The social media app development sector has recently seen a spike in popularity. The rejuvenated interest in this sector can be attributed to two major factors: the COVID-19 pandemic and the public outcry over what major social media giants do with user data.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a massive surge in the popularity of social media apps. Frequent lockdowns forced us all into our homes, and our only connection with the outside world was these social media apps. According to DataReportal, there are 4.55 billion social media users around the world as of October 2021. Furthermore, in the last 12 months, 409 million new users started using social media apps!
When so many people are using social media apps, concerns over data maltreatment are bound to rise. When we talk about data security and ownership, we have seen many scandals break out over the poor handling of user data from big corporations like Facebook and Amazon in the past few years. As a result, people are now looking for social media apps that handle their data ethically.
Due to the above factors, there is a vacuum in the social media app market. Many startups are trying to bring new and exciting social media apps that respect and protect their users’ privacy. While there is no shortage of new social media startups launching every year, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram own most of the market. Given how all three of these apps fall under the same umbrella company Meta, which doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to user privacy, people are desperately looking for new and safe social media apps like HalloApp.
And if you are looking to develop a social media app like HalloApp, we have created a list of all the features you must have in your app to make it stand out from the herd.
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What is HalloApp?
Developed by two former WhatsApp employees, HalloApp is a social media app that puts user data security at the heart of its operations.
HalloApp calls itself a space for real relationships. The only thing HalloApp ever asks you to share is your phone number. It allows you to use your phone number to connect with friends and family in a safe place without any pestering ads, brands, or influencers clogging up your feed.
The most significant selling point of HalloApp is that it compresses your social media life to just those people you are close to. Since it depends on your contact list to create your feed and friend list, no influencers and brands clutter up your feed. HalloApp tries to give you a safe space where you can link up, share, and have fun with just the people who are closest to you.
But that’s not all. Privacy is the key when we talk about social media apps, and so, HalloApp provides end-to-end encryption and saves all your messages on your devices instead of up in the clouds. It allows them to give their users an added layer of privacy in their apps because since they don’t have your messages, they can’t read them either.
HalloApp truly brings privacy back to social media apps and scales back on all the unnecessary and daunting features that more prominent apps in the market keep selling to their users as innovation.
Key Features to Add to Your Social Media App Like HalloApp
If you are thinking of building a social media app like HalloApp, start by deciding which features you want to add to your platform. Given below is a list of all the exciting features that will help your app carve out an identity for itself:
1. End-to-End Message Encryption
End-to-end message encryption is a staple in social media apps like WhatsApp and HalloApp. End-to-end encryption is a system of communication in which only the people communicating can read the messages.
When a user sends a message, it is encrypted, and no third party has the means to decrypt it and read or modify it. Only the intended user can decrypt this message and read it. It prevents conversations from being eavesdropped on by any third party, including the service provider.
If you want to develop a successful social media app, you must put user privacy before anything else. And end-to-end encryption is the first and most significant step in that direction.
2. Disappearing Messages lanning
Taking the privacy factor even further, you can add the disappearing messages feature to your app. When people live in conditions where privacy is not an option and anybody can use their phone and read their messages, disappearing messages are a lifesaver. These messages automatically get deleted after some time.
Disappearing messages don’t always have to be used to hide private conversations from snooping eyes. Sometimes, especially in big groups where a lot of conversations take place, disappearing messages can help declutter the mess.
Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram already offer disappearing messages, and if you are developing a social media app with user privacy in mind, then you should consider adding this feature as well.
3. Posts and Statuses
What is a social media app if it doesn’t let you post pictures of your salad, pumpkin spice lattes, and dog in a bunny costume? The lynchpin of social media apps is the sharing of private moments with loved ones. So, you must allow your users to post images and videos on their walls, share stories that disappear in 24 hours, etc.
But simply having these two features won’t be enough. It would help if you gave editing tools for people to play around with. People expect things like adding music, GIFs, stickers, etc., to their stories in their social media apps.
HalloApp allows you to share posts and stories to your contact list, thus making sure only the people you trust and know can peek behind the curtains and see what you’re up to.
4. Like, Share, Comment, Save anning
Being able to post something is not enough. What people love is getting engagements: comments, shares, likes, saves, etc. These things work as validation for the users. And while actively chasing validation and obsessing over it is harmful to mental health, when people you know and love comment and like your posts, it reinforces your confidence.
What’s better than chatting with one friend or family member you like—talking to all of them at the same time. Nothing beats being in a social media group with friends and family members where you can all talk about, well, anything. Every social media app worth its salt allows its users to create groups. HalloApp allows you to make a group of up to 50 people. Much like most other platforms, a group in HalloApp has an admin, and they are responsible for adding people into that group.
6. Great Messaging Features
Give users the option to make chatting with their friends more entertaining and expressive. Text messages can be very constricting, and a lot of times, nuance and context are lost, creating misunderstandings. That is where GIFs, emojis, and other such visual aids come in. Most social media apps nowadays allow uses to send emojis and GIFs in their chats. And if you are thinking of building a social media app like HalloApp, you should consider adding such features.
7. Video and Voice Calls
Text messages are great, especially when you have the option to send GIFs and emojis. But sometimes, that is still not enough. Most social media apps these days provide video and voice calls. Of course, since the conversation is taking place over the internet, these calls rely on your WiFi and data packs instead of your talk value.
8. A Great UI/UX
It doesn’t matter how many great features you add to your app; if you don’t have a UI/UX of equally high quality, then your app will fail.
For a social media app like HalloApp to tear users from the existing social media apps, a fantastic design is necessary. The color selection should be impeccable, and so should other visual elements. Every screen should be meticulously designed in an organized manner. None of the key features should be hidden inside side menus. The core features of your apps should always be available to the users without much effort.
Your app shouldn’t also be over cluttered with features. While having an app chock-full of features might sound like a great idea, it isn’t. Having more features means your UI will start to clutter up. Furthermore, with every new feature you add, you will make the app more and more complicated. This will further make your app heavier and slower. Nobody likes to use an app that lags. So, make sure that you give enough care to your UX while developing your social media app.
How to develop a social media app?
Mobile app development is not an easy task that you can commit to after waking up in the morning one fine day. No, it requires months of planning and research before you can even think about getting started.
After that, the development and testing phase takes a lot of time as well. Suffice to say that mobile app development is a huge undertaking that requires both time and money.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not doable at all. With proper planning and the right mobile app development company backing you up, there is no limit to what you can achieve.
1. Research and Planning
Every mobile app development phase starts with sound research and detailed planning. You need to know what the market is like, who your competitors are, what people like and dislike about them, and who your customers will be before you start working on your app.
Furthermore, you also need to research what type of app you want to create. Broadly speaking, there are two types of apps: native and hybrid. Native apps are platform-specific high-quality apps that need to be developed for each mobile platform (iOS, Android, etc.) separately. Hybrid apps are web-browser-based apps that constantly run on the internet and are not platform-specific. While they are not as high-quality as native apps, hybrid apps are cost-effective and take less time.
You will also need to land on a budget and find a mobile app development firm. While you can develop this app independently, an in-house development team is a significant investment that few new startups can afford. There are many experienced mobile app developers in the market that offer excellent services at affordable rates.
2. Develop Your MVP
Most startups prefer to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) for their app before releasing a full version. Think of an MVP as a lite version of the final product. It only has the core features of the app and a great UI.
MVPs allow developers to release a product in the market quickly. It also allows them to get early feedback on the app.
Since it is an MVP, users will only talk about the core features and give you essential reviews about improving them. They will also tell you what other features you can add to turn your app into a complete social media package.
Most mobile app developers these days provide MVP development services. They draft contracts for only MVP development, and it depends on the client if and when they want to take their app further and add more features to it.
This flexible approach to mobile app development helps new startups with limited budgets. If the MVP gets a good response, not only does it reinforce their trust in their idea and developer, it sometimes gets more investors interested in the app.
3. Test and Deploy
Once the MVP is out in the market, you can start working on finishing your app. All the features and elements you decided not to add in the MVP can now be added, and all the more minor kinks can also be fixed.
After the development of the app comes the testing phase. Testers run your app through a series of testing algorithms and practices to ensure that the final result is of top quality.
Sometimes things are direr than a couple of misplaced icons; data leaks, backdoors, and other such problems are also identified during the testing phase.
Once the testing is done, the app is deployed to all major marketplaces. But that is not the end of the mobile app development journey. Once the app is out in the market, you need to constantly provide customer support and release frequent updates and new features. To keep people interested in your app, you need to supply them with a steady stream of exciting features.
Most social media apps nowadays are primarily marketing tools where brands and influencers are constantly trying to sell us one thing or the other. Our feeds are littered with ads and promotional content, and the actual essence of social media is now gone. Most social media platforms are better suited for creators these days and not for the people who just want to socialize with their friends and share what’s happening in their lives.
It doesn’t help that the social media giants have historically used user data very callously and without their permission.
All of these things add up to create a stressful environment on most social media platforms that not everybody enjoys.
HalloApp tries to bring simplicity back to social media platforms. It emphasizes heavily on privacy and gives you enough features to socialize with the people who are closest to you.
Are you looking for an experienced mobile app developer to help you with your social media app? Matellio has more than a decade of experience digitizing businesses all over the globe.
With the help of our talented developers and detail-oriented testers, we deliver high-quality digital solutions that add value to our customers’ businesses. From AI/ML to IoT and Blockchain, Matellio has a diverse range of experts with stellar records.
We work according to the Agile methodology of development. It helps us provide periodic and detailed reports and demos. Our client-centric approach allows us to respect and enhance our customers’ vision and create solutions that they want.
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