Why Startups Are Inclined to Social Media App Development

By on January 6, 2020

With the advent of technology, one aspect of the Internet that has emerged is Social Media. The importance of social media is realized when, with a matter of few clicks on a screen, you get to connect with the whole world. If we dive deeper into social networks, we see that the driving forces behind the popularity of social media apps lies in human psychology: adding a touch of belonging for all and thereby using the FOMO technique to provide instant gratification, social media has kept us all hooked. Social media networks are putting their own spin on social engagement, so potential opportunities provided by these companies to deliver high returns for investors cannot be denied. We look at some of the reasons why an entrepreneur should focus on social media app development:

  • Social media provides us with a platform to share our thoughts, stories, etc., and all the change makers are leveraging this fact to become billionaires, thus being a win-win situation for both the consumer and the company.
  • Social media is attracting an ever-increasing crowd of both young users and the elderly. In this day and age, having a large customer base won’t be a big problem if the start-up is offering a unique idea.
  • Everyone wants to stay up to date with the latest gossip and news happening all over the world, and social media serves this purpose in the best possible way.
  • What’s more, looking at how these tech giants are rolling everyone, even the investors seem to be quite enthusiastic about investing in these apps. In mid 2018, Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra Group made a passionate tweet that shows investors are quite keen in investing in social media apps than on any other app.

Here are some insane facts and figures that tell us the effect social media had on the world in 2019:

  • The number of internet users worldwide in 2019 is 388 billion, up 9.1% year-on-year and a user spends approx 100 days a year on the Internet.
  • The number of social media users worldwide in 2019 is 484 billion, up 9% year-on-year.
  • The number of mobile phone users in 2019 is 112 billion, up 2% year-on-year.
  • 50% of all internet users are in Asia and China has the most number of internet users than any country.
  • 99% of all China internet users are on mobile devices – That means half of the world uses mobile internet!


Image courtesy: we are social

These trends show that the majority of the world are smartphone users, hence apps are being favored more than traditional websites. Today, having an app is proving to be far more beneficial to businesses and startups.

Having looked at social media app development, we now look at what makes social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., huge successes.

  1. Personalization

If we look at tech giant Facebook, we see that it’s USP lies in its user-centric and user specific home feed which curates feeds based on what a particular user likes, thereby retaining them over the time. One of the factors that determines an app’s success is the average time users spend on the app. To retain the users or in other words, to keep a user engaged for longer duration, it is crucial that we make sure the content that is shown is in accordance with a user’s likes and dislikes. With a lot of competition in the market, a good personalization algorithm works like a charm. 

  1. Mode of entertainment

The key to bringing users back to use your app is to provide them with content that entertains after a hectic day at work, so the content should be interesting. 

  1. Notifications based engagement

When we look at WhatsApp, we see that it is a simple chat based messenger app, but the driving force is its notifications for every incoming message which tends to make a user open it as soon as it arrives. This proves beneficial in most cases, and especially for apps that send news or updates of close friends and associates.

Let’s now look at some of the tech decacorns that made it to the unicorn club with their unique core offering idea:

  1. Instagram: An online photo and video sharing platform and allows the creation of personal profiles. It became popular because of its unique personalized feed specific only to photos and videos that could be modified by applying amazing filters that can create a buzz among the youth that love expressing themselves. 
  1. Snapchat:  This commenced as a class project for a couple of Stanford University students. They developed this app without any business knowledge. In 2012, this social networking app was introduced to the world. The unique feature of this app is that it automatically deletes the chats and photos after they are seen. Hence, users do not need to delete the messages.
  1. Twitter: It became famous because of its unique proposition of allowing users to express themselves in just 140 characters and having a feed similar to Facebook, allowing users to follow others and see their tweets from people all over the world.
  1. Youtube: This is a video sharing medium provided by Google, where anyone can upload videos and make it accessible to anyone on the Internet. It became famous at a time when there was no other competitor available and its unique ad based revenue system proved to be quite beneficial.
  1. Tik-tok: This video taking lip-synching app allows people from normal walks of life take up roles from famous movies and songs to act and share with peers and family. It is similar to YouTube, but YouTube has videos on different categories whereas tik-tok has small personalized lip-synched videos of people.
  1. WhatsApp: this is one of the most widely used mobile messaging app and was first of its kind when it was launched back in 2009. It now allows one to even video call people and has added features of profile photos and one-day live stories after being acquired by Facebook in 2014.
  1. Tumblr: it is one of the famous micro-blogging website out there. The key selling point was its “Less to say than Facebook, but more than Twitter” analogy where people could anonymously share their fresh and bold views with the world.
  1. Pinterest: in a world where photo-savvy people look to gain more followers and more likes, Pinterest acts as the old-school album, where one can customize their colorful feed to show images of one’s interest. It’s like an album with an amazing visual touch and a pinch of luck that worked great in Pinterest’s case.

Cost to develop a social networking app?

We now look at the financial side of these apps. The major development cost depends on the technology stack used to develop these apps and for which platform is it being made: android or iOS. Since most of the technology is open source, cost in developing a social media app is similar to any other app. Hence all the app development cost goes for the following aspects:

  • Developers are the most important people and hiring someone with good skills is necessary.
  • Another cost is that of UI/UX designer who would layout the theme and tone of the app for a smoother user experience. Research is required here to develop the app with all the features and provide a smooth experience for the user.
  • Other variable costs depend on the project requirements and the backend which is used for scalability and maintenance.
  • Application hosting price on appstore of each platform is also an added cost.

Famous social media apps prove that if one has a unique idea, a hunger to grow into a famous company and vigor to keep innovating in changing times, a backyard college project can become the next billion dollar company. If you have the passion to build the next Facebook, what are you waiting for? Look for expert mobile app developers and get started.

About Karan Shah

Karan Shah is a tech enthusiast with a passion for writing; writer by day and reader by night. Writing blogs on various technical topics for more than 3 years. In addition to blogging, he is a avid reader and loves to explore new places around the world.
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