Did you know that there are over 2.9 billion active Facebook users online each month? Given its vast amount of ever-expanding features and intuitive web design, it’s no surprise that Facebook is the most popular social networking platform globally.
If you’re considering developing your own social media platform, Facebook is an excellent template from which to take inspiration. This article will discuss how you can make a website like Facebook and why it’s so popular. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Facebook?
The social networking site uses an omnichannel approach to provide users with a seamless experience across devices. As a result, the Facebook web application works smoothly across browsers and as a cross-platform mobile app. With over 98% of Facebook users accessing the social network via mobile devices, whether in browser or app, this is an integral part of the platform’s ethos.
Why is Facebook Popular?
In order to build your own social media website like Facebook, it’s essential to understand precisely what makes it so popular. Here are just a few reasons.
Online Community Building
One powerful draw to Facebook is that it enables an easy way of community building. This is generally done through the use of Facebook Groups and Pages. Users can pool together a collection of people with similar interests in which they can discuss topical matters and answer each other’s questions.
The sense of community created using Facebook is exasperated by the built-in web chat functionality, whereby users can message each other individually or as groups. Facebook allows up to 250 users to join one group chat at a time and has several moderation features for admins to manage discussions. Thanks to these features, Facebook has become the ultimate platform to create communities of like-minded individuals.
Ease of Communication
Before the dawn of the millennium and the inception of Facebook, people communicated via awkwardly typed text messages, scheduled phone calls, and handwritten letters. Now, individuals can leverage the Facebook platform and its communicative features to connect with each other instantly.
As Facebook continues to expand, new communication features are constantly being added. This includes group video chatting and the controversial creation of the Metaverse. Whether chatting through private messages, writing on someone’s Facebook page, or commenting on posts, the platform makes communication easy.
Perhaps one of the greatest appeals of the Facebook social networking site is its ability to connect users from around the world. As long as you have access to an internet-connected device, you can access Facebook. This means users can keep in touch with distant friends and relatives without paying expensive international fees and meet new people with similar interests regardless of real-world borders.
The platform’s ability to connect such distant individuals is thanks to its intuitive features, from Erlang-powered chat to secure PHP protocols. Facebook’s omnichannel approach, ease of communication, and globally connected communities make it the popular platform that it is today.
What Features Does Facebook Have?
Facebook’s versatile array of features makes the platform so easy and enticing to use. Understanding the popular functions with users is essential to understanding what it takes to make your own social network like Facebook.
One of the most prominent features of Facebook is the ability to add friends. The average Facebook user has 338 friends, ranging from family members to complete strangers. This feature allows users to manage their interpersonal relationships online without the hassle of mediating real-world meetings.
Facebook has a robust, secure messaging function with an intuitive popup user interface that makes chatting with friends easy. The seamless chat functionality works across devices and browsers, with a dedicated app for mobile devices. With read receipts, customization options, and robust security features, Facebook provides the smoothest messaging functionality of all social networking platforms.
The Facebook social network website allows users to share and create content for their friends and followers. This includes videos, images, weblinks, and products on the Facebook marketplace. Then through likes and levels of engagement, it boosts and recommends content to users based on their interests through intelligent algorithmic technology.
As previously discussed, Facebook is an excellent social networking site for community creation. The primary function to build communities is the use of Facebook groups. Users can create groups about topics that interest them and invite an unlimited number of people to join and engage in their communities.
With all forms of public discussion, there are several risks, such as sharing inappropriate and dangerous content. To combat this, Facebook has built-in many safety features, including the ability to report users and posts and customizable settings that determine who can see your content. As a result, when settings are correctly adjusted, and community guidelines followed, Facebook can be a safe place to enjoy interesting content.
How to Make Your Own Social Network Like Facebook
Now you understand what makes Facebook so popular and its primary functions, you can take this knowledge and implement it into your own social media websites.
Step 1: Determine Niche
The first step in making your own social network like Facebook is to determine your niche, i.e., to whom your website is aimed. You can do this by analyzing the industry’s demographics in which you wish to operate. For example, when you build a social media website for pet owners, you should establish what type of people predominantly own pets and their existing social networking activities.
Once you’ve defined your audience, you can then understand what is needed to appeal to your userbase. Predominantly, your audience demographic will help you determine how to position and market your website. For instance, in a social networking website geared towards pet owners, your branding would need to correspond with popular pet types and owner interests.
Step 2: Conceptualize Functionality
Once you understand your target audience, you can decide what features are best suited to your audience. For example, the average age of a Facebook user is 40.5 years old, which works excellently as the platform enables long-form content much preferred by older audiences, such as articles, to be shared. If you determine that your audience is younger, you must implement functionality appropriate to their age range, like robust, safeguarding features.
There are several tools you can use to help conceptualize functionality when you build a social network. At Idea Maker, we use Figma during the web development design phase. Figma allows users to create mock-up websites with complex designs that can be exported to developers after completion.
Tools like Figma are an essential part of conceptualizing functionality, as they allow you to build an understanding of how to implement branding into your networking website’s features. Once you have determined what functionality is suitable for your audience, you can then begin the development phase. If you don’t have experience in web development, you will need to consider hiring expert developers.
Step 3: Hire Expert Developers
When hiring professional web developers like Idea Maker, you get access to a large talent pool and robust technologies. However, not all developers are created equal. As a result, there are several things to consider when hiring an agency for social networking website development.
You can learn more about hiring the right developers by reading Idea Maker’s extensive guide. Otherwise, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Experience & Expertise
When hiring a developer to build your own social network, you should consider their past experience by examining their portfolio. A development agency’s portfolio will showcase the quality of their previous work and whether or not they’re a good fit for your project. It also allows you to explore their previously developed websites and determine the quality of functionality.
Defined Development Procedure
A high-quality web development company will have a clearly defined development procedure readily available for you to explore. This procedure will help you understand the process behind developing a social network website and where your input is required. If a development agency does not have a development procedure available, they may be poor communicators, which results in a website that doesn’t meet your requirements.
Once your social media website is developed, it will inevitably encounter bugs at some point and require regular maintenance. As such, the development company you work with provides robust post-release support options. Without a support package, you risk your site becoming unusable to users.
Many development companies claim to offer post-development support packages but fail to deliver when the time comes. An excellent way to check whether a developer actually provides post-release support is to check the quality of their preexisting web developments. If their live websites work well, they likely provide genuine and high-quality post-release support.
Step 4: Collect Feedback
Once your social media site is live, you should pay attention to how active users engage with the website and ask them to provide feedback. You can do this by directly reaching out to users through email or prompting them to complete surveys while browsing the site. Before conducting feedback surveys, it’s good practice to determine a broad sample size to represent your wider user base.
Once you’ve collected feedback, you can then ask your development team to implement the relevant changes. Doing this will enable you to refine your social media platform and provide users with all the required features. As a result, internet users will feel valued, enjoy the platform’s user experience and keep engaged with the website.
Step 5: Maintain Your Social Network Website
After you’ve refined your social media site to fit the requirements of your user base, you must then work hard to actively maintain the platform. This means working closely with your chosen development agency to identify bugs and functionality issues. Resolving issues swiftly will ensure your platform remains user-friendly.
Ensuring your website is well-optimized post-development will also help increase your SEO score and, thus, SERP rankings. One major factor in ensuring your social networking website ranks highly on Google, and is therefore widely discoverable, is speed optimization. Fixing bugs and issues that slow down your website will help keep it in good standing with search engines.
Things To Consider
You now know how to build a social network website like Facebook. However, there are still some important factors to consider when developing a media website based on user-generated content.
When users upload content to your platform, there is a risk of them infringing on copyright and intellectual property laws. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is a requirement that your website includes a mechanism to report such copyright violations and that you follow specific procedures. You can read more about how to implement DMCA mechanisms and correctly follow government guidelines in the Idea Maker guide to DMCA [LINK to DMCA article].
As the world becomes ever more politically polarized, an increasing amount of misformation spread across social media platforms. Depending on your target audience, for instance, if your social networking site is aimed towards political discourse, you may wish to combat misinformation. A simple way of doing so is to ensure questionable content is marked as unreliable or ask users to provide sources for their information.
As discussed early, Facebook has several features to ensure its user base is safe while browsing the platform. It’s vital to ensure your social media website has similar features, such as post reporting and blocking, or else you risk your platform becoming an unsafe environment for users. Asking your existing users what additional safety features they’d like to see implemented is an excellent way to satisfy safeguarding requirements.
After reading this article, you should now be able to make social networking websites like Facebook. This article covered the following:
- What is Facebook?
- Why is Facebook popular?
- What features does Facebook have?
- How to make your own social network like Facebook.
Make a Social Media Website Like Facebook with Idea Maker
If you’re looking to build a social networking website like Faceback, consider Idea Maker. We have an expert team of dedicated developers ready to create a high-quality, well functioning website. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more.