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The discovery of the Internet and its global spread has essentially changed the world in the end of last century, letting modern technological epoch start the new millennium. The world as we knew it ceased existing, bringing innovations into our daily routines. One of the spheres, highly incorporated in modern person’s everyday life is online networks. The research claims that, in 2018, 2.65 billion people – it constitutes about one third population of Earth – used different social media platforms worldwide, and it will only grow in next few years.
Time spent over social media app also increases. That triggers usage of social media platforms for business goals. Many companies tend to take advantage out of this boom, driving their brand building strategies to active interaction with customers through social media platforms.
We have already discussed trends among current social media platforms, like Instagram app and its content sharing mates.
Here OpenGeeksLab dwells upon social media application development, its must-have features, key points considering niche social networks. We will also share our experience in building such kind of a platform and prove field’s productiveness.
Since the emergence in 1970s, online communication services have undergone drastic changes in terms of design and functionality. Modern society suffers immense perspectives growth and constant leisure time reduction. Thus, modern services tend to unite hobbies and work, aiming at creating hybrid platforms, where users can interact with one another, enjoy favorite content, rest, as well as fulfill tasks, create portfolios, find jobs, cooperate with colleges, etc. Without a doubt ‘old good’ applications do not extinct, though new representatives are eager to grab own piece of market.
Key brunch issues include unique offer characteristics, different fields cooperation, customer engagement/retaining. Modern companies strive for making their products specific increasing competitive chances in comparison to huge market representatives. Thus, various fields, even antagonistic ones, cooperate for standing better competitive odds.
Online communication services represent a nice chance to create products that will take off, but simultaneously there is always a strong competition between ‘big businesses’ and newcomers.
There is a great number of successful examples: social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok help gaining popularity in online world; Tumblr, VSCO, Pinterest encourage serving as creativity and inspiration sources; LinkedIn, WhatsApp represent top business platforms nowadays, etc.
All successful social media apps like Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are called to replace ‘real life’ interpersonal communication, including various self-expression activities. People interact with their friends or followers sharing creative output through posting photos, videos or stories. Photo editing tools providing AR integration, various effects or presets are also welcomed in photo apps like VSCO, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
Advanced search with detailed filters incorporation makes user’s experience more smooth and pleasant because customers can easily sort the content and find exactly what they want: from trendy blogs to food recipes.
Recommendation feature ensures customization of the content, based on user’s preferences and data analytics (subscriptions, groups, likes, comments, most usable hashtags etc.). It eliminates time wasted on suitable info searching, offering just right content ready to be consumed.
Different types of social media platforms aim at creating own network of users engaged and loyal to resource. Thus, this functional issue deals with unique solutions, elaborated following abilities and activity tracking. Social media platforms for business usually consider having own network crucial, as far as people can find jobs, hire workers, create/check catchy professional profiles through, introduce company or product to future clients, etc.
Customers always love private social network functions, because they can discuss some serious questions or simply chat with their friends or colleges, like in messenger, without leaving the application proper.
One more customization function, but considering design and profile settings. Here such elements as personalized program look, dominant colors, background, content arrangement, etc. play essential part.
Many platforms provide the opportunity for users to join groups or meetings according to their interests. Such function helps creative people find support among like-minded mates or establish new useful contacts.
Various languages support represents a nice tool for expanding the target audience and engaging even more active users from all over the world.
The ability to share favorite content or repost it in another app like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc. contributes to positive user experience as well.
Influencer marketing has been one among most discussed topics during past few years. Despite immense demand trust factor is endangered in modern circumstances. People become sick and tired of promoted posts and ads failing to fit its target audience.
Our client was eager to create a marketplace that differs from other representatives of the niche. His idea was about designing a community-driven network service that would unite creators (photo artists, video makers, models, etc.) and famous brands only, without annoying excessive dull advertisement placement. That was the story behind the H Hub appearance.
Our client wanted maximum profit out of idea, thus he needed monetization. To turn crafting service into productive selling tool, we had to conduct thorough field research, including KPIs and SWOT analysis to understand objectives and peculiarities. Thus, we concluded with the following core issues list:
Designing the mobile version, out team bet on React Native solution, as it is compatible both with iOS and Android systems.
Cooperation means not only fast product making but long-lasting results, thus our Customer Success Manager (CSM) leaded the H Hub, helping our client in project management and successful sales program building.
Despite different time zones, we succeeded in seamless workflow and efficient communication launching final product without delays or additional expenses.
Developing process was directly controlled by CEO, CTO, and CSM. Immediate feedback from customers enabled fast efficient corrections and appropriate additions. Besides, our team optimized QA expenses due to tech lead’s code control at first hand.
To ensure monetization, we implemented different sections for free and paid accounts and best branded content payments.
Elaborated filter system allows companies sort offers/creator profiles according to various criteria (e.g. popularity among audience, skills, engagement, work style, geographical location, age, gender, etc.), thus they can get exactly what they want in shorter period of time.
Clients evaluate creators, they have worked with, and in-built rating algorithm distributes them according to their rates. The higher rates, the closer users to the top.
In order to attract clients or staff, companies can create project pages that are not finished (or even not started) yet or are about being launched.
Organizations invite renowned influencers to take part in their undertakings.
If brand wants mark some employee to keep him/her in mind, it can add bookmark. Bookmarks are sorted according to relevancy, name, personal data, etc.
Employers and employees can communicate via direct messages; whereas push-notifications are implemented not to miss important info.
All newcomers are carefully selected by moderators; customers possessing more than 10.000 subscribers can become membership part.
Providing visualized working results, employees upload, edit, share their portfolios.
Service contains up-to-date statistical data showing figures/graphs on followers, posts, engagement, commentaries, likes, etc.
Creators can gather like-minded mates to share experiences and cooperate with them.
To develop an end product six experts were needed: one project manager and five frontend developers. Web application building process took half a year, while mobile version (both iOS & Android) was rolled out within four months
Frontend part was written in Angular, while for backend we used Spring Java. To make mobile version performance fast and smooth, we used React Native. Google API was integrated to ensure user location tracking and analytics gathering. Besides, we made statistical data visually represented with Highcharts.
One more interesting feature we added is in-built brand shop, so customers could earn H-coins as a revenue for active program usage and spend it buying brand connected things.
The H Hub was launched in October 2018. It has already acquired more than 35.000 users round the globe and is going to actively expand in future. Forbes rewarded it like a service providing beneficial solutions to all parties, because thanks to the H Hub ‘influencer marketing is dead’. Famous brands, cooperating with our project, are Netflix, Brooks Brothers, FX, Sotheby’s, Abercrombie, Allbirds, etc.
There is always place for a new trend – seize the day! Consider your strengths to become part of the niche social media platforms occupy. Drop us a line and start building a social media platform that will take off!
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