I want to build an app like Facebook, how should I start?

When working on the development of digital products with a massive audience, like social network apps, it is very common that clients who come to Amalgama with an idea to develop immediately want to be similar to some world-famous and extremely successful products. Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest are just a few examples of this.

A study revealed that there are 4.76 billion social media users around the world in January 2023, which is equivalent to saying that almost 60% of the world’s population uses an app of this kind. And, according to historical values, that number continues to rise. Incredible, right?

When getting into the world of digital products, it is difficult not wanting to create an app that targets such a massive audience.

But, how should I get started?

Not falling into the ambition of wanting to become a new version of Facebook is a challenge. And many times in Amalgama, as consultants of digital products, we ask ourselves: how do we guide and help a client to develop a social network that is successful?

1. Align expectations

2. Define the target user

3. Identify the product’s differential value

4. Determine the objectives and strategy

1. Align expectations

The first aspect to have in mind is to always keep the client’s expectations aligned with what is objectively feasible for each instance of the project, understanding the advantages, opportunities and limitations that exist. An app like Facebook or Instagram has many years of development and a very large company behind it that supports everything that these products are and represent today.

Thinking about an iterative development is also important, in order to identify what the users need and what adds more value to build our product taking solid steps.

Image: Evolution of the graphical interface of Instagram since its inception | via Prototypr.

2. Define the target user

Today, Facebook has more than 1 billion daily active users. But Facebook was born as a solution to connect only Harvard University students, who had certain characteristics and similar behaviors.

When you think of the audience of a social network, you immediately think that they are products that are intended to be used by “everyone”. But in fact, all products are aimed to be used by a specific type or spectrum of users.

If we think about the early stages of an app, this becomes even more relevant and substantial. Starting by defining a single user, from a particular niche and with certain qualities, behaviors and needs will be very helpful not only for the definition of the value proposition, but also for the conception and development of the idea. Also, once the product is launched, the brand identity, communication and marketing campaigns will be focused on this previously well-defined audience.

3. Identify the product’s differential value

There are so many diverse but similar social networks that, sometimes, it is difficult to determine how I am going to distinguish my product from the existing ones. However, it is essential to ask yourself: What is the need that I am trying to solve? And particularly, what will be my product’s differential?

Being able to identify this during the ideation process is essential as it will be the starting point of the development and will let the team keep focused on what is important. Having the mindset of designing and developing MVPs (Minimum Viable Products), as we do at Amalgama, allows us to understand if the solution proposed is the one users need, and to identify certain opportunities and weaknesses that it might eventually have.

4. Determine the Objectives and Strategy

Once the product has been developed and towards its launch, it is time to define (or redefine) the objectives; these should be clear, measurable, relevant and achievable. You will need to determine what is the metric that represents the value of your product, which will help to verify the product market fit, as well as validate the retention of users (that is, that users not only download the app but that they use it over and over again). Therefore, you will determine if the product is being successful or not.

Along with this process, it is necessary to establish a clear growth strategy, defining the distribution channel that best suits your product. And, within this strategy, always have in mind that you must generate brand awareness. There are so many social networks on the market that a strong communication and digital marketing strategy will be necessary to reach out the audience.

Getty Images

In conclusion, introducing yourself in the world of digital products is not an easy task and, even less, the development of a social network. Before you get started, it is important to be aware of the challenges involved in creating products of this nature.

Search and define that target user to identify and understand what they need; that first necessity, the most important thing for the user, what it is that pain that others are not solving yet. Knowing that we are not going to be Instagram or Facebook overnight and that, for that reason (among other things), it is important to identify the starting point that makes our product different, and then iteratively grow: problem by problem, need by need, wish to wish.

Create a strategy for, not only that product that we are developing, but also for the brand and company that we are building. Create a product that not only users would want to use, but one that users would love to use.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! 📬

* indicates required

800 450 Amalgama

What you’ll get

  • A prototype of the product to be built reflecting the product’s vision.
  • The roadmap for development.

What we’ll be
working on

  • Business Analysis and Planning
  • Market and audience analysis
  • Users analysis: interviews & surveys
  • Value proposition analysis & definition
  • Prototyping
  • User testings
  • Roadmap definition

What you’ll get:

Obviously, what you came for!
An amazing, cool, trendy, app web
or any kind of digital product.

What we’ll be working on:

  • Product Research & Strategy
  • Marketing & Growth strategy
  • Frontend and backend development
  • UX/UI Design, Research & testing
  • QA & QC
  • Naming & Branding

What you’ll get:

An appealing and unique website with smooth usability that your audience will love to engage with.

What we’ll be

working on:

  • Brand analysis and goals definition
  • Wireframing
  • Look & Feel application
  • Web Development

Swish 365

Swish’s founders came to us to build an app so that parents could book their children’s basketball sessions in a simple and fast way. Together we developed a mobile app and web app that also allows them to have visibility on the progress and results of their children.

Services offered
Product Discovery
Product Development

Mobile app for IOS and
Android App + Web App

iOS App
Android App


Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

For performance and security reasons we use Cloudflare
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.