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What Makes Social Networking Apps Successful?

By Prateek Saxena
April 5, 2021 5. min read
Last update on: June 8, 2021

Beside the connections with friends, colleagues, family, and strangers, social media gradually helps brands to connect with the users and audience.

Current estimates peg the total number of social media users worldwide at 4.20 billion in 2021. While the uninitiated connect the rise of social networks with the mass production of smartphones and the overarching reach of free internet, that is far from the truth. The actual evidence points to a rather slew of social media app features plugged-in to play around with the chemistry of the human brain. 

Having analyzed the best social media apps in the current times, let’s know more about the social media apps like WeMe that are creating the buzz and benefiting the wider community of social media application development.

Below, you will discover a 2D view of the social media universe that is largely responsible for the average user spending 145 minutes per day on such platforms. Let’s get to it!

Social Network users worldwide 

What is Common Between Successful Social Media Apps?

The following traits have been observed to connect the subjective dots between the leading social media platforms of the day. 

Built-in social hypnosis

Any social media app for mobile aims to get popular and prolong its use with the help of viewers. The features of a successful social media app therefore, must integrate specifications that can keep users hooked so much so that they lose track of time. Irrespective of the platform-type, it is safe to say that a social media app should have an unending supply line of content that intrigues users and raptures their subconscious minds. 

A successful social media app places huge bets on first being free to use, and second offering next-level personalization (more on this in a bit). 

The goal is to be authentic and naturalistic. Just as user engagement goes up, so do the ad revenues which primarily are the blood vessels of the most used social media apps

facebooks global revenue

Personalized content 

The secret recipe to create social media apps with a lasting impression is to offer personalized content. Thanks to a hyper-involvement of AI, ML, and big data silos that a social media app developers like us at Appinventiv, have the capabilities to harness user information for tinkering and tailoring content offerings. Never downplay the role personalization plays in user engagement. 74% of the customers feel annoyed if the website content is not personalized. 

Facebook can curate data with uncanny accuracy because it has over 5000 data points on each member. 

Millennials and Gen-Z together form the Demand Generation. They want content on-demand. A successful social media app can fulfill this hunger for gratifying content only if it has built-in mechanisms for data collection, the elixir for pinpoint personalization. 

Infinite scroll 

The infinite scroll proved a path-breaking discovery in terms of innovation and social media app ideas. It is the social network equivalent of the auto-stream feature on video platforms like YouTube and Netflix. For anyone wondering how to create a successful social media app, this is where you start. Scientific studies have uncovered the workings of the exposure effect

Long story short, the more often your brain views a certain (neutral) thing, the more it is disposed to like it. 

While social media app users may not be aware of it but that is the methodology their brain is subjected to. As a social media app development company, we know too well how things come a full circle. 

Offer likable content – develop user interest – customize content feed – keep at it. 

ranking system 

Social reward mechanism

One of the advantages of social media is that it lets people share their achievements, state of mind, and ongoing experiences. But there is another side to their personal story. Users rejoice when their friends join in on the act and engage with posts by likes, emojis and comments, and re-shares. The most used social media app, Facebook, has leveraged the power of ‘likes’ to its fullest on its subsidiary concern Instagram, with the competition following suit. 

For social media app users likes and dislikes are the strongest indicators of the shareability of a post. Research posits accumulating likes on a post releases dopamine that delivers a satisfying kick. 

This is nothing but a reward mechanism, something of an open secret to building a successful social media app.

Leveraging social urges

Social media app design ideas are guided by human psychology, at least in the current scheme of things! They integrate and to an extent, tap into our levers of social pressures to make us prolong the app use. Consider WhatsApp for instance. In what has been one of the most well-received social media app ideas of the last decade, its success prompted developers to zero-in on granular aspects of sociology. 

By convention, humans feel obliged to respond if they know their message has been read. Therefore, when WhatsApp introduced the blue color read receipts, it integrated a feature that made people respond instantly. As a social media app development company in USA, we know how important such tactics are to the success of the venture.  

Types of Social Media Platforms 

Alright, so it is clear what distinguishes successful social media ventures from those that flounder. Yet a few questions remain such as:

  • What types of social networking platforms are there? 
  • What is the cost to build a social media app
  • And, what programmable features should social networking app development companies pug-into such platforms? 

Instant messengers and video curation platforms aren’t the only networking alternatives in the market, though they have come to dominate it.

most popular social networks  

We can classify social networks by their TG in the following brackets: 

1.  Network building apps

This encompasses Facebook, Twitter, and the LinkedIns of the world. Their USP is connecting people on either a personal or professional front. 

2. Media sharing apps 

Networking isn’t all about opinion exchanges. Smartphones metamorphose our feelings into shareable content be it videos, images, or articles. This category focuses on such media sharing and has names like YouTube, Imgur, and Pinterest. 

3. Discussion boards

You have multiple alternatives to voice questions, answers, and opinion pieces on networks like Quora, Reddit, StackOverflow, and lest we forget, Yahoo! Where it all began. 

4. Business review forums 

Feel you’ve been duped by a brand? Shout out your story to the world and offer a tell-all to others in the community. Websites offering such services include Yelp, Business.com, and the Expressit App. 

5. Company review platforms 

Since we are reviewing our purchase decisions, how about employers! This category has opened Pandora’s box in letting out insider information to the public. Examples include Glassdoor, Indeed, and the Muse. 

6. Blogging networks 

Content will always be the king. Networks like Medium, and Steemit reward writers for their work amplifying the unbending power of the letter. 

7. Relationship networks 

Their goal is to match profiles based on the registered biodata. From dating to hitchhiking, and rent-sharing, this bracket includes sites like Tinder, Badoo, and Airbnb. 

Features Of Social Media Apps 

If you are budgeting funds for the cost of social media app development, then it is better to first go to the drawing board and finalize the app’s features. This is not an overnight procedure but a well-defined loop that involves project management, custom development, business analysis, and quality assurance. Yet, speaking strictly of features some are universal in apps of such nature. 

In our experience, the following specifications make the cut for all social networking apps of the day: 

File-sharing

The platform must support multi-media file sharing 

Multi-lingual support

If you plan to go global, then supporting target-region languages is highly recommended. 

Privacy settings

Members should be able to customize their profiles and make public only the necessary facets of personal info. 

Notifications

Send reminders to people of picking up where they dropped off. 

Content personalization

This is more of a capability than a feature, the extent of which is directed by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 

Comments, likes, shares

In trying to create social media apps, ensure that they allow cross-platform content sharing. 

Audio content

This is the new audio based social media app feature. In audio only feature, the users are able to enter the chatroom only if they are invited. Example: Clubhouse

Infinite scrolling

One of the greatest advantages of social media is that people get to discover new content. Take advantage of this yearning and offer a limitless supply of scrollable dope.

Final Thoughts 

Social media app development is no joke. Our first-hand experience with our Canadian partners proved an epiphany. It made us realize the potential and the throbbing need for backing up social media apps with machine learning. 

In our coming of age project, we designed Karavan, a social network for people living in the now. Building ground up, we scaled operations to the beta stage in just under 7 months. Our ethos is simple. We take up projects that tip-toe the line between nightmares and global fame. On most occasions, we earn the latter and in the case of Karavan, it was no different. 

Thanks to this guiding principle, we were voted the top App Development Company of the Year by Entrepreneur, and the Most Promising Mobile Application Solution Provider by the CIO Review.

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER
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