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It's never been easier to start a social network. Succeeding is another story

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.4%. 1 min read.

So what does it take to launch a successful social platform in the year 2021? The answer is part technical and part strategy, and the breakdown between the two reflects how dramatically different the challenges are for new entrepreneurs compared to the days of Mark Zuckerberg hacking together Facebook from his dorm room.

But if Trump gets his way, that may change — he's reportedly planning to launch a brand-new social media platform that presumably won't restrict his content.

So what does it take to launch a successful social platform in the year 2021?

Despite those technical obstacles, early social networking companies like Facebook and Twitter (TWTR) enjoyed a distinct advantage: They were some of the earliest movers in an entirely open field, making it easy to acquire users and build a massive following.

And instead of engineer salaries, the bulk of a new social platform's costs are now more likely to be recurring fees paid to cloud service providers.

A simple social networking platform with a small audience might only cost a few thousand dollars per month in recurring expenses, said Burfield.

But an even bigger challenge than building the product is figuring out what product to offer and explaining why your social network is unique and worth users spending the scarcest commodity — time — on.

After watching Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify (SPOT) and others increasingly dominate the industry, the biggest problem for would-be social entrepreneurs is figuring out how to siphon users away from the incumbents.

Supposing that a new social media platform can get off the ground, it then confronts a host of linked problems.

"The challenge won't be creating a social network or even getting millions of people to listen to what he says," said Burfield.

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