Social media is the goldmine of user engagement intelligence, massive volume of data, business & marketing experiments, and infinite possibilities.
At the time of writing, there are over 4.8 billion Internet users, who are active on social media all across the world, which will swell to more than 5.8 billion in the next 4 years, showcasing the immense potential of this domain.
With an average of 145 minutes being spent by a typical social media user on different apps and platforms, the global social media app market is pegged at $49 billion, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 26%, between 2023-2030.
This is the reason that Meta (owners of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp) recently launched Threads, a micro-blogging portal that rivals Twitter in features & functionality.
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And guess what..? Threads app was able to garner record 100 million users in just 5 days, which is the fastest user acquisition for any application in the entire history of the Internet and social media!
Similar to Twitter, Threads allows users to share their thoughts, updates, and stories in short bursts of text, attracting millions of users worldwide.
If you are planning to build and launch an application similar to Threads, then this is the best time to execute this vision, because billions of Internet users are expecting more social media apps and platforms, with better features, and more engagement.
In this blog, we will delve into the process of building such an application as Threads, the technicalities involved, and the cost estimation for the development.
But first, let’s find out some interesting features of Threads.
Highlights of Threads
Thread is a micro-blogging app that captures the essence of instant updates in 500 characters or 2 mins of video (compared to 280 characters on Twitter or 2.2 mins of video for non-paying users).
Some of its standout features include:
Micro-Blogging: Threads allow users to share short updates, making it easy to keep their followers engaged with quick and concise posts.
Privacy Settings: The app offers customizable privacy settings, giving users control over who can view their posts and interact with them.
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Seamless Integration: Threads has been designed to be deeply integrated with other Meta-owned platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, enabling cross-platform sharing and interactions. As of now, the primary integration is only with Instagram.
Threads Stickers and Filters: The app offers an array of stickers, filters, and interactive elements to enhance the user experience and make posts more engaging.
Real-time Notifications: Users receive real-time notifications for interactions on their posts, ensuring they stay connected with their audience.
Besides these, hashtags, trending stories, and direct messaging are the other common features between Threads and Twitter.
Now, let’s discuss how we can develop and launch an application like Threads.
Structuring The Development Process
Building an app like Threads requires meticulous planning, robust development, and a well-executed launch strategy. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of developing and launching such an app.
1. Idea Validation and Market Research
Before commencing development, it’s vital to validate the app idea and conduct thorough market research. Identify your target audience, analyze competitors, and gather insights on user preferences and pain points. Understanding market trends will help you shape your app to stand out in the crowded social media space.
2. Define App Features and Functionalities
Based on the market research, create a detailed list of features and functionalities you want to include in your Threads-like app. Ensure the core features are present, such as user profiles, posting capabilities, real-time notifications, privacy settings, & integration with other social media platforms.
3. Choose the Right Technology Stack
Selecting the appropriate technology stack is crucial for the app’s performance and scalability. For a social media app like Threads, we can consider using:
Frontend: React Native, Flutter, or native development for iOS and Android platforms.
Backend: Node.js, Python, Ruby on Rails, or other backend frameworks.
Database: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, or other databases, depending on the requirements.
4. UX/UI Design
A captivating and user-friendly interface is vital for retaining users. Collaborate with experienced designers to create intuitive and visually appealing designs that align with your app’s branding and theme. The focus has to be on ensuring that engagement and action increase gradually and that there is a delightful user experience, every moment while using the app.
5. Development and Testing
Start the app development process by breaking down the project into sprints. Agile development methodologies can aid in managing tasks efficiently. Regularly test the app’s functionalities to identify and fix any bugs or issues during development.
6. Integrating with 3rd Party Tools/Platforms
To provide seamless integration with other 3rd party platforms, we will need to work with their respective APIs and developer tools. APIs from Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp can be used to facilitate sharing and interaction between the apps.
7. Implementing Privacy and Security Measures
As a social media app, user data privacy and security are paramount. Implement robust security measures, ensure data encryption, and adhere to data protection laws like GDPR to safeguard user information.
8. Beta Testing and User Feedback
Before the official launch, conduct beta testing to gather valuable feedback from a select group of users. Address their suggestions and refine the app accordingly to ensure a smooth user experience.
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9. Deployment and Launch
Once the app is thoroughly tested and polished, deploy it on the respective app stores (Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Plan an engaging launch strategy, including social media marketing, influencer collaborations, and press releases to generate buzz around the app.
10. Post-Launch Support and Updates
The launch is just the beginning. Continuously monitor user feedback, fix bugs, and release updates with new features and improvements to keep the user base engaged and satisfied.
Technicalities of Developing a Social Media App like Threads
Developing a social media app like Threads comes with its own set of technical challenges. Here are some of the crucial technical aspects to consider during the development process:
1. Scalability and Performance
Social media apps attract a massive user base, and scalability is essential to handle increasing traffic and user interactions. Utilize cloud services like AWS or Azure for scalable infrastructure.
2. Real-Time Notifications
Implementing real-time notifications requires a robust push notification system and WebSocket technology. Ensure notifications are delivered promptly and efficiently to keep users engaged.
3. Content Moderation
Preventing offensive content and maintaining a safe environment is essential for the process of social media app development. Employ AI-based content moderation techniques to flag and remove inappropriate content.
4. Data Storage and Retrieval
Efficiently storing and retrieving user data, posts, images, and videos are crucial for seamless app performance. Optimize database queries and consider cloud-based storage solutions.
5. API Integration
Integrating with other social media platforms’ APIs requires thorough knowledge of their developer guidelines and authentication mechanisms to ensure smooth data exchange.
Platforms for Launching the App
To reach a broader audience, your Threads-like app should be available on both iOS and Android platforms. Here’s a breakdown of the platforms and tools involved in launching the app:
1. iOS Platform
For launching on the Apple App Store, you’ll need:
Apple Developer Account: Register for an Apple Developer Account to access development resources and submit your app to the App Store.
Xcode: Apple’s official IDE for iOS app development using Swift or Objective-C.
TestFlight: A platform for beta testing iOS apps before the official release.
App Store Connect: Apple’s portal for managing app submissions, analytics, and updates.
2. Android Platform
For launching on the Google Play Store, you’ll need:
Google Play Developer Console: Register for a developer account and use this console to manage app releases and updates.
Android Studio: Google’s official IDE for Android app development using Java or Kotlin.
Google Play Beta Testing: This allows you to distribute beta versions of your app for testing.
Firebase Crashlytics: A tool for tracking app crashes and issues in real time.
Developing a micro-blogging app like Threads can be an exciting venture with the potential to captivate millions of users worldwide.
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However, it requires meticulous planning, technical expertise, and careful consideration of various aspects, such as user experience, privacy, and scalability. While the cost of building an app like Threads can vary significantly based on features, complexities, and development resources, the investment can prove worthwhile with a well-executed strategy and a captivating app that resonates with users.
By embracing innovation and staying attuned to market trends, your Threads-like app could potentially revolutionize the social media landscape.
Connect with our Mobile App Engineers and Social Media Experts to find out more about the technicalities, cost, and process involved in launching a social media like Threads: Schedule a consulting session right here.