“What are some of the top features of social media apps?” If you are thinking about developing a social media application, you may be asking yourself this critical question in order to improve the chances of your software becoming a success. However, the answer is not simple and tends to vary depending on your industry and your target audience’s preferences.
Each industry has its own respective demographic base, and each demographic has its own unique needs and pain points. Therefore, in order to determine the best social media app features for your specific customers, a bit of research will be required to ensure you provide the right products and services. That being said, there are certain features that all popular social media apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (to name a few) have in common.
In this post, we’ll cover ten universal features that every social media app should have in order to provide the best possible User Experience (UX).
Key Essential Features of a Social Media App
Not every social media app that hits the market is going to go viral. However, there are a few things you can do to nudge it in the right direction. When strategizing the concept for your new social media app, it’s important to closely examine the features of the current most popular applications. While they all have signature traits, there are certain commonalities between them.
Here are 10 key features every social media app should have:
#1: Simple and Friendly User Interface (UI)
One of the first things you should consider during the Ideation process of building your app is its User Interface (UI). In other words, the means by which users interact with software. An app’s UI incorporates several elements, the content and media layout, input controls, navigation, and more. Regardless of your target audience, your social media app should have a simple and easy to navigate UI that allows users to find what they are looking for quickly and hassle-free.
#2: Visually Appealing and Accessible Design
Many times, new social media applications fail to gain users because they are poorly designed. They may have a bunch of random, inconsistent elements that do not mesh well and create a sensory overload for users, preventing it from being accessible to everyone. Just like any other application, a social media app should have a consistent, accessible, and seamless design with fonts and color schemes that are carefully chosen to promote a cohesive and pleasant User Experience.
#3: Secure Login
Social media app users are likely to share a range of information, whether publicly or privately. Because of this, their information must be kept as secure as possible to prevent malware attacks or identity theft. A key feature of social media apps is the ability to create a unique user account with personal login settings and identification methods that allow users to provide their name, contact information, location, occupation, and other personal data to the extent they choose as well as multiple verification methods for logging in, such as a backup email or code authentication. Through DevOps best practices, you will be able to secure users’ data.
#4: Networking Element
They don’t call it “social media” for nothing! Among the most sought-after social media features is the ability to create a personal or professional network. The network may consist of friends, family, colleagues, or people with similar interests. It’s up to the user to choose. Some people create accounts for personal networking and others for business purposes, however, it’s important to ensure your app allows users to add one another into their networks and follow one another.
#5: Content Sharing Method
Most social media app users want to share things with their network. Content sharing is one of the best social media app features because it facilitates communication between people and lets users feel more connected, even when they are far away from each other. Content sharing can include the ability to post and send photos or videos as well as the ability to allow users to comment on what is shared.
#6: Messaging System
Similar to content sharing, one of the top features of social media apps is that they allow users to send both public and private messages to each other. Many social media apps even offer the option for users to engage in group chats and video calls. As long as users are connected to a WiFi network, messaging services will not affect the user’s data plans. This is a much easier (and affordable) way to stay in touch with people vs long distance calls or expensive text messages. Thanks to 5G technologies, these social media app features are expected to improve in the years to come.
#7: Open Forum
There’s no easier way to connect with like-minded individuals than through social media. Social media apps allow users to voice their opinions, rally together for a cause, or even discuss their hobbies. If you are thinking of building a social app, consider adding a forum-type platform through which users with similar interests can talk about their topics of choice.
#8: Real-Time Notifications
Real-time notifications and an activity feed are key social media features. Users want to stay in the know and be alerted when someone they are following posts, when a business they are following has a sale, or when a significant event occurs in the news. Be sure to include this feature in your app.
#9: Customizable Privacy Settings
There are users that enjoy sharing their information publicly and there are those that prefer to keep their content restricted to only users they know. A main feature among social media apps is allowing users to control their privacy settings. Your app should allow users to determine who can view their profiles, how much of their information is shared, and the ability to opt-out of certain marketing tactics, like tracking online browsing or shopping experiences.
#10: Versatility and Responsiveness
Finally, among the top features of social media apps is the ability for users to access the platform via desktop and mobile and for the UI to adapt and be responsive to different devices and screen sizes without losing any elements or deteriorating in quality. There should be little to no difference between what users see when they access your social app on their tablet vs their smartphone vs their laptop. Consider having a PWA version of your social media app so that users can access it easily through their browsers.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it, the ten most essential social media application features at a glance. However, these features should merely serve as a starting point for your application; there are plenty of other innovative features to consider when building a new social media app to help you stand apart from competitors in your industry. That’s where we can step in to assist.
Koombea’s app development team has been building successful custom applications since 2007 and we would love to help turn your vision into reality. Contact us today to discuss your ideas and learn more about how we can assist you in determining the best social media app features to include in your application.