How To Generate Revenue With Social Media App?

It is no secret that social media apps are quite popular these days. 

Apps like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat, etc have billions of users. And in the process these platforms are generating billions in revenue. 

There are various companies and startups who want to create their own social media app. Here, the first question that comes to mind is, can social media apps generate revenue for you?

Well, the answer is YES, they can.

In this blog, we shall be discussing all you need to know about social media app monetization. Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it:

Social Media App Market Statistics

Before we create a dating app or any other form of social media app, let’s look at the market statistics. 

  • The global social networking app market was valued at USD 49.09 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 310.37 billion by 2030, growing at a staggering CAGR of 23.7%.
  • This growth is driven by factors like rising smartphone penetration, increasing internet accessibility, and the emergence of new features and functionalities.
  • 4.88 billion people, or 55% of the global population, have social media accounts as of 2023.
  • The average smartphone user spends 2 hours and 20 minutes per day on social media, translating to 70 hours per month.

Now, before you work with a social media app development company to develop your own app, let’s see how much popular solutions make in the market.

So, people were asking do social media apps make money? Let’s look at the table showing how much top social media platforms make in their respective niches.

The table is, as mentioned below: 

PlatformMonthly Active Users (MAU) in MillionsRevenue (USD billion)
WhatsApp2,000N/A (subscription model)
TikTok1,500N/A (advertising-based)

Monetization Strategies For Social Media Mobile Apps

Now, it’s time to look at how you can optimize media and entertainment app development to generate millions for your business.

In this section, we shall be going through 10 monetization strategies and one bonus.

Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it: 

1. In-App Advertising

You can think of it like subtle banner ads seamlessly woven into your newsfeed, native ads mimicking your content like chameleons, or engaging video snippets that fit like missing puzzle pieces.

This classic model lets advertisers whisper sweet nothings (about their products) to your engaged audience, while you earn without disrupting the user experience. 

Imagine Facebook’s targeted ads whispering about your deepest desires, or Instagram’s native sponsored posts disguised as your friend’s latest haul.

2. Freemium Model

Hook users with a taste of your app’s magic – basic features, limited filters, and a sprinkle of engagement. 

Then, like a seasoned magician, unveil the real deal: advanced filters that transform selfies into masterpieces, data insights to refine your social strategy, and an ad-free oasis where content flows uninterrupted. 

A good example would be, LinkedIn’s premium profiles showcasing your professional prowess to the world, Spotify’s ad-free music that fuels your focus, or Canva’s pro tools that turn design novices into Picassos in a few clicks.

3. Subscriptions

With a subscription based model for social media app, you can crave exclusive content, early access to features, and an escape from the ad avalanche.

Subscriptions are user’s VIP pass to the inner circle.

Netflix’s library of binge-worthy shows, YouTube Premium’s ad-free music paradise, or Twitch’s emotes and subscriber-only streams are all example of subscription based monetization. 

4. Virtual Goods and Services

Let your users paint their digital landscape with personalized avatars, express themselves through custom stickers, or flaunt their wealth with virtual currency to unlock exclusive features. 

Here’s a popular example of this social commerce monetization: LINE’s vibrant sticker marketplace, Animal Crossing’s adorable furniture purchases, or Roblox’s in-game currency that fuels creativity and commerce. 

Just like them, you can unleash your inner entrepreneur and build a thriving virtual economy within your app!

5. Influencer Marketing

Are you inspired by TikTok’s branded hashtag challenges, Instagram’s influencer-curated shopping collections, or Snapchat’s sponsored filters used by millions?

Well, can catapult your app to viral fame and skyrocket your user base via influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing taps into the power of social media stars to promote your app to their loyal followers. Sponsored posts, product placements, and exclusive collaborations –   

With this social media app monetization model, you can capture millions through the eyes of their beloved online idols. 

6. E-commerce Integration

Why just connect people when you can connect them to their next shopping spree? 

Now, you can transform your app into a bustling marketplace by partnering with brands, integrating affiliate marketing, or even building your own in-app shopping haven. 

Instagram Shopping’s seamless product tagging, Pinterest’s curated boards leading to instant purchases, or Amazon’s powerful in-app shopping experience  are popular example of eCommerce integration in social media app to make money.   

7. Data Monetization

Your users generate valuable insights with every tap, swipe, and scroll. 

With their consent, anonymize and aggregate this data to unlock a treasure trove of information for businesses and marketing agencies.

This is a strategy that is utilized by top platforms like Waze. The traffic data informing navigation apps.

Here’s another example, Foursquare’s location data powering personalized recommendations, and Strava’s fitness data enriching athletic research.

9.  Gamification

Lastly, we have gamification.

Level up your user engagement with the power of play. Integrate points, badges, and leader boards to turn everyday actions into rewarding quests. 

With this strategy, you can make achieving goals fun, addictive, and even profitable through in-app purchases or ad views. Remember, a sprinkle of game mechanics can turn user engagement into a delightful dance with your revenue goals.

There are a lot of apps that we use in our day to day life that use this strategy, these are: 

Duolingo’s gamified language learning, Nike Run Club’s virtual running competitions, or Habitica’s monster-slaying productivity app.

Bonus Point: Embrace the Power of Hybrid Models!

Don’t limit yourself to just one strategy. 

You can always experiment with a combination of these tactics to cater to different user groups and maximize your earning potential. 

Imagine a freemium model with exclusive in-app purchases, ad-free subscriptions alongside influencer collaborations, or data monetization fueling the development of even more engaging features.

Always remember, your social app is a living, breathing ecosystem. Constantly analyze user behavior, adapt your strategies, and stay ahead of the curve. 

With the right monetization plan and a sprinkle of innovation, you can watch your app soar from the app store and become the next social media sensation!


This is how you can generate revenue with social media app. And if you think you need to update your current app and want to develop a new social media app, consult a mobile app development company who can help you with the same.