How Much Does It Cost to Build a Social Media App: Detailed Cost Breakdown with Essential Features

3 November 2022 Writer: Lera Grechanik 1249 views

Social media is a phenomenon in the modern world. They came and melt into our lives making it hard to believe that we used to live without them. They steer distance, facilitate communication and entertain us. In 2021, the number of social media users is estimated to be 4.26 billion.  In 2022, a user tends to spend up to 147 minutes per day. 

The selection of social media is vast and each of them has its own functionality use. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and WhatsApp are the most commonly used social media, but the list is expanded as new social networks appear. 

Read also: creating a social media app like Facebook

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Social Media App

We’ll not reveal a secret if we say features drive the cost of making a social media app. If you use social networks, you can notice that some features are common for social media. So, here’s the list of must-have features to add:  


The sign-up form is the first page that users interact within the app. Take care of the sign-up to be short and simple. We recommend providing several options to users to sign up: via mobile phone, e-mail, or other social network accounts. 


After signing up, the user will most likely go for profile creation. They may want to be able to change their username, photo, language, and content preferences, and adjust push notifications.

Profile customization can be made atypical and fun. It's a good idea to add additional fields to express your personality on the page as much as possible. But this is not appropriate for all social networks. 


It’s odd to mention that social networks are made for communication. Messages are a life-saving feature when it comes to social media development. You may introduce some sub-features related to message exchange: 

  • Edit button
  • Delete for me/ for everyone button
  • Forward a message button
  • Reply message button
  • Attach media file
  • Voice/ Video message

Photo and Video Upload

Uploading photo and video is another must-have feature for a modern social network. This may come in two forms—uploading media as a profile picture or sharing content in a feed. As an option to elaborate the feature, an editor may be integrated. Naturally, it will increase the time and cost of creating a social media app.

Search Feature

Before contacting people, we need to find them first. A search engine should permit search for people, the public (if any), content, and tags. Introducing filtered search enhances user experience by allowing a quicker search process. 

Other Settings

Changing privacy settings, selecting a language, adjusting notifications, and other settings to customize the app change the magnitude of app trustworthiness. 

Tagging (Location, Friends, etc.)

Some users may favor the ability to share information about the location and people. For example, this feature is all-important for travelers. 


Social network app UX/UI should be intuitive and user-friendly. The well-developed design boosts user experience. 

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Factors Affecting Social Media App Development Cost

Technology stack also implies the cost of developing a social media app. Well, the selection is driven primarily by OS where the social network will be run. Usually, social network owners go for mobile and web development. 

For mobile social media development the following technologies are utilized: 

  • Swift (iOS)
  • Kotlin (Android)
  • React Native
  • Flutter

Mobile app tech stack:

  • Swift (iOS)
  • Kotlin (Android)
  • React Native
  • Flutter

Location-based services:

  • Google Maps
  • Apple Maps

Backend and admin panels for you (programming language and frameworks):

  • PHP (Symfony/Laravel)
  • Python (Django/Flask)
  • Ruby (Ruby on Rails)


  • MongoDB
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL


  • DigitalOcean Cloud Services
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Linode
  • Vultr
  • Microsoft Azure

Web servers:

  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Nginx

Caching tool:

  • Redis
  • Memcached

When it comes to stuff to be involved in social network development, our experience shows the following:

  • 2 iOS Developers
  • 2 Android Developers
  • Back-end Developer
  • Front-end developer
  • QA Engineer
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Project/ Product Manager
  • Backend Setup and Integration

Of course, the team size is variable, pivoting on the project complexity. If you set your heart on building a giant social media like Facebook, the team composition will be larger and the cost of building social networking application will be higher, too. 

One more point to consider is designs. Sometimes it happens so that clients may reach out to you with a ready-made design. Thus, the cost to design an app is going to be lower.

Once we decided on the technology stack and team composition, let’s go down to the number of costs to develop a dating app. For quick and comfortable navigation, we gathered basic features, the approximate development time, and the cost to build a social media app as per a feature in a single table. The calculation are done based on the Celadonsoft's hourly rate.

Pivoting on the information given, the average cost to build a social media app will range from $35,000 to $60,000. The cost to build a social media app that is more complex and a feature set that stretches far beyond the mentioned ones can reach $100,000 and higher.  In some cases, the cost may get as far as $1,000,000. 

 Yet, highly possible fluctuations in cost to develop an app due to developers’ geographic locations. For instance, development rates in Western Europe are higher than those in Eastern Europe countries. 

Hourly rate to develop a social media app around the Globe: 

Cost to Build a Social Media App.Daily Used Social Media Overview

Though we use various social networks for various goals, their creator are likely to go for replicating each other's boomy feature. Facebook went for Stories introduced by Instagram. Instagram brought Reels following the TikTok example. Taking giant social media as a ground to build your own app may be a winning idea. 

What Does It Cost to Make a Social Media App Like Facebook

Facebook is a large social media with numerous features that allow not only communication between users but also many other opportunities. Apart from listed-above core features and functionalities, the Facebook-clone app is to also include:

  • Feed
  • Friends
  • Live Streams
  • Likes and comments
  • CTA button

These features make the development longer and increase the of building. Approximately, the creating a social media app like Facebook estimated from $40,000 to hundreds of dollars and takes nearly 4-6 months. 

What Does It Cost to Build a Social Media App Like Instagram

If you go into Instagram's features and functionalities of Instagram, it possesses all the features we talked about plus an admin panel. Hence, the price starts at $35,000 to $60,000. But Instagram has more in it. The features like Stories, Reels, Feed, and Insights shoot up the cost to build a social media app. 

So, answering the question “how much does it cost to make a social media app like Instagram, we’d say $60,000—$150,000. Speaking about the timeframe, the development of an Instagram clone is likely to last 4-6 months, too.

The Overall Cost of Building Social Media App

There are tons of social media existing in the market today. Each of them has its own distinguishing features, but some are common to be added when developing a social network:

  • Feature
  • Sign-up
  • Profile
  • Messenger
  • Media upload
  • Search
  • Settings
  • Tagging
  • Design

We got to the bottom of estimating the costs to make a social media. A number of factors affect the budget required. If you’re going to develop a simple social network with built-in basic features, the cost will be somewhere between $35,000 to $60,000. 

At the same time, if you’re going to go for the development of a more complex social media like Instagram or Facebook, the cost will go to rise for up to hundreds of dollars pivoting on the features and functionality. 

Create Social Media Apps with Celadonsoft, a Custom Mobile App Development Company

Have an idea of social media development but have no reliable team to trust your project? Consider Celadonsoft.

We are a team with broad experience and a deep understanding of how to build social media. Our portfolio features such projects as Sport Social Network and Dating app. We used the most modern technology and implemented our high skills to erase boundaries and connect people. Both projects have an intuitive and attractive design, fitted with features like chats, media uploading, notifications, and many other features. 

If you’re looking for a team to build a speedy and high-quality social network, Celadonsoft will become a solution for you. Agile-based project management, regular communication, deadline respect, and fair rates are the benefits, you’ll reap by working with our team. 

Contact us to find out how much a social media app costs to develop and get the social media development going.

Areas of responsibility - brand and growth marketing. Strongly believes that software development is an art and marketing is not just about sales but about sharing your passion. Her educational background in the field of business and marketing allows her to create expert content and help others to grow and expand knowledge.

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What is the cost of creating my own social media apps?
Head of Sales

The cost to develop social media isn’t fixed and varies resting on the features you’d like to add, the technology stack, and the developer’s rates. 

If you want to develop social media by the development team from Eastern Europe, the cost will fall between $35,000—$60,000.

How can I start social media development?

The winning decision is to hire professional developers that have appropriate skills and experience. 

When the team is hired, it’s a good idea to start making social media MVP, so that you could check if the market will favor your idea. Also, MVPs will guide you on further development and hind the point to improve or remove.

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