Community mobile apps are the loch ness monsters of smartphone apps. Everyone's talking about them, everyone feels the need to create more of these apps, but no one knows how to go about them. Rather, no one knows what exactly community apps are and what their features are..
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Community apps are smartphone mobile applications for Android and iOS. They are developed specifically to cater the needs of a niche community or a group of like-minded individuals and professionals. These apps offer quick access to content of your interest and are usually curated by individual contributors.
Let's say you are a professional musician looking for gigs in Los Angeles, USA. You wish to be updated whenever there are new gigs happening, list of restaurants, bars and cafes which accept newcomers and give them a chance to showcase your talent and the kind of paying, non-paying options you will have when you do perform. Your app, in this case, would be a community music app, where you can register, create an account and upload your details.
The purpose of community apps is to connect people with similar interests or professions with ideas, content, job vacancies and trending news on their mutual interest topics. Community app features content organized by categories and can be browsed easily on-the-go. Most community applications feature discussion forums to give voice to varied opinions of users and convert it into knowledge sharing platform.
As a business, your goal should be to develop a community around your product or service. This way, you can have a steady stream of loyal followers who avail your services, buy your products and provide honest feedback to create a brand value.
Let's understand this with another example. Say you were able to get a steady gig in a restaurant and now perform there regularly. Now you want to build a community around the songs you play and request a feedback from your audience. Local community apps are the solution here. Of course, YouTube would be a great place to be, but it's easy to get lost in a sea of other wannabes there. Why not create a community app to build a brand image around you? Sounds like a good idea, isn't it?
It actually is. Provided you create your app in the right fashion.
Community apps development incorporates all favorite features and characteristics which your users like. Successful community app developers include popular app features, add industry or interest-specific features and create a seamless browsing experience for community users.
Let's have a look at these:
According to user surveys, nearly 61% smartphone users rate ease of use as the most valuable feature for preferring a certain app. Ease of use is not only what tools your app has, it is also how great your app is when users navigate, according to Google's research.Keep usability first when you begin designing your community application. Your app should be intuitive so that your target users and members can adjust quickly to your app. Clear, minimal interface with lots of useful features help in good app surfing experience.Some of the common navigational features include:
Access to blogs
Discussion forums and wiki links
Let's look at your app for example. Your community music app can give users an option to create a profile and upload their photo. They can then access discussion forums and receive messages from restaurant owners who would like them to perform in their restaurant. Your profile can have a portfolio area where you can upload short videos with ability to like and share your music from the app itself. If you would like to inform your followers of the dates of your next performance, you can do so in the events tab.
If you are planning to start developing community apps in iOS, you can have a great set of tools that come with Apple's development studio. Or get in touch with us; we have a great iOS community app development team at BluEnt with several years of experience to create an iOS application.
What happens when you open Facebook app after sometime? The page automatically refreshes to give you the latest news feed. You community app must be equipped with a similar ability to highlight new content first. This is very essential for keeping users engaged on your app for longer time periods.This will also allow you to grow a better and more proactive community of online users who keep your app populated with fresh content. In Google's jargon, this is referred to as "new things to explore".One of the main things when you want to leverage this feature is to have a repository of new content every time a user wants to surf your app. Granted, this can be time-consuming at first, but as your app users keep growing, your community will keep expanding.
This is particularly lucrative for businesses looking to develop potential followers around their brand. You can achieve this by motivating active customers with discounts, announcing new news and uploading fresh content from time to time.
Personally, I hate sites which cannot adjust to my screen size. It makes me cringe when I am reading an interesting blog piece and somehow I have to pinch-in my screen to adjust the content. Or when I am watching a cat video but the video stops when my screen switches to landscape mode.It's frustrating and it's bad for business!
You may have excellent content, you can be quite talented and you can have several followers; but if your app is not providing them the best viewing experience, your brand image is in serious danger. Plus, user engagement is foremost. Encourage your users to join discussions on forums of their interest, ask them to sign up for newsletters and give them personalized recommendations based on what they liked in the past. Mobile app deep linking is very much relevant here. With deep linking, you can give your users recommendations with real-time notifications for the content they participated in. This way, your users will stay updated with content of their choice and value you for keeping their preferences in mind.
Local community apps usually run on feature-rich platforms which support a variety of content such as discussion forums, event calendars, inboxes, blogs; and wiki platforms. Ensure that your customers always have something to look forward to when they surf your app. A new video once in a while, a new audio frequently or a small podcast should do the trick for your music community app.
And if you are in a jiffy, hand over your community app ideas to BluEnt. We have an experienced development team well-versed with iOS app development. We'll make sure you have a beautiful, intuitive app that is fun to use!
Maximum value. Achieved.