7 Best Social Network Software. How Much Does it Cost to Build Own?

The main idea behind “social networking” is nothing new – people have been constantly looking for opportunities to get acquainted, connect, and engage with one another. Though, current digital age has taken this concept to the entirely new level. Today, good old handshakes, stamped letters and introductions have been replaced by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.

Currently business owners have to use multiple social community platforms to stay relevant and competitive. Moreover they easily replace outdated organizing online tools, like calculators, and become handy assistants for study, work or even daily chores. 

According to Statista forecast the number of mobile application downloads is expected to run up to 268.7 billion in 2017. As compared to 2015, the overall number of Android and iOS app downloads amounted to 75 billion in round numbers. We are witnessing an impressive progress, considering the fact that in 2009 these figures were roughly equal to 2 million. 

Social networking solution report: how does the poll stand?

Lately Nielsen, a reputable performance management firm, provided its insight into the top 10 most used apps of 2016. Once again, Facebook leads the race with over 146 million unique users monthly, with a growth rate of 14% compared to 2015. Facebook Messenger comes in second with more than 129 million consumers. YouTube finished third with 113 million visitors.

Social media apps for communication

Read also: Tips & Tricks on How to Develop Software for Startups

Talking about enterprise social network platform usage, it has already changed the way people interact with colleagues, friends, acquaintances and even families. According to Connected Enterprise Report 2016 around 14% of all employees currently use enterprise social software, 21% — most employees and roughly 21% — some employees. The report is based on survey results from 900 enterprises, in 15 countries and 10 different industries.

Top 7 best social networking software worldwide

Facebook is a huge social media platform, both within the context of aggregate amount of unique users and brand strength. Over 1 million small and midmarket companies use this community to promote and grow their corporate business.

Twitter's audience amounts to over 317 million visitors each month. 140-character posts are used to share latest company news, provide answers, interact with core audience and even use targeted advertisements.

LinkedIn is a trending system for business networking. This professional site has a total of more than 460 million registered visitors and it is translated into 24 languages.    

Google+ applies the best practices of Twitter and Facebook and combines them into one single site, backed up by most widely used search engine. The unique audience totals more than 300 million users every month and around 13% of small businesses employ G+ for selling and brand-building. 

YouTube is reasonably called the second most-used search engine, after Google. Its video library numbers billions of reviews, clips, instructions, trailers, etc. on any topic. This large video website has more than 1 billion visitors every month.

Instagram is a visual platform, owned by Facebook. Launched back in 2010 it now can boast of over 600 million active visitors per month. Sue to integrations with leading social media apps, bunch of filters and editing features it is widely-used for fashion, art, food and similar niches.

Pinterest has made a great impact on social media, despite the fact that it is one of the youngest platforms. Introduced in September 2015, it currently comprises around 150 million active users every month. Among them 70 million visitors live in the United States and 60% are women.  

Cosmunity - software networking app

Cosmunity — social networking software developed by DA-14 team


How to create a web based social network software?

Social media niche is currently one of the most ambitious and promising globally. There are companies that offer white label production, providing online platform to create social network solutions. However, in most of the cases custom social networking software built in close collaboration with a client has better chances to succeed and meet business goals.

Functionality of future app makes a huge impact on development price. Must-have features to include:

  • Registration form
  • User profile
  • Customizable settings
  • Message exchange
  • Ability to share media content
  • Newsfeed
  • Emotional interaction: likes, comments, etc.
  • Communities
  • Search
  • Integration with other social accounts

Other useful options that can become a part of your custom web based software:

  • Private (incognito) mode
  • Feeds' filtering
  • Ability to turn off comments on particular posts
  • Unfollow/Unfriend notifications
  • Temporary mute mode for certain people

To develop a social networking platform for a startup or midsized business it is essential to consider not only the feature set, but also back-end development, admin control panel development, custom designs, traffic estimates, built-in e-commerce payments (if needed), engagement with end users (Push notifications, SMS, etc.), post-launch expenses, and even much more.

Read also: To Develop a Web App: How Long & How Much?

So how to calculate social network software development cost?

Coming up with exact prices of future product is a simple sales pitch, because these numbers can vary with chosen technologies, dynamic specifications, and amount of spent hours. Talking about global hourly rates the picture as follows:

  • North America and Canada: $40 — $250 per hour
  • Western Europe, Scandinavia, United Kingdom: $40 — $175 per hour
  • Australia: $40 — $150 per hour
  • South America:  — $30 — $120 per hour
  • Eastern Europe: $20 — $140 per hour
  • India: $10 — $80 per hour

The main price setter is still the number of hours that developers dedicate to a particular project. There is a strong dependency between product complexity – time – price. To make it clear we'll divide software into three general categories: simple, medium, and advanced.

Custom development of social networking software

Simple software includes basic feature set, like search or plain item list, doesn't assume 3rd party APIs integrations or built-in payment system. Such products can take up to 600 hours and cost up to $20k.

Medium solutions can come with imbedded payment system, social integrations, real-time communications, and some other handy options. The development process can take up to 900 hours and will cost up to $60,000.

Advanced apps comprise complex functionality, like media content processing, integrations with other social accounts and 3rd party services, synchronization in real time, events, and other high-end options. Your development team can spend over 900 hours on such project and the price can start at $60,000.

To build a social network software: DA-14 experience

To provide such rough estimates we start with in-depth review of provided descriptions, documents or specifications. We listen to our clients' ideas and business goals, ask additional questions to build a complete picture and be on the same page.

Currently DA-14 team is working on a complex social networking solution for a startup. It is a combination of social media, marketplace and event management application for real fans of gaming, comics, cosplay and anime. This application allows people to interact globally, share media content, take part in thematic events, sell and buy necessary services and products, and even much more.

At DA-14, we help our clients not just to make a cloud based social network platform, but also to implement their ideas and take their revenue to the next level. We have a vast experience in design of apps from scratch, starting from half-baked idea and finishing with smoothly running web solution.
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