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What Features, UX considerations make a Social Media Network Successful?

This is an open discussion, many of you are Social Media connoisseurs, I'm interested to know, from your perspective, what are the common features that make a Social Network fly?

Perhaps it is a great niche idea? Or maybe they were the first to implement groovy functionality? Or perhaps they just got lucky? Or maybe it is a symphony of multiple factors. There's a few experts here, I'd love to know your thoughts, feel free to share links to example sites as well.
My ideas are in the comments! 

Replies (4)
    • A few things I can think of right now;

      1. A single good idea - focus on building around a niche community, whether it's a special interest, or a geographical place giving the people a single idea around which to rally is central to your cause.
      2. Keep them busy - I'd say a small community of active engaged users is bigger that a massive one of disengaged people, having a constant flow of valuable content and active members to engage with is going to give people a reason to keep coming back.
      3. Ease of use - making sure that people can get in and around your site. That registration is seamless and people don't get lost using obscure superfluous features.
      • Good discussion for UNA.IO, too. My points would be similar to yours, Mark Purser :

        1. Focus on one or two main features that facilitate your site function. Either discussion, or updates, or posts, or videos, but not all of them at once.

        2. Be present and active on the site all the time to feel what's going on and how things work. That way you can find the right points of focus to improve.

        3. Encourage original content and deep insightful discussions. The Internet is full of "quick share" sites and content for hyper-short memory-span people. There's space for such sites, but it's mostly occupied already. 

        • agreed 

          • We discussed that a lot before we realized our platform for communities. What's a community? Well, we came to the agreement that it has a significant difference against other groups, online or offline. Communities have an individual and common interest, a common goal, or something they are devoted to. That's a big difference in comparison with coincidential crowds, like usergroups of big social network platforms. They usually don't have a common goal they wanna reach by collaborating. After we clarified that for us, the next question we asked ourselves was, how can we support communities in reaching their goals? At that point site function came in. We'd like to enable our communities using a variety of content creation tools, for video content, text content and other visual content, in order to allow them to decide themselves which media they prefer and what works best for their particulare community. In summary, it's a lot of brainwork and estimation on how your communities think, act and behave, before you can start with shaping your own UNA online community platform. But nevertheless, it's the most important step!

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