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Forget Facebook, Create a Social Media App for the Next Gen Users

Alekh Verma | February 24, 2023
Social Media App

Users want a next-generation social media app, not Facebook.

It's not what I am saying, but data is revealing the fact.

Whenever it comes to social media app development, most people look for making an app like Facebook. And this is obvious as Facebook is kind of a big digital world where 2.32 billion active monthly users spend their most of time daily.

Facebook emerged in 2006 as a digital platform that allows people to connect and share personal things with their family and friends anytime, anywhere. And today, it is the world's largest social networking site for people and the biggest marketplace for brands and companies to sell and promote their products.

Undoubtedly, Facebook is a pioneer of the social media world.

But wait, we are talking about Facebook in 2021, and its popularity especially among Gen Z users has been declined significantly in the past few years.

Yes, it's true, Facebook is declining now.

Recent statistics have proved that Facebook's monthly active users between 12-24 years old have fallen down. No matter how many attractive features Facebook offers, data shows that Facebook lost around over 2.8 million, yes million, American users under the 25- age group last year. The largest decline in users under 25 is within the 12-17-year-old age group.

So the question arises here why younger generations are moving away from Facebook and searching for better alternative apps?

Business people who are planning to develop a social media application considering the fame of Facebook, they need to stop and think again- ‘what kind of app they should actually develop that attracts next-gen user?’

Well, here the topic is not Facebook, but to discuss:

  • What type of social media app future generation users are really looking for?
  • Are you prepared for what young users are expecting?
  • Do you know what features you should include in your app that engages everyone and become a blockbuster on social media?

Today, I will tell you great concepts about creating a social media app for next-gen users and trending features that will engage billions of users.

Don’t miss this blog if you have the vision to give an incredible social media app to the world.

What is a social media app?

A social media app is an application that allows people to connect, interact, chat, message, share photos, videos, and multimedia content with other people.

Why do people use social media apps?

Human beings are social creatures who always thrive on social interactions to maintain a healthy life and mind.

With the tremendous growth in social and instant messaging app development, plenty of entrepreneurs and businesses have quickly jumped on the wagon to promote their products & services, which has eventually made the social media platform a powerful marketplace.

Business and private individuals have witnessed the impact and reach of social media apps in 2021; therefore, they consider it a great medium to turn people into paying customers.

Current use of social media app

Despite controversies and the public's relatively negative sentiments about some aspects of social media, on average 70% of Americans say they ever use any kind of social media app, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults.

social-media-data

Besides the general question of overall social media use, the survey also covers the use of individual apps and sites. Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate the digital world, with 69% and 81% user share respectively.

When it comes to the other platforms in the survey, 40% of adults say they ever use Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

25% of users say they use Snapchat, and being users of Twitter or WhatsApp, or similar apps. TikTok - one of the top viral apps- is used by 21% of Americans.

But here is the interesting fact

Adults who are under 30 years of age stand out for their use of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Yes, you heard right. Young Americans don't use Facebook so much.

Majorities of 18-29-year-old people say they (75%) use Snapchat or Instagram, and half of them (55%) use TikTok.

Not only in the USA, iPhone application development company in India especially focuses on creating modern features in their social messaging apps as the size of young generation users is high in the country.

social-media-age-groups-data

By comparing the interest of age groups between youngest and oldest Americans, Facebook is no longer the favorite choice of modern users. Facebook is used by the older population. 

Why users are moving away from Facebook?

There is no doubt Facebook constantly dominates the global digital world with 2 billion monthly active users. But who are these users, for what they use Facebook?

2 billion users do not mean 2 billion interactions, it does not mean 2 billion users are going to see your post and you will become a brand on social media over a night.

facebook-data

                             (Image source: PEW Research Center)

There are some key reasons why younger or Gen Z users are moving away from Facebook.

Reason #1: Facebook offers similar features to other social media platforms

  • The Facebook watch is a common streaming service
  • Facebook marketplace drives traffic and engagement from classified ad apps
  • Ephemeral content is almost the same as Snapchat's USP

The above features aren't attractive for young users who prefer social media apps with unique or next-gen features like the Snapchat app. Thus, with a lack of modern features, there has been the largest decrease in users under 25 within the 12-17-year-old age bracket. 

Reason #2: Online bullying

In current reports, younger social media app users have stated that they don't feel safe online and that social media companies are not doing enough to eradicate inappropriate content. This increase in cyberbullying has demotivated people to use Facebook. 

Reason #3: Facebook is now an advertising platform

Facebook got huge success because of its social interaction features. But gradually, it has allowed businesses and brands to run a lot of ads which makes it a less social media platform.

However, they recently announced that they would limit the amount of content that users see on their feed from businesses, companies, and advertising to provide users with more meaningful interactions with friends and family.

But haven't they decided it too late? After all, users are impatient; they can immediately look for other better options if they are not satisfied with the previous one. 

What do Users want in the next-gen social media app?

According to a report of Social Web Index, it is found that Gen Z users prefer to use social media to 'fill up spare time' (48%) and find funny or entertaining content (45%), but only 29% of respondents stated they would use it to research or find products to buy.

reasons-to-use-social-media

These statistics unveil what future social media apps should look like. Next-gen users want a social media app that: 

1. Improves their mental health

Human is meant to interact. No matter what is the medium of communication, people always feel mentally relaxed and positive when they chat, message, or talk with their loved ones.

This habit maintains their mental health in good condition and also helps them to maintain a healthy relationship. So the next-gen social media app should focus on providing the best features on social interactions and offer only appropriate content to users. 

2. Allows users to express more

Human likes to talk and express in different fun and engaging ways. In today's social platforms, there is a wide range of human emojis, stickers, and chat features to make people's conversations more expressive.

But these are limited and people don't feel inspired to use similar things. Thus, new social media apps will focus on face-to-face interactions, conversations, and writing to allow for much-needed human expressiveness.

3. Give priority to users, not ads

Most social media platforms make money by displaying ads. Companies have figured out many ways of showing more ads to users, making the social platform into an advertising platform.

Nothing in this entire process encourages building and maintaining real relationships. The real winners on social media platforms are advertisers, not consumers.

So the next generation social media application will not focus too much on making money through advertising. Users will like to pay directly for the service they are getting. 

4. Protects Privacy

The privacy of users in social media applications is a serious and sensitive subject. No matter how attractive or lucrative features a social media platform offers, if it is unable to protect user's information and confidentiality, no app can survive long in the market.

It was the privacy issue that caused a hot debate and controversy about WhatsApp over sharing user's data with Facebook. When people found WhatsApp is trying to compromise their privacy, users instantly started to search for other social media apps, and consequently many users shifted to Telegram and Signal.

| Read WhatsApp vs Telegram vs Signal: what features make messaging apps more secure.

So the next-gen users want a fully secured social media app that never compromises their private information. As an app owner, you should clearly express your privacy policy to users whenever data is shared and ensure the security of the mobile app

Now that you have understood what type of social media app users are looking for, it's time to discuss how to create a social media app that next-generation users love. For this, below are the features that social media app developers or stakeholders must include in their app:

Features to include in social media app for next-gen users:

1. Provide Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is something that is available only for a short period of time and disappears later. Instagram and Snapchat stories are perfect examples of this type of content. Today, people's attention span is short, and the way they like to consume content has also changed.

They are short, engaging, and addictive in nature that people can spend hours scrolling one story after another. Digital marketers have taken notice of this trend and will continue to use it to their advantage. As per a recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers have already incorporated Instagram stories into their digital marketing plans.

2. Focus on social commerce, not ads

Brands are using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to sell their products. This has given birth to social commerce which will continue to get stronger. But companies are too much focusing on ads. Social commerce is about how brands interact with consumers, and companies rely on showing ads to users.

Users don't like to see ads and eventually, it reduces their interest in using the app. If you want that your social media app works as a social commerce platform, make sure it doesn't bother users by showing too many ads, instead, it enables brands to interact with users in different ways that users love. 

3. Use Video content

Video is the most powerful content format which has already started dominating the whole digital platforms. Whether it is Instagram stories, long-form content on YouTube, or short-form videos on TikTok, videos are the future of social media content.

Your app should provide features to create amazing videos for both marketers and users. As people love to watch videos than to read text, the video content feature will the app more engaging.

4. Make live streaming more interactive

2020 has been a never-like year. People who may have never used their video live streaming apps now participate in Zoom video conferences. From old to young, live streaming will remain a great future in social media apps for all.

This feature enables brands to interact with consumers in real-time. Facebook Live, YouTube Live has become a traditional feature. For next-gen users, you have to make it more interactive with cool features.

For more detailed information, read our blog on how to develop a live video streaming app.

5. Adopt augmented reality feature

Augmented reality is a trending technology and creating a buzz across the industries. Augmented reality enhances our real-life experience by adding digital elements to it and transforming the things actually look.

For example, the Snapchat app has recently introduced a new kind of AR lens, known as "Connected Lenses", that allows users to connect and enjoy an AR experience or game together.

Not only social media apps, but brands are using the powerful features of AR apps to boost their sales as well.

Sephora is a beauty brand that has been using AR to allow its customers to try on makeup before buying.

Augmented reality has a lot of potential for social media apps as well as for brands. Stakeholder who will stay ahead using AR in their application can grow their reach to billions of users quickly.

The Bottom Line

Social media is changing. People want more personal connections in the digital world. Any social media app that offers the features and content that the next-gen users want can make a sensation on the internet.

As an app owner, the best thing you can do is to adopt the future technology trends that will influence future generation social media users.

And one great place to make it possible is eSearch Logix-a leading social media app development company in India. We use the latest technology and trends including artificial intelligence & machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, modern UI for enhanced user experience.

Contact eSearch Logix if you have the vision to develop a next-gen social media app.

Talk to our experts now.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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