Social App Developers (2023)

Updated: December 22, 2023

This guide will cover the best social app development services, how much they cost, top app development features, and how you benefit from using social app development companies.

Social apps allow users to interact and communicate with each other in a variety of different forms. These apps are popular, and usage is only increasing—nurtured further by Covid-19—making these necessary communication tools to stay in contact.

Like any industry, building and developing social apps requires several must-have features. They need to allow users to post updates, comment and like posts, share their profiles, and other social media integration is key.

Notifications, news feeds, and customizable profiles are popular, as is the ability to chat with others in the network. It’s about allowing users to create content to interact with each other.

Need help knowing where to start? We’ll cover everything you need to know about social app development.

What is a social app?

Mobile social media apps are apps which can be downloaded and stored on your phone or tablet.

Social media apps typically feature messaging, photo-sharing, and other interactive content. There are many categories that social media apps can fall into overall.

Having your own social media app allows you to customize it to use push notifications so that your audience can receive alerts straight to their phone without having to open up their browser first.

Top Social App Developers

There are a plethora of social apps available on both the Android and Apple app marketplaces today, so your app will need to shine.

Types of social apps

Examples of social apps include the following:

  • Social network apps, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Media-sharing network apps, including Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube
  • Discussion forum apps, including Reddit, Quora, and Digg
  • Bookmarking and content curation networks, including Pinterest
  • Consumer review network apps, including Yelp, Zomato, and TripAdvisor

Social app developer example

Source: FreshWorks Studio

You’ll be familiar with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok, as these platforms help us connect with friends, family, and–of course–brands.

A social networking mobile app allows users to share thoughts, curate content, upload photos, form groups based on interests, and participate in stimulating discussions.

All social apps are built around the user and everything that’s important to them. Think carefully about your business and the type of social app that would work best for you.

Why should I develop a social app?

When you design the platform you interact with your community on, there are no outside rules–that’s what creating your own social app gives you.

When you create a social app, you’re in charge and have the freedom to interact with your community on your own terms.

You also have the power to access data about the users who are most interested in who you are, which is great for well-meaning marketing purposes.

For creatives, connecting with fans and subscribers can be restricted by traditional social media platforms.

The contrary is true when you have the means to design and operate a social app yourself–you don’t compromise your vision.

When you create a social app, you’re in control. In your own dedicated community space, you’ll have more control over the design and look too.

Social app developer example

Source: Wasko

Not to mention that selling things to your community isn’t possible in many cases on existing social media platforms.

Using your own social app, digital marketplace options can be built right into the platform and features like one-click and express purchasing become possible.

Effectively then, it’s you and your audience, and you can reach all of them every time you post–it can be one of the most powerful marketing tools around.

What is the social app development process?

You need to develop the best social app possible. One that loads quickly, focuses on the user and runs efficiently.

Building a social app is about following a specific process that ensures nothing gets missed during the app’s development.

The social app development process can be found below–let’s dive into the key steps.

1. The target audience

You need to decide what your social media app will be about, as well as gain a good understanding of the market and the competition.

Creating a social media app is tricky, so it’s important to understand what features your potential users would like and what the competition lacks.

Keep in mind the following:

  • If you plan to make money from your app, you’ll need to think carefully about the different monetization options

Once you have a good indication of what your social app will be about, it’s time to start putting together your ideas. You’ll want to consider your options for user retention, as well as what strategies you’ll use to grow and keep your community engaged.

2. Functions and features

When you first start planning your social app, it’s easy to get lost in the many different functions and features.

Be sure to understand your limitations, budget, and app development skills to ensure that all the features are necessary and think about the type of content you’d want to upload to the app.

Keep in mind the following:

  • What security measures will you take to ensure your app is as safe as possible for all users?
  • Do you want to enable comments to boost user engagement?
  • Will you use push notifications to keep people engaged?

3. The design and development phase

Now it’s time to start designing and developing your social app.

You’ll need to decide early on what route you intend to take and whether you want your app available for Android users, Apple users, or both of them. Android and Apple both use different technological stacks.

Keep in mind the following:

  • If you’re using a SaaS solution, you don’t need to worry
  • The development process can be expensive and time-consuming, so think carefully about your strategy

Ensure your outlines and designs are as clear as possible for an app developer to put them together and start by wireframing your app, as this will help your team visualise how the app works and what pages link.

Prototyping is the next step and involves creating a working model of the app–it helps everyone understand the app better.

4. Grow the community

Once you’ve developed your social app, it’s time to get your users on there and build up the community, bit by bit.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Think about your initial marketing needs
  • Decide how you will get users to download your app

It’s worth using tactics such as app incentives that will ensure users have a good time using your social app.

Social app developer example

Source: Chelsea Apps

5. Analysis

There is a wide range of analytics tools that can help you assess the success of your app.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Keeping track of engagement can help you make actionable changes in the future
  • You’ll be able to spot what’s working and what isn’t inside your app

For example, you might look at how long people spend on your app or how many times per week they use it.

User engagement is measured by the amount of engagement you’re seeing in your app and can be measured by the number of actions a user takes and how long people are spending in the app.

Social app development best practices and features

Here are some of the main aspects to consider when developing a social app, including best practices as well as essential and advanced features.

Think about the app platform

The platform of the mobile social app affects, above all else, the cost. Even though there’s a negligible difference between developing iOS and Android apps generally speaking, starting with a single platform is a good way to keep things in check.

From there, developing a cross-platform mobile app that targets both main platforms with a shared codebase is the next natural step.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the UI

The UI design of the app is a key factor that affects a user’s enjoyment and the overall cost of the app. A social app with a basic design will cost less, and it’s worth thinking carefully about which features are essential.

A huge part of engaging your user comes down to having straightforward navigation with a UI that’s intuitive from the start.

Social app developer example

Source: Mutual Mobile

Ensure the app is secure

Social app users are likely to share a range of information, whether publicly or privately, and, as a result, their information must be kept secure.

A key feature of social apps is the ability to create a user account with personal login details and identification methods that allow users to provide everything from their name to their contact information.

Essential features

Your social app will need to offer a lineup of essential features that the app can’t function without.

The MVP is the minimum standard to showcase your product to your target audience, and the features must meet the most critical functions of social apps.

These are some of the essential features your mobile app needs to have:

1. Open forum

2. Push notifications

3. Secure login

4. Post feed

5. Location-based services

6. Accessible image menu

7. File uploading

8. Networking element

9. Messaging system

10. Offline app usage

Focus on app features that provide the greatest value to your customers. Collect feedback, let users tell you what features make sense to them, and then implement the changes when possible.

Social app developer example

Source: Code Brew Labs

Advanced features

Advanced features are (mostly) optional, but they allow your app to offer value to users. Advanced social app features include the following:

1. Recurring posts

2. Approval flow

3. Voice input

4. RSS feed automation

5. Follower labelling

6. Virtual reality

7. AI support

8. Chatbots

9. Smart data

10. IoT integration

Of course, the more advanced features you add, the higher the cost of the mobile app’s developmentWhen deciding your final budget, be sure to keep track of your overall costs.

How much does it cost to develop a social mobile app?

Development costs of social apps vary. Below are the average estimates, as well as a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Basic social app complexity level — $30,000 to $80,000 — 3 to 6 months
  • Medium social app complexity level — $80,000 to $150,000 — 6 to 9 months
  • High social app complexity level — $150,000 to $250,000 — over 9 months

Depending on your business, you’ll need to have access to a few different teams that can assist you during the social app development process. Developing a cross-platform mobile app that targets both main platforms with a shared codebase is economical and highly recommended.

The good news is that it’s a flexible model where you can adjust the budget according to your need. That said, it’s best to contact a social app development company for an estimate before doing anything else.

How can I benefit from social app development services?

Partnering with social app development companies allows you to create apps that enable customers to stay up-to-date with your business wherever they are in the world.

These expert developers let you take advantage of the significant opportunity available while keeping things as stress-free as possible.

Social app developers build highly-scalable apps, whether they’re your first app or tenth. These development companies create beautiful apps that use the latest tech and trends while meeting expectations.

Social app developer example

Source: Wolfpack Digital

Some of the critical benefits of social app development companies include the following:

  • Affordable development costs — Apps typically get designed using different frameworks, which allow app developers to reuse the code for multiple different social apps.
  • Smarter functionality App development companies provide excellent functionality and usability with top-notch features.
  • Bespoke plans — Custom social app development plans that are designed to fit all needs and typically come with leading scalability.
  • Better security — Apps get built with increased security for your customers and business using the latest mobile app encryption technology.
  • Careful data management — Data management solutions that protect both customer and company data.
  • Reliable communication — Communication at every key stage of your social app development journey.

If you’re planning to design a social app, getting a free quote from mobile app development professionals is usually a smart move–this is especially true if you’re a beginner.

Get started with the best social app developers

To recap, the most critical reasons for having a social app are the following:

  • You can stay in touch with your customers 24/7 and provide them with updates on new services and products
  • You can extend your business reach by bringing in new customers from across the globe
  • Users can use personal profiles with photos of their favourite products and services
  • You can stay connected with users through the use of push notifications
  • They allow you to build long-term relationships with customers
  • You’ll be able to impress potential customers and receive user feedback
  • You can feature clickable product tags so that users can explore products themselves

There are a number of app development companies that take on social app development projects and have app developers with experience specifically catering to these apps. Here we’ve put together for you a list of the best.

List of social mobile app development companies

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How it works

Do you need a mobile app for your business?

Chances are either you’re on a quest to find a professional team that will craft a great app to facilitate your business or you’ve got one already and aren’t quite happy about it.

At Business Of Apps we have the form for posting app projects, we send to professional app developers we host in our directory.

It works really simple:

  • You fill in the form with requirements for your app
  • The information you’ve submitted will be send to app developers
  • Expect to hear from them soon to discuss your project

PS. And yeah – it is free.

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