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Community apps

In-app communications are the core of community apps, enabling users to engage and connect in real time to share common interests, goals, or activities.

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Community apps like Slack, Reddit, and Discord rely on a variety of real-time features to foster meaningful engagement, such as user-to-user chat, push notifications, voice and video calling, and chatbots. These capabilities allow mobile users to engage in private or group messaging, create groups and forums, schedule and host events, moderate content, and more.

Community apps aim to connect large numbers of users at once without disruptions or lag. To ensure a reliable user experience, businesses must have communications infrastructure that can support high-density messaging and calling between, potentially, millions of users at once.

How community apps use in-app communications

  • Private messaging: Users can initiate conversations with other individuals using in-app chat or messaging, having intimate discussions and sharing rich media to strengthen their connection.

  • Public messaging: Users can participate in group discussions or public forums, responding to the latest happenings, collaborating, and inviting others to join the conversation while messaging threading helps keep multiple conversations going at once.

  • Video and voice calling: Users can initiate voice or video calls in the app using built-in video or voice capabilities, enhancing the communications experience and deepening engagement.

  • Groups and forums: To foster discussion around a specific topic, users or administrators can create groups, forums, or channels dedicated to sharing knowledge, ideas, or seeking advice on a defined topic.

  • User notifications: Community apps use push notifications or in-app pop-ups to inform users of new messages, posts, comments, and other in-app activity to drive engagement. Custom notifications built with webhooks allow a business to trigger notifications and collect data around specific events for use with marketing and analytics.

  • Announcements: Apps or community leads can use in-app communications to share updates, make announcements, highlight upcoming events, and distribute information to a wide swath of users in the app.

  • Peer-to-peer support: In-app communications allow users to seek advice and receive support from others, share rich media, and enjoy a sense of belonging and camaraderie that fosters engagement and retention.

  • Moderation: In-app communications platforms provide moderation tools that allow businesses or community administrators to automatically detect and block toxic content, mute or deactivate bad actors, and maintain a respectful environment.

  • Customer support: Community apps can use chatbots, even those powered by ChatGPT, to provide users with FAQs, chat support, and access to support agents to ensure users can get help without delay.

Benefits of in-app communications platforms for community apps

  • Modern messaging features: Typing indicators, read receipts, friend and group lists, and other features contribute to a sense of live interaction and community presence that encourages engagement and retention.

  • Rich media capabilities: Users can share video, audio, GIFs, files, and other media files that deepen engagement and promote conversions. Automatic thumbnail rendering provides a preview of media, helping to streamline the experience.

  • Enhanced user experiences: Community apps look to communications platforms to enable truly seamless experiences enriched with the latest features that empower and retain users.

  • Cross-platform scalability: A reliable in-app communications platform can support 1 million concurrent connections and 500 million daily messages on any device or platform. This scalability allows apps to grow without re-coding its architecture.

  • Privacy and compliance: Leading communications platforms take steps to protect users, their data, and maintain compliance. Look for secure, regularly-tested information architecture and proof of compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and ISO27001.

  • Streamlined development: In-app communications platforms offer software development kits (SDKs) and user interface (UI) kits that make it easy to build and customize mobile communications for any device or platform. These resources allow developers to quickly create a visually appealing app experience, without coding the UI from scratch.

For community apps, growing a thriving user base means providing dynamic and reliable communication channels. Leading apps like Slack and Discord provide a seamless communications experience within a visually appealing UI.

To simplify the process of creating an on-brand and visually consistent app experience, developers can use the cross-platform SDKs and UI kits from Sendbird and other in-app communications platforms.

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