The niche of social media is the best and one of the most promising markets. Considering a business perspective, it plays a significant role in resolving a variety of business problems.
It is a strong source intended to build a robust process from different small processes and combine them into an efficient system.
The fact can’t be denied that this domain is densely occupied with many giant players, but this doesn’t mean there is no scope or business expansion opportunities. You will be surprised to know that technology’s rapid development gives new hope and ideas to business for branding and market recognition.
You won’t regret investing in social networking app development because, based on the studies, users spend an average of 2.5 hours per day multitasking on around 8 different social networks and messaging apps.
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Evolution of Social Networking
Let’s go back to the time where it all started, 1997, a new genre of the website was launched to connect to your friends and acquaintances or external contacts. If they are not seen on the website, you could invite them to join and create an account called “SixDegrees.com.”
SixDegrees.com was the first-ever social networking website ever, the first of its kind with the features like instant messaging and bulletin boards where you could share information. This website lasted from 1997-2001, giving birth to a whole new league of social networking websites.
For a clear picture, you can take a look at the history of social media development with a timeline:
There are thousands of social networking sites out there, but only a few being globally successful. Let’s list a few of the most successful websites.
- SoundCloud, and many more
These websites belong to different generations, but they all come under one umbrella: social networking.
One of the most successful of all of them is Facebook, the one that is winning the hearts of users and businesses with its ultimate services and interactive user experience. It would help if you learned to build interactive app user interfaces to beat the existing market competition.
Check out the below reasons to dive deep to know the social networking app development scope.
Why build a Social networking website?
According to the Pew Research Center study, only 5% of adults were using alteast one of the social media networking platforms.
Based on trading on Shares and Post, Facebook has a Valuation of $98 billion. However, enthusiasm also exists for other social media companies, such as Zynga, which has a valuation of $9 billion. This is all because of the social game maker that has built a tremendous business on Facebook.
As we can see, the numbers are telling everything.
You can also make a social networking platform for professionals like LinkedIn.
There could be many other reasons; a social networking website has always been trending from it was started with SixDegrees.com to Facebook and Snapchat. The graph has always been growing, but it is never an easy task.
How would you succeed?
Being first of a kind is always a great idea, but if you lack ideas and want to get inspired by an already existing website, remember you should always be better. To succeed, you should also focus on the app idea that explains social networking’s effects on real-time engagement and communication.
Let’s have an idea about all the social networking websites out there.
What are the different types of Social Networking Websites, their features, and the estimated cost?
There are many social networking websites out there. Let’s pick up a few categories with their examples.
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat
Everyone who has a smartphone has these applications. You can find these apps on almost everyone’s smartphone.
Snapchat is the newcomer on the block, and Facebook being the elder brother. But, the craze of all three is immense.
Facebook is having the highest active users of more than 2 Billion, followed by Instagram and Snapchat.
What are the standard features in all three social media platforms?
- Instant messaging
- Photo sharing
- Multimedia sharing
- Photo status
What’s not common?
Here you will get to know what is unique in all three platforms; despite being the same kind of social networking websites, maybe their features made them successful.
Instagram does not have a lot of unique features, but why is it still doing great. It’s the unique experience of photo sharing. If you’ve ever used Instagram, you know that you can only share Pictures and Videos of up to a Minute and nothing else.
Instagram Filters make a great addition to your already great photos. Sometimes, the filters can make you confused; because it feels they are all great.
And also the security features.
Its security features include:
- Private Account: No one can see your posts or anything about your profile except your name and bio.
- Secured Media: Nobody can save the media you have shared; there is no download option.
Snapchat is a popular app amongst college students and women probably. It’s a great app, which has seen instant success after its release.
Its unique features include:
- Photo filters – You will find a lot of image editing options under this feature.
- Video filter – Snapchat has made great use of Augmented Reality to create a filter for its users. A video filter is made of AR where your camera recognizes your face and creates an artificial object designed for your faces, such as a Tiara or an umm puppy ears and nose. A picture can help you understand the same.
On the left is the face recognition, and on the right, we have the filter created by Snapchat.
- Voice Filters – These filters can change your voice; you don’t sound like yourself. This feature and interesting and amuse users every time they use this app.
- Video chat – It’s familiar with Facebook too.
Facebook is a Benchmark for a Social Networking Website with the other two features except for additional security features like Instagram and filters from Snapchat. So, what’s unique with Facebook.
- Text posts – you can type as much as you can on a text post; I’ve seen blogs being posted as their status.
- Multimedia sharing – multimedia sharing from other platforms like a blog post, or a picture, or even a video for that matter, can be shared on Facebook.
- Groups and Pages – you can create your group on Facebook and change who can see your group or posts. If you are a celebrity or an organization, you can create your own Facebook page, which is considered a legitimate page to refer to for business.
Below is the Facebook page of Ex-united states president Obama. The blue tick mark is given by Facebook, confirming that it does belong to Barack Obama.
(PS: There are many fake pages out there, you can create one too)
- Voice and Video calling – well, it pretty much explains that you can make both video and audio calls on Facebook.
Instagram and Snapchat are more of a Mobile Application than a Web application because most of the features are not available on the Web application. Facebook has both Mobile and Web applications with similar functioning features.
How much does it cost to build one like the mentioned ones?
According to our development team and the internet, it costs around $20000 – $35000. It depends on the Developing team. That’s just for building them.
Pinterest is a visual search engine to find ideas on different categories. It’s all about pictures, you create an account, and you would have your board where you can pin all the things you like.
Take a look at the below example; you can find everything pinned accumulated from the internet and inside Pinterest.
In the above picture, the part where “goth.” is seen is on the board where all the goth pictures are pinned that are found best on the internet or Pinterest. People can view the board whenever they want.
If you don’t want people to see your board create a secret board, you can create a secret board of all the things you like on Pinterest.
All right, so how is Pinterest successful?
If you generalize it, it’s almost like Instagram, where you can upload pictures or follow other users and like pictures. But the part where they played right is “Creating Boards.”
Creating boards is exciting and fun; choose your favorite category and pin pictures related to it.
See below the example of a Pinterest Board.
Pinterest Has an excellent web application and an equally great Mobile application, unlike Instagram, which is more biased towards the mobile app experience.
LinkedIn is more of a business and employment-oriented Social Networking Website; it is on both mobile and web application platforms.
LinkedIn is a professional network where you would create your profile and connect to potential employment firms and people. There are both paid and free services on LinkedIn.
If you opt for paid services, it will provide you access to more options in finding employees for your organization. And in the other case, if you are an employee, it helps you find jobs.
It’s the first of its kind, a business social networking website, which made LinkedIn so famous.
It is considered as a microblogging website, used for news and social networking.
A typical Twitter update cannot be more than 250 characters. Twitter is the first social networking site with the option of “#Tag”; its works are simple.
Here #tag plays very powerful role. It is used as a parameter for calculating trending news.
Here’s a tweet on Houston Floods with #tags used.
A few years ago, Facebook also adapted the #tagging, which is also as successful and influential as Twitter.
Tinder is a new trending app launched recently, about four years ago, and took the world by storm.
There were many dating apps before Tinder, but Tinder became the leader in the dating app market.
It is available on both web and mobile application platforms.
But how it works?
- Create a profile by registering with Facebook or your email ID.
- Go to the settings and choose your preferences: your sex preference, age limit, and the area limit.
- After setting your preferences, you would have profile suggestions.
- A profile has necessary details of age, sex, and a maximum of 6 photos, and a link to Instagram if the user has updated it.
- You could either like a profile by using a button on just swiping right or reject by pressing the on-screen button or swiping left or sending a “super like” by pressing the button only, which sends a notification to that person.
How do they match?
Right swiping will not send any notification to the users; that’s the fun of Tinder. Only if both the users “right swipe” each other will be a match; once it’s a match, you are given access to Instant messaging, and you know what to do next.
Some paid privileges, which would give you benefits like being the top suggestion in the surrounding area, can hide your age and get unlimited right swipes (100/day for a free user) and 5 Super Likes (1 Super Like for a free user).
Why is Tinder more successful than thousands of other dating apps?
The user experience of Tinder is excellent! Maybe that is the reason it has more than 1.6 billion users Swipes per day.
What do they all have in common?
Well! They all are unique in their respective genres of social networking is what’s common between them.
Even if the ideas are copied, they made them better. For example, the #tagging on Facebook was first started with Twitter, but it was also well adapted and used on Facebook.
Features of Social networking app with the development cost
When Facebook was started, you need an already existing account on the top emailing websites like Google, Yahoo, or Hotmail. Still, as the Facebook army increased over the years, you can directly create an account on Facebook itself.
All you need is to fill in your details on the registration page, and you have it.
And the cost to make this page is around a couple of days’ works and $6000.
Following or Adding as a friend
Social networking needs networking, so how does a user start networking with other users or organizations. They either follow them, giving them updates and news about their activities, or if the profile has security features you request access to.
For example, on Instagram, a private account’s security feature means the people who are only allowed to follow will get access to the account content.
You can customize the updates you would want to see on a page or user following on Facebook.
The following ads as a great security feature and also helps in networking between users.
Creating this feature is estimated as 2-3 days of work and $1000-3000.
Chatting or instant messaging is common in all social networking websites, but each one’s format is different.
Facebook has the best chatting tool called the messenger, a mandatory app; if you are using a smartphone, the emojis and stickers make it unique from others.
Snapchat has its filtering pictures and video sharing, which is something very different and unique from Facebook.
Other than Facebook and Snapchat, all the other Social networking websites have the primary functioning.
There are many other similar features, from the necessary profile information to the websites’ content.
Chat or instant messaging is complicated; it could take up to 2-3 weeks or more. And the cost estimated for creating a simple Chat app only on Android is around $6000 – $8000. This means it could cost a lot more on all the platforms.
Since we have seen Facebook topping in all the categories, let’s look at the features.
Live chat, Video calling, and Facebook Live.
Live chat was always there on Facebook, giving the best experience by all standards.
Video calling was only a thing for Skype that has been introduced to Facebook, and after a few hiccups, it has improved a lot.
Facebook live is the newcomer on the block, a very controversial feature but still a great addition to the already feature-filled website.
It’s something simple to use; click on a button that says Go Live and a couple of requests to access the camera, and you’re Live!
Facebook notifications have no limit; you subscribe for any notification and control what you want to be notified to; here’s a list of things you will be notified.
- Like and comments on your posts.
- Your favorite page posts
- Group posts
- Facebook Live
Notifications may look simple to use, but there is so much work behind it; it’s estimated as 2-3 weeks of works and $5000 – $6000.
Facebook events are a great place to notify and RSVP your friends to an event; all you need to do is go to the favorite’s column on your home page and click on events and know what to do next.
But the best part is you can control whom you are inviting, obvious but still a great feature to be mentioned.
Creating events is estimated a weekdays’ work and $1500 – $2000.
All the other social networking websites have this feature, but what’s so special about Facebook?
You can comment on almost any type of content on a Facebook comment from text to a picture, Gif image, a sticker, and a Video as a comment; they’ve gone full mental on this part!
You can also tag your friend in the comment, and if he wants to reply to it, he doesn’t have to tag you again and reply. There is an option to reply to the comment, which will directly notify you.
To create the comments section, it is estimated a cost of $2000 or above and weekdays.
It has been the most common feature in all Social Networking websites, including Tinder, where no external content is available. Still, you can share profiles with other social networking applications.
The best of the lot is Facebook; yes, the flexibility of sharing on Facebook is immense. From YouTube videos to small type applications, you can share almost everything on the internet on Facebook.
What is the use of sharing?
We must’ve seen ads on Facebook videos or YouTube; why do some videos have ads, and some don’t?
It’s just because the most popular videos or pages that share videos have the potential to reach out to more people, and ads are shared only on them; this is where ad-revenue is generated.
This option costs about $1000 and 2-3 days.
If you want to promote your business, Facebook is the place you need to be.
This phase can’t be estimated as it has nothing to do with the initial development.
Facebook is the benchmark for an ideal social networking website, and it will be the top social networking website for years to come. We have seen many others being on top and fading away as the years pass by, but Facebook has never lost its charm.
If you dream of creating the next Facebook for your target audience, then take a shot!
We want to give you advice here to avoid creating a cross-platform app or a template. Such solutions can alienate your audience and frustrate them in terms of the implementation of the app idea.
Try to be specific when you connect with an app development company for social networking app development. Approach them with a unique app idea and have something unique from other existing platforms.
That’s all in this article! We hope this article provided you the details you were looking for. If you have any queries regarding the social networking platform development, you can drop your feedback below in the comment section.