Social Media is a word that requires no introduction. With the growth of social media, the world has become a small village that is connected within a matter of a few fingertips.
The Rise of Social Media
Undoubtedly social media has changed our world. Right from accessing news, reserving tables in your favorite restaurant, and finding your partner, to demanding a political change, we do it all through social media platforms. The world of social media is much bigger than it sounds. Imagine a world of 7.7 Billion people, with at least 3.5 Billion being online. Amazed right? Facebook forms the largest social media platform and has 2.4 Billion active users. But when did the trend of social media start?
Arguably, MySpace was the first social media site in 2004 to reach a million active users monthly. The journey of social began as a desktop experience and shifted to mobile and tablets with technological advancement. With the expansion of cellular capabilities and turning into smartphones supported by high-speed wireless connectivity, it became more readily available everywhere. With social media apps running smoothly on smartphones, users are taking them wherever they go. Many businesses took advantage of this social media mobility by providing a newer and simpler purchase interaction.
With the pandemic and social mobility restrictions in place, more and more people have been finding ways to meet and connect with people virtually. This is why many people are trying to create new ways of social interaction. Like Clubhouse, a social media app that focuses on audio-only chat rooms has seen tremendous growth since it was launched right before the pandemic. Even popular social media apps have seen an increase in users over time. Not only these, but many other small social media apps are gaining traction.
Building Social Media Applications With AtliQ Technologies
We have built a few social media apps over the last 2 years. Some have been focussing on dating and letting new people meet each other. We have built certain communities too. One of the apps that we built focuses on connecting people to discuss general health and well-being, and another allows people to share recipes and photos of food. We are also building a few other apps right now, one of them allows users to create sub-communities and then conduct polls, another, however, aims at connecting the people who love to party and simultaneously allows clubs and entertainment businesses to let users interact better when they’re at the place physically.
Challenges While Building Social Media Applications
When developing social media applications, it becomes important for all the stakeholders to be enlightened with all facts and possible hurdles which will come along with the development process of these apps. Usually while building this or any app, the first concern is selecting the key ideas and filtering out things that can get irrelevant to the MVP. The key factor to building a product or a social app is to get it to the market to test it out at the earliest and at the same time not miss out on any groundbreaking features.
One of the most commonly faced challenges is selecting the MVP- Minimum Viable Product. By the time the team reaches this point, they have made decisions for the social media application. An MVP is typically the first iteration of the social media network which can be put out to the market and measure people’s reactions. In this, all the involved members mutually select the most important features which should be included in the application. The product management team plays a major role in this because for clients every feature is important. And thus, it becomes the duty of the product managers and analysts to help the client figure out the priority keeping in mind the target audience, go-to-market time, and budget. Always remember to build something that matches what the users really want.
While building a social media application is tiring and time taking, it is important to minimize the launch time without compromising the product quality. Also, it becomes important that the product runs smoothly and gives an outstanding user experience. We aim to deliver a product that meets all the expectations, based on customer requirements, platform standards, and user experience. At every milestone, we check for usability, user acceptance, and experience, not only to ensure that there’s no bug or a missing feature but also to ensure the best user experience.
How Do We Overcome These Challenges?
When we start with product engineering, we first finalize a feature roadmap and select the important features which can be published in the initial launch. By this, we save excess time and money, and also avoid loading the application with too many features, even before the users expect it.
We always keep an eye on making the user interface as simple & comprehensive as possible. We define every element in simple terms, which are relevant to its easy usability. User stays engaged with the application for a longer period when they find it easier to explore and navigate. When it comes to designing, the primary concern is layout as it decides the flow & position of the content.
In order to reduce the go-to-market time and save the product development cost, we use services like Algolia, Getstream, and CometChat. Getstream is a scalable API that is used for building social networks, activity feeds, and chat apps. CometChat is an in-app communication platform that delivers a secure and easy-to-use solution, that will help in driving user-to-user engagement for social media applications. Such services enable us to get to the market faster, with a high-quality user experience.
Our Tips for People Who Are Looking to Build Their Own App
With 80% of the world being internet users and smartphones being their primary source of connection, the need for creative & innovative apps has increased like never before. With such a rising increase, comes a number of ideas that are looking for a breakthrough. If you have an idea that can serve the need and solve the problem, there is no limit. Here’s what you should keep in mind before you start to build your own app.
- Focus on creating a USP
- Don’t overdo features
- Don’t be afraid to use ready-made services for certain features
- Make it accessible
- Get the user feedback & apply them positively
Ready to develop your first user-friendly social media app? Contact us!