I'm interested in building a Social Networking app, on a freemium model, which can potentially change the lives of a lot of people. I have no idea how I would monetize the idea. Any suggestions/advice on creating a freemium social networking app, and monetizing it? How much investment does one need? Is it possible to bootstrap such a model?
I'm in no position to advise on the cost of a Tinder-like app - having never used it myself.
I can however share some thoughts on Freemium.
Freemium is too often engaged because it is easy - not because it is right for the business. You'll still need to determine how'll you make money, even with freemium, so it isn't an escape hatch from figuring out monetization - knowing how you'll make money from the beginning is critical.
Check out this video by Dan Martell: http://www.danmartell.com/4rulestofreemium/
I'll summarize the decision points around freemium below:
1. There are 10M+ users in your market. 2. Free distribution will give you a competitive advantage. 3. You have a simple value proposition and process. 4. The marginal cost to service additional customers is near or equal to zero.
About 18 months ago I teamed up with a partner to create an app which makes meeting people online safer, using various safety features including video verification and in app security. We often use Tinder and Bumble as case studies-- despite the fact our platform can be used for friendship or romance.
We outsourced development and had our fair share of hiccups. All of which we learned from...at a hefty price.
Knowing what I know now, allowing us to avoid the mistakes we did make, I would say development would cost in the $50K range for a fully functional app like Tinder. You would need the swipe feature, social media integration, real time chat, geolocation, in app payment, analytics, and user feedback-- just to name a few.
You also need to think about API's, admin costs, project management costs, your tech stack, user testing, UI/UX, etc. None of these things I would suggest glazing over.
Monetization is the easy part. You can charge subscription fees, premium features, ads, affiliate programs...and the list goes on.
However, the most difficult (and possibly expensive) aspect is the marketing of the app. Many founders are under the impression that if they build something great, users will come...WRONG!
I would start by first validating your market and establishing a database of potential users. Then, have your app developed from there.
Also, remember developers and business-minded founders tend to communicate on different wavelengths. Ensure you clearly and visually communicate your vision -- every detail is important and should be communicated as you should assume nothing is implied.
I'd be happy to have a call to discuss how you should go about this, as I'd be glad to share my process which ensures lean development costs and active users at launch.
Well, I run an Agency Agicent App Company (https://www.agicent.com) that has been creating/ managing/ handling apps for almost 12 years. Handled MVPs to full scale Apps like HASfit that gets 4 million active user so I think I can answer this question with possible cost breakdown - (Note - am considering Tinder features as of Dec 2021 and a comparable quality product and not just half baked one) -
1. Wireframes & Designs - Approx 200-300 hours, cost $ 6 to 8 K
2. Architecture & Design/ Tech identification - Approx 160 Hours, Cost $ 5 - 6 K.
3. Implementation on Front end (on iOS/ Android) - Apprx 700-800 hours, cost $ 15-20 K.
4. Implantation on backend and admin panel and integrations with payment gateways, third party SDKs, analytics etc - Approx 500 hours - Cost $ 15 K.
5. Testing - Approx 300 hours, cost $ 6 K.
6. Project Management - Throughout, Cost 12 K
7. Server side cost/ AWS etc - nominal unless you buy a slew of services or have large no of users.
8. Maintenance - almost 200 hours a month would do the job of maintenance very well.
Now, you can get a quote of half the price (and even 1/4th of this) when you go out shopping for the app development quote and that will vary geography by geography; but If I do it and you want as good as a product as Tinder then above cost holds true.
Hope this helps, feel free to book a call for more discussion on app development costs, revenue generation methods, app promotion, setting offshore development team. Here is the link to book a call -https://clarity.fm/app-developer
And here is an interesting app cost calculator from us, we prepare manual quote and share with anyone who fills it - https://www.agicent.com/app-development-cost-calculator