Social media are an inalienable part of our everyday life. People use social networks for different needs and in different industries.
Building new social networks is a long-lasting and complex process. So before starting it, you need to learn everything about their development – needs and requirements, a suitable stack of technologies, ways of promoting, etc. Your social media should provide excellent user experience and modern features. For more info about creating social media, the peculiarities and features needed, read our blog.
Crucial features for social network
Not all applications refer to social media. This type of solution implies a set of certain features that we described below. We would like to emphasize critical features for building a social network from scratch. They define that your solution is social media.
To become an active user of social media, you need to create a personal account. You can add your real name and nickname, profile photo, short biography, hobbies, interests, and other information. Creating a profile can be customized to every user. It helps to express yourself and your thoughts. There are several ways of customizing your profile. They are the following:
- Photo filters – your photo can be changed with the usage of different effects and filters, adding text, light, shadows, and many other options.
- Background – it is a perfect way of customizing your profile is adding a background photo, it can be your personal photo or just a picture of your dreams.
- Description – usually every user has an ability to write a short bio that is shown on their profile to all other users. you can point your interests, favorite movies or music style, hobbies, preferences, etc; it is not only about text, but some social networks also give the ability to add pictures, animated elements, links to another websites or blog, etc.
If we are talking about the development of a social network, there is a need for a database to hold all this information about every user. There are open-source APIs that can be used for this process.
Feed News is a key requirement for every social media. It shows the latest news and updates in the communities, friends` pages like-new status, work, university, photo, and many other things. Also, users can share any post form feed to their personal accounts, leave comments, and hold discussions with others. Photo, videos, links can be shared from the news feed. The whole content is managed by website administrators and can be deleted in case of forbidden information.
Social media gives the opportunity to communicate and meet people from all over the world. It is easier to find people by your interests in communities, events, comments under posts, etc. So making connections with other users is an important feature for social networking. Mostly it is called friending. Also, you can get a recommendation about particular users whose interests are common to yours.
To make your social media worldwide and available in different countries, your network should support several popular foreign languages, at least. Don’t think that English is a universal and suitable language for all users. According to statistics, 48% of Facebook users don’t choose English. Supporting different languages would attract more users.
Most users of social networks tend to communicate by direct messaging, not just in comments and communities. The conversation can last for a long time and can be emotional with the use of emojis, photos, videos, links, etc. There are a lot of third-party services that can be used to develop real-time chat functionality, so you don’t necessarily have to build a messenger from scratch.
Backend technology stack
There are several main backend technologies used for the development of web solutions. They have their strong and weak sides. Thanks to the variety, everyone who wants to build a web solution can find something appropriate that will fit their budget and time frames. We have selected the main backend technologies used for building social network solutions. So here is a shortlist that we’ve got:
Most common languages for backend
We prepared the list of technologies that create backend stacks. Every programming language has its peculiarities and advantages. Each of them fits particular types of web developments. Read this list to know which of them would suit the development of social media.
PHP programming language is used for the development of more than 78% of all websites known on market. This programming language is dynamically typed. One component can perform differently depending on the context. So this process PHP software is lower in speed and complex to scale. It perfectly fits for developers who don’t have enough experience. It simplifies the appearance of the error. There is a vast amount of information about this language is open-source so you can always find a piece of advice. Here is a shortlist of the main function of PHP and where they can be performed:
- Creating dynamic contents on pages
- Sending and receiving Cookies
- Server-side rendering
- Development of a desktop application
Among the most popular companies that use PHP to develop their software are Facebook, Viber, Lyft.
Java is considered to be the most popular programming language for the past years. It is suitable almost for any type of software development. Java Virtual Machine makes this language universal. It converts code that can be performed on any type of device.
So what type of development can be written in Java? We prepared a list of possible Java solutions:
- Android mobile applications
- Development of website backend
- Development of API to work with databases
- Digital picture processing
- Development of desktop applications
- Programming of networks tasks
Java was used for the development of popular applications that are used every day or often. Among them are Uber, LinkedIn, FitBit, eBay, etc. As you could notice, Java is used for the development of social media, so your choice of backend technology depends only on the requirements of your future solution.
Ruby on Rails is a framework of Ruby programming language. It has a wide range of readymade instruments that give the ability to perform basic tasks. Ruby is a kind of laconic and doesn’t need vast code for the backend. This option helps to build and launch prototypes.
Ruby is a programming language with open source code that can be changed.
Among key features of Ruby are:
- Automation of recurring tasks
- Development of web application
- Building mobile applications
- Creating prototypes
It is worth mentioning the most popular companies that use the Ruby programming language. They are Airbnb, AngelList, TaskRabbit.
Recently Python has become a very popular programming language. It is mostly used for web development and building of desktop applications. This language is simple and Python apps are usually quite affordable. It has a syntax that is easy to comprehend and use. Python is a dynamically typed programming language with open-source code. Let’s define the crucial feature of Python. They are the following:
- Fast automatization
- Web development
- Data Science
- Machine learning
There are many famous websites built on Python programming languages like Pinterest, Quora, Netflix, Spotify, and others.
- Frontend and backend websites
- Mobile applications
- Desktop applications
- Web servers
What to choose for your social media?
The choice always depends on the project goals, budget, and deadlines, as each technology can win or lose in some aspects to its competitors. For example, for a project with a low budget with no strict deadlines, you might want to choose to hire a full-stack freelance developer, but you have to be ready that the release date can be significantly postponed. If you want your web app to be developed quickly and, in doing so, don’t mind sacrificing performance speed, RoR may be the right choice for the project. If you want to get a good value for money while meeting deadlines and keep your web solution scalable and fast, you would probably want to stick to PHP. To embed a real-time web application, you will probably have to add some Node.js code to the back-end of your site.
We cannot emphasize one or two best backend technologies for your social media development. As it all depends on the requirements for your solution. What features it will have, what aims it will have to reach, what audience and specifications it will have – all these components define the suitable stack of technologies. So all you need to do is to get a professional consultation and hire a team of specialists who have rich experience and build a successful product.