Developing a social media app on Flutter is a winning combination. By 2022, almost half the world’s population was spending over two hours a day browsing their feeds. If you’re considering jumping on the bandwagon, check Flutter as an effective development kit for the job.
Let’s discuss why it makes the perfect SDK for this type of project.
Why build your social media app on Flutter?
Two main arguments to prefer Flutter for your social media app:
- It allows for fast development of the app and speed up entry into a market in which trends shift quickly
- Creating an app with Flutter opens for you a fast way to reach mobile users on both iOS and Android with following easy expansion with desktop and web versions.
Social media apps are inherently complex, but they risk becoming literal code monsters. Meta (formally Facebook) may serve as an example: they had to invent React, a front-end library, to deal with the performance drop and massive UI complexity.
Flutter is a cutting-edge, multiplatform framework built on top of Dart — a versatile coding language that compiles native code for Android, iOS, web, and desktop apps from a single codebase.
Since 2019, Surf has been building apps with Flutter, long prior to its current status as one of the two leading cross-platform frameworks. We were fortunate enough to collaborate with various companies from enterprises such as KFC to Y Combinator startups, completing a total of 25+ projects.
What do users expect from a social media app?
What qualities make a great application for social media users? Here are some to consider:
Nowadays, social media platforms are trending toward shorter videos as opposed to longer posts. And if the content doesn’t load quickly, users will simply move on and find something else.
At Surf, we tackled this exact problem when we were working on a social media app for a Client in 2018. One of our tasks was to implement auto-play for videos in the feed. This is a common thing today, but at the time few apps had this feature and no efficient turnkey solution existed.
With some clever engineering, we were able to create a custom player, so that the content would load with speed and the feed remained lag-free. The auto-play became a feature highly praised by users.
An enjoyable and intuitive user experience is vital — it improves the user’s time spent on your app, thus increasing loyalty and retention. TikTok is a great example of effective UX design, whereas Twitter and Facebook often receive criticism for their over-complicated interfaces.
Key features of a social media app
User-generated content is at the heart of every social networking project, but users expect to see some more staple features:
- Custom content feed
- Options to like, share and quote posts
- Friends or follower lists that can be managed by the user
- A form of private communication such as direct messaging
Flutter social network app strengths
Let’s explore why Flutter is the right SDK for a social networking project:
1. Multiple platforms, one codebase
When building a social network, it’s important to make sure your app is accessible on different platforms. Twitter, for example, has its own clients for iOS, iPadOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS. Flutter makes this easy because up to 95% of the code base can be reused across all platforms.
2. Cost saving and faster time to market
In our experience, building a social media app on Flutter can reduce the time and budget by about 40% as compared to native apps development and this is under consideration that the hourly cost of developing on this framework is slightly higher. What’s more, it helps to keep the dev team size smaller, which contributes to a lower overall project cost.
3. Design freedom
When building a social media app with Flutter, each user interface element is created with a configurable widget. This modular concept makes it far more convenient to design intricate layouts. Furthermore, the SDK includes pre-made widgets based on Google’s Material Design and Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines.
At Surf, we are excited to use Flutter to create remarkable apps and want to bring the strength of this technology to your social networking project. If you have an app concept, just get in touch with us and we will provide you with a time frame and cost estimate.