Social media platforms have become more popular worldwide. The number of users recorded since 2011 has more than doubled to a total of 2.62 billion in 2018. Experts expect the number to continue rising to reach about 3 billion in 2021. This is due to the creation of more social applications that can be used by various individuals.
All these statistics show how important communication has become. More and more people are joining social media platforms to get easy access to information and get in touch with friends. Investing in social networking app design will enable you to join the many successful social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. This article considers how to make a social media app: top tips, hacks, and practices.
Social networking platforms help us connect. They are designed specifically for experience- and knowledge-sharing. This type of app is all about personal, human-to-human interaction. The most prominent examples are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Microblogging apps allow users to publish text updates that are called micro-posts. These social media apps are mostly designed for quick audience interactions. Excellent examples of microblogging apps are Twitter and Tumblr.
Social media apps, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, are created to grow photo sharing power. They encourage user-generated content and help create inspiration. These applications allow people to produce, curate, and share pictures that make the buzz in the online world and grow the person’s popularity.
Video hosting apps, such as YouTube and Vimeo, enable users to put together content and share it with their audience on a platform optimized for streaming. Video sharing applications are designed to empower people to create great video content, build communities around it, and engage a target audience.
To create a great social media app, you should be aware of the actual needs and wants of your target users. In this case, social media trends can help you get insights into what people like and prefer using social media today. Let’s consider them in detail.
So, if you want to make a stand-out social media application, you must know that modern users are most excited about following interest-driven communities. That’s why a social media app that turns around the concept of such a community can gain particular popularity today. You can also make internal communities just one of your app’s features.
Most of the social networks have become the communication medium between brands and their customers. Thus, business pages on social media are a place where consumers can turn to a brand with product- or service-related questions. It has led to an increasing demand for social media chatbots on business pages that help companies manage customer questions faster.
Today, most social media apps allow businesses to set up advertising campaigns to reach their target audience online. So, be sure your app has such a feature too, as it can unlock many opportunities for both app users and you as a marketplace owner.
The ephemeral content, like Instagram stories, is still trendy this year. That’s why if you’re planning to build a social media platform, consider incorporating the “Stories” feature into your app, as it can help significantly increase user engagement.
Whether the app is for networking, photo sharing, or microblogging, it usually includes the opportunity to share video content. Video has become one of the most popular content types among different target audiences. So, creating a video sharing feature for your future social media app can be a great way to grow user loyalty.
Like any digital product, a social media application requires a full-cycle development process that includes the stages described below.
The first step is conceptualizing your future application, formulating its mission, goals, and methods of user engagement. Define and research your target audience, investigate what these people love and prefer. Conduct competitive analysis and market research to determine the gap in the niche and fill it with your unique app idea. Conceptualizing and building a growth strategy is the first most important stage in this process.
The next stage is creating a UX flow. It includes producing information architecture and a complete user journey. It’s a specific pathway the user follows to achieve a particular set of goals or to perform a task. The app flow is a particularly critical phase since it defines steps the user takes while they interact with your product.
The name of this stage is speaking for itself. It implies engineering your mobile app, on-going interactions, quality assurance, and software testing. It’s when the design and concept turn into a software solution
Now, it’s time to release an app to the market and introduce it to the world. This stage is usually accompanied by marketing campaigns that help draw the audience’s attention, increase user engagement, and app downloads.
Before we can proceed to identify how to design a social media app, let us first understand why design is important. Although the number of features you add to an application is important, users will primarily focus on the social media app UI.
Does the navigation help the users perform the functions they want to? Does the application lag when it is being used? A great social media app UI design focuses on providing the best possible experience for users. After making sure of this, you proceed to add new features to your design.
When you successfully design social media app UI and UX, you have a good chance of making money with it. This is usually done by advertising for various businesses. Another way you can benefit from your application is by selling it. You will make a lot of money from a well-designed popular site; for example, Facebook bought Whatsapp for a whopping 19 billion dollars in 2014.
The fact is that creating a mobile app design is not easy. However, it can be simplified when you know the basics, which act as a guide to help you accomplish your final goal. The following tips can help you build a social media app:
The number of smartphone users will reach 2.7 billion by 2018. It has also been established that more people prefer to use mobile devices to access their social media than desktop computers.
As a developer, you should immediately begin to think about smartphones and other mobile devices. We spend more time online on our mobile devices because we can easily take them everywhere we go
Consider the leading operating systems when you build your application. Currently, the most popular operating systems are Android and iOS. It is your responsibility as a designer to understand the major difference between the two. This will further help you provide an optimum experience for users on each platform.
For example, when you think of Facebook, one of the first things that come into your mind is the logo. This logo has a deep blue color that has become part of the social media platform’s identity.
This is also the case for other social media platforms, the green for Whatsapp, blue for Twitter, and the rainbow color scheme for Instagram. You can make a social media app design concept that will attract users by paying attention to the colors you use.
In the examples previously stated, you can go either of two ways. Most social media apps prefer to use a solid color in their logo. You can also be creative and mix a few shades. Most social media applications use white as a background color. However, some can offer users the opportunity to change it if they want to.
When it comes to designing navigation, the minimalistic approach is always the best one. The problem with creating navigation with many features is that it can become too complicated for the user to keep up.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure you have simple navigation from the get-go. Because you are primarily designing for mobile phones, focus on navigation that permits single hand manipulation.
Ensure all your icons and buttons are placed in the best part of the screen to enable the user to identify them easily. Your navigation should deliver at every step of the user’s experience with your application.
People primarily use social media applications to facilitate communication with each other. Nowadays, there are various ways in which social media platforms have made it possible for their users to get in touch with each other.
The most common way is the direct message. Most, if not all, social networking applications have this feature. More features have been added to social media applications in more recent years, making them even more enjoyable for users. Some of these features include:
To have one of the best social network app design, you should know about all the trends.
So, how much does it cost? If you have identified your target audience and figured out all the necessary features of your application, the next step would be building it. However, you cannot build an app without a budget. You have to understand, or at least have an idea of, the cost to design the social media app.
Developing a social media app is not cheap. For example, an application like Whatsapp may cost you around $50,000 or more. These numbers are for creating an application that would immediately rise into contention with the most prominent players. However, starting a much simpler application will cost you a lot less, starting from $15,000-$20,000.
An excellent way to make sure your custom application is popular among users is by following famous examples. The design process can sometimes be challenging.
You can run into a few roadblocks from time to time. During these periods, you will require some motivation. By identifying your target audience, you can look for other similar apps that are currently doing well. So let’s look at some of the best social network application designs that can act as good inspiration:
Planoly is a social network application designed especially for marketers. This application has straightforward navigation that is very satisfying to the user. The social media application design is impressive and straightforward.
You will have the ability to visualize how your pictures will look collectively before posting them on Instagram. This application can help social marketers focus on the bigger picture instead of looking at each image individually. Therefore, users can save a lot of time.
Clips is an application developed for iPhone users. This app enables users to do the following:
The navigation is creative and works well for this type of application.
Instagram is a top-rated cross-platform application. Instagram users can enjoy the following app features:
The popularity of Instagram has been made possible due to the number of impressive features it offers to users. Navigating around the application is relatively straightforward and self-explanatory.
YouTube has so many users that it does not need any introduction as well. It is available on both iOS and Android platforms. The following features can be found in the application:
LinkedIn is another widely used platform created for professionals. It connects users from various countries globally. Professionals worldwide can now use it to showcase their qualifications and any services they provide. The app has the following impressive features:
Creating your own social media app is not as difficult as you previously thought it was. You understand the basics and know how to identify your primary audience. We have also looked at how to design a social network app from scratch.
Although there are so many examples of social media app design inspiration, we have looked at a few different apps and some of the best ones to help you get started. You can choose a few features incorporated into your own application to make it popular with users. Hopefully, our recommendations on how to make a social networking app will be helpful for you. At Fireart Studio, we specialize in web and app development. You can hire us to help provide solutions to any issues with social app design!