Social Network Development: Cost and Must-Have Features

Dec 29, 2023 5 min read 408
Tanya An-Si-Tek Technical Writer
Oleg Fedash Project manager
Social Network Development: Cost and Must-Have Features

In 2022, the global social media audience grew by 7.81% compared to 2021. Analysts predict that by 2027 this figure will slow down and will be 3.59%. 
By the beginning of 2022, the number of social network users was 4.5 billion, and in 2023 - 4.89. If we look at this forecast in more detail, it is expected that in 2024 there will already be 5.17 billion active users, in 2025 – 5.42, in 2026 – 5.64, in 2027 – 5.85 billion people.

The influence of social networks and their active penetration cannot be ignored in the context of their capabilities and further development. This will be discussed in more detail below.

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Social Media Apps Market Prospects

How to Create a Social Media Network - 01

The social media landscape has evolved into an indispensable aspect of our daily lives. With billions of users worldwide, social media apps have become powerful communication, entertainment, and business tools. The ever-growing demand for innovative and engaging platforms presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses to venture into social media app development.

The social media app market has experienced exponential growth in recent years, driven by the increasing need for virtual connections, content sharing, and community building. As a business analyst, it is crucial to understand this market's vast potential and the factors influencing its growth.
The global reach of social media platforms opens up new avenues for businesses to connect with their target audiences. From a marketing perspective, social media apps offer unparalleled brand exposure, customer engagement, and market research opportunities. However, tapping into this vast potential requires a comprehensive understanding of the types of social media apps that dominate the market.

Types of Social Media Apps
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  • Social Networking Apps
    These apps focus on connecting people with shared interests or professional affiliations. Examples include Facebook and LinkedIn. Developing a social networking app involves intricate features like user profiles, friend requests, and news feeds, contributing to the overall development cost.
  • Media Sharing Apps
    Platforms like Instagram and Snapchat center around sharing photos and videos. To create a similar app, developers must incorporate high-quality media processing features, real-time messaging, and advanced filters, impacting the development cost.
  • Microblogging Apps
    Twitter is a prime example of microblogging, where users share short and concise posts. Implementing features like real-time updates, hashtags, and trending topics in a microblogging app adds to the complexity and cost of development.
  • Discussion Forums
    Apps like Reddit facilitate discussions on various topics. Building a discussion forum app involves creating robust moderation tools, user reputation systems, and customizable community structures, affecting the overall cost.
  • Consumer Review Networks
    The main purpose of these apps is to allow users to share their reviews about brands, products, services and more. Consumer review networks can attract new customers to a brand in case of good reviews. Also, business owners can get customer feedback and improve their services or products.
  • Content Sharing Networks
    Content sharing networks or bookmarking apps let users save and organize links to various websites or online resources. Users can put links in multiple folders according to the topic. 

Social Media App Features and Their Cost

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For those who are looking for the optimal application niche and trying to determine an application development strategy, below we present the capabilities of existing social networks and the costs of their implementation.

App Type



App Coast

Social Networking App

Share ideas, photos and videos, posts, and inform others about online or real-world activities and events with people in their network.

Facebook, LinkedIn

Around $115,000

Media Sharing Networks App

Users can share photos, videos, and live videos.

Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube

Around $70,000

Social Content Publishing Platforms App


WordPress, Medium

Between $35,000 to $50,000+

Discussion Forums App

Start a discussion, ask questions, and get answers from experts.

Reddit, Quora

Between $20,000 to $80,000

Content Sharing Networks App

Bookmarking apps

Pinterest, Flipboard

Between $5,000 to $11,500

Consumer Review Networks App

Let users share their reviews about brands, products, services.

Yelp, TripAdvisor

Around $15,000

Read also: Approach to Mobile Apps: Native vs. Web vs. Hybrid vs. Cross-platform

The features are described in more detail below.
User Authentication and Profiles:

  • Feature: Secure user authentication and customizable profiles.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate.
  • Importance: Establishing a secure and personalized user experience.

News Feed and Content Discovery:

  • Feature: Algorithm-driven news feeds and content recommendations.
  • Cost Impact: High.
  • Importance: Enhances user engagement and retention.

Real-time Messaging:

  • Feature: Instant messaging and multimedia sharing.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate to High.
  • Importance: Fosters communication and community building.

Notifications and Alerts:

  • Feature: Push notifications for updates and interactions.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate.
  • Importance: Keeps users engaged and informed.

Search and Discovery:

  • Feature: Advanced search functionality and personalized content discovery.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate to High.
  • Importance: Facilitates user exploration and interaction.

Monetization Strategies:

  • Feature: In-app advertisements, premium subscriptions, or transactional models.
  • Cost Impact: Variable.
  • Importance: Diversifies revenue streams for sustainability.

Analytics and Reporting:

  • Feature: User engagement metrics, content performance analytics.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate.
  • Importance: Informs decision-making and content optimization.

Moderation and Security:

  • Feature: Content moderation tools, user reporting, and secure data handling.
  • Cost Impact: High.
  • Importance: Ensures a safe and positive user experience.

Cross-platform Compatibility:

  • Feature: Seamless user experience across devices and operating systems.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate.
  • Importance: Expands user reach and accessibility.


  • Feature: Infrastructure capable of handling increasing user loads.
  • Cost Impact: High.
  • Importance: Supports long-term growth and user base expansion. 

Read also: iOS app development: Top 6 questions answered


Social Media Network - 01

Entering the social media app development arena presents a myriad of opportunities and challenges. Understanding the market prospects, identifying the type of social media app to develop, and analyzing the features and their associated costs are crucial steps in this journey. While the social media app development cost can be substantial, the potential return on investment and the ability to tap into a global user base make it a compelling venture for businesses willing to navigate the complexities of this dynamic industry. As technology continues to advance, staying abreast of evolving user preferences and industry trends will be paramount for sustained success in the social media app landscape.

SDH company has extensive experience in creating such products. A deep understanding of development trends, market research, and team expertise are what the company relies on in developing applications for our clients.

Get a handle on social Network development expenses – try our software cost calculator.

SDH Social Network App Development Cost Calculator


Social Network Development


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