What Makes Social Media Apps Successful


In 2020, the value of online communication is extremely difficult to overestimate. Social media apps during the current crisis present the only thread that connects numerous people with their families and communities, and the market is naturally on the rise due to the skyrocketing demand.

Among hundreds of freshly launched social media apps, however, few make it to the top of the charts in app stores. Even fewer of those that manage to grasp users’ attention display high customer retention.

In this article, we’ll take a look at several factors that successful social media apps share to decipher the vital elements that stand behind being the first among many.

twitter, facebook, together
LoboStudioHamburg (CC0), Pixabay

Give the Development Process a Structure

Planning is the key to transforming a rough idea into a refined gem. Many people decide to jump to development as soon as the concept for their app emerges, and they tend to subsequently spend a fortune to ameliorate the errors or adjust the app after discovering it lacks an essential feature that their target audience craves.

A comprehensive process constitutes a huge portion of the app’s eventual success. Make sure that you plan ahead; your marketing strategy, post-launch campaign, customer retention methods, as well as a solid understanding of the app you wish to create and the technologies required are all the aspects that must be clear before you hire a team of developers. Read more about the process of creating a successful social media app in this article.

Keep in mind that relying on the process’s structure is different from overthinking every decision. Stumbling over choices as you go, weighing each option with excessive scrutiny—this type of perfectionism hinders your progress instead of enhancing it. Aim for a balanced ratio of planning to creativity and don’t fear changes that have good potential to improve the app.

Make It Habit-Forming

As much as many of us try to cut their daily phone usage, the ugly truth remains: a good app is an addictive app.

A mind-boggling 87% of social media users report checking Facebook at least once a day. Expanding on the statistic, 53% of Millennials tend to check Snapchat daily, and approximately 35% of those who open a social media app say they spend between 10 and 20 minutes there. Social media is ingrained into our daily routines, and apps that fail to spark and maintain the same engagement will inevitably be cast aside in favor of more familiar platforms.

While this tendency can be harmful, it’s important to recognize that, in the end of the day, users will always have to decide whether to click a certain notification, and your job is to provide them with this choice.

To integrate the app into your users’ routines, focus on how it can enrich their lives, and bring more value to their social interactions. For instance, push notifications help people stay up-to-date with their friends’ events, particularly for stories and other content that’s only available for a limited time.

Stick to Minimalism

Many creators in all industries struggle with accepting that uniqueness of a concept is no longer a viable route to greatness. Software development is no exception to this pitfall. The drive to create a brand new shining app that will revolutionize the field is familiar to many programmers and designers alike, and it’s incredibly easy to go down this road chasing novelty for the sake of innovation.

Overall, successful social media apps tend to have similar functionality, mechanics, and even key elements. Stories, for instance, originated in Snapchat and subsequently spread to Instagram and Facebook. While this feature was new when Snapchat rolled it out, it fit perfectly within the concept of the application, and thus users adopted it quickly and ascended this functionality into an irreplaceable part of this platform’s user experience.

An attempt to make an app unique frequently ends up in the accumulation of add-ons that feel foreign and redundant. These pieces of functionality are normally ignored or rejected by users who are satisfied with simple, clean, and convenient interfaces that other applications present. Unless you have a specific idea for a feature that your app cannot exist without, it’s better to put the most effort into refining your software rather than inflating it.

Personalize the Experience

Personalization is the new black in 2020. It’s hard to imagine a successful social media app that relies on generic choices to gain new users and keep the existing ones engaged. With the abundance of similar software on the market, users have a natural propensity to leaning towards applications that feel special, comfortable, and tailored to their particular needs.

Making an app personalized in a comprehensive endeavor. To achieve the best results, make sure you understand your target audience, their values, preferences, and drives first. Rely on research rather than assumptions. When you are able to pin down what messages and design choices will suit each of the groups within your target audience, implement these changes, and closely monitor the feedback, adjusting the future personalization efforts accordingly.

How to Make Your Social Media App Successful: Recap

With the overflowing mobile market that we have today, it’s incredibly difficult to predict which social media application will become the new game-changer. It’s important to remember that a big part of a mobile app’s success comes from luck, timing, and other circumstances that are impossible to forecast or control. With that being said, focusing on the things you can change is likely to boost your chances of getting to the top significantly.

Successful social media apps come from a brilliant idea, fitting implementation, and effective marketing. The interface of your application might not be the best your users have ever seen, but if it complements the main concept of the app and succeeds at being appealing to a particular group within your target audience, the loyalty to your brand will increase.

In other words, there’s only so far you can go with the novelty of your designs. Focus on being holistic instead of perfect, and you will get a step closer to success.

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