Have you always wanted to start your social networking platform? Do you find it interesting when people connect online? Then this article has been created to help you understand how your interest can be converted into a fortune.
Looking at the top tech giant in the world today, you discover that one of the highest profit-generating businesses in tech is social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have held the highest profit share in tech; other fields include Fintech, eCommerce, etc.
The market size of social media giants measured by revenue of the Social Networking Sites industry is $61.4bn in 2021. The market size of the Social Networking Sites industry is expected to increase by 16.5% in 2021. You can find out more about this information using this link.
This information depicts the rate at which people are interested in connecting.
Apart from just being an online sensation, one of the many reasons why you should consider creating your social network is the fact that human beings are social animals like any other living species on earth; it has also been discovered that as human beings, we survive based on our relationships and networks all over the world.
This article will take you through the whole step from zero to accomplishment on creating your social networking platform and get an added advantage of the business model behind the social networking business.
What is a Social Networking Website?
Social networking websites are online communities created to help people in the offline world stay connected notwithstanding geographical distance, the difference in time, or other social barriers as it may be
Most social media websites are Powered by Web 2.0 technology, one of which makes them dialogical and self-reliant on user-content feed.
They offer a continuously updating diary and provide the ability to connect people using a software technology called Stream.
Examples of social networking websites include.
Facebook became an internet sensation in less than three years of operation, and so far, so good; today, it is the world’s largest social network, with more than 3 billion users worldwide.
Facebook has 2.80 billion monthly active users (Facebook, 2021). However, recently, it has been noticed that It also has 1.84 billion users visiting the social networking site core products, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. Daily.
Facebook first cracked the one billion monthly active users mark in October 2012, becoming the first online platform to hit this mark in history and crossed the two billion active users marked almost five years later in June 2017.
Facebook has reached such a massive audience that it’s grown impossible for marketers to ignore. And since so many Facebook users visit the site daily, it makes them a great potential audience for your digital marketing efforts.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the company brought in $27.2 billion in ad revenue (Facebook, 2021). That puts its average revenue per user at $10.14.
Facebook made more in ad revenues in 2020 than it did the previous year. It totalled $84.2 billion for the year, 21 per cent more than in 2019.
Before it became TikTok of Today, Musical.ly was a popular short-form (15 seconds) video streaming and sharing app, with over 100 million users, up until August 2018.
The app allowed users to make funny or entertaining videos with the combination of a plethora of music and dialogue options, with which they could lip-sync and
In August 2018, the app was taken over by a Chinese company ByteDance, and its users were moved to Tik Tok. All of the content and accounts on Musical.ly were automatically transferred to the new Tik Tok app giving birth to the further evolution of social networking.
Since its launch, the TikTok app’s popularity has been growing remarkably. In October 2018, it was the most downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store globally. As of 2021, it has become the second most popular social networking platform after Facebook.
There have been so many reasons why TikTok became an internet sensation, and one of them includes the fact it has a strong focus on localised content.
The app often runs local contests and challenges and captures local trends through localised hashtags.
TikTok runs the “1 million audition” contest across several countries separately.
For each contest, participants are given themes to create videos, and then the top video creators are awarded.
This contest leads to thousands of local videos for each country where it is held and helps TikTok creators gain recognition and followers, thereby creating more influencers on the internet.
How to create a social networking website.
Since the conception of Facebook, the social media industry has been growing. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was the required trigger and catalyst that pushed entrepreneurs to think, take risks and create a social network that is new and fresh.
Have you ever thought of building your social network? If the answer is yes, this article has all the details to help you create one. But how do you start a social network? Do you have the needed resources to develop a social networking site? In this article, we bare it all and give you the proper steps to succeed.
1. Choose a target market or niche.
The very first thing that you need to do before thinking of creating your social network is to decide on the target market, audience or niche.
It will be unwise to create a Facebook clone, thinking you will eventually beat Facebook or Twitter out of the market; of course, you can do it, but it entails proper market research and a whole new value proposition than the present tech giants presently offers.
You need to ask some crucial questions: How is your social network different from the others in the market? What extra value-added service does your product intend to offer?.
The ability to effectively answer this question will help you tailor your social media platform to meet the needs of people.
Talking about niche and market size, one of the factors to consider is the fact that already existing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter are targetting the general public, despite that we had other social media roll out their services tailored to a specific group of people such as Professionals(LinkedIn), Writers(Medium), web developers( Dev. to) and many more.
Suppose you intend to build a social media platform tailored to a general niche like Facebook and Twitter. In that case, you can decide to spice it up like TikTok ( Video social platform), Clubhouse(Audio, social Media platform) and many more.
2. Decide on engineering and infrastructure.
Now that you have mapped out your niche and desired market implementing the design and engineering process is the next thing to begin. In this section, I will be walking through how to get started with this process.
User interface and User experience design are the first things to do when planning your engineering process.
UI design stands for “user interface.” The user interface is the graphical layout of an application. It consists of the buttons users click on, the text they read, the images, sliders, text entry fields, and all the other items the user interacts with.
This covers screen layout, transitions, interface animations and every single micro-interaction. Any visual element, interaction, or animation must all be designed.
On the other hand, UX stands for “user experience.” A user’s experience of the app is determined by how they interact with it. Is the expertise sleek and intuitive or complex and confusing? Does navigating the app feel reasonable, or does it think unpredictable?
UI stands for user interfaces, while UX stands for user experience; both work hand in hand, and though they do not carry any technicalities, they account for the future of any tech startup.
Just in case you do not understand what a UI/UX design is, in a layman’s language, see it as an architectural process needed to pilot the engineering process of your website/app or web project.
2. Frontend Web Development.
A frontend engineer, also known as a frontend web developer or designer, selects, installs and tests the user interface elements.
The frontend developer focuses on the look and feels of the site, along with its functionality. Therefore, job candidates remain vital for frontend engineers, particularly those who have the skills to develop websites accessible on mobile devices and desktop devices.
Frontend engineers work intimately with designers to make websites beautiful, functional, and fast.
This is one of the crucial sections of your team when it comes to designing your social network websites.
The frontend web development team ensures that your project’s user interface is ready for the end users.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on getting started as a frontend web developer; click the link below.
3. Backend Web Development.
Back end Development refers to the server-side development of any web platform. The backend development teams usually deal with any web project’s server, database, and security.
Code written by back end developers is what communicates the database information to the Frontend Via a browser and a mobile app, either IOS or Android.
4. Mobile App Development.
Mobile application development is creating software applications that run on a mobile device, such as Android, IOs and Windows OS for mobile.
Therefore, the mobile development process involves designing installable software bundles, executing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices such as IOS, Android and Windows OS, respectively.
There are two dominant platforms in the modern smartphone market. One is the iOS platform from Apple Inc.
The iOS platform is the operating system that powers Apple’s famous line of iPhone smartphones. The second is Android, designed and owned by Google.
Android has become so popular because many other smartphone manufacturers choose it as their operating system.
One of the reasons big tech has become so prominent in just a short period is because they make their platform accessible to all devices, which is where the creation of mobile applications comes into play.
Do you know that there will be 14 billion mobile devices worldwide in 2020?
There are millions of apps on the Apple store and Google Play; the future is mobile, and you must think in that direction.
Before developing an app, you need to determine which type you’ll create. Here’s a breakdown of various mobile app development technologies with information about each.
1. Native applications.
Native apps allow you to build for a single operating system at a time; for example, if you decide to develop an IOS app, you have to subscribe to the IOS build tools using X-code, and if you choose to develop an android app, then you make use of the android build tool called Android studio.
2. Hybrid apps.
3. Design an Activity Stream For your platform.
One particular feature that makes up a social network is seeing the activities of other people in your network.
For example, as I can see the posts and activities of those I follow, on the other hand, those that follow me can see my activity. Also, I get notified when you engage on my post or something related to the platform.
This bi-directional flow of information and data is called an activity stream. Building an activity stream is hectic work. You don’t see social media platforms being created now and then, unlike Fintech and other accessible software business models.
It was recorded that as of 2015, Facebook had spent over $4 Billion on stream infrastructure alone; this goes a long way to tell how big the social media business is.
Developing an individual stream for your social network will take too much time, and in the end, you might end up being unproductive.
The good news is that third-party API can help you handle all of this stress and allows you to concentrate on developing the most crucial section of your social network, and one of these is third-party API Is.
Stream (getstream.io) is a third-party API for building, scaling and personalizing feeds.
Over 500 companies rely on Stream for their production feed infrastructure, including well-known names such as Product Hunt, Unsplash, Bandsintown, Fabric (part of Google), Vidyard, Hooq, Zoetis and PowerSchool.
With Streams, you get access to integrate social media features like notifications, activity Feeds, Following, and Chat into your platform.
To use Getstream.io, you need to sync the engineering team together. Streams come with a free plan, but you can upgrade as your platform grows.
GET STARTED – getstream.io
2. Get social. I’m
Get social is another alternative to Stream created to help you scale your in-house stream infrastructure. In addition, get social was started to help provide you with the necessary tool to set up your Stream.
With Get social, you get to build all fuzzy stream stuff, such as the ability to Build referral campaigns, Build an in-app community, Automate in-app marketing, Re-engage with notifications, Connect your users, and Enable content sharing, Measure marketing campaigns and Convert web to app users.
It does the same thing that Getstream.io does if you seek out brand new alternatives.
GET STARTED – get social. I’m
3. Develop your Stream Infrastructure.
If you intend to develop your Stream on your own, you can decide to build it from scratch, mind that this would consume a lot of engineering capacity.
The basic concept around developing your Stream is asynchronous programming, just the same idea that powers chat applications like Whatsapp, Messenger and many others; that same concept is used to create stream technology worldwide.
The downside of developing your stream technology is that your engineering team’s workload becomes messy; however, starting, you might not have that large development team and might not be able to pay for one.
You can start with a third-party stream framework and move on to a custom-built stream engineering framework. To learn more about how Stream infrastructure works, click the link.
4. Monetize your platform.
When starting your own social media platform, the next step you need to consider is the monetization side of things. Unfortunately, platforms like Facebook did not monetize their platform until about six years of operation.
During that period, they could stay afloat from the money from private investors before the Facebook ads manager was developed. The same goes for Google, too; the Google search, YouTube and many other platforms were not monetized until the initial launch of the Google ads.
Because you might not be able to access private investors in your early startup, you need to be able to strategise so that you know how to start monetizing your platform.
There are various ways software companies can make money off their platform; in this section, I will make a complete list of only two that are very popular nowadays.
When a business charges a recurring fee for its services and products, it follows a subscription model. The recurring charges can be on an annual or monthly basis. With the subscription model, businesses have the opportunity to lock the customers in for a long duration. It ensures a steady, recurring revenue stream.
The subscription business model allows end-users to pay a reoccurring fee to use your platform. To integrate this monetization strategy, you have to provide unique functionality and have tons of addictive users that can be found only on your app.
2. Native advertising.
Native advertising uses paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear.
Native ads are often found in social media feeds or recommended content on a web page. Native ads don’t look like ads; they are designed to match users’ interests.
So many social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have utilized native ads to monetize their respective platform. It remains one of the liable ways to monetize any social network whatsoever.
You can decide to develop your native advertising platform alongside your backend. I recommend using a third-party native advertising platform called Adzerk, now known as Kevel.
Kevel (previously Adzerk) offers the infrastructure APIs required to quickly develop custom ad platforms for sponsored listings, internal promotions, native ads, etc.
It took Facebook almost six years before developing the Facebook ads manager platform that helps advertisers place ads by themselves. Still, you can now do this in weeks instead of months with the Kever API.
TRY IT NOW – Kevel. co
5. Promote your platform.
The Blood of any business lies in promotion and marketing strategy. No one will know anything about you unless you get them to see it.
There can be good products, but bad marketing strategies kill them as fast as possible. The same goes vice-versa.
You don’t want to spend all this time and effort to create a product that will not hit the limelight, mind you, there are so many social media platforms that your platform is going to be competing with as far as the social media market is concerned.
You have to utilize strategic marketing and campaign to be able at least to win a market share of the social media space.
In this section, I will be telling you how you will promote your platform and get your social media platform to get a taste of the internet market share.
1. Influence marketing.
Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services.
Mind you that the online influencer in question must be someone with huge followership and engagement on social media; such a person can then leverage the cult to convince people to sign up on your platform.
Influence marketing helps any brand to build trust and gain loyal followers.
It has also been discovered that more people are likely to purchase or use a product when someone recommends it.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to get started with social media influencing.
2. Social media marketing.
Social media marketing is another avenue to get an already existing database of users. Let me tell you, nowadays; everyone wants to try out something new; most people have always said that Facebook will always have the highest market share when it comes to the social media market; this was true, will TikTok came around and won the social media market share from Facebook.
Do not be discouraged; the social media market share will be open for a long time; we live in a time where people love to connect the most and build a friendship.
This means that there would be a huge market for social media platforms to play.
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