Skip to main content

How to build a social network? Helpful advice

Social networks have become an integral part of our daily lives. Statistics say that we spend more than two and a half hours daily on social networks, and the networks themselves have involved more than 60% of the world's population. We use social platforms to inform, entertain, communicate with new people, find new business partners and join communities that arouse our interest. The power of social networks is incredible, so it is not surprising that people are interested in creating their social network and repeating the success of Facebook. What is a social network? A modern social network is a digital tool that allows users to quickly create and share content such as videos, blog links, event announcements, photos, and live broadcasts on the Internet on mobile devices and laptops. More broadly, a social network is a website where any interaction of people takes place. We also witness the emergence of a new indirect interaction through AR/VR devices (such as glasses, helmets, su

Technical solutions for creating social networks.

Technology development and social media growth are inextricably linked. If we consider the telegraph as the prototype of the first social network, the telegraph operators can be called the first users of social networks. It's not so important that the messages themselves mainly were news, not entertainment. However, it is interesting that the networking process was very similar to a social network. Indeed, each telegraph connected in the line could receive messages from any other device.


Since the creation of the Internet in 1991, technology has come a long way, pushing the development of methods of interacting between people. Advances in microelectronics have made it possible to reduce the size of users' terminals to the extent of pocket devices. Miniaturization has allowed people to spend more time on social networks, which has led to an explosive increase in their popularity in the last decade. Note, now more than 91% of all social media users use social channels through mobile devices.

The popularity of social networks has formed a new market for services and a demand for new technologies. It is interesting to see what technologies will need soon and what technical solutions allow us to implement them.

Near field technologies

Unlike access to centralized social networks through public networks (for example, via Wi-Fi networks or mobile networks), near-field technologies provide communication between end devices located at a short distance from each other. At the same time, each device can act as both a transmitter and a receiver for all devices nearby. The gadgets located tight enough in a limited area form a stable communication network, independent of any operators. Unfortunately, the use of this technology nowadays is hampered by legislative restrictions. Most governments consider the impossibility of controlling traffic on such networks an encroachment on the sovereignty of states.

There are also more prosaic applications of this technology - payment using NFC, exchange of content between users, minimal interaction within some mobile applications.

Augmented reality

AR and mixed reality are no longer new, but they are among the most popular application functions for social networks. There are many use cases with which social networks experiment when integrating augmented reality with their applications, but face filters have witnessed mass popularity. For example, popular Snapchat augmented both individuals and businesses use reality filters to provide exciting content.

Not only entertainment but also practical applications look interesting. For example, IKEA offers the buyer to place virtual furniture in his apartment before purchase.

However, Meta went the furthest and declared plans to create a metaverse. According to Mark Zuckerberg, it will be possible to transfer much of what we are used to doing offline to the virtual world shortly. And first of all, we are talking not only about entertainment but also about businesses.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the central technology that affects the social media sector in various aspects. AI is the main component of every social media platform operating on the market today. For example, despite the staff of Facebook moderators of several tens of thousands of people, the primary content filter of 4 billion users is and will be artificial intelligence. Interestingly, the moderators carry on AI training by manually tagging prohibited content.

Another vital function of artificial intelligence is content ranking. Naturally, each user receives their newsfeed, which best suits their interests. Don’t forget money; Facebook’s primary source of income is targeted advertising, and AI is the integral component of their business.

Snapchat uses computer vision capabilities to track the user's position and apply filters that move with him in real-time.

These examples confirm that AI is an essential part of all types of social networks.

Blockchain

Decentralized social networks are a growing type of social network. There are some examples of social networks and convergence of blockchain, with which enterprises experiment. 

The largest social networks depend on advertising-based business models, which have a common drawback: creators receive unequal compensation for their content on the platform. In addition, the known social networks transmit all content to their walled garden and use it at their discretion. The Winklevoss brothers, who were the first employers of Mark Zukerberg, decided to opposite them DeSo network. The idea of their project is the possibility of creating a user's social network. They promise the creators will be the only ones who own content and monetize it.

Blockchain looks like a vast book with inextricably linked pages. But physically, these pages are on an indefinite number of sites on the Internet. Blockchain makes it possible to create social networks for countries where censorship prevents the free dissemination of information.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has now emerged from the pragmatic sphere of driver management through cloud applications. Nowadays, some brands have started to monitor social networks and marketing with SIoT. 

A Social Internet of Things (SIoT) refers to a set of embedded objects connected via the Internet through unique addressing schemes, considering humans-related data such as profiles, preferences, habits. Social IoT is used for context-awareness by engaging users and users' profiles to provide user-oriented services and recommendations.

Choosing a technical solution

The list of technologies for social networks is not limited to this list. Many technologies, such as search algorithms, APIs, and geotagging, are vital parts of modern social networks. What do we need these technologies for if we do not understand how to implement them in practice? It is essential to understand what is available on the market when creating a social network. There are three large categories of technical solutions for building social networks:

Out-of-Box solutions

Use implies at least a little initial experience. You will have to choose the most suitable scenario for your task and extension plugins. You must also select a hosting company and domain name registrar. On the one hand, the CMS is a free solution. But their versatility requires considerable effort to change the source code, even when you buy a ready-made social network function plugin for CMS. If you can't do it yourself, you need to invite third-party programmers.

Thus, an independent CMS gradually loses the advantage of a free solution. In the future, the cost of ownership begins to grow. Often extension modifications become incompatible with new versions of the kernel of such a CMS, and you start the process of adapting your extensions over and over again.

The source code of CMS is usually open-source. The community of programmers and hackers constantly investigates CMS for mistakes. Some vulnerabilities have not been fixed for years, and attackers imperceptibly use them. In general, low security is the main problem for such solutions, and secure storage of user data in such a CMS is a constant headache. Another serious problem of CMS is low load capacity and poor scalability. Simultaneous maintenance of hundreds of users is not a problem for them. But hundreds of thousands of concurrent requests can make your site unavailable. Such requests can be productive (from customers) and counterproductive (DDoS attacks). Scaling is designed to solve the problem of the limited load capacity of one node, but such systems do not have load balancing algorithms.

Why are these solutions so popular if everything is so poor with security? The answer will not be unambiguous. Firstly, they are not to store big personal data in most cases. These are often small online stores, small corporate websites, and community sites for narrow interests. Such goals are of no interest to hackers until they develop into projects with medium or great popularity. Secondly, many people like the free model and hope to quickly transfer the project to a more efficient platform in the future. This reasoning is a misconception. The primary value of a social network website is its audience. Even the best severe changes on the platform can lead to loss of loyalty of some users and social degradation of the project.

From what has been said, it is clear that even without considering the theoretical possibility of using promising technologies, these solutions are unsuitable for creating a social network.

Drag & Drop solutions

If you are a beginner and do not make ambitious plans, the Drag & Drop platform solutions can be attractive. The main advantage will be the absence of the need for technical training of the user and a short time to launch your project. Usually, the whole process takes three steps - register on the page of such a service, pay for the minimum package of services, choose a name for your site, choose a design template and make some initial settings. After that, the provider undertakes all other technical tasks.

You don't need to register a domain name yourself, search for hosting, exhaust yourself by installing, setting up, and testing scripts. Keep in mind that the future development possibilities for the project will either be minimal or will not be at all. Drag & Drop solutions are mass products and do not offer customers a noticeable variety. This property applies both to the appearance of your project and its functional part.

If the idea of your social network can attract many users, their maintenance on the Drag & Drop platform can cause problems. No one will promise you the high-load capabilities of the service in advance. Buying additional computing resources will not solve the problem, as it makes sense only with an advanced load balancing system. But who will create it for your site among hundreds of small sites running simultaneously on the provider's virtual machines?

As for the modern technologies described initially, their use on such platforms is excluded. So it's simple, their owners will not risk the stability of simple mass solutions for the sake of the uniqueness of a separate project.

Custom solutions

The third class of systems includes platforms developed and tested to implement large social websites. But small and medium-sized projects also can run on that platforms. These solutions are initially deprived of the main disadvantages of the first two classes. The highest level of project individualization, high load capacity, scalability, and unprecedented safety are some of the distinctive features of such platforms. In addition, such systems allow you to use some unique functions. For example, automatic multilingualism enables to translation of all content into the user's language. This issue can be crucial when the project is focused on an international audience. Another interesting practical feature is the use of artificial intelligence. When the user community is limited, it is not tricky to moderate content manually, but the rapid content growth will require automatic pre-moderation. Therefore, artificial intelligence support is indispensable.

Creating such a system requires a lot of experience and time. Most likely, these are decades of detailed work in the IT industry. However, if you want to create a social network site, there is no point in spending resources on creating a platform from scratch. After all, the primary value is the audience, and a platform is only a tool for working with it.

The QSNE platform is an example of a third approach to creating a social site. These complex hardware and software tools allow you to deploy a social network of any scale. It doesn't matter how small it will be at the startup stage. More importantly, it will have no restrictions in the growth process thanks to its high scalability. It is also worth mentioning that the platform is ready to use all modern technologies that make the website a social network. In addition, the developer company Qwerty Networks offers a partnership, and their calculator allows you to estimate the cost of implementing your idea in advance.


Popular posts from this blog

How to create your own social network?

Social media is a very profitable business; at least one successful startup appears in this area every year. So how do you create your own social network? Many of those who want to create their own social network spend precious time looking for ready-made engines or trying to develop them on their own. This is a big mistake. The fact is that, despite the availability of proposals, ready-made social media engines (for example, on WordPress) will only allow you to create a web project that looks like a social network, but will not be such. The fact is that "under the hood" of real successful social networks, solutions and stack technologies are used that are different from those used to create ordinary web projects. Social networks are, first of all, highly loaded projects. Secondly, there are serious OWASP security requirements, incl. personal data of users. Thirdly, the technology stack used to create social networks includes solutions based on artificial intelligence. Artifi

Powerfull Social Media Platform

Choosing a platform to build a true scale-out social network is the first step to building a successful and viable project. Remember - none of the existing solutions based on well-known web engines (WordPress, InstantCMS and others) is suitable for creating a real social network. What are the requirements for a platform for creating a social network? 1. Scalability. Scalability refers to the ability to use distributed computing and storage systems. Social media must be able to withstand colossal pressures. The usual stack of technologies used to create ordinary sites and engines is not suitable for creating complex high-load projects. 2. Using artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is an irreplaceable assistant in moderation of a huge amount of user content. Imagine that every second the volume of publications increases by 1000. And all of these publications should be automatically checked for their content (including images and videos). 3. User data security and end-to-end e

How to Build a Social Media App in 2022

Creating a mobile application for social networks cannot be considered in isolation from the social network itself. We can discuss the shortcomings of existing applications for dominant social networks. But you have to accept the fact that creating a mobile application today makes sense only to apply to your social network. And before we talk about aspects of mobile application development, we deal with the possibility of creating your social network. Given the availability of technology and the experience gained, we give an affirmative answer. Is there a need for this in a market dominated by only a few players? After the presentation and takeoff of the Clubhouse, the answer, as every time, is positive. And it's not only that the market itself is not saturated (only half of the world's population uses social networks), but also the inability of large social networks to cover all aspects of human behavior. The business model of existing networks constrains their creativity, so