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The world is now truly a global village, thanks to globalization accelerated by the knowledge economy, disruptive technology, and smart and personalized communication devices. A person can learn Spanish or make sushi or even learn to play the cello from any part of the world.
Online Communities have become an integral part of our life. Interest-based Communities provide a comfortable zone to get in touch with people with similar interests and concerns. People can bond with other members through communities to discuss, debate, share and generally spend time on topics that interest them. However, these Niche Social Networks are experiencing a huge amount of downfall in users. Several users are creating their own sub-communities over third-party platforms which are providing a real-time messaging feature.
The reason is clear, communities are failing to provide one important function – private communication platform. Here, today we are going to analyze why these communities are failing to create enough engagement for their customers and how it can be avoided using the real-time messaging feature.
Why Communities fail and Why In-App Chat is required?
Let us understand this with an example based on a real incident. This happened with Reddit on the 1st of April, where communities of Reddit were invited to add different color pixels in 1000 x 1000 blank canvas and create an image. More than 100,000 communities participate in this social experiment. The experiment ended after 72 hours and the results were flags, paintings, patriotic symbols and many more.
The goal of this experiment was to show that people can work in collaborative ways even if they are total strangers to each other. However, during the experiment, Reddit experienced a pattern among the communities. Users were migrating to different platforms that were providing real-time chat and private conversation window like WhatsApp, or Messenger to strategize about placing the pixels.
This is where Reddit got thinking about integrating an In-App chat feature on its website to keep users from migrating away from their platform. Chat feature implementation in community websites keeps users engaged on their platform with real-time communication and increased interaction.
What can we conclude from Reddit’s experiment? When communities become larger and larger, internal fragmentation occurs, where a cluster of users get together and based on their common views and relationships tend to want to establish a closer connection than their community peers, hence creating Niche or Interest-based Communities. Being halfway across the world or wary of an extremely personal exchange over the phone makes real-time chat a popular option and it acts as a middle ground for a more productive, happy and healthy relationship.
The major purpose of such Communities is to provide public information. These Networks maintain a high quality of information that attracts new users to their communities. New members also provide their inputs and generate more content allowing the communities to grow, making it an essential and natural cycle. However, if there is no place for private communication such as One-to-One Communication or small Group Chat, then, members will start to look for options outside their communities to chat privately.
This led to the idea of implementing In-App messaging feature to community platforms, where people can engage in public forums, share their opinions or can have a one-to-one conversation in private space.
Capabilities of Real-time chat:
Real-Time Messaging, for a community, can be responsible for increasing engagement and retention of the platform since the users are not leaving the platform for a chat. For Example, the In-App Chat feature for a sports fan community will be appreciated as its users can enjoy a live game while commenting on it in Real-Time.
Other than a live room for public chat, In-App Messaging will prove to be more beneficial for the healthcare communities, where privacy is a major concern. Similar to healthcare communities, financial and legal communities, LGBT communities, religious and non-profit organizations might also embrace the Real-Time messaging feature where privacy is important.
Several other features are also included in these platforms apart from Live-Chat rooms and private one-to-one conversations. Users are also allowed to share multimedia files, group chats, video/audio chat, location sharing among other things.
Future of Real-time Chat:
For Interest-based Communities, Real-time messaging is a lifeline that can help them in growing engagement and retention over their platforms. Currently, over 65 Billion messages are sent per day from WhatsApp. This usage is increasing hourly and in parallel other real-time chat applications are gaining momentum and popularity. In the near future, the Real-Time chat might be able to provide a direct connection with brands all over the world and users will be able to order goods simply by connecting with brands.
With increasing real-time chat applications, large financial institutions will be moving towards Artificial Intelligence and chatbots-based online chat engines, which give coherent and prompt replies to online queries posted. At the end of the day, meaningful human interactions are what matters to your users and customers.
We already know that many community members, after some level of engagement, start to chat privately. If a community does not offer a Chat feature, its users are bound to move to a different tool such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
The solution is rather simple, a combination of high-quality information-driven community integrated with Real-Time Communication feature. With the addition of Chat function, such communities will continue to serve as a place for users to express their experiences, engage in discussions, at the same time will be able to provide a Real-Time communication to the users.
So, rather than creating a feature-rich Chat from scratch, it’s wise to Buy rather than Build – a ready-made User-to-User Chat Enabler. Enable In-App Chat on your Community Website or Mobile Apps using Channelize.io Messaging API and Chat SDK. With features similar to Facebook Messenger / WhatsApp, Channelize.io is rich in Real-Time Messaging, Voice Calling, Multimedia Sharing and many more. What ‘Messenger’ is for Facebook, Channelize.io can be for your community! You can even use the Video Call feature to enable the most natural and surreal Face-to-Face Communication.
We offer a feature-rich and highly customizable product. It is also quick to integrate our product and easy to use. Check out Channelize.io Web Demo or download ‘Channelize Real-time Messenger’ App from Android Playstore or iOS App Store to see for yourself.