mobile app development

Social Media App Development Cost: The Comprehensive Guide 2021

Want to develop a social media app like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? Heads-up with Social Media App Development Cost Calculator 2021.

Social Media App Development Cost

With the global pandemic and social distancing, Social media has become a central hub of home chefs, artists, designers, Dalgona coffee-makers, and bakers. 

Undeniably, checking our smartphones is the foremost thing to do in the morning and the last thing before bedtime. Social media apps are on the rise and have become a most favorite thing for a while now. 

From sharing our thoughts, staying up-to-date with the latest gossip and news, to dating someone, social media apps have kept us hooked. This is why entrepreneurs and startups are inclined to social media app development. Even the investors seem to be quite enthusiastic about investing in these apps.

With the stunning success and ever-growing stardom of this most promising market, nobody wants to miss the opportunity to become part of the fastest-growing digital-savvy world.

Is it the right time to develop a Social Media app?

According to reports, more than 90% of millennials are social network users, and 80% of companies use social networks for marketing. With the power of growing social networking, you can expect the number of worldwide monthly active users to reach over 3 billion by 2021.

In fact, US retail social commerce expected to grow by 35% in 2021.

The year 2020 was extremely tough for everyone, we were socially separated from one another and have no choices left to stay in touch other than social media. As a result, most dating apps reported a 20% increase in swipes amid the lockdown. It becomes a single source for singles to show off these new skills to win hearts and dates or you can say, Love is in the times of COVID-19

Not only this, social media brings people together. No matter where in the world someone resides, they are able to stay in touch with their friends and family. Charities and NGOs use social media regularly to raise awareness of certain issues and to encourage more people to support their cause say #metoo movement.  

In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025, that’s gigantic.

Considering the current statistics, it is fair enough to say that the global usage of social media apps will likely rise in the coming future. So, the question is how much does it cost to develop a social media app in 2021? 

Talking about the figures, the typical cost to build a social media app can get you between $30,000 to $1,00,000+. It depends upon factors like app type, app design, complexity, features, and much more. 

If you’re looking to shape up the new ideas and opportunities into the best social media apps? In this article, we'll be calculating the total cost and the reasons behind those social media app development costs. Apart from that, we have also covered up the latest social media app cost by features, trends, and types of social media applications, to choose from.

Latest Social Media Trends and Statistics 2021

Let’s get started with some eye-opening statistics of the growing popularity of social media apps with some quick social media trends. Here are the key statistics of the social media market that you need to know.

Social Media App Development Cost

Type of Social Media Apps To Develop 2021

If you are planning for social media app development, the very step is to define your goal and find your niche, clear vision, and get to an ideal app category. Let’s find out the different social media app categories, get started with identifying the target audience, and list out competitors.

App Type Features Examples App Cost
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 Blogging 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


Whatever the app you’ve selected for your business, make sure, it satisfies the below criteria -

Social Media App Development Cost

Social Media Application Development Cost Based on Features

The cost of developing a social media app greatly depends on app features and functionalities. When you’re creating a Social Media app, it's more reasonable to start off with an MVP with basic app features and gradually adding more complex features to it. 

MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is created from the collection of real data from users' feedback.. To stand out from its competitors and play safe, launch an MVP version of the social media app to gather feedback or make future investments in your app idea. 

The primary advantage of MVP is things get simpler. You spend less money to build Social Media Apps skeleton before actually launching it. With MVP, you can track and analyze user reactions, and make informed decisions without investing much of your money. Sounds safe!

Social Media App Cost: Must-Have Features 

Here’s a list of must-have app features for your social media app development. 

Must-have Features Description Back-end development iOS development Android development Development Cost
Sign in/log in Creating a profile, adding Facebook,or Google SDK. choose Amazon services like Amazon SES (signup via phone number) or Amazon SNS (SMS verification). 22 hours 18 hours 18 hours $750+
Profile editing Create, edit, customize various profile information like name, phone, email, etc. 72 hours 116 hours 116 hours $650+
Search Comfortable search bar for flexible research 38 hours 39 hours 39 hours $900+
Real-time Chatting Social networking app for sending messages, photos, or video files. 104 hours 169 hours 169 hours $1,750
Add post Create posts with different content (photo, video, or text). 12 hours 130 hours 130 hours $2,000
Push notifications Notify users while new messages update, a reaction or comment. 15 hours 15 hours 15 hours $650
Location Sharing Geolocation and GPS Feature. 10 hours 12 hours 12 hours $1,250
Multi-media sharing Sharing media files including audio, video, text. 15 Hours 45+hours 45+hours $2,250
Voice Call Access to in-app voice calls, calls using wifi or mobile network data.   75+ hours 75+hours $3750+
Video Call Allows facetime with friends online.   110+ hours 110+ hours $5,500+
Photo Editing Add filters, cropping, rotating, setting up, straightening of image.   300+hours 300+hours $1,6500+

Social Media App Development Cost: Advanced Features 

Building an ordinary social media app with limited features and functionalities is not worthy To stand out in the era where apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are already ruling the app market, it becomes crucial to develop such an app that consists of smart features like AR filters, filters, and location-based personalization. 

To develop a social media app, here’re some advanced features you can add in your overall Social Networking Application Development Cost. Let’s move to its development cost/time in 2021. 

Feature Description Back-end development iOS development Android development
Filters Integrate various filters and effects to the photo or video. To add AR filters to the social media app.(Developers use ML Kit and ARCore.) 5+ hours 80+ hours 80+ hours
Editing Crop and rotate images, create a collage, remove unnecessary objects, and more. (Developers can integrate editing feature FFmpeg)   60+ hours 60+ hours
Location-based content Users can add their location to the photo or video. (Developers can use Google Places to add location-based content features.) 10+ hours 10-15 hours 10-15 hours


Social Media App Development Cost: Additional/Hidden Costs

Here are some additional features of an app that affects the overall Social Media Application Development Cost. It includes the Admin Panel and Design.

Feature Description Time
Admin panel User Management Features like add, remove, block users, and help in making informed decisions. Around 135+ hours.
Design Creating an attractive UI/UX design with user-friendly and spontaneous app designing. Around 150+ hours.

Total Time of Social Media Application Development

Considering all the app features mentioned above, we took a round breakdown that includes all the factors that contribute to Social App Development Cost. Let’s get to the overall development time required to build compelling social networking applications by features.


Feature Back-end development iOS development Android development
Basic features 300 hours 600 hours 600 hours
UI/UX design   150 hours 150 hours
Quality assurance 120 hours 120 hours 120 hours
DevOps services 40 hours 35 hours 35 hours
Advanced features 14 hours 150 hours 150 hours
Admin panel (one for all platforms) 130 hours    
Frameworks and libraries integration 30 hours 40 hours 40 hours
Project management 80 hours 90 hours 90 hours

Outsourcing Social Media App Development - Finding the right agency

Building a social media app is not easy. It requires expert hands that include social media app developers, Project Managers, Back-end developers, designers, testers, etc. To develop a social media app for iOS and Android, hire a top mobile app development company to develop an intelligent app for your business. Here are the top reasons why you should outsource your app development.

Team Function Cost/hr
Project manager Assembles the team, assigns duties, divides schedules and resources to ensure timely completion of the assigned app. $20+
Developer Creates maintains and executes the source code to develop mobile apps. $30+
Back-end developer Maintains secure transparent communication between the application, the database, and the server and ensures the app runs flawlessly. $25+
Designer Works on the app interface, making an app look good. Defining app specifications, designing visual designs, and creating a fully-functional app. $15+
Tester Develops test cases and prioritizes testing activities. Tracks and monitors app design, functions, and working uses. $20+


Total Social Media App Development Cost: By Region

How to calculate the total cost of social media application development? The final cost of developing a social media app can cost you between $90,000 for iOS or Android and $150,000 for iOS and Android (at the rate of 50/hr). 


Region Total Cost App development Rate/Hr
Eastern Europe $150,000+ $50/h
North America $300,000+ $100/h
Western Europe $250,000+ $90/h
Australia $300,000+ $100/h


With this, we have come to the end of this article - How much does it cost to make a Social Media App? We have included all the factors that contribute to the overall Social Networking app development cost.

  • The type of social media app and your target audience.
  • Main features and functionalities to focus on.
  • Add-on features based on the complexity of the app.
  • The need for an app development team to build a social media app at the best price/quality ratio.

Creating a social media app can be demanding and enjoyable. The well-organized approach to app development can promise you a successful social media app. So, where to start?

If you have a great app idea, tap the top mobile app development companies to evaluate your business demands and recommend the best solution with an accurate pricing model and get exactly what you desired with a social media app.

Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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