I am a Software Development Consultant at MLSDev Inc. which is one of the Top 10 European IT companies in mobile and web app development, UI/UX and consulting.
My job includes such responsibilities as content development and social media marketing. It's a pleasure for me to make the digital world closer to people and work for a company that gives me an opportunity to develop professionally.
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The number of social media apps continues to grow, though, they have already taken up a great part of our lives and the application market. In the whole world the usage of smartphone has increased, as a result, appeared the opportunities for social networks with more advanced features.
Nowadays a lot of entrepreneurs want to be a part of the prosperous market and consider building new social media platforms.
To understand what niche you want to enter and what big competitors will be waiting for you there you should realise what categories all social media apps are divided into:
- Social network apps
- Media sharing networks
- Networks for consumer reviews
- Community and discussion forums
- Bookmarking and content curation networks
- Blogging and publishing platforms
- Interest-based networks
- Anonymous social networks
Current Social Media Trends
Latest trends in social media are important to watch out for and to follow in order to make your social media app up-to-date and viable.
If you want to create a social media app, here are the social media trends 2018 to pay attention to:
- Augmented reality and face filters
The trendsetters here are Snapchat and Instagram. It seems they will not go anywhere, as people still enjoy the funny face filters.
- Artificial Intelligence and chatbots
These social media trends are not new, but they still enjoy the demand.
- Live streaming (live videos)
This feature is essential for the most popular social media apps, as users prefer watching live videos to reading posts on social media.
- Video is growing
Nowadays users prefer watching to reading that is why video content is more popular than written posts. It is connected with the lack of time they have and with the fact that visual information is easier to perceive.
- Ephemeral content
This content that is live for up to 24 hours and then disappears from your feed. The leaders here are Snapchat and Instagram. People spend more time on these social apps daily because of these stories. It is a nice thing to attract users.
- Focus on Generation Z
If you think how to create a social media app now, make certain you take into account the need of the new influential group - Generation Z (people born after 1998).
- Publishing content on social media
As websites are not the only place for creating content any more, good social media apps already have publishing opportunities for their users.
After analyzing the market and having all the necessary materials for your own social network MVP then the first step is UX/UI design.
You should learn some basic requirements to your future product design, if you want to create a social media app that will look and feel nice and appealing.
All social media apps should stick to the following simple rules:
- Use blue color as it is not considered annoying.
- Use the same navigation bar with search functions, notifications, and profile icon throughout the app on every screen where they are required.
- The design of the whole application should be adapted to a specific platform. Besides your app design should have its key features in common with all platforms. It is important to provide equal user experience and feel if a user changes iOS to Android or vice versa.
- Smooth switch from a web app design to a mobile app design to make user experience similar on any device.
- Focus on a user’s face with the help of round profile pictures, which makes it easier to remember them or distinguish them from the list of others.
- Infinite scroll of posts.
- Focus on user content and design simplicity.
- Possibility of self-expression in design (like changing a profile picture, cover image, or even profile colors).
- Relevant content and simple search of users.
- On the first stages provide a quick sign in or app entry without signing up to give an opportunity for users to find out more about your product.
The above mentioned best practices are sure to help you find the happy medium between what you want your design to be and what it should be.
It is necessary to make designs for the full app version, to look at your project globally, plan possible interactions, and set a correct app architecture. As soon as your development team sees the complete picture, it becomes clear to them how to create a social media app you request.
In spite of the fact that all cases differ and every social media app should have at least one unique feature to stand out from its competitors, there is a basic set of functions any social app cannot do without.
The suggested feature set, necessary to create a social media app MVP is as follows:
- Social authorization
- Post creation
- Post likes
- Social notifications
- User profile
- Push notification module
- Content management system (CMS): Admin authorization
- CMS: Admin management
- CMS: User management
- CMS: Reported user management
In addition to designing and coding social media apps there are other services that usually participate in the process of app development: business analysis, project management, and quality assurance.
These functions are the minimum of what needs to be built to make your product be a social media application.