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As we are coming to the end of 2017, we’ll start to notice the popularity of the social messaging app. Today social messaging app has become the new trend. A report by The Economist, which says:

A quarter of all downloaded apps are abandoned after a single use. The only instant messaging bucks the trend. Over 2.5 billion people have at least one messaging app installed. Within a couple of years, that will reach 3.6 billion, about half of humanity. The market’s leading duo, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, are nearing one billion monthly users each. Many teenagers now spend more time on smartphones sending instant messages than perusing social networks. WhatsApp users average nearly 200 minutes each week using the service.

In short, we can say that social messaging app has ingrained into our daily lives. A study from Forecasts have shown that 286 billion users could download apps by 2017.

In 2015 alone, reports show that Google’s Android platform had 50 billion app downloads, while Apple’s iOS had registered up to 25 billion.

Here are some popular social messaging apps which have ingrained into our lives.

1. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging app created in 2009 for smartphones that rely on the internet for the transmission of messages.

This mobile messaging app enables users to share text, image, and video message and in addition to this, it also provides the option for voice and video call. But in February 2014, social network Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion U.S. dollars.

Below are some Interesting facts about statistics.

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2. Snapchat

This photo sharing app was launched in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and now it has become one of the most popular social apps.

According to U.S. teenagers in 2016, Snapchat is the most important social network of their generation, ahead of photo-sharing competitor Instagram and other networks such as Twitter or Facebook.

As of April 2016, Snapchat gets 10 billion video views per day and it also passes 60 million daily users in U.S. and Canada.  

Check out these awesome Snapchat facts and figure.

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3. WeChat

WeChat is a mobile messaging app develop by the Chinese company Tencent in 2011. It was first, name as Weixin but, in 2012 Weixin was rebranded as Wechat for an international audience.

With over 697 million users, WeChat is considered as one of the leading social media network worldwide, placing fifth in the number of active users.

And in China, WeChat is the third most popular social networking site just behind Tencent-owned QQ and QZone.

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4. Facebook Messenger

The Facebook Messenger is developed for instant messaging. This app import facebook contacts and can be used both on mobile and desktop. Today, the app has 1 billion users and every month it keeps on increasing.

Here are some interesting facts about facebook messenger.

  1. 11% of the world population that uses facebook messenger monthly.
  2. The average number of message sent monthly between users and businesses on facebook messenger is 1 billion.
  3. An average number of sticker sent on facebook messenger daily is 380 million stickers.
  4. A number of photos that sent through facebook messenger per month are 17 billion.

Now let us take a look and see what it take to make a successful social messaging app.

Idea

Buulding an App like Snapchat isn’t unique but it’s important to find your uniqueness within that. That could be either in term of Niche/ industry, User Experience, Features, etc.

As Neil Patel says:

No idea, no matter how good, is truly unique.

Because people don’t need just another social messaging app. They want an app which provides  something unique that no other app in the market provides.

Also read: 9 Questions to Ask When Thinking About Mobile App Ideas

Let us see an example of a popular social messaging app.

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Few of them already heard about this app. But, most of them haven’t, it’s an app develop by Facebook but, only launch in Brazil.

The key feature of the app is that it only 25MB and has been only designed for a market where connectivity is poor and WIFI access is not always possible.

But, if you look at the screenshot of this app, it will remind you of Snapchat. From the way the send message symbols look to the way the filters show on the app, it’s all very snapchatty. The app also has a disappearing message just like Snapchat.

What makes this app different from Snapchat, it just only one thing that is, it takes less time to load stories and it can work on fewer amounts of data whereas, Snapchat takes the time to load stories and requires a good amount of data to work. And this is where Flash app stands out.

Features

After defining the specific idea for a social messaging app. Now it’s time to define the features of the app based on the uniqueness of your idea because it’s the feature of the app that connects with people’s and communicates with them.

Below are some of the common feature most app includes:

1. Like, Signing up with using existing social accounts such as Facebook, twitter or Google, which save the user time and provide a level of verification and discourage spammers.

Apps which provide social account signup are Tinder, PathTalk, and Line messenger.

2. Mobile number verifications which discourage people from creating a duplicate and fake profiles. Whatsapp and Snapchat are good examples of mobile number verification. They send you an SMS with a code during signup and ask you to verify that code.

3. Some apps also provide options such as inviting existing friends from other networks, which save user time on creating new friends and consumer love this.

So, if you provide something like this in your app which brings their friends along with them to onboard the new app.

Here are some other features, which you can add in your social messaging app, like:

  • Private & Group Chats
  • Rich Text – Emoticons, Photo & Video Sharing
  • Profiles
  • Adding & Following New People
  • Ability to see who is online for Real Time interaction.
  • Location sharing
  • Ability to chat with friends without the help of internet. But the requirement is your friends have to be in a 100-yard circle.

Cost & Execution

A social messaging app cost you anywhere from $20k -$200k per platform based on features, complexities and execution style.

Also Read: What really goes into estimating your iPhone App development cost?

But, with money you will need a good mobile developer, just like us who knows the nitty gritty of app development.

For free Estimate for your specific idea and feature set Click Here 

Now, let’s move on and see why it is important to have good User experience?

Well, When it come to mobile app development you have to devekop an app which have good UX because your app UX is what which will keep your users stick with your app and increase your downloads.

For better understanding let us dive into an example of a Sticky UX.

Tweetbot

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UX Highlights of this app:

  1. Tweetbot has pop-over window which allows super-quick switching between accounts, which is great for twitter users.
  2. It has a slide-down sub-menu for each tweet which makes replying and retweeting easy. And in addition to this, they also have custom icon bar at the bottom of a new tweet which makes adding tags, photos even easier.

Just like Tweetbot, if you want your user to have good user experience then the first thing you have to keep in mind is the design because good design creates a good user experience which makes your app valuable, easy to use and effective for your target audience.

Here are some benefits of having good UX design

1. Build trusted user base.

If you want your app to have a good customer base, then you really have to work on your design because, in an app, design is the first thing your customer notice and it also gives them a sense of value for having downloaded your app.

A good design app creates the kind of loyalty that keeps people coming back for more and increase engagement.

2. Increase sales.

It’s true, a well-designed app is what which is built around users, which increased sales and leave positive feedback.

And remember, in online world positive feedback is the key which will increase your app downloads and sales.

3. It makes your app stand out from your competitors.

According to statista, Android users were able to choose between 2.2 million apps whereas Apple’s App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2 million available apps.  And to stand out in this crowded market place is not an easy task.

But don’t worry there are few things you need to keep in mind if you want your app to stand out from the crowd.

  1. You need to involve your user from the beginning.
  2. Your app should be user-friendly and it should solve users problems.

Remember, one thing you have to do it right from the first time because you will never get a second chance with the same user. So, don’t make the user unhappy.

Marketing

If you think “If you build it, they’ll come.” then that’s not true because in this crowded marketplace people won’t find about your app on their own.

To get notice, you need to do solid marketing even before launching the app and for this you have to set aside enough budget for marketing.

Pre-Launch

If you want your app to be successful then your marketing strategy should start well before your app goes live in the app store.  Build up the hype of the launch, connect with bloggers, Professionals, Journalist etc. to have them write about your app launch.

Here are the few things, you must do in pre-launch:

  1. Get in the news.
  2. Pitch at events.
  3. Connect wit people on networking events and talk about your app.
  4. Put up a landing page and direct people to that.
  5. Make sure you have an Opt-In form for people to get on the invitee list.
  6. Build your list.
  7. You could also Run a Kickstarter or a Crowd Funding campaign if needed to raise money/spread the word.

Launch Day

On launch day, the only thing you can do is.

  1. Make sure your launch aligns with the bloggers and media / PR sites writing about you.
  2. Send out an email blast to all your invitee list.
  3. Apple gives you a push and a lot of visibility if you receive a lot of downloads and positive reviews in the first few days of your launch.
  4. Run Paid Campaigns.

Also read:  4 Outside the Box Ways to Improve Mobile User Acquisition

Post Launch day

Congratulation you have finally launched your app. Do you think this is the end of marketing, it’s not. it just the beginning. Here are few things you must do on your post launch day.

  1. Spread the word through Social Channels, Press / News Distribution, etc.
  2. Work with a Marketing Firm to help you go big on marketing.
  3. Do content Marketing.
  4. Sign up for an app store analytical application.
  5. Increase social sharing of content within your app as well as your app itself.
  6. Encourage users to rate and review your app.
  7. Install Mobile App Tracking

Conclusion:

All in all, Building a social messaging app is an exciting thing. Even though the competition is tough. if you have a plan and have someone who can help you in developing an app, then jump into the market.