Instagram and Snapchat are two social media giants that are famous and used extensively around the globe. According to Smart Insights Report “The number of internet users worldwide in 2019 is 4.388 billion, up 9.1% year-on-year; meanwhile, the number of social media users worldwide in 2019 is 3.484 billion, up 9% year-on-year”- this indicates that social media usability is increasing almost as fast as the internet.
From a business perspective, this growing niche of social media is excitingly promising. Of course, the dominant players densely occupy this segment, but the rapid growth of technology and changing trends play a big factor in opening up opportunities for new ideas.
Social media app development can be provided from scratch or even as an add-on to the existing web version.
How to make a social media app?
Before starting your mobile app development project, there are some essential steps that you must follow to deliver a great social media app.
Planning a strategy
The most initial stage after ideation is planning a strategy. This means full market research, finding your target audience and researching your competition. Developing your strategy includes using similar apps released by your competitors and seeing what they offer, their strong features and the areas where they lack.
You can also interview prospects to find what they find attractive in a social media app and how they would like it to work. This can help you identify things that you should have in your app and what to avoid, helping you put together a ‘perfect’ social media app.
At this stage, you must also figure out the best ways to keep your users and generate leads. Find out what is your ‘x’ factor and build your marketing campaign around it. Meanwhile, also define the app monetization techniques that you plan to use.
Creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
A Minimum Viable Product, in simple terms, “is a product or a prototype, which contains enough features that validate the user or the consumer to know what the product is all about and in which direction the development of this product is heading to”.
Starting with just an MVP is a good idea for most user-facing apps. An MVP can also work as a great lead generation tool. Plus, if you include a simple subscription form you can collect information from the users that are interested in your solution.
Social media trends every social media app must follow
Some social media trendscan be fleeting but it is important to keep track of them. Like for e.g. snapchat trends that grew popular overnight was the concept of “ephemeral content” which means the content feed is live for 24 hours and then disappears from your feed. Since the ephemeral content is fleeting and novel it is appealing for many audiences. The novel element of ephemeral content creates the FOMO effect (fear of missing out) so that the users are inclined to tune in to a particular time and even on a regular basis.
AR and Face filters
Another one of the most popular trends that Snapchat and Instagram made widespread is the trend of augmented reality and face filters. People still enjoy funny face filters and it seems like this trend is not going anywhere.
Popular social media apps all have this feature. Even if live streaming is no longer a new trend, people still tune into see live streams of celebrities.
Focus on Generation Z
Millennials are no longer the most influential audience when it comes to social media. The new Generation Z are the most dominant group in the social media sphere now. Thus, when thinking about how to create a social media appmake sure that you research the needs and wants of Gen Z.
Designing and Developing a Social Media App
After you have user feedback and the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)’s results you can proceed with the development of the product. Of course, you may require specific features for the business value of your app that are not common in other social media app, however, here are some must-have features that must a part of every social media app –
Connecting with other social media platforms
To ensure your social media app’s popularity among the general population, it is necessary to integrate with other social media platforms. This integration must not be limited to just Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. With these connections- you cannot only increase the popularity of your app but also grow the organic traffic for your app in a short time.
Just like Twitter or Facebook- your social media app must have the capability to notify users aboutany activity users are involved in. Compress all activities into a single view, creating a flow of user-specific interest content (includes short videos, articles and photos). A good social media app must also have the ability to update their status, leave comments, like or dislike option and leave feedback, etc.
Social media apps must permit users to customize their profiles. Provisioning users with good customization options will assist the users to create unique profiles and also keep them engaged while maintaining users’ interest in your services/products.
Privacy and security
Giving your social media app a high-level of privacy and security is important to make sure that your users can securely access your app and that their personal data is not vulnerable to hack. Maintaining a good level of security and privacy is a good way to not only gain users’ trust and establish a long-term user relationship.
Building a social media app is a promising idea in this day and age. You can hardly find a person without at least one social media account. People are different in how and which social media networks they use. Still, people yearn to find a comfortable space and connect with people who have the same tastes and interests. Thus, a social media app where users can share positive and negative experiences, show achievements, share knowledge, make friends and find support is extremely likely to make waves with people very quickly.