How to calculate a Social Network App development Budget?
- Posted by Kateryna Bozhenko
- On May 27, 2017
- 1 Comments
- app, company, development, management, marketing, mobile, Octodev, product
The question of calculating a budget for your social media projects is central to your project development. You’re going to need to know how much money to allocate, after all. Indeed, you’ll need to be considerate of the approximate price needed for creating social media apps, such as Instagram, for example.
It’s useful to refer to Clutch’s diagram surveying representatives from 12 of the upcoming and leading mobile application development companies to calculate just how much it costs to build an iPhone, and more important, the key variables associated with this of cost.
As we can see here, the majority of social media development costs is associated with developing the app infrastructure, features, interface and design, and testing as well as the higher end and lower end costs of app development ($38,000 to $171,000).
Developing social media apps generally implies a three-tier architecture consisting of backend, database and mobile client, which are all important for thinking about when developing your mobile app. You’ll further have to think about the various aims of your app (i.e. are you trying to attract new customers, entertaining existing ones, data collection, monetization, increasing brand awareness).
These features dictate the cost of social media development as they reveal the specific functional services you’re going to develop later on, and of course, the team of specialist you’re going to hire. Before we break down the costs and hours into the budget calculations, seriously think about taking the 5W approach (the who, what, where, when, and why) to pinning down what exactly it is your app is trying accomplish.
What is it that your users actually want? Knowing your user will help you identify what it is they need, and thus you can better identify the cost of developing an accurate social networking app in the context of these needs and features.
The Cost of Features and Functions
To calculate an accurate estimation, you’ll need to be clear on two features of your social media app: your features and your app functions.
Take into account from the beginning that these features generally come at a higher price:
- Third-party API integrations.
- Billing integrations.
- Database encryption.
- Advanced admin panel with powerful analytics and numerous functions.
- Custom interaction mechanics between users (the exact case with social networks).
Your key social media apps generally host features including:
Account authorization (carried out through email, Facebook, or phone number)
Setting up authorization is an essential part of mobile social media app development. You can authorize your users through one of two variant approaches: through the registering of a new account (including login, password, email, and phone number) or through logging in through an existing social media account.
Setting up authorization can take up to 160 hours for backend and mobile iOS development, 40 hours for registration/authorization via email, 40 hours for developing sign in/sign out features, 40 hours for setting up social media sign in and sign, and around 30 hours for authorization via phone numbers.
Creating / editing profile
Your social media app should allow users the ability to modify their profiles by being able to change personal data, which includes information about their contact details, name, gender, phone number, website, and so on. This will take you approximately 80 hours, roughly 60 hours for iOS mobile development and 20 hours for backend development.
Your users should be able to communicate in real time through your app. This will take you up to 1200 hours: 700 hours for iOS mobile development and 500 hours for backend development.
Your app should host a variety of adjustable features that make your social media app more convenient to use. This includes setting the appropriate language of the interface, the ability to enable or disable push notifications, set the user account as private, etc. The time taken to develop and set up these adjustable features can range anywhere from 96 to up to 126 hours.
Push notifications account for around 64 hours, iOS development taking around 24, and backend up to 40 hours. “Other settings depending on their number and complexity – 32-64 hours (iOS development – 24-40; backend – 8-24)”.
Uploading and customizing photos using digital filters and extra features
This feature will allow your users to change and modify photos in different ways through the application of filers, the ability to rotate, sharpen, straighten the image, etc. This feature will take up to 320 hours for iOS development, including applying filters (120 hours), creating custom filters (120 hours), and cropping and rotating photos (80 hours).
Users will further be taking photos uploading videos, making comments and adding additional tags to their photos. Implementing these features will take an estimated 160-340 hours, including 40 hours for developing the necessary technology to uploading pictures and a further 80-300 hours for any extra options (tagging, comment, activity feed, etc.).
Linking different social media accounts
Users should be able to interact with each other by sharing photos and videos throughout all of their social media platforms. Developing the technology to link different social media accounts will take you up to 80 hours for both iOS and backend development.
This is the ability for users to share where a video or photo was taken. Good and accurate geolocation technology will take you up to 120 hours, 80 for iOS mobile app development and 40 hours for backend development.
And finally, search features for different parameters
This is the ability for users to search within your app for something, and it’ll take you up 120 hours to develop (80 for iOS development and up to 40 for backend development). Geography further dictates your app pricing and design costs, as the variable rates of development teams change from country to country.
Your team is going to consist of two Middle/Senior iOS/Android Developers, a Senior UX/UI Designer, a Project Manager to keep your mobile app development project on firm track, a Q&A Ninja, and both Front-end & Back-end developers.
US based teams, for example, charge anywhere between $50 to $100 per hour, so the overall cost would be $32,000 for lower median costs. UK design teams charge between $65 to $130 USD (£40-£80), so your overall budget costs will be higher even for the lower median at $41,600.
Ukrainian designers generally charge cheaper rates for their projects at $30 to $50 per hour. The rates for Indian designers start at $20 per hour and up. Furthermore, your cost is going to be dependent on your platform choice (i.e. iOS, Android, or both), features (as listed above—more inclusive apps tend to be more expensive to develop), maintenance costs, and finally, whether your app will be custom built from the bottom up or adapted from an existing white label solution.
Now that we’ve broken down the time and hours that go into social media app development, we have a better idea of the base hours it will take you to build your app, at roughly 1640 hours. For Android app development, the average develop hours are 1537, for backend roughly 1729. UX/UI accounts for 410, quality assurance at 830, and overall project management estimates are at 720 hours. With these hours in mind, depending on your team and its location, as discussed previously.
We’ll use the estimates per hour for Ukrainian developers ($35/hour) and an American team ($100). Estimates with the cheaper rate ($35/hour) would mean your budget would be a total of $53,795 for Android, and $57,400 for iOS development.
But the higher range leaves you at $153,700 for Android development and $160,000 for iOS develop. So your range and budget really are affected by a number of factors!
Below are our estimates for the development time and cost of a “Yelp for X type” app, as posted in a previous article:
- Social sign in: 30-40 hours, $1100+
- Push Notifications: 80-100 hours, costs $2800+
- Geolocation: roughly 70-100 hours up to $2500+
- Uploading pictures and videos: 80-160 hours, $3000+
- Reviews and Rating: 80-160 hours, $2800+
- Filter Integration: 300+ hours, $15,000+
- Filter by category: 40-60 hours, $1400+
- Reservation: 200-250, $7000+
- User profile: 300 – 340 hours, $10,500+
- In app purchases: 120 – 160 hours, $4000+
As we can see, the range of time and money increases with this type of app because of the reviews and reservations feature, as well as the highly integrated user profiles. So this really illustrates how you have to take into account the price, time, and charges per hour you’re going to be incurred upon in the mobile app development process.
So, to best break down the project pricing of your social media app, look into the technology stack you’re using, the number of hours spend on the project and the hourly rates of your hired social media experts.
For a better frame of reference, take a look at the Next Web estimates the top prices of various social media apps and networks.
- Twitter-like app: $50,000 to $250,000
- Instagram clone: $100,000 to $300,000
- Whats up messenger: $125.000 to $150.000
- Snapchat: $75,000 – $150,000
These six figures are steep, but these aren’t the only paths to success. There are many factors that go into developing a budget for social media app development. It may seem extensive, but remember that more expensive apps don’t necessarily mean your app is better in terms of product quality. If you have similar ideas and want to turn your project into a business opportunity, kindly share your requirement with us at [email protected].
If you need help brainstorming the perfect app (and a budget to suit your needs) please contact us. We have a wealth of experience with design and develop and are dedicated to helping your company, and social media application, see success. You can get in touch with us for free conversations, consultations, and investigations, so we can help to you build a social media app budget app in accordance with your business and tech needs, and your creative vision and budget.