The top 10 fastest growing social+ app categories of the year

In the ever-changing landscape of digital experiences, certain social+ categories have witnessed remarkable growth, redefining the way we connect, share, and engage.

Social+ apps, at their core, represent a new wave of apps that go beyond traditional functionalities by seamlessly integrating social features into their frameworks. These apps prioritize the social aspect of user engagement, fostering communities and connections around shared interests or activities. 

The importance of social+ apps lies in their ability to enhance user experiences by adding a layer of social connectivity to otherwise standalone functionalities. By incorporating features such as activity feeds, groups, and interactive discussions, social+ apps create a sense of community, encouraging users to engage, share, and collaborate. 

The benefits of these social features are endless—they not only provide a platform for like-minded individuals to connect but also contribute to increased user retention, loyalty, and a more immersive overall experience.

Did you know: social features are proven to increase user engagement by 35%, retention by 40%, and organic growth by 30%?

Read more: What is social+ and how can it help your app succeed? 

In this blog, we'll explore the top 10 fastest growing social+ categories of 2023, delving into real-world examples and case studies of successful brands and companies that have navigated these dynamic trends. Let's embark on a journey through the thriving world of social innovation.

Top 10 fastest growing social+ app categories of 2023

1. Livestream shopping: transforming e-commerce experiences

One of the most exciting developments in the digital space is the emergence of livestream shopping. Brands like Alibaba and Amazon have successfully integrated live video streams with e-commerce, allowing consumers to engage with products in real-time. This interactive shopping experience not only boosts sales but also enhances customer engagement. For instance, during Alibaba's Singles Day event, livestream shopping contributed to a record-breaking $75 billion in sales.

2. Virtual events: redefining the event landscape

The rise of virtual events has transformed how we gather and connect. Platforms like Zoom and Hopin have paved the way for businesses and individuals to host conferences, trade shows, and even weddings online. With the flexibility and accessibility offered by virtual events, companies can reach a global audience, saving on logistical costs and expanding their reach.

3. Health and wellness tech: the intersection of social and well-being

As health and wellness become increasingly integrated into our daily lives, social+ categories within this sector are booming. Apps like MyFitnessPal, and Fitbit not only provide health tracking but also create communities where users can share their fitness journeys. This intersection of social connectivity and well-being is a powerful driver for customer engagement and brand loyalty.

4. Gaming communities: connections beyond entertainment

Gaming has evolved from a solitary activity to a social gaming experience, with platforms like Discord and Twitch leading the way. Brands are tapping into this growing social+ category by sponsoring gamers and creating interactive campaigns within gaming communities. The success of brands like Red Bull in the gaming space demonstrates the immense potential for engagement and brand visibility.

5. The social finance revolution: redefining transactions 

The intersection of fintech and social features is revolutionizing how transactions occur. Mobile payment apps and digital wallets are not only changing the financial landscape but also creating social+ financial communities around them. Apps like Venmo exemplify this shift by seamlessly blending financial transactions with social connectivity. The first app to embrace social finance was Venmo. Users not only transfer money but also attach emojis, comments, and even share payment transactions, turning what was once a private financial transaction into a social interaction.

6. Educational platforms: social learning in focus

The rise of social learning platforms like Coursera and Udemy signifies a shift towards collaborative and interactive education. These platforms not only provide valuable knowledge but also foster communities where learners can connect, share insights, and collaborate on projects. The success of MasterClass, featuring industry experts, illustrates the demand for high-quality, socially connected learning experiences. Check out this case study of Promova, a language learning platform with a focus on community.

7. Climate apps: social impact on sustainable living

As environmental consciousness continues to grow, climate action apps are playing a pivotal role in fostering sustainable living and social impact. Viro, an innovative climate action app, exemplifies this trend by providing users with tools to measure and reduce their daily carbon footprint. What sets Viro apart is its deliberate focus on community building through a range of social features. This social aspect enhances the apps core functionality by giving users the tools needed to build a community, like an activity feed, groups, photo sharing, comments, and more.

8. Remote work solutions: collaboration beyond borders

The shift to remote work has accelerated the growth of social+ categories focused on collaboration and productivity. Platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams facilitate real-time communication and collaboration, bridging the gap for remote teams. Case studies from companies like Shopify highlight how effective use of these tools can foster a sense of community and maintain productivity in a dispersed workforce.

9. Streaming services: the social side of entertainment 

Streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have become integral parts of our daily lives. The social+ aspect of these platforms lies in their ability to entertain and connect people through shared content experiences. Brands that integrate streaming services into their strategies, such as interactive content and watch parties, create a seamless and socially connected user experience. Our favorite example is TrueID, who brought the excitement of the FIFA World Cup to their platform through social features.

10. Fitness and social well-being: a new era of connection

The fitness industry has embraced social+ categories, with apps like Noom and Fitocracy fostering communities around fitness goals. These platforms not only track physical activity but also provide social spaces for users to share achievements, connect with like-minded individuals, and participate in challenges. The combination of fitness and social well-being is reshaping how people approach health goals.

The future of all industries is social

As we navigate the digital landscape, the fastest-growing social+ categories present exciting opportunities for businesses willing to adapt and innovate. From livestream shopping to blockchain-powered finance, each category offers unique avenues for engaging with audiences in meaningful ways. By learning from the success stories of leading brands in these spaces, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of the evolving social+ landscape, driving growth and fostering lasting connections with their audiences.

Read more: The power of social+: why every app can benefit from the network of a social product (with real-world examples of successful social+ apps).


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