Social Networking App Development Cost: A Complete Breakdown

Tuhin Bhatt

Co-founder of Intelivita

  Published on May 20, 2024

  6 min read

Imagine bringing your revolutionary social networking idea to life and connecting people around the world!

While the vision may be crystal clear, navigating the complexities of social networking app development cost needs careful consideration.

From defining feature sets to selecting the right development team, every decision impacts the overall cost and success of your community app – especially when the range can vary widely from $30,000 to $1,000,000.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the detailed social media app development cost, factors influencing it, and general timeline.

Consider connecting with professional app development services like Intelivita to break the cost down, so you can make smart decisions and bring your app to life without breaking the bank.

What is a Social Networking App?

A social networking app is a digital platform that facilitates communication, interaction, and content sharing among users who may share similar interests, backgrounds, or social circles.

The key characteristics of social networking apps include:

  • User profiles that include their name, photo, and other personal details.
  • Connections by adding other users as friends or joining groups.
  • Social sharing that lets users post various types of content.
  • Communication tools, such as private messaging, comments on posts, and public forums or discussion boards.
  • News feeds and timelines displaying a continuous stream of new posts, comments, and interactions.
  • Notifications that alerts users about activities related to their profile.
  • Privacy and security settings that control who sees a user’s information and how their data is shared within the app.

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Social Networking App?

The social media app development cost can typically range between $15,000 to $45,000 or more, depending on various factors from the app’s complexity to design and platform choice.

The cost to develop an app with basic functionalities typically starts at $30,000, while the enterprise-level version can easily exceed $500,000 due to the inclusion of advanced features and extensive integrations.

Here’s the estimated social networking app cost breakdown for each version:

  • MVP (Minimum Viable Product). The MVP version often covers just one platform (iOS or Android) and focuses on core functionalities, such as user registration and profiles, friend/follow mechanisms, news feeds, and basic privacy settings. It usually costs $30,000 – $50,000.
  • Full-featured social networking app. A full-featured app can be available in both iOS and Android and includes all MVP functionalities plus a wide range of advanced features to enhance user engagement and interaction, like chat and messaging, content discovery, monetization features, and analytics. This may cost $100,000 to $300,000 or more.
  • Enterprise-level social networking app. An enterprise-level app is designed for scalability and advanced analytics catering to large user bases and businesses. The features include AI-based moderation tools and content recommendations, an in-app storefront, and extended multimedia features such as live streaming and augmented reality (AR) filters. This version can cost up to $1,000,000.

Examples of Social Networking Apps

Here are some well-known examples of social networking apps, each catering to different types of user interactions and communities:



The main purpose of Instagram is to share photos and videos, follow friends or celebrities, and discover content through hashtags and explore, with features including photo and video sharing and direct messaging.

It then evolves into a dynamic platform for influencers and brands to engage with audiences through features like Instagram Stories, Reels, and Instagram Shopping.



LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 1 billion members.

It allows users to create detailed profiles showcasing their work experience, skills, and education.

Additionally, the platform features company pages where organizations can post updates, job openings, and industry news.

It also offers LinkedIn Learning where users can access thousands of online courses.



Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to share short-lived photos and videos, known as “snaps,” which disappear after being viewed, encouraging spontaneous and candid interactions.

The app features a range of creative tools, including filters, lenses, and Bitmojis, that enhance and personalize snaps.

Master social networking with us!

Our expert app development service is specific to creating vibrant and engaging social platforms, from conceptualization to deployment. With meticulous attention to security and creativity, we can transform your vision into a vibrant digital community.

Start building your social network today!

What Factors Influence the Cost of Building a Social Networking App?

Several factors influence the social networking or community app development cost:

  • Features and complexity. Basic features like user profiles, news feeds, and messaging are cheaper to implement than advanced features such as live streaming and advanced recommendation algorithms.
  • Design requirements. Custom designs, animations, and interactive elements increase development time and cost compared to using standard design templates.
  • Platforms. Developing for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, web) increases costs due to additional development and testing efforts.
  • Development team. The location and size of the development team influence costs, as rates vary based on geographical location. Additionally, hiring a full-service agency will cost more than working with freelancers or a small team.
  • Technology stack. Using open-source technologies or pre-built components may reduce costs compared to developing custom solutions from scratch.

How Long Does It Take To Build a Social Networking App?

Building the MVP version of a social networking app may take between 3 to 6 months.

Meanwhile, the timeframe for a more advanced app can extend to up to 12 months.

The timeline will highly depend on your requirements.

How to Successfully Grow Your Social Networking App

Developing core features that deliver unique value is essential for the success of your social networking app.

Take inspiration from platforms like LinkedIn, which focuses on professional networking.

Similarly, consider Snapchat’s emphasis on fun communication by integrating features like playful filters.

Offering these distinctive features will help your app attract and improve user engagement by providing them with a differentiated and engaging social networking experience.

What Are the Risks and Challenges of Building a Social Networking App?

Building a social networking app presents various risks and challenges.

One major risk is fierce competition in the saturated market, making it challenging to stand out.

Technical complexities, such as scalability issues as user numbers grow, also create significant challenges, along with ensuring data privacy and security amidst increasing concerns and regulations.

Wrapping Up!

Understanding the cost factors involved in social networking app development is crucial for planning and budgeting effectively.

While the initial investment may seem daunting, with challenges and risks presented, it’s essential to prioritize features, choose the right development team, and maintain a balance between quality and cost-efficiency.

At Intelivita, our experienced team of developers, designers, and strategists will guide you through every step of the development process, from concept to launch.

With a proven track record of delivering high-quality, innovative apps, we’re ready to make your company the next success story in the world of social networking.

Contact us today!


Tuhin Bhatt is a co-founder of Intelivita, a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company. He helps passionate entrepreneurs build amazing tech products. Tuhin being a peoples man who has a passion to share his technical expertise with clients and other enthusiasts.

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