Case Study

Donation-Based Social Network With Streaming

The iOS-based social media app designed to connect people and allow them to interact by sharing visual and video content

Industry

Social networking

Team

10 members

Launched

2021

Country

USA

About a Project

Our Customer lit up an idea for a visual social networking app and started searching for an iOS application development company to jump-start a new project with. The central concept was to build such a platform according to the customer's well-thought business model. Cleveroad was briefed to develop an app taking over the entire product development life cycle.

Goals set to Cleveroad

Create a social networking app from scratch enabling real-time video streaming and donations receiving

Meet customer’s requirements about managing users, ads campaigns, and gaining access to app usage analytics

Increase business capitalization, developing software with a subscription service module to provide substantial and sustained business growth

Solutions we've delivered

Development of the custom iOS application that contains all the features to allow creators to broadcast live videos to subscribers and accept donations

Creation of a web-based management system for administrators to take control over the users and app's functionality and keep a tab on everything that happens in it

Development of a flexible and customizable mobile solution with clear correlations between modules. Adding subscription-based functionality to ensure a stable income

Results for the Customer

A fully functional mobile app is available at App Store, attracting new followers and allowing our customer to raise the target audience and increase user retention

An application (web-based admin panel) allows system administrators to set up and supervise different activities, including reports and ads management, making business processes transparent and effective

A well-designed system developed by Cleveroad allows the customer to offer paid access to services, engage users, and raise capital via the current business model

Business Challenges

Our customer, a US entrepreneur, aims to create a successful social media presence to generate a new revenue stream. For this purpose, they wanted to develop an Instagram-like social network with streaming and donation features. The developed system is required to be well-thought-out to make it possible to compete with globally leading social media platforms. So, our customer needed a reliable technical partner who could:

Create an iOS-based mobile application from scratch focused on photo- and video- sharing. Implement a real-time video broadcasting feature to allow streamers to communicate with their audience and share experience. It was also necessary to enable paid subscriptions to ensure recurring monthly income for a customer.

Provide the customer with a sufficient web-based solution that makes it easier to track and access all the data sourced from the application, manage users and the content, study clients’ behavior, handle social media reporting as well as marketing ads, campaigns, and other promotional activities.

Deliver an advanced mobile-based platform allowing the company to capture a great market share by introducing more paid features. Provide the customer with in-depth expertise to ensure smooth functional modules implementation and return on investment. Carry out the app's post-release maintenance and support to continuously improve software's usability and reliability and sustain the created income source.

Project in Details

We’ve designed an iOS-based mobile application from scratch and covered all the phases, starting from the Discovery phase.

Business Architecture

  • The mobile application was optimized for iOS devices with basic features of social networking platforms. A video streaming functionality is at its core: it allows for bringing online real-time events to the platform. The live room is available only by subscription. The Badge function enables live donations through the purchase of a badge experience. Followers who bought badges will unlock additional functionality, such as positioning on a brand’s list of badge holders and access to a unique heart.
  • Web-based Admin Panel addresses users’ registration and management. It provides integrated analytics on the users’ behavior, identifies the violation of the app’s regulations and policy, and displays business metrics (e.g., cost per click, audience growth rate). Along with these features, the admin panel possesses report management for tracking and generating custom reports and ads management for setting and supervising marketing campaigns.
  • Since the mobile app was supposed to run on a subscription-based model, the architecture was designed to integrate the solution with the Stripe Billing engine. It allowed for supporting the requested payment method: credit cards. The Stripe Billing API integration enabled generating and handling of subscriptions, recurring payments, and recurring income. The chosen payment gateway ensured instant and secure transfer of a user's personal data between a mobile app and a payment processing system.

Product Essentials

Key modules and functionality peculiarities, revealing the solution’s essence

User Registration

Initial registration was planned in a step-by-step format that is understandable and user-friendly. A user can create an account and password to log into the system, which is required for a social media app as “must have”.

After authorization in the app the functionality is available to registered users. They can manage Settings from My Profile, navigate the Feed Screen, create and post media content, add comments/reactions, receive Push notifications, access the Search bar, etc.

User Profile

The user profiles module lets users update their personal information (including account username/password), view payment methods, manage subscription plans, etc. It also allows participants to contact other users, view their media files or posts, and make them subscribe.

Users can switch to a private profile so that only their subscribers will see all posted content. Another user can request access to a private user's profile so that they can view this user's content.

Feed

The feed module allows users to stay tuned. All updates and new posts/stories from friends and communities are located here. In addition, users can navigate to the Post Comments screen to see and add comments for the posts, go to the Story Details screen to start their own Story creation, or view the other participants' stories.

The app provides various push notifications to users, like reactions or comments to their posts, a new message, a new post from the community they’re subscribed to, and more. The streamer’s followers also get notified when the live room is started.

Streaming

The live streaming functionality was modified with a live rooms feature allowing users to set up and manage live broadcasts. The creator’s followers are informed about the live room launch via Push notification. It’s also available to join Live for other users. Live streaming functionality is accessible only for business and creator accounts and requires an active subscription.

With Subscriptions, creators/brands can establish deeper connections with their most involved followers and increase their recurring monthly earnings by submitting subscribers access to unique content and benefits. After the users choose an appropriate subscription plan, they’re navigated to the Apple ID payment methods native screen.

Donation

The embedded donation feature allows brands to accept voluntary payments from social network members. Creators can receive donations from their followers or other users when their Stripe account is linked. Donate button is available for users with a badge. The Badges feature allows users to support their favorite streamers with a certain sum of money in exchange for exclusive content.

To securely accept payments online, Stripe was integrated. This solution allowed users to use credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard. Stripe automatically presents the consumers payment method options by accessing their currency, payment method restrictions, and other parameters.

Development in Detail

  • The Team Composition was defined based on the functionality requirements and development of an iOS-based application and web admin panel. A Development team consisted of a project manager, business analyst, UI/UX designer, frontend, backend, iOS developers, QA and DevOps engineers, and Team Leads. We’ve conducted our traditional full-cycle Discovery Phase to increase the degree of the product’s success. It allowed us to accelerate the development and ensure the final app’s quality due to strict project demands.
  • Our team developed an iOS app from scratch that complies with all the client’s requirements. We’ve added key functionality of image- and video-driven social networks: the ability to share photo/video content, meet and chat with new people, go live and set up ad campaigns. To be able to leverage the live video streaming within the application Socket.io. was applied. We’ve also implemented a donation system allowing users to back the creators with a sum of money on a voluntary basis. To enable live-stream donations, a Creator badge feature was initiated.
  • The backend solution covered a server that functions as a single access point to the app’s functionality, an SNS service accountable for managing mailing functionality for web clients, and an Amazon S3 service for storing, organizing, and configuring system data. The production process happens in the admin panel with an intuitive and performance-driven interface designed in close cooperation of our UI/UX designers and the customer.
  • We’ve added subscription payment functionality to the feature list. It allows the customer to offer the services on a paid basis and get a regular monthly income. Cleveroad provided all the technical support to seamlessly add payment functionality to the mobile app. Our specialists ensured rapid and high-quality integration to internal business processes due to the proven tech expertise and multi-industry experience of our team.

Technology stack

The tech stack was selected and used, considering the customer’s needs and the solution’s business logic

Web Architecture

Frontend

JavaScript

Angular v8

Backend

Node JS

AWS

MySQL

Mobile Architecture

iOS

Swift 5

Xcode

AWS Architecture

Amazon S3

Amazon SES

Integrations

Google maps

Socket IO

Firebase

Agora.io

Results Obtained
We’ve created a flexible mobile solution with subscription functionality that allows our customer to cater to a large audience and achieve goals set

Increased market share by leveraging mobile niche

We’ve created a mobile app that allows our customer to compete with the leading social media communities. The platform considers all the needs of target users. As a result, the client paved the way to business growth thanks to the reduced time-to-market they achieved while ramping up development capabilities together with Cleveroad.

Improved user experience due to robust app

The system's functionality covers a mobile application, and the Admin panel made it possible to deliver a platform providing great social media experience (including live streaming and donation capabilities.). It resulted in an increased user satisfaction rate due to synthesizing an intuitive frontend with quality server-side software.

Steady flow of income within a business model

The client received a mobile app covering all the functionality necessary to realize the solution's business logic. The app was successfully launched and is now available in the App Store. The quality of development allowed our customer to attract the target audience and increase the revenue within the given Subscription business model.

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