Social Media Apps: What Trends Matter?

Posted on August 14th 2014

Social Media Apps: What Trends Matter?

According to a report by Flurry Analytics, apps were used 115% more in 2013 than the year before. This year? That trend will continue.

Every single app category shows growth. Utilities and productivity apps were used 150% more. Gaming apps grew by 66%. The growth in messaging and social networking apps has been monumental.

It is important to follow what is trending.  Social apps are just itching to take over the world. They want us to download them more. Let’s see what they have in store — and how exactly they are changing our lives.

Location targeting

Not only do mobile apps keep track of user location, but the phones themselves have systems in place to track and store your location. When someone buys a new Android phone, a prompt asking for location data comes up. This data is stored in a database that can be accessed by the Google Now service to bring you weather forecasts, assist with translations and do a lot of other stuff. Another feature called Location History keeps track of all the places where you have been and influence the data you see accordingly.

iPhone also has location tracking in place. Apple explains that the reason behind data collection is to help during traffic routing. iPhone collects latitude and longitude data, notices the exact time you arrive or leave. Developers have a great opportunity to change how their services behave depending on your location.

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Apps also store location data. Life360 is a social app with a real-time geotracking. It is a private social platform to keep track of your family members.

Glympse allows you to share your exact location with others at specific time. It can tell your spouse your location when you arrive home from the office, for example. You can broadcast your location and travel speed to friends who are waiting for you. The information about your whereabouts could be sent through email, text, or social networks. And it’s free to use.

Foursquare lets you know where your friends are and helps them figure out where you are. It also offers users points for sharing their locations. Foursquare has gathered an immense amount of data during the last couple of years.

These types of apps help us to share our location with people close to us and also help us keep tabs on where those friends and family are. They can help us be sure that the people we care about are secure, whether they are teenagers who are out late at night, spouses on their way home from work, or elderly parents and grandparents who need an extra eye kept out for them.

On the other hand, this data isn't yours anymore.

Social media apps and shopping

People love shopping. The digital frontier here is thriving, with tools like Shopify getting more popular with each day. It was a given that the introduction of apps would change, enhance and improve that process immensely. 

Shopkick is a social shopping app that lets users collect points for repeated trips to certain retailers and earn discounts in return. It uses GPS to determine your location and then sends coupons to your phone. These coupons can be used right in the store where you are. Rewards can also be gained by completing tasks. Our Groceries is an app that lets you create and share a grocery list with your spouse. Both of you can download the app and enter a single email address to create a joint account. You can both update the list when needed and sort the items by category. Buy Me a Pie is similar to Our Groceries. It facilitates list-making and you can share it with your spouse or roommates, plus it has a list organization system. Anyone from the users who have access can edit the list . 

According to Kristin Muhlner of  NewBrandAnalytics,”The latest in direct marketing is combining social media conversations with geo-fencing data to find people in your area ready to purchase goods & services.”

For example, if Mary goes to her local shoe store. That store doesn’t have the shoes she wants. Mary takes to her phone and posts about it on Facebook. A nearby competitor can then respond to her post. Imagine that: “Hey Mary! We’ve got your size waiting down the street. Show them your post and you’ll get 10% off!”. Mary goes there and shows the message and the competitor store now has a new client.

The growing trend among apps with shopping opportunities has been to send deals to users. People always love a bargain and this trend will only turn bigger. There are apps like Slickdeals and PriceBlink that curate deals and find the best for us. There are also apps like Ibotta and Shopium that offer rebates for users who buy certain products.  These apps are great for people who like to save money.

Social sharing is also enabled on these apps, which means that you can share the best of the deals with your friends on Facebook. It benefits both the customer and the retailer. And it also makes us lose spend more money.

Staying fit with social apps

Cody app logs fitness progress via timelines and stats then lets you share it with friends. You and your friends can follow each other and see how you're doing.

With Teemo you can invite Facebook friends to a fitness challenge in a virtual environment.  You can participate in the challenge according to what you like, be it Cardio or Flexibility exercises. Another app is Fitocracy, which prides itself on being a social network for fitness fans. 

Phones help us with a lot of things, we can stay productive and save money with their help — and now they can also help us stay fit. These apps help us make better food choices, get stronger, run faster and do it all while being with our friends.

They are helping us stay healthy!

Anonymous messaging

Apps like Hike have a hidden mode, which lets you keep chats private. However, people are increasingly adopting apps that are primarily offering anonymous messaging.

Secret is one such app that connects people anonymously through their address books. Their names are never displayed. Yik Yak is another app that lets you broadcast messages to 500 other users who are nearby. It was created primarily for college students to use on campus, helping the masses voice their concerns. Snapchat is another example of secret messaging.  Messages that are sent are only available for an allotted amount of time.  Because of this, privacy in messages is not an issue.

The message self-destructs.

As fear of privacy intrusion grows among users, anonymous messaging apps will capture more of the market space. Snapchat is already more popular among millenials than some of the biggest social networks.

Anonymous messaging is one of the biggest trends in social media apps and it is bound to change the way how we think about communication on the Web. For better or worse — only time will tell.

So what's the thing?

These apps help us live better lives. From keeping track of our near and dear to finding the best deals to make us run in the morning and being able to send that photo you wouldn't want anyone else to see.

These apps are taking the world by storm. Their marketshare grows and people are becoming accustomed to the features they introduce.

We live on the brink of an edge of unparalleled level of engagement with social media apps. Is it right or not so much? The answer is as simple as it is unsatisfactory:

Who knows.

georgemathew

George Mathew

George is a writer who's interested in all things web design, social media and building a better web. He has contributed to ace conversion optimization blogs like ConversionXL and Crazy Egg. You can hire him for your content marketing needs anytime you want.

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