Almost 3.5 billion people around the world use social media and many of those users are broadcasting or engaging in live streams. As we discussed in a previous post, live streaming has become a vital feature in social media apps as more users look to interact and share real-life moments with their family and friends in real-time, grow their followings, or even establish themselves as creators.
If you plan on creating your own social app, you’ll need a way to stand out in an increasingly competitive market and find your niche. By integrating live streaming into your app, you can allow your users to create their own live video content, engage with each other, and keep them coming back.
Taking Advantage of User-Generated Content
A report from Park Associates revealed that U.S. broadband households spend more time watching user-generated content (UGC) online than they do watching video on a television. In other words, today’s consumers don’t just want to be spectators. They want to engage with the content they consume—whether it’s created by their family, friends, or their favorite influencers.
Though UGC can be anything from images and videos to text and audio, live UGC video is some of the most engaging content across social platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and more top social media platforms have implemented live streaming capabilities into their apps to encourage users to “go live” and share their own content.
Whether you want to create a social app that appeals to a wide variety of people or just a small, niche group, implementing a live streaming feature can be an effective way to reach and engage with potential users and encourage them to create content on your platform.
Going Mobile & Global
Now that smartphones are widely available, more people are looking to social networks to connect and engage with people in their communities and around the world. However, “going global” and providing a seamless experience for app users across many locations and devices can be difficult for developers. Here’s why:
- Different Operating Systems. A user’s device and operating system can have a significant impact on their social app experiences—especially live streams. Many live videos solutions aren’t designed to work with a variety of devices and operating systems, so users often experience significant battery loss and CPU consumption.
- Network connectivity. While the internet’s reach has expanded, network connectivity levels can vary from region to region. Users tuning in to the same live stream can have conflicting experiences.
- Scalability. As your social app scales, supporting more users at the same time can be difficult. Many social apps experience technical issues when their user base grows dramatically in a short period of time.
Building a Live Streaming Social Experience
You might be thinking: Can’t I just build out my own live streaming application? While many developers choose to build out their own solutions, it’s not the right choice for every social app as it can be a very time-consuming, cumbersome, and costly process.
By partnering with a third-party RTC provider like Agora, you can get:
- Access to easy-to-embed SDKs that work with your application—whether it’s designed for mobile, web, or desktop.
- A quick turnaround. Get live streaming capabilities up and running on your application in as little as a few weeks.
- Reliability and flexibility. Agora’s lightweight, client-side codec is optimized to work on 5,500+ different devices, even those that are underpowered.
- Access to a reliable network. With Agora’s software-defined real-time network (SD-RTN™), which delivers sub-second low latency across the globe, your users can experience the same quality live stream no matter their location or operating system.
- Customized features. AR filters, 2D and 3D stickers, emojis, and voice modulation are just a few ways you can entertain your users and encourage them to take advantage of live streaming.
Ready to integrate the right live streaming solution with your social app? With Agora, you can create meaningful, engaging real-time experiences for your users around the world with our easy-to-embed SDK and APIs. Learn more about our live video streaming solution.