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Social media apps

Social media apps rely on in-app communications to connect users and engage them in meaningful, interactive experiences.

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Elevate in-app engagement eBook

This can include adding instantaneous chat capabilities, voice calling, video calling, live streaming, and push notifications to the mobile app. These capabilities enable a range of core features, such as direct messaging, group chats, content sharing, comments and replies, and more.

Social media apps grow by fostering a sense of community and belonging among users through a reliable, seamless communications experience. To this end, the communications infrastructure of a social app must be able to support high-density messaging, and be ready to scale with a growing user base.

How social media apps use in-app communications

  • Instant direct messaging (DMs): Social platforms build and maintain user communities primarily through responsive conversation that grow engagement through chats and connections made with friends in the app.

  • Rich media sharing: Users can share a range of content and rich media from outside sources to enhance the conversation experience, such as images, videos, GIFs, files, and more.

  • Push notifications: To drive engagement among inactive users, social apps send notifications to alert users of in-app activity, such as messages, comments, mentions, or friend requests. Users can customize notification preferences to see what’s relevant to them.

  • Comments and replies: Users can engage with comments, posts, and content shared by other users. This relies on conversation threads, a feature that facilitates multiple simultaneous conversations in one channel without user confusion.

  • Video calling and voice calling: Users can initiate live voice or video calls with one or more other users, allowing for intimate conversations that enrich the communications experience.

  • Emojis and reactions: Users can express their feelings about in-app activity using emojis and reaction buttons (e.g. likes, hearts, smiley faces). These fun, lightweight forms of interaction help to deepen engagement and retain users.

  • Live streaming: Users can broadcast to many viewers who interact via chat. Streams are a way to promote products and sponsorships, host watch parties, and deepen engagement through authentic face-to-face connections.

  • Private and public groups: Businesses and users can create, manage, and moderate any number of private and group channels in the app, fostering engagement and sharing information that caters to specific user segments or needs (e.g. support or marketing).

  • Polls and surveys: Users can distribute interactive content like polls, surveys, and quizzes, gamifying app interactions in a way that promotes and deepens engagement.

  • Safety and reporting: Users can report inappropriate or toxic content using built-in reporting and moderation features, helping to maintain a safe and respectful community.

  • Content moderation: To protect users from toxic content, community managers can use moderation tools included with in-app communication platforms. These include automated and manual moderation mechanisms, such as profanity filters, spam protection, or automated image blocking that help ensure safe, respectful interactions.

Benefits of in-app communications platforms to social media apps

  • Enhanced engagement: Users are more likely to engage and stick with apps that make it fun and easy to chat, share media, and use the latest communication channels to enjoy the presence of a respectful, like-minded community.

  • Modern messaging experiences: Users should have access to the latest messaging features (e.g. typing indicators, read receipts, emojis, friend lists) that foster a sense of community and enable a rich, WhatsApp-like messaging experience that keeps users in the app.

  • Data privacy and security: In-app communications platforms should protect user data and privacy. This includes providing secure, regularly-tested information architecture and complying with relevant user privacy regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and ISO27001.

  • Enhanced user safety and trust: Social media apps can use the automated and manual moderation tools of in-app communications platforms to detect and block inappropriate behavior to ensure a safe, respectful space for users.

  • Cross-platform scalability: Leading in-app communications platforms are built to support over 1 million concurrent connections and 500 million messages per day on any device or platform. This allows a business to grow globally without re-coding its architecture.

  • 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 help developers to create beautiful and brand-appropriate communications, without coding the UI from scratch.

Social media runs on in-app communications. The most popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook provide a range of interactive communications functions within a visually appealing, consistent UI.

Sendbird and other in-app communications platforms offer SDKs and UI kits for every device and platform, helping businesses get to market faster with beautifully branded communications.

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