The titans of the industry, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, are great examples of how to build a successful social media startup. Here are five of the most prominent reasons why they have succeeded thus far:
1. They are obsessed with the user experience.
The teams at Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram care about every detail across the user experience. Furthermore, every part of their applications, from initial download to daily usage, is optimized for the target user persona.
Customization helps these platforms maintain high levels of engagement. They know exactly what will draw users in and what will keep them there. Facebook’s newsfeed, for example, is extremely personalized and catered toward a specific user experience. The feed is tailored to provide content that appeals to a specific user’s attention. Snapchat has made it as easy as possible for users to view many stories in a short amount of time.
2. Long-term focus.
Facebook has been around since 2004. That’s almost 14 years! They have been able to succeed (and will continue to do so) because of their long-term thinking. Their acquisition of Instagram is a perfect example of this. Facebook is also investing in virtual reality and countless other areas that could thrive in the future.
3. They allow people to easily communicate with each other.
Easy communication among people from all over the world has always been a huge component of these platforms. Text messaging came along before Facebook, but they were one of the first companies to enable simple communication between people in different countries. Snapchat upped the ante by creating photo messaging so that you could see the person you were talking to.
4. They appeal to human ego.
The profile functionality that these companies have enabled is not always the most healthy. However, people love the opportunity to showcase themselves online. They have total control over what appears and what does not. They can paint any picture of themselves to their friends and followers. There are studies indicating that getting Facebook or Instagram likes or views on a Snapchat story create a dopamine release similar to when someone takes certain drugs.
5. You can do many things in one place.
Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram have also excelled because of their curation of activity and entertainment. On Facebook, for example, you can communicate with others, read the news, play games, show off photos and create a profile for your friends to see.
Snapchat and Instagram also have a set of well-rounded activities that users can participate in. Easy access makes it simple for users to check the platform daily. Instead of having to switch between text messaging, news applications and gaming apps, consumers can get everything they need in one place. With the countless apps that exist today, the ability to do so many things from a single hub is a huge driver of traffic and engagement.