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How to Create A Social Media App: Complete Guide

Nowadays, it’s impossible to comprehend a world without social media and how it has impacted us. For better or worse, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have changed the way we interact with each other online. Perhaps they eat up more of our time than we’d like to admit. But on the other hand, they’ve revolutionized the way we consume and share content. Furthermore, these platforms are opening up many invaluable opportunities for creatives, developers, and businesses.

1. Why You Should Develop A Social Media App

Whether you’re an appreneur or running a large organization, it’s time to take a serious look at social media. And there are many good reasons why you’d want to do this, considering the current online landscape. Chances are you’re already active on one or more social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Moreover, you probably have family members, friends, and work colleagues that are plugged into their favorite social channels too.

If we briefly look at numbers, consider the juggernaut Facebook, which boasts 2.89 billion monthly active users by the 2nd quarter of 2021. With such extensive reach, Facebook has become the leading platform among relationship networks. Many people love engaging with friends and loved ones here, given the platform’s powerful features that facilitate user retention.

Of course, it would be a Herculean task to develop a social media app to compete with the likes of Facebook, especially for a startup. But it’s not necessary to copy Facebook to find success with a social channel. It’s best to find a niche that serves a need, which appeals to a sizable audience. For example, a corporate social channel could serve as an effective tool for connecting all workers within the organization. And users outside the organization won’t be able to access this channel, making it a manageable project for a smaller developer.

2. Determine The Type Of Social Media App You Want To Create

As we mentioned earlier, your social channel must serve a need. Otherwise, you’ll waste resources on a project that won’t attract users and ROI. So, carefully consider what type of social media app will find its place with today’s users. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of apps you can create moving forward:

  • Bookmarking Sites – Users that enjoy consuming or curating online content make use of bookmarking sites regularly. These include services such as Flipboard, Mix, and Pinterest.
  • Discussion Forums – The granddaddy of social media platforms that have a proven track record for attracting enthusiastic users. A few key examples include Digg, Quora, and Reddit.
  • Media Sharing Platforms – Content creators, graphic designers, and photographers love to share their work online using media sharing platforms. A few popular services that can handle image and video sharing include Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
  • Microblogging Services – Bloggers and content creators enjoy the convenience of sharing their thoughts and content on these platforms. Popular services include Medium, Tumblr, and Twitter.
  • Relationship NetworksThese are among the most popular social media platforms due to their high user engagement. Users love to socialize and connect with others on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tinder.
  • Review Sites – Users have become accustomed to rating businesses, products, or travel destinations and leaving comments about their experiences. Review sites that facilitate this include Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, and Yelp.

3. Understanding Your Target Audience

When developing and releasing an app, it’s crucial to understand your audience as intimately as possible. Thus, it’s always a good idea to have target audience templates and examples handy. These templates will detail your potential users’ age, gender, demographics, education, income, hobbies, and interests. By conducting a detailed target audience analysis, you’ll likely craft a social media app that hits the mark.

4. Plan Your App’s Workflow In Detail

Social media apps are complex, which means that you shouldn’t skimp on any of the details. Furthermore, you’re aiming at creating an app with user retention in mind, so plan carefully!

Start by sketching a basic outline of your app, and determine the number of screens and subsequent user interaction. Then, wireframe your app so that your development team can accurately visualize how it will look and feel on mobile devices. If necessary, develop a prototype so that all stakeholders will know how the app will be like when released. And these stakeholders can then request changes and tweaks to improve the app further.

Finally, finetune the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) of your app so that it complies with current standards. Also, consider your target audience and what type of UX/UI best fits their needs and expectations. If you’re targeting a younger audience, they’ll appreciate a bolder and more colorful design language. And an older audience will prefer a more utilitarian approach to your app’s design.

5. Consider All The Functionality That Your App Requires

Earlier, we mentioned that social media apps are complex, and we weren’t kidding about this matter. To make your app palatable to today’s users, you’ll need to implement several essential features. And while it may not be necessary to integrate all these features listed below, you’ll probably need most of them:

  • App Management – Establishing a web portal for managing users and data via the app.
  • Customization – Allow users the ability to customize backgrounds, colors, profile pictures, and nicknames to improve user retention.
  • Data Sources Integration – Implementing data from existing and multiple sources.
  • Data Types – May include audio, video, and photo content, including data, lists, and text.
  • Geolocation – Acquire location data based on a user’s device location by integrating Apple’s and Google’s geolocation APIs.
  • In-App Communication – Allows a user to communicate with other users, comment on posts, and share content on social media.
  • Network Building – Implementing an algorithm and search features that make it easy for users to connect with friends, family, and like-minded people.
  • News Feed – Users can update their status and upload content on their news feed to share with others.
  • Payment Systems – If your app has a payment component, you’ll need to integrate various payment APIs. These may include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, to name a few.
  • Security – Enabling encryption to protect user data while complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Social Media Integrations – Make it easy for users to login into your app using their preferred platforms and to share content.
  • User Interaction – The various ways your app will communicate with the user: email, push notifications, or SMS.
  • User Management – Initiating the basic registration process by requesting a user’s email or social media account.

6. Implementing Analytics To Monitor User Retention And Engagement

Ensure that you’ve implemented analytics in your app to monitor its performance and user engagement. You’ll want to keep track of how many active users you have compared to your overall downloads. Also, keep tabs on your user retention and churn rates, especially when rolling out new features and updates. And determine user engagement by analyzing all the actions they take during each session.

In Conclusion

Creating a compelling social media app requires careful planning and extensive knowledge of the numerous platform-specific APIs and integrations. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop fantastic mobile apps and social experiences.

Social Media App Development: The Overview and Trends

The social media revolution has dominated the first ten years of the online world. Therefore, there is no doubt that with the widespread use of smartphone devices and the advancement in tech solutions, people want to create a social media application.

Users across the world are active on social networking platforms. Users are keeping in touch with distant relatives and friends, sharing professional information on LinkedIn, and exchanging all sorts of information. Social networking has emerged as a new frontier in the online space. In recent years, the situation continues to take a fresh turn due to an increase in the number of smartphone users.

In 2020, the world has gone mobile with 3.5 million mobile users globally. Just 200,000 shy of the world’s population uses their mobile phones to play games, surf the internet, and most importantly communicate and share information with other users. Targeted social media platforms have already transformed the development field. This has caused a surge in social media usage across the world.

The extremely high demand for superior social media apps results in new products being developed at every turn. In addition, new apps are being launched on the market daily. The revamped competition combined with the presence of big boy brands like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram forces start-ups to seek new solutions. Furthermore, it forces enterprises to keep up with new trends to win clients.

Overview Of Social Media Development

For time immemorial, humans have always been social creatures. As such, people have developed ways of communicating with one another – from the use of smoke signals to advancements ushered in by the ever-growing internet use. All these styles of engagement make up the history of social media development as demonstrated by the following sequential stages. So, let’s take a quick glance.

  • Ancient History – Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians used smoke signals by day and beacon fires at night to convey information. The first regular postal system was established in Iran in 550 BC.
  • Beginning of the 18th – 19th Century – The use of the telegram system in 1792, pneumatic post in 1865, radio 1891, and telephone 1890 were the main highlights of this century.
  • 20th Century – Christened “the dawn of the new century”, the 20th century ushered in exciting developments. These developments included: Extensive of Email 1966, Arpanet 1969, Usenet 1979, Six Degrees 1997, LISTSERVE 1986, and Blogger 1999.
  • Millennium – The millennium was the cornerstone of 21st-century communication. This period saw massive developments in innovative technologies such as Wikipedia 2001, LinkedIn 2003, Friendster 2002, YouTube 2005, Facebook 2004, Twitter 2006, Netlog 2009, and Google+ 2011.

The social world has solidified the definition of social media as to where social interactions are powered by the online world. Social media provides a digital space that facilitates online engagements, making it possible to build small communities of friends and peers.

Social Media Development Trends

To design a social media app that will be competitive, you need to equip it with trendy features that will make it stand out. These trendy features and designs are becoming a necessity particularly for start-ups that want to ignite touches with online users. So, what important social media development trends should you look out for?

Let’s take a look:

1. Messengers Outdo Mobile And Desktop-oriented Applications

In 2020, the creatively adaptive design of social media websites is not adequate to cut it anymore. Communication resides in messenger – rapid, mobile and focused around a specific product feature that distinguishes each from other available apps. A desktop version of your social media app will find its audience. However, the focus must be shifted towards rounding off the corners of your mobile version to reap maximum benefits.

2. Virtual Social Platforms

In the past decade, virtual and augmented reality features embedded in social media apps used to be quite unfathomable. However, in 2020, with the advent of KitKat and the ARCore for android, app developers now have a classic opportunity to introduce virtual elements. In social media, the demand for virtually supported social media elements is on the rise but there’s still a lot of space for innovation since these technologies are at their nascent stages.

3. P2P Payments

Online payments systems are being integrated into virtually all pieces of software due to their convenience. A social media application might seem like the least likely place to benefit from. However, peer-to-peer payment systems are an incredible feature particularly when you want users to interact with other people. Snapchat, Skype, and Facebook messenger are already using embedded online payment systems, with WhatsApp planning to incorporate the same.

4. Cross-Platform Development

Native development has its advantages. Unfortunately, it also has its downside and costs that businesses can avoid if they opt for cross-platform development. Unless you want your social media application to be tailored specifically to a particular platform, you can access platforms like Xamarin, Flutter, React Native and other tools to see if they can suit your needs. Most importantly, platforms make the design process faster and easier without compromising on the quality of your design. For app development solutions from experienced vendors, you can contact platforms like NS804, your development partner from conception to completion.

5. AI-Powered Functionality

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve user experiences, reduce expenses and improve business analytics. In social media applications, these technologies are most useful in technical support, chatbots, and other platforms requiring facial recognition. Embedding machine learning and AI-powered tools will yield better functionality in terms of security, user experience, and customer relationship management.

6. Content With A Short Life Cycle

The estimated concentration span for desktop content is 2.5 seconds, compared to mobile phone users who spend 1.7 seconds on any piece of content. The concentration span users have on social media continues to decline each year as documented by reliable sources. Keeping aside these statistics, account for this fact when developing any social media app. You need to account for both how large a piece of content is, and how long it’s available for viewing. Keeping the content focused and succinct will garner more viewership as targeted users browse the social media channel for feeds.

7. Functionality For Business Accounts

Content marketing is inevitable. So, businesses must learn to use available social media platforms to promote their products. Therefore, apps that embed this particular functionality are likely to win a broader audience and gain loyalty points. Business functionality can greatly vary depending on the type and nature of social media applications. Therefore, give your users sufficient tools to track likes, visits, reblogs, and similar activities inherent in your platform.

The Growing Relevance of Social Media Apps

Single-purpose apps offer a wealth of benefits particularly to enterprises that want to gain an edge. The first advantage is there is a 100% chance of hitting your target market. It’s also easier to find relevant and necessary information, whether product information, price, or promotional information.

The social media app is a convenient way to promote and to stay in touch 24/7. Social media applications extend a classic opportunity to connect and pool together brand enthusiasts, creating a group of like-minded individuals. For users, it is possible to create helpful, entertaining, and interesting media content, anywhere and anytime. You can share it with friends, colleagues, and anyone else – anytime.

Contact NS804 for a timely solution in your social media app development journey.