Social media is developing continuously, and even though the market is packed with huge competitors, technological evolution has created a huge room for new ideas. In recent times, mobile apps, especially social media apps have turned into a bridge connecting people and businesses. You must have thought of building an app like Facebook too so you can stand out in this hugely competitive market. Worry not, we have got you covered. Let’s look at this detailed guide below on how to build an app like Facebook.
Why pick Facebook – The game-changing world of Social Media
Social media is not just a place for interaction and conversation but also a yielding ground for creativity, promising markets, and several profitable opportunities. However, amongst all these platforms, Facebook stands out the most. Who isn’t around you not a Facebook user? This social media platform has become a modern-day necessity, with its number of active users growing rapidly; 2.93 billion users as of 2022.
The app caters to the needs of a multitude of users with no restricted demographics. As a result of this endless targeting opportunity, it has a huge ad revenue. Not only that, the application provides an array of opportunities for personalization and self-expression. Now, if you are willing to build an app like Facebook, you have to spare a few minutes and read the guideline below so you can create better.
Let’s build an outline of your idea!
You might be jumping directly to coding, but let’s not get ahead so soon. There are a few things you need to get done before you start developing your project. The first is to integrate an outline of your project. This will help you understand the lifecycle of the development of your application, the budget you need, and the technicalities to work on.
Ideation is the first step towards creation, so invest as much time as you can in this. Following are the things you can work on when building the strategy for your application:
- Study the competitors and analyze their strategy. What are they working on and what are their marketing advantages?
- Identify the audience you wish to target and sort out their requirements. To build an app like Facebook, it is a must that you know enough about your audience, the ones for whom you will design a feed.
- Finalize the KPIs (key performance indicators) and draw a model that will define your goals.
- Check out the costs of building an application and strategize your finances. You can hire flutter developers at the FlutterDesk and put this complexity at rest.
The Must-have Features your App Needs
You have studied your competitors, and you have done your case study on different social media applications. By now, you must have some specific features in mind that you would like to add to your app. Before you start designing, make sure that following the features are included in your design.
Integrate your app with existing social media apps
Face it, your user might already be using several social media applications and they are tired of this hassle of filling up all the login information. What you need to do is get rid of this step and make it easier for them to log in, so they can quickly start interacting. Create a simple user interface and integrate it with different social channels. The feature will allow your audience to register with you in no time and you will also be attracting traffic from different platforms – it’s a win-win.
Additionally, allow your user to share media from different platforms on your app. They must be able to exchange content from different apps like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.
A user wants a secure social network, so maintaining the security and privacy of your app is a huge priority. Never falter in securing your user’s media libraries and chats.
Let the user express themselves better
Customization is a key to social applications. Every user is unique and wants to be able to express themselves completely, and show their creativity to everyone. To help them with self-expression, create opportunities like:
Personalized Profiles: Social media profile is something people identify and express themselves with. A catchy bio is not enough, give them leverage to design their profiles as they, please. From personal details to liking and hobbies, it should be up to them which detail they want to share and with who.
Storytelling: Give them various opportunities to share what’s their story or what’s on their mind, by not just writing a post but also sharing the thoughts of people they subscribe to.
Sharing Media: What’s a ‘social’ app that does not support media sharing? There must be file and media-sharing features along with instant messaging. And hey, don’t forget gifs, stickers, and of course emojis.
Build a proper Newsfeed
Here comes the crucial step, building a newsfeed. The first thing we do after waking up and before going to sleep is to grab our mobile and scroll through the feed, seeing what we have missed and what’s been going on. A newsfeed is generated by its user, their uploaded data, check-ins, and interests. To design an app like Facebook, you need to spend a good sum of time creating a newsfeed and also have an activity feed.
Keep their feed interesting and inclusive where they get updates from their friends and followers. A user must also be able to interact with the content through liking, commenting, or, sharing.
Notifications keep the user hooked. Keep them updated about the statuses of the people around them and other activities going on. But the notifications must be selective. Or else they will turn into an annoyance.
Search Engine Equipped with Suggestions
A search bar is where your audience connects with the outside world and expands their network. In addition to the specifications of search criteria like name, location, interests, etc., there must also be a feature of hashtags through which they can get relevant posts based on the topics of their interests.
In addition to these major points, the following features will also be helpful:
- Payment system
- Web portal for app management
- Geolocation or geotagging
- In-app communication
- Use of authentic APIs
- Gamification Elements
Select an Operating System for your App
If you are planning on creating a cross-platform or hybrid application, the developers at the Flutterdesk are here for your assistance. However, the process can cost extensively so we recommend starting with a single platform first. You can hire flutter app developers to get you a better idea about the OS of your app.
If you are willing to target a broad user base, go with Android, and if your goal is to have a higher earning power, go with iOS.
Design the App’s Skeleton
Time to design your social app workflow. There are a few steps to check out here:
- Wireframing: deals with your application’s main structure, how your app will look like, and what will be your end user’s experience.
- A Mockup: this will give you an idea about the visual experience, the colors, and the animations.
- Prototype: A prototype will be your application’s functional model where your user can interact with the app functions. It will also help developers to edit any necessary changes before moving on to coding.
Let the Coding begin!
It’s time to work on the backend of your application, the part where you invest almost 80 percent of your efforts, compared to the front end that the users see. This is where you will be setting up your databases, servers, APIs, and also storage location. From here on, you can get the help of our developing team which will work on meeting all the technical requirements. We also make sure to strictly follow the user guidelines and platform standards. Our engineers will work on achieving a native application experience.
- If you are willing to work on the development and think you can build an app like Facebook yourself, take note of the following points:
- Pick a name for your application as well as a domain name.
- If you plan on designing a large-scale application, use powerful servers that can take heavy loads.
- For social networking, you can use a ready-made CMS, but remember that it cannot handle a high load and consumes a lot of time for customization.
- If you want to design from scratch with frameworks, then keep in mind that you will have to invest a lot of time and effort.
Importance of Front-end Appearance
Your application’s appearance decides its success. It must be attractive and clean. But that is not enough, it must reflect your unique points that will attract the customer right away to your application. They must not be confused by the design or graphics but instead be able to connect instantly.
Time to Publish!
For Google Play:
- Pay the 25 dollars registration fee and set up your developer account. You can publish multiple apps from a single account.
- Fill in the name and description of your app, and add relevant screenshots.
- Select the content rating and your app’s category.
- Upload the SDK (software development kit).
- If your app is paid, specify the app price.
- That’s it, you will get published within less than three hours.
Things get a little bit complicated with Apple Store:
- You have to pay an annual 99 dollars subscription fee and make a developer account.
- Go through their guidelines and before uploading, make sure your app is well-tested.
- Your app will now be submitted for an official review.
- You will have to wait for a few days to get their approval.
Focus on Good Marketing
In addition to development costs, there is marketing cost, where you have to invest a sum for good marketing. Create all the promotional material for the app because digital marketing is a great way to increase your app’s awareness. You can also build a blog of your own and communicate with influencers.
Another direct and quick way to market your app is through paid ads. Analyze and test different variations first, to see which ad gets you the best results. And then invest your marketing budget in it.
Build your app’s Landing Page and an Analytics Dashboard
Landing pages are designed to turn your viewers into your users. The end goal is to convince your visitor to download your app. Then comes an analytics dashboard, its purpose is to provide you with essential metrics that will help improve the app. The insights you receive about users’ interaction with the app will guide you about adding or removing certain features.
Now you have the key takeaways on how to build an app like Facebook. You have several competitors to face so make sure that your app idea is unique and offers different opportunities for interaction so your community builds quickly.
Developing an app is a hectic process but stick to the above-mentioned process and you will be good to go.