How to Make a Social Media App from Scratch. Create a Social Network Apps | LITSLINK Blog (2022)

In the world of cutting-edge technologies, coffee is no longer the first thing in the morning. When you wake up, you lean towards your phone to get the latest updates from FB news feed, read your followers’ comments on Instagram or chat with your friends in WhatsApp. Indeed, social media has taken a big share of our lives. With 3+ billion active users worldwide, the market leaders can boast of having the highest engagement rates and the biggest revenue in the IT industry.

Although such giants as Facebook and Twitter have already occupied a significant market share, there is still space for promising and ambitious projects. The current trend for niche social networks is gathering pace, which means you can get your cut of the take.

However, building a social media app from scratch is quite a challenge. Before you get down to work, you should conduct thorough research to identify the gap in the market. In this article, we will unveil all the secrets of building a profitable social media app.

Market Overview

Since the invention of Facebook, the social media market has been thriving. Mark Zuckenberg indicated a new milestone in social media app development when he managed to replicate real-life communication in the digital landscape.

Since then, the total percentage of the active social media users has grown from 10 to 48% of the Earth’s population. If to run the numbers, it equates to 3.7 billion people worldwide. Facebook remains to be the primary market leader with the highest engagement rate. At the same time, Netflix is the top social media network by revenue due to its winning monetization model.

How to Make a Social Media App from Scratch. Create a Social Network Apps | LITSLINK Blog (1)

Although the entry threshold is high, the market provides conducive environment to startups and SME businesses. In 2019, the annual growth of apps’ downloads has been estimated at 9%, while the total user expenditure increased up to $101 billion. These figures clearly show that users are prepared to spend more when producers meet their specific needs.

Categories of Social Media Apps

You should have a clear vision in mind when you create your own social media app. Think of your audience and how your project will benefit users. If you’re out of social media app ideas, look through the following categorization to choose the right type for your project.

How to Make a Social Media App from Scratch. Create a Social Network Apps | LITSLINK Blog (2)Social Networks. Facebook remains to be the leader by the number of active users among all other social media networks. An average US citizen spends nearly 155 minutes per day on social networks and this number grows annually by 10-15%. Among teenage population, the figure is significantly higher. More than 45% of teens stay online on Facebook and Twitter during the whole day. It means that the popularity of social media networks is unlikely to fade in the nearest future.

Messengers. Such names as FB Messenger, WhatsApp or Telegram are quite familiar to you. The ability to keep in touch with your friends and partners is vital in the modern digitized world. Messengers are created to allow instant communication and let users exchange information on the go.


Media Sharing Sites. Application of this type enable users to share any kind of media (photo, video or docs) with their followers. The most renowned projects in this category include Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo.

Blogging Apps and Platforms. Bloggers have substituted actors and speakers in their ability to influence followers’ views. Everyone today strives to become an opinion leader and you can provide your users with such an opportunity.

Fitness & Lifestyle Apps. The trend for healthy lifestyle has become dominating among all generations. If you go to Play Market or App Store, you will find plenty of applications that help you to keep fit. For instance, Nutralete was designed to connect users with fitness professionals and provide them with daily recommendations on nutrition.

Q&A Platforms. The process of querying information has changed. When you have a question, the first thing that comes to your mind is to google it and find everything you need on the net. Q&A sites were invented to meet this growing demand. Build your social media to provide your users with relevant data.

Trends to Look For in Social Media App Development

Being in the know is essential, especially when it comes to social networks development. When you are aware of all the trends on the market, it is easy to be ahead of the competition. We prepared the top 5 trends that will blow your users’ minds and keep them engaged for a long time.

Niche social media

The trend for private social networks and chats is booming. Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first to notice that private chats and social media have become more popular among different groups of users.

The old trend for expressivity and excessive communication faded. Continuous race for the quantity of followers seem to come to an end. People have become more concerned about the quality of communication and privacy of their sensitive data. In this regard, niche social media apps are introduced to meet this growing demand.

Currently, there is a gap in the market for niche social media, which you can fill with an app targeted for a specific group of people. Mush, a highly successful project that disrupted the UK market, brought parents together in one environment. It allows moms to find their peers in the region, discuss critical problems and get advice when they need.

Artificial Intelligence

Market leaders actively apply machine learning algorithms in their projects. Pinterest, a social media for storing and exchanging pictures, has recently implemented an AI engine to detect sensitive images. In such a way, the company prevents penetration of inappropriate content to its platform.

Live Streaming

Sharing experiences in real time has become a part of culture, and almost every user seems to be using it. Moreover, this feature is frequently applied by businesses to extend their reach and grow online audience.

(Video) Build and Deploy a Modern Full Stack Social Media App | FULL COURSE

Even state institutions organize live streaming events to reach a higher level of transparency. The Dallas Police Department regularly streams police officers’ interviews to inform the public on security issues.

Have an idea of a social app but it’s still vague?

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VR/AR Solutions

Realism has been a dominating trend in IT and gaming for the last decade. Multiple state-of-the-art tools were invented to immerse a user in a digital landscape:

  • Virtual and augmented reality are applied in social media to add new features and grow the user engagement rate
  • AR filters and senses add gamification to such apps as Instagram and Snapchat, which positively affects their rating and place on the market.

Instant Chatting

Since almost half of our conversations has gone online, chats and messages have become obligatory features for almost all social media platforms. Communication on the go is a growing trend, which means you should take it into account while building your own social media platform.

How to Make a Social Media App from Scratch. Create a Social Network Apps | LITSLINK Blog (3)

Features to Build an MVP

Each product has its own focus and peculiarities but the main goal remains the same: to keep the user’s attention by means of design, special features or any other “catchy” functions. A set of mandatory features for your social network highly depends on the scalability of the platform, budget and your project idea.

If to look at the current trends and successful social media apps, these features are a must have for your MVP :

(Video) How to create social media app in thunkable (blocks)


When you start a social network, you should think of how your users will be represented in your app. This feature helps to build a database with users’ information that lies in the core of your platform.

One of the simplest ways is to allow integration with other social media networks, like Facebook or LinkedIn. Users won’t spend long time filling in their profiles, while you’ll get the valuable data.


Feed keeps users updated on all the latest trends. Most users log into their accounts in the morning to see what they missed during the night. It is also a great chance to share own experiences with followers and catch on the vibes from the most prominent events in the city.

When you create a social media app, be sure your users can do the following:

  • Make posts on the go
  • Share their updates with friends in private conversations and in the feed
  • Add audio & video files to their stories
  • Tag followers, their friends and businesses


Chat is a necessary feature for almost all types of social networks. It keeps your users engaged for a long time and adds interactivity to the platform. We advise paying precise attention to conversation settings, such as time of messaging, type of chats (private or public) or the number of users involved in them.

Keep in mind that privacy matters now more than ever before, so securing users data should be your first priority. Make sure all individuals on your social media site are protected from data leakages and disclosures.

Ways to Develop a Social Media App

When you’ve decided on a business plan, project idea and handpick features to build your perfect MVP, you should have a look at the practical part. If you search the net, there are three primary options you are likely to consider:

Use Social App Builders

You no longer need a skilled software developer to create your own social media app. At first glance, these tools seem to be appealing as they do not charge unbearable fees and you can do everything yourself. However, when you get down to the development process, you meet lots of challenges that significantly delay your release: extension difficulties, hidden charges, no possibility to edit code, unexpected bugs and so on.

Also, be informed that the service can stake a claim on your product. The service you are working with can undertake the following actions at any stage of your project:

  • Restrict access to your product
  • Block your account
  • Send you a refusal to cooperate in the future

It means that using social app builders is not completely secure if you place your hopes on the product.

(Video) How To Create A Social Media App

Hire Freelance Developers

If you don’t have any programming background, you can find software developers on freelance platforms. They charge lower fees compared to those working for the company.

While the cost might seem really attractive, be prepared to cope with challenges. Such developers are usually inexperienced and cannot advise you on apps’ architecture, design or scale an existing product. They may also give up your project halfway when they find a more profitable gig.

Engage a top-notch mobile application development agency to build a first-class social media app.

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Outsource Your Project to a Vendor

Software development companies have relevant expertise in mobile development. With a rich talent pool, they assign software engineers, who can advise you on your project idea, develop a business plan and help you to launch a successful social media app. Also, you can use our software development cost calculator to get a ballpark quote for your project.

While the rates of US developers are unbearable, consider outsourcing to Eastern Europe. Local companies work with startups on a regular basis, so they are quite aware of industry challenges and barriers. Furthermore, many of them have head offices in America, so you won’t meet any difficulties in communication.

Final Words

We provided you with all the nitty-gritty details on how to create a social media app from scratch. You are aware of all the latest trends and know which features are obligatory to build a successful MVP. Also, you can easily say where to find the best developers.

(Video) How To Make A Social Media Website Like Facebook With WordPress & BuddyBoss

Nevertheless, don’t expect that building an app similar to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter is an easy process. You’d better rely on LITSLINK professional team to make sure your product will perfectly work smoothly and find its target audience.


How do you make a social media following from scratch? ›

How to grow a social media following
  1. Choose the right social platform.
  2. Analyze your competitors.
  3. Complete your profiles (yes, your personal ones too)
  4. Be consistent with your brand.
  5. Share awesome content.
  6. Connect with industry thought leaders and influencers.
  7. Use hashtags.
  8. Utilize paid advertising and sponsored posts.
2 Jan 2020

Is it hard to make a social media app? ›

Social media app development is no easy task. But we do believe that good ideas, our experience, and a strong professional team of social media makers are enough to create a successful project that would reach your business goals and bring truly loyal users.

How can I create an app on my own? ›

How to make an app for beginners in 10 steps
  1. Generate an app idea.
  2. Do competitive market research.
  3. Write out the features for your app.
  4. Make design mockups of your app.
  5. Create your app's graphic design.
  6. Put together an app marketing plan.
  7. Build the app with one of these options.
  8. Submit your app to the App Store.

Can anyone create a social media app? ›

You don't need any coding or technical knowledge to create your social network app using this unique platform. Due to all these amazing benefits in a Social Network App you can reach out to your target audience in an easier and smarter way. The app helps you enhance your customer base and grow your business.

What is Scratch social media? ›

Scratch is the world's largest coding community for children and a coding language with a simple visual interface that allows young people to create digital stories, games, and animations. Scratch is designed, developed, and moderated by the Scratch Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

How do you start a social media campaign from scratch? ›

How to plan a social media marketing campaign, step by step
  1. Set social media campaign goals. ...
  2. Create buyer personas. ...
  3. Choose your social media channels. ...
  4. Have a social media calendar. ...
  5. Research the right tools to boost productivity. ...
  6. Carry out competitive analysis. ...
  7. Put a system in place to track performance.

What is the highest paid social media app? ›

1. Snapchat. According to CNBC, Snapchat pays up to $1 million per day for content created on the platform.

What is the #1 social media app? ›


With nearly 3 billion monthly users, Facebook is inarguably the largest and most popular social media platform in the world.

What makes a successful social media app? ›

Every successful social media app has three main features: the profiles, the feeds, and the connections. These three features are usually given different names on different social media sites. The profiles are unique personal accounts within the app design that users get to personalize and promote among their circles.

Can I make an app like Instagram? ›

You can't make an app like Instagram without providing users with the ability to search for other users, groups, content, tagged photos, the latest news, and so on. Real-time messaging is one of the features that makes Instagram tick.

How much does it cost to make a social media app? ›

So what's the cost of developing a social media app? The typical cost to create a social media app can range from $35,000 to $1,000,000+, depending on factors like features, software complexity, design, and whether or not you'll be needing a team and/or will be developing from scratch.

How do you make an app like Instagram without coding? ›

How To Create An App Like Instagram - Easy, Fast, Anyone Can Do It

How do free apps make money? ›

Free apps are monetized through various means, including advertising, in-app purchases, sponsorship, and affiliate marketing.

Can I build a free app? ›

There are many free app makers, like appy pie, on the market today, but Alpha Anywhere Community Edition is different. You get the full capabilities of a trusted app development platform to build apps for both mobile platforms.

Is it expensive to start your own app? ›

The cost of building an app ranges from $40,000 to $150,000 and depends on app complexity. The answer to how much it costs to develop an app can quickly go overboard due to the app features. There are several options to get the estimation of your app project. The most reliable one is to contact the developers.

Can just anyone make an app? ›

Everyone can make an app as long as they have access to the required technical skills. Whether you learn these skills yourself or pay someone to do it for you, there is a way to make your idea a reality.

What are the three types of Scratch? ›

Scratches vary between hardly noticeable to deep or in expert tone it is differentiated in 3 kinds i.e clear coat scratch, primer-level scratch and deep-paint scratch.

Is Scratch easy to learn? ›

It is a fantastic coding language for beginners, and it doesn't take long to get to grips with it. It's one of the easiest programming languages for kids to learn. It's so easy that even kids as young as 5-7 years old can start with Scratch Junior.

What is Scratch with example? ›

Scratch is a free platform for learning how to code.

It's popular in large part because MIT put a ton of work into making Scratch programming language easy to understand and use. It's a “block-based coding language” and allows users to drag and drop colorful blocks of code to build animations or games.

What are the 5 elements of a social media campaign? ›

The 5 Elements of an Effective Social Media Strategy
  • Audience Awareness. ...
  • Ideal Platform Selection. ...
  • Data-Driven Risk-Taking. ...
  • Constant Learning and Adaptation. ...
  • Integrate within Digital Strategy. ...
  • Conclusion.
18 Mar 2019

What are the 10 steps to a successful social media strategy? ›

A 10-Step Checklist for Social Media Strategy Success
  1. Define Clear Goals. This is the foundation of your social media management or campaign strategy. ...
  2. Get To Know Your Audience. ...
  3. Choose the Right Platforms. ...
  4. Create a Content Bank. ...
  5. Identify Keywords and Hashtags. ...
  6. Create a Content Schedule. ...
  7. Set Up Social Tools. ...
  8. Set Your Analytics.
15 Feb 2018

How do you plan and create content for social media? ›

How to Create a Social Media Content Plan in 10 Easy Steps
  1. Revisit your target audience profile and social media goals.
  2. Polish your social media content categories for each social channel.
  3. Decide the formats you'll use.
  4. Create an engagement plan.
  5. Have a plan to share others' content.
  6. Repurpose and curate content.
18 May 2021

What makes a good social media plan? ›

A good social media strategy will always include time for interacting, asking questions and connecting with the people we're trying to reach. Also, algorithms take into account your level of interaction when showing your posts to your audience.

How much does 1k followers make on Instagram? ›

Micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) make an average $1,420 per month. Mega-influencers (more than one million followers) make $15,356 per month.

How much does 10k Instagram followers make? ›

A content creator on Instagram with 100,000 followers can earn about $200 per post, while someone with 10,000 followers can make about $88 per post.

Can Instagram pay you? ›

Instagram allows you to earn money with the help of IGTV Ads, Branded Content, Badges, Shopping, and Affiliate Marketing. But creators can also earn from sponsored content, fan membership, licensing the content they produce, and also by becoming a consultant.

What are the 3 most popular social media apps? ›

Global social networks ranked by number of users 2022

The company currently also owns four of the biggest social media platforms, all with over one billion monthly active users each: Facebook (core platform), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

What are the top 3 most popular apps in social media? ›

10 most popular social media apps
  • 1. Facebook. 2.93 billion monthly active users. ...
  • Instagram. 2 billion monthly active users. ...
  • Twitter. 229 million monetizable daily active users. ...
  • TikTok. 1 billion monthly active users. ...
  • Pinterest. 433 million monthly active users. ...
  • LinkedIn. 830 million members. ...
  • Snapchat. 332 daily active users. ...
  • YouTube.
18 Jul 2022

What are 6 types of social media? ›

What Are the 6 Types of Social Media? The six types of social media, though this can be broken down in many ways, include social networking, bookmarking, social news, media sharing, microblogging, and online forum sites.

What features should a social media app have? ›

Here are 10 key features every social media app should have:
  • #1: Simple and Friendly User Interface (UI) ...
  • #2: Visually Appealing and Accessible Design. ...
  • #3: Secure Login. ...
  • #4: Networking Element. ...
  • #5: Content Sharing Method. ...
  • #6: Messaging System. ...
  • #7: Open Forum.
  • #8: Real-Time Notifications.
28 Jan 2021

What factors make a great app? ›

What Makes a Good App?
  • Market and Audience Research.
  • Flawless Design.
  • Performance.
  • Right Development Technology.
  • Rigorous Testing.
  • Security.
  • App Marketing Strategy.
  • Right Monetization Strategy.
26 Aug 2021

What is the fastest growing social media app? ›

The latest data shows that the fastest-growing social network is TikTok.

Can 1 person code an app? ›

It's possible for one person to create an app. However, there is no guarantee whether or not that app will be successful. The competition is tough and people are ready to go to any extent to make their apps successful.

Can you code an app by yourself? ›

You can definitely code an app yourself. In fact, you can do this without any required professional learning. Lots of people self-teach themselves to code and get a solid foundation in programming from open source projects.

Can I make a app like YouTube? ›

AppsGeyser ranks number one in terms of user ease and accessibility and is free of cost. It allows you to create a YouTube Channel app for Android without coding.

How long will it take to build a social media app? ›

The industry for which the app is being built also plays an important role in the average app development time. The answer to the question of how long does it take to make a social media app is 1-2 month(s). Whereas on-demand apps take more time to be developed.

How much does it cost to brand an app? ›

On average a PR agency would charge an app developer or a brand $100 – 300 / hour for media outreach. Tapping into the power of Influencer Marketing is one of the recent trends for many industries and app industry is one of them.

How much it will cost to make an app like Instagram? ›

On average, the cost to develop an app like Instagram is somewhere around $50,000 to $60,000. How long does it take to develop an app like Instagram? As you know, the time to develop an app depends on the complexity of the project and the experience of the app developer.

How do you make an app with no experience? ›

Use a drag and drop program.

Another way to create your app without having to learn how to code is to use a program that will write the code for you. These kinds of “drag and drop” solutions make it easy for anyone to put together a basic application, and are easily found online.

Can I create an app like WhatsApp? ›

If you want to make your app available on both platforms, you can also create a cross-platform app using frameworks like React Native and Flutter. This way you can easily create an app like WhatsApp. We also recommend you initially roll out a minimum viable product (MVP) to validate your idea.

How much does it cost to create a social media app? ›

So what's the cost of developing a social media app? The typical cost to create a social media app can range from $35,000 to $1,000,000+, depending on factors like features, software complexity, design, and whether or not you'll be needing a team and/or will be developing from scratch.

How much money do you need to start a social media app? ›

One of the most asked questions by businesses is how much does it cost to create a social media app. So, the average cost of designing an application like LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Facebook, can range from $15,000 to 50,000+ depending on app types, elements, features, design, complexity, and software development.

How much does it cost to develop a social network app? ›

Cost to Develop Social Media Applications

For instance, the budget of social media application with a simple UI design may range from $12,000-$30,000. The cost to build a mid-level app with few advanced functionalities will be around $30,000-$40,000.

How much does it cost to build an app? ›

How Much Does It Cost to Make an App on Average? It may cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a mobile app, depending on what the app does. The short answer is a decent mobile app can cost $10,000 to $500,000 to develop, but YMMV.

Can I build an app like Instagram? ›

You can't make an app like Instagram without providing users with the ability to search for other users, groups, content, tagged photos, the latest news, and so on. Real-time messaging is one of the features that makes Instagram tick.

Can I build an app for free? ›

App creation is no longer just for professional developers. Now everyone can build mobile apps without programming using a free version of an award-winning low-code app development platform. Alpha Anywhere Community Edition is a free app development software that creates Android apps and iPhone apps with ease.

What makes a good social media app? ›

Here are 10 key features every social media app should have:
  • #1: Simple and Friendly User Interface (UI) ...
  • #2: Visually Appealing and Accessible Design. ...
  • #3: Secure Login. ...
  • #4: Networking Element. ...
  • #5: Content Sharing Method. ...
  • #6: Messaging System. ...
  • #7: Open Forum.
  • #8: Real-Time Notifications.
28 Jan 2021

What is the highest paid social media app? ›

1. Snapchat. According to CNBC, Snapchat pays up to $1 million per day for content created on the platform.

How long does it take to create a social media app? ›

Table 2. Approximate Social Media App Development Costs
Basic appMedium app
Business Analysis$2,500+$5,000+
Quality Assurance$5,000+$10,000+
Total (approx.) Costs to setup$60,000+$120,000+
Time to develop3-5 months4-9 months
3 more rows
14 Dec 2020

How do I start a successful social media site? ›

11 Ways to Grow Your Social Media Audience
  1. Hold contests. ...
  2. Include a visual with every post. ...
  3. Share more video. ...
  4. Be proactive in listening to and responding to your online community. ...
  5. Change your Page profile photos and cover photos. ...
  6. Give people a reason to follow you. ...
  7. Encourage tagging. ...
  8. Use hashtags to get found.
24 Jan 2020

Can social network sites make money? ›

There are three ways you can use your social media channels to make money: brand promotion, affiliate marketing and creating online resources.

Why do most apps fail? ›

A poor user experience is one of the biggest reasons why apps fail. There are a lot of components involved in building an app that offers a great user experience. At a base level, your app needs to be intuitive.

Is it difficult to create an app? ›

Launching a successful app is highly difficult, and it certainly isn't for the easily shaken. Although many app ideas will fail on their journey to success, a few will survive. Yes, you can be a part of that few. The key is to know what it takes to build an app startup and prepare yourself for the journey.

Who can develop an app? ›

Essential mobile app developer background training and skills. To be a mobile developer, one must possess software development skills and knowledge. You could develop these skills by earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar discipline (management information systems, for example).


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