Selecting the best social SDK for your app
In a world where everything’s instant, consumer attention spans are dwindling. It’s paramount to develop apps that capture user interest in seconds—a feat saturated markets now find challenging.
The solution is theoretically simple: capture initial interest (and sustain it) by showing users the value they’ll gain from the get-go. So exploring what your audience views as valuable is imperative. But practically, what does “value” look like?
The majority of people spend their time on socialization and communication. With smartphones serving as one-stop-shop global access to all consumer needs, downloading your app comes with expectations—to provide users with bug-free, seamless, and tech-driven services.
But how can you focus on experiences when feature updates, unpatched bugs, and other technicalities are in the way?
Thankfully, software development kits (SDKs) clear the path so you can do more. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at social SDKs and what they bring to your app, then dive into the best solutions available on the market.
Why use social SDKs?
SDK, short for software development kit, is a set of tools and programs designed for developers. It includes libraries, code samples, processes, and guides that enable you to create applications without the hassle of the entire development process.
When building a community-driven app, SDKs can be your key to success. The social proof of an engaged community boosts your bottom line, especially given that customers place trust in word-of-mouth reviews, referrals, and user-generated content more than any advertisement.
An engaged app community can pay off five times its value, and with social SDKs, you can build valuable user experiences that help your app stand out. You can enjoy better scalability and monetization without the hassle of deploying and maintaining the features.
App Annie’s State of Mobile also reports that people spend 70% of their time on socialization and communication. So when users have access to features that allow them to comment, chat, and share experiences daily, there’s less pressure on you to put content online every day. User-driven conversation also results in bonds, which incentivizes people to keep coming back.
With powerful socials, you’ll enjoy cost savings, improved efficiency, and loyal customers. But why choose SDKs over coding from scratch?
We’ve found that brands and app developers can enjoy the following benefits when using SDKs to power social features:
Ease of use
Developers find SDKs easy to integrate with existing products, as it comes with comprehensive tools, pre-written code, and chat APIs that can be used instantly. This takes the legwork out of the way, helping you ease your way into the app launch without debugging and experimentation.
Messaging platforms can be complex, but with SDKs, new features and updates no longer have to be your responsibility. Simply put, devkits make social app development easy.
Social apps require the best possible security features. Anything less can ruin your brand’s reputation and trust among users.
You must protect your users from data breaches, identity theft, and other maliciousness in the digital world. Third-party solutions put the responsibility of security on them. And because these experienced teams’ reputations are on the line too, they offer the best API security measures and significantly reduce vulnerabilities.
All businesses see time as money. The less time you spend on app development, the sooner you can launch and enjoy ROI. Doing the opposite can significantly hurt your budget, as you may spend more money than necessary.
With a comprehensive SDK, you’ll have the chance to launch a messaging platform in weeks instead of months or years.
3 of the best SDKs to power your app’s social features
We’ve tackled the benefits, and now it’s time for the best bit—figuring out which is the best social SDK for your app. Here are some of the solutions on the market:
1 - Amity
Amity offers scalable solutions enabling brands and developers to easily incorporate social functions into apps. The Amity Social Cloud, in particular, provides plug-and-play social features that can help you build an online community driven by engagement, retention, and valuable experiences.
Amity Social SDKs power chat, short-form video, live streaming, newsfeeds, and other community-centric features that engage and retain users.
Key features of Amity Social Cloud
Amity Social Cloud offers these key products, each with features that meet different user needs:
- Social: Amity Social highlights numerous social features. These include personal profiles, customizable group- or community-based activity feeds, content search, comments and reactions, and real-time updates. These features can effectively drive in-app engagement and foster a healthy virtual community.
- Chat: Amity Chat provides excellent value to users and companies. You can easily integrate instant messaging within your app and enhance your in-app engagement with its numerous features. Users can access text, images, audio, stickers, mentions, group chats, and broadcasts.
- Video: Amity Video provides interactive user experiences through video stories and live streaming. It also supports live commerce and provides users with immersive in-app experiences.
- Chatbots: Amity Bots enables you to build, launch, and run chatbots on major social media platforms and the Amity Social Cloud. AI-powered bots can help understand customers and enrich their profiles to match their specific needs.
Amity Social Cloud’s prices are calculated per MAU per month, and they can be packaged depending on the features you need:
- Amity Chat only: $0.06 per MAU
- Amity Chat, Social, Video, and Bots: $0.09 per MAU
- Amity Chat, Social, Video, and Bots + priority support, HD video: $0.14 per MAU
Amity provides significant value to both companies and users. Its set of SDKs is excellent for businesses of all sizes, as the pricing is scalable and predictable. Its wealth of engagement features, push notifications, AI-powered bots, and a fully customizable UI helps foster a solid brand community and meaningful in-app relationships.
2 - GetSocial
GetSocial SDK is a great way to integrate social features into your app or digital platform—it’s easy to implement and allows users to share content through Messenger, Whatsapp, and many other social apps.
GetSocial lets users connect and post user, group, and topic feed updates. It empowers companies to expand their organic growth, build active user communities, and increase app “stickiness” or loyalty and engagement.
This SDK has a solid portfolio, as it powers social features for reputable companies like Ubisoft, Zee5, SEGA, and Fitplan.
Key features of GetSocial SDK
Here are some of GetSocial’s vital features:
- Activity feeds: Users can create engaging content, which encourages others to react, comment, and share. Users can also follow others and have a personalized content feed. Other capabilities include mentions, hashtags, announcements, and a completely customizable user interface (UI).
- Polls: Users can engage in customizable polls and share their opinions, letting companies gather valuable insights directly from their user base.
- Push notifications: This versatile feature helps notify users of announcements, targeted messages, reminders, and other forms of activity on the app. It helps with user engagement and personalizes every experience.
The pricing for GetSocial SDK scales with the number of your daily active users, and it’s free for the first 500 users. Here’s a handy table to summarize the prices:
- First 500 daily active users (DAU): Free
- Next 4,500 DAU: $99 per month
- Next 45,000 DAU: $0.02 per DAU per month
- Next 50,000 DAU: $0.016 per DAU per month
GetSocial may be helpful for companies looking for customizable UI, which helps them match the software with their brand. This SDK also has numerous administration features, including moderation and announcements, to help companies manage content easily.
The app also supports various content types to meet customer demands, including polls, videos, images, and reactions. It also allows action buttons for companies to integrate attractive calls to action. However, one critical downside of this SDK is that it lacks chat features, which could benefit both the company and the end user, and there isn’t an open source UIKit included.
3 - Stream
Stream enables social experiences for billions of app end users. It’s known for its chat messaging infrastructure, founded on customer support.
If you want to invest in an SDK focusing on a great user experience and reliable performance, Stream can be one of your forerunners. Building consistent social features can take years, but its service has everything figured out.
Stream offers real-time chat messaging features, and they add value with moderation tools that circumvent any behavior that doesn’t align with community guidelines.
They also boast an impressive portfolio, supporting top operating systems like Android, iOS, Compose, and Native.
Key features of Stream SDK
Some features of this SDK include:
- Chat features: Users can send messages to individuals, groups, and specific channels via the SDK’s chat features. The chats can also integrate reactions, threads, read states, and typing indicators to meet user expectations.
- Activity feeds: The activity feed toolkit comes with plenty of customizable features, including aggregation, feed ranking, real-time updates, follows and unfollows, and reactions that benefit end users and personalize every experience.
- Live video: Although this feature is still in early access mode, it may be a helpful and unique feature. It allows users to access audio and video conferencing, live streaming, and event broadcasting.
Stream offers free trials, but potential customers must contact sales for a quote.
Stream features an extensive array of features on its activity feed APIs, which makes it easy to personalize user experiences without having to code anything from scratch. It also features extensive documentation and is built for developers. However, it is important to note that Stream does not provide a UIKit for social features which could limit the flexibility of the features provided.
Simplifying app development with social SDKs
The mobile app development process is complicated enough. From research to coding, launching your app on time can be challenging. And that’s not adding consumer behavior to the already complex equation.
But with social SDKs like the Amity Social Cloud, Get Social, and Stream, you can cut through the hassle of dealing with security vulnerabilities, faulty codes, and costly beta testing.
Your app must be backed by fuss-free and practical solutions. But to grow in engagement, retention, and loyalty, community-centric SDKs should be a part of your long-term blueprint!