 

In early 2010, smartphones accounted for around 22 % of the overall mobile market. Although, Apple was still behind on smartphone sales with iPhone running its 3rd iteration. The now ancient BlackBerry was introduced as a beating Smartphone, and its elegant mini-keyboard won over most people who want to send and receive emails via their phones. 

The smartphone industry has grown ridiculously quickly over the last decade. One billion smartphones were in use worldwide by the end of 2012. It was a year later that the latest touch-screen smartphones overtook the old-school, button-based smartphone. And as of 2019, around 79% of UK adults own a smartphone now

The social media niche is among the most lucrative opportunities from a business point of view. The question regarding how to make social media apps only seems legit in the given time. The rapid technological growth continues to open up doors for innovative ideas and help businesses with easy social media app development.

The first platform for social media was created in the 1970s when the University of Illinois developed the PLATO program. The features included an online forum, instant messaging, and newsletters.

the evolution of social media

It is practically possible now to create your own social media network using a social media app and become a dominant player with active social platform users increasing every day. In April 2020 Facebook led the way with 2496 M and YouTube followed with 2000 M when it came to the world's most popular social networks in terms of active users.

The most popular social networks worldwide in 2020

Image Source: Statista

The Different Types of Social Media Apps

different types of social media apps

First, identify the categories under which the social media applications before answering the question regarding how to make a social media app. The categories allow you to see which market you are joining and which major rivals will you compete with as you grow.

1. Social Networking

The idea behind creating a social network app is to offer users an opportunity to connect and interact with other people online. Such social networking framework could be used for personal (Facebook, Twitter) or professional (LinkedIn) purposes.

2. Microblogging

These social media platforms allow users to create a specific form of blogging within the preset character limit. Not only that, but users can also share images, GIFs, and video links that blend instant messaging with the right content production. These apps tend to keep the audience engaged and enable faster ways to connect and respond to conversations.

3. Photosharing

You can choose to create a photosharing app that lets users do more than merely sharing the pictures. For instance, apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. can help connect users and let them share, bookmark, and edit pictures while also allowing them to do more with the camera using filters.

4. Video sharing

People interact more using video-sharing apps as it also ensures user retention by allowing them to share video clips. Such apps also provide users to set privacy and decide their audience by sharing video links. Many such video sharing apps lead the market currently like Vimeo and YouTube.

5. Discussion Forums

Users are always looking out for safe platforms to share their opinions and hold discussions on certain topics. These apps would let them create profiles and also allow them to participate in the debate along with giving them a space to ask questions. You can add interactive features like liking the comments, let users follow each other, etc. There are many successful discussion forum apps like Quora, Reddit, etc.

It is quite evident that there are many social media apps on the offerings and it all depends on you how you plan to create a social media app. You should be careful about these categories as each defines the key characteristics of the apps. Once you decide the direction, make sure that you have properly analysed it and examined your potential competitors before opting for social media app development.

Features Required in a Social Media App Development

A) The Most Essential Features To Consider To Create A Social Media App

essential features to consider to make social media app

When you create your own social media network, you need to have at least one unique feature to differentiate from the rivals. Understand that though each social app should be unique, there are some simple set of features which are mandatory for any social media app.

Here are some of the basic features which are essential for social media apps: 

1. Profile authorization: Necessary feature in a social media app to let users register/login via a one or the other way (linking up email, another social network, or mobile number). Profile authorization would also mean transferring the account photo and user’s full name.

2. Feed: This is the space in the social media app allowing you to view feed with posts based on their interests and likes. The necessary criterion must be set from the backend logic (basic) wherein each of their interests would refresh with new updates. 

3. Likes: Enabling users to like and unlike the posts posted by others whom they follow.

4. Post Commenting: Allowing users to comment on posts that are publicly open.

5. Post Sharing: Letting users control whether to keep their post sharing enable or disable. If enabled, other users can share the posts.

6. Notifications: Create a social media app that facilitates users to receive and check notifications of the activities. It includes pushed notifications while away and enabling automated data refreshing to match user preferences.

7. Search Users: Allowing users to search other users on the platform.

8. Private Chat: Users can send text, image, video and GIFs to another person privately.

9. Uploading Media Files: Let users share their created content on the social media app. It includes images, videos, audios, etc.

10. Platform Community: Users can set up and run a community of people having allied interests like Facebook Groups, Twitter Lists, etc.

 These are some of the bare-minimum features that must come loaded when you decide to create a social media app. It drives more interactions, more user stickiness, and thereby improves user retention rates.

Apart from these features as mentioned above, you can also integrate the following elements in your social media app. Do note that these new features aren't as mandatory as those mentioned above, but it will be great to have those to offer more value to users.

B) Advanced Features For Social Media App Development

advanced features to build social media app

1. AR and Face Filters: Would you ever smile at any of the funny Face filters? Sometimes, the filters are a selling point! Instagram and Snapchat are applications incorporating these AR-functions and the trendsetting feature of such applications is highly known for its success.

2. Games: Can you provide something more than just social? How about small in-app games just the way Facebook and Snapchat give? You can try pushing in some games within the app to keep users engaged.

3. 3D Photographs: Incorporate viewing 3D pictures through the camera and allowing users to upload the same—this one fun way to let users share more and thereby promote app usage amongst their fellow users.

4. Gen Z Psychology-Fused Features: Gen Z is the most influential target group. This is why one needs to dig deep into this segment to understand users' psychology and craft your social media app accordingly.

5. Transient Content (Stories): This means the content that remains visible for 24-hour. Such short-term content would mean people prioritizing and seeing it as a way to connect instantly. It shows time in hours so you can know who posted what and around what time. For instance, Snapchat and Instagram offer such features.

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Chatbots: The social media environment is still seeing active use of AI and chatbots. The need for this feature continues to expand.

7. Multi-Language Support: Social networking applications must transcend and make applications reaching a global crowd. Consider Twitter - only 34% of all tweets are in English. Better develop a thorough marketing plan that helps users understand the language support your app provides.

Twitter Multi-Language support feature

Source: Statista

8. Live Video Streaming: Many users on social media drive interaction by live-streaming the videos instead of reading or listening to something. Off late, this feature is gaining a lot of traction, especially amongst gamers and podcast enthusiasts.

9. The Virtual Reality (VR) Shift: The future of social media engagement will be VR worlds. VR technology can allow users to connect in VR environments by investing in Facebook via Oculus.

C) Key Backend Features To Consider When You Create A Social Media App:

the backed features to build a social media app

 

1. Analytics: A part of social media app development involves setting up computing algorithms that let users see how their posts, pictures and comments perform by enabling them to analyze their content to gauge interactions. 

2. CMS for Admin authorization: Enabling account admins to register, log in, and log out to the CMS for marketing.

3. CMS for Admin Management: Allowing admins to manage other admins by providing them CRUD on social accounts.

4. CMS User Management: Here, admins can manage users. Most activities include necessary sorting, filtering users, and searching them using email, name, ID, etc.

5. Content Censorship: Admins can manage the users reported by others. This can be categorized under the use of abusive language, disturbing images, etc.

How about creating your own social media app?

Get started with your own social media app development as our team helps you plan in the right direction.

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You'll find plenty of possibilities to integrate trendy, cool features to consider for social media app development. The next question should be how to make a social media app and build your own social media network to attract large users?

How To Make A Social Media App— Step-By-Step Process

A) Social Media App Development Team

When you choose to create a social media app, you will need specialists from all the technical departments.

Social Media App Development Team

During social media app development, various tools and technologies can be used. To render a mobile app, there are programming languages like Swift (iOS) and Kotlin (Android). To give you a clue, our developers created a list of technologies needed to build a social media app.

At Intelivita, our technical team has implemented a methodology that makes the most sense in terms of technology and industry. And as we seek to end your quest to create a social media app, we are pursuing these crucial phases in developing useful social media applications.

B) Step by Step Social Media App Development Process

Step by Step Social Media App Development Process

Step 1. Idea Analysis and Market Study

We review the concept and competitive area extensively at this point, evaluate demands, draw up a portrait of the target market and develop the main performance metrics to be achieved. All of this helps to find a specific niche when creating a new social media app.

Understanding your strengths and working together with your team is very important to begin by knowing why you are trying to build a social media app.

This will allow you to conduct a SWOT analysis to consider your main strengths and weaknesses and your competitors’ threats.

Step 2. Strategy formulation

You have an excellent idea of the social media app, that's awesome! Now you will have to develop a detailed plan that will help you succeed successfully.

Based on the market analysis, you get insights into your competition, your target category of social media and your audience — helping with the development of a strategy to identify key performance indicators (KPIs).

Note that lead generation, user retention and monetization techniques are part of your app. You may also attempt to survey potential customers to see what features they want to incorporate trend features to build such aha moments.

Step 3. Design the social network Apps workflow

The design itself consists of several steps:

  • Sketching: Quite simple explanations of potential applications. These help to determine the potential logic of the project, the number of screens and their interaction within the social media app.

  • Wireframing: That is one of the most critical steps in a design process when you are looking to create the best social media app. It lets the development team understand the structural framework of the application of social media apps. This offers a framework view of the app and the interaction the end user receives.

  • Prototyping: A prototype created is a working model for a potential social media app. It provides a better understanding of the product for both the customer and the developer. It becomes much easier to process an idea and make adjustments before the coding process starts.

  • Design App Skins: Here we turn wireframes into a social media app design. We carefully examine existing solutions, track the latest trends and build UI / UX to provide the best possible solutions.

Step 4. Development (MVP) & Quality Assurance for iOS and Android

A minimum viable product (MVP) — a digital product ready for use that contains critical application functionality. Many businesses find this a smarter option instead of releasing a fully-featured social media mobile app.

It is a smart option to have an MVP since it contributes to the responsible spending of the development budget and prevents risking resources. You can create a social media app with a backend in this process, which consists of API, server and base configuration.

The QA team has to check the solutions as it is a critical step. It is quite possible to generate early leads through an MVP while defining future development vectors as well.

The social media app development and design usually coincide with a social media mobile application life cycle. Once the code is prototyped, we start the back-end by setting up servers, databases, APIs and creating ideal storage solutions.

We supply the product that fulfills all technical needs, guidelines and standards of the platform. In order to improve application performance, our iOS and Android social media app developers recommend to our clients the native social media app creation.

Step 5. Publishing & Marketing the App

At Intelivita, we go beyond simply creating a social media app development. When you make social media apps with us, we also offer our efforts for publishing and marketing it. Our team manages the publication process, produces all advertising materials, including videos, video guides and an accurate application summary. It helps to differentiate virtual applications for the company in Google Play and the Apple Store.

This way, we ensure your social media app fits in the right category in the app store carrying along the right tags to help reach targeted audiences.

Step 6. Maintenance & Support

Once we launch the project in an app market, our team ensures enabling you with all forms of support and updates. As we help you navigate the answer regarding how to develop social media apps, our team enables you with great support and maintenance. Our dedicated QA team assures keeping your social media app up to date and bug-free.

C) Technology Stack for Social Media Apps

Android Technologies 

Designing social media apps for Android will require a certain technology and picking up the right ones creates a lot of difference.

For Android Social Media App Development the following technology remains:

  • Architecture: MVVM (model–view–ViewModel) architectural pattern

  • Programming Language: Java, Kotlin and Flutter

  • Framework: We use Google Play Services as a primary framework. This makes it possible to access Google Services like Cloud Messages, Firebase, In-App purchases, Geolocation, etc.

  • Library: RxJava2

 For UI Layer, we use the following technology stack

RecyclerView: A native Android component that displays a list of scrollable content and enables item interaction within the list.

Fragments. Another native Android container having views and widgets which differs from view containers as their fragments have their own lifecycle.

iOS Technologies:

Technology stack for iOS social media app development:

  • Architecture: MVVM (model–view–viewmodel) architectural pattern

  • Programming Language: Swift, Objective-C and Flutter

  • Frameworks: Using Dip framework as a service locator.

  • Library: RxSwift

iOS UI layer for Social Media Apps

DTTableViewManager/DTCollectionViewManager that creates collection and type-safe table views.

LoadableViews that creates reusable view components.

Analytics: Fabric – does minimal analytics and collects crash reports.

Code generation: SwiftGen – Code generation that helps to work with storyboards, colors, images, colors, fonts, and localizable strings.

Guidelines: SwiftLint - for coding.

Tests: XCTest - Unit testing. Nimble - Asynchronous unit testing.

Why create a Social Media App?

This digital and social age has had almost everybody — from celebrities to laymen using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The goal is to stay in touch with friends, family and followers. Indeed, now that you know how to create social media apps, you must also know why creating it makes the most sense in today’s times.

Initially, the social media app development was regarded as a fad, and over time they have come a long way and are now an integral part of our everyday lives. You can now create your own social media network that is a lot more dynamic. Many organizations from Fortune 500 to small and medium-sized enterprises are leveraging their power to grow their business.

Here are some essential reasons why you should create a social media app for your company:

  • Enabling Seamless Connection: You will let businesses stay in touch with their customers 24/7 with your social media app. They'd love to have users updated on social platforms regarding their products, services, newest offers, great deals, etc. Clubbing the messaging feature with your social media platform would help solve customer questions immediately or respond to them instantly.

  • Brand Awareness: Blending the social media platform with a marketing plan attracts more potential clients while expanding your business beyond geographical barriers. When you create a social media app, you can hold potential customers' attention while gaining their loyalty and trust.

  • Driving User Efficiency: The key factor behind a company's success is its customers. But it boils down to help customers do more by offering them an interactive touchpoint that saves their time while also holding their attention. You attract customers from around the world, but you remain connected to them using your Social Media app.

  • Ensuring Meaningful User Engagement: The key factor behind a company's success is its customers. But nothing more than a mobile app can save time when it comes to attracting customers' attention. You not only pull customers from around the world, but you remain connected to them using your Social Media app.

  • Advertisement to Monetize: Ads are the most common way for social media apps to generate revenue. Most developers prefer the variant to allow users to use the app free of charge. For example, Instagram shows the users in its news feed relevant posts and stories but doesn't charge to create an account; instead, it charges businesses to push ads in stories or sponsored posts. This way, you can decide the way your app users can interact with the in-app advertisements.

In addition to this, companies are trying to create long-term relationships with existing and prospective customers by creating their social media networks.

Intelivita Social Media App Experience

Now that you are aware of how to create a social media app from scratch, thoroughly know that we have a seamless and straightforward process in place. Do understand that it took years of perseverance and patience to build something as successful as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We, at Intelivita, have predefined social media app development processes in place that first address your requirements and then help you craft brilliant apps using our skills and expertise.

how to build a social media app like guest me

 

Check some of the top trending apps developed by Intelivita: View our amazing work

For instance, we created a Guest Me – a live social video streaming mobile app that helps aspiring artists to take the global stage from the comforts of their homes. We have a dedicated social media app development team that boasts vast knowledge and skills required for picking up such projects.

Also, one of the latest apps comes with augmented reality, where users can create personal memories. For that, we created augmented reality animation, social sharing, commenting system and status information. This app is a platform that helps to track and share your eating adventures. When we set out to create a social media app, we emphasise creating a custom design for the social media app development while ensuring that the app remains scalable and robust.

Bottomline

For instance, we created a Guest Me – a live social video streaming mobile app that helps aspiring artists to take the global stage from the comforts of their homes. We have a dedicated social media app development team that boasts vast knowledge and skills required for picking up such projects.

Also, one of the latest apps comes with augmented reality, where users can create personal memories. For that, we created augmented reality animation, social sharing, commenting system and status information. This app is a platform that helps to track and share your eating adventures. When we set out to create a social media app, we emphasise building a custom design for the social media app development while ensuring that it remains scalable and robust.

If you have the next big social media app Idea, why don’t you get in touch to scale the idea ASAP?

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Dhaval-Author
Dhaval Sarvaiya
Co-Founder

Hey there. I am Dhaval Sarvaiya, one of the Founders of Intelivita. Intelivita is a mobile app development company that helps companies achieve the goal of Digital Transformation. I help Enterprises and Startups overcome their Digital Transformation and mobile app development challenges with the might of on-demand solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.

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