Why are social features so important in an app?

With five million applications available on the market, including a large number of dedicated sports, developers are doing their utmost to stay ahead of the competition. To improve their user experience, many are interested in social features, although they are often secondary. But why such an interest?

The first to use the apps are Millennials and Generation Z

Younger users, who are also called “digital natives”, are used to having a smartphone in their hands from a young age. They are therefore naturally part of the core target of application developers. Or, they invest all the more in a platform that offers social features, and allow to create and join a community.

With so many communities active in the app, Reddit is shaping the future of social platforms, for example. Naturally, it becomes clear that this generation appreciates the ability to interact with like-minded pairs anytime, anywhere. Young users are looking for a digital space in which to define themselves, share an opinion or get the latest updates on a subject they like.

It is for this reason that we see many applications or platforms of the old generation activating this type of functionality. This is the case of sports applications, which are more and more numerous to share their progress on social networks, or to invite their friends to motivate themselves! This is also the case with online casinos, which rely on interaction and emulation between players to keep them on the platform, and encourage them to bet more.

The 4 main social features

But concretely, what are these options that allow users to create a link on an application or a website? Here are the 4 main ones

  • 1. Social network integration process: either the possibility of being able to connect or integrate its social networks on an application or platform. This not only allows you to create a new account quickly. But also to be able to share what you do on an application with your contacts on the networks!
  • 2. Customizable User Profiles: Business apps that allow users to personalize their profiles by creating their own bio and uploading images also help boost user engagement and retention. For example, apps like Yelp depend on users to rate businesses. Viewing photos and bios of people who have reviewed a restaurant gives the review more credibility and humanizes the reviewer.
  • 3. The ability to “follow” or “add” other users. Even apps that aren’t primarily for social purposes can benefit from this feature. For example, music apps, like Spotify or SoundCloud, have “follow” and “add as friends” features that allow their users to share music and see what their loved ones are listening to.
  • 4. News feed to increase engagement. Almost three-quarters of social media app users read or watch news articles on their news feed. For example, Strava sports app centralize the activity of its users in a news feed, sharing the training of its subscribers. If a user follows other profiles on Strava, their daily activity is displayed as soon as they open the app. And he can congratulate them in order to encourage them in their effort (a bit like a like on Facebook or Instagram).

Social features to boost user engagement

Whatever the field, more and more digital businesses are relying on their users to grow. A strategy such as “user-generated content” thus makes it possible to improve its brand image, or to create trust with its target audience.

Social features also make it possible to recreate the very real communities that we may have missed during the lockdown. In sectors like gaming, or even online casinos, they replace the physical experience to which their users were used, and bring a deeper and more emotional dimension to a digital experience.

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