Creating a social media startup can be an exciting venture, but it's essential to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. Beyond the core development expenses, several critical features and auxiliary costs need consideration. In this article, we'll explore the cost breakdown of launching a social media platform, including must-have features and often overlooked expenses.

Social network businesses are built on network effects - you'll only be interested in getting on a platform if there is content or people there you care about (either friends/family or content you're interested in). To encourage those network effects, we need to a certain set of features in your social media MVP for it to be marketable.

Critical Features:

  1. User Registration and Profiles: Allow users to create accounts, complete profiles, and manage their personal information. Ensure robust security measures to protect user data.
  2. News Feed: Develop a customizable news feed that displays posts, updates, and content from friends and followed accounts.
  3. Content Posting: Enable users to create and share text, images, videos, and links. Implement content scheduling and editing features.
  4. Notifications: Send real-time notifications for likes, comments, messages, and other interactions to keep users engaged.
  5. Social Interactions: Include features such as likes, comments, and shares to encourage user engagement.
  6. Privacy Settings: Give users control over who can view their content and interact with them.
  7. User Engagement Analytics: Provide users with insights into their post performance, including views, likes, and shares.
  8. Messaging System: Implement private and group messaging features, with multimedia sharing capabilities.
  9. Search and Discovery: Create an effective search algorithm that helps users discover relevant content and users.
  10. Admin Management: Ensure robust admin controls for content moderation, user management, and reporting.
  11. Reporting Tools: Enable users to report inappropriate content and users, fostering a safe and respectful environment. This is critical to getting your app approved on the app stores.

Additionally, you're not gonna be building a platform that does just those things - you're obviously competing with the Instagrams and TikToks of the world so you're gonna be adding your own secert sauce.

If you were to build a product like this from scratch, you'd be looking at something in the $50k to $100k range. This means that engineers are spending development hours building all of those features from nothing - and you're being billed for those hours.

With Byldd, it's a little different - we have prebuilt modules for most of the things on that list above so you effectivley pay next to nothing for them. The only thing we would spend development time on would be that secret sauce mentioned above. This is why we're able to get social media apps in a month for about $10-$15k.