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Uncategorized

June 15 release

A release for a phenomenal experience for your customers.

International Payments

Now your users can pay you from around the world in their native currency. If you’ve had users from abroad before, you’d have faced the issue where some people were not able to pay in INR because their cards didn’t support it. That is now part of history. We automatically detect the country and offer the price in the local currency. We even account for the Price Parity.

Pay As You Wish & Tips

You can now set a minimum price and ask users to pay any amount greater than that. Especially useful when you aren’t sure what price you should set or when you want to allow well wishers to pay you as per their spending power.

We also now allow people to send you a tip after making the purchase. A token of appreciation if they like your work.

Reviews and Contact Us

Every collection now shows the reviews so that people can make an informed decision to buy. Social validation is an important needle mover for making a purchase call.

If users have a question to ask before making the purchase, they can do that too without navigating away.

Coming soon : Frequently Asked Questions can be posted right next to the contact us button.

Better video streaming

Fullscreen

Now videos play in real fullscreen mode without any distraction on the screen like the notification panel or the navigation buttons. An immersive experience for your engaging videos.

Optimized for streaming

Most mobile or camera recordings aren’t well suited for streaming on the web. Many users might have trouble in accessing the videos over slow internet connections because of this. Over the past, we’ve been recommending softwares and apps you can use to optimize before uploading the videos. However, now, we’ve built the software ourself and integrated into the builder. You can optimize the videos in one click.

However, optimizations are optional. Optimizations often alter the FPS, bitrates and resolutions. It is, for most cases, recommended. Should you decide to run the optimizations yourself and have control over your video parameters, you can opt out of the optimization. Though it is a feature we’ve enabled, we haven’t come across a good reason to opt out yet.

Marketing tools

We’ve made a growth and marketing team within our company to help you get more reach for your content.

You can access the tools on the left navigation bar and select marketing tools. You will be assigned one Growth Manager who will be tasked with helping you market better.

Many marketing tolls available, more coming soon

Analytics

We’ve had analytics for a while now. But we’ve made it better with integrations with all major analytics platforms like Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager.

In a few taps you can enable these tools and we’ll seamlessly integrate.

Referrals

You can now turn on or turn off virality features like the referral program. If you enable the referral program, your users can invite their friends and get 30% off on their next purchase. It’s a great tool to encourage virality. It’s enabled by default. You can always opt out.

Cashbacks

Whenever someone makes a purchase, you can give them a cashback that they can use on the app. This is a great way to encourage users to make repeat purchases on the app.

You can set cash backs when setting price of the collection

Next Release

We’re now sharing with you our product development status and roadmap! This is the same tool we use internally to track our progress. Now you can see it too and comment on features you want most!

Check out our Product Roadmap

You can also add feature requests using the same link. You’re our product manager now.


We’re always building the best product for you to create a great sustainable process. We are on your team. You should follow our updates.

Categories
Uncategorized

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will people buy my content?

This is a question we get from a Lot of creators. 
Yes, totally. People will buy content if you make it well and get it into the hands of people who want such content. 

Be authentic, genuine and to-the-point. People will buy well made content.

2. Why will people buy my content? There are so many resources out there for free!

That’s a valid concern. 
There is a lot of free material out there. That is also a part of the problem. There is so much free content that it’s hard to distinguish the good from the bad. 

Most of the people putting up free content, rarely take accountability. 
The audience is looking of reliable material.
The free content is scattered. If you can aggregate some good material so that your audience doesn’t have to spend time searching for the right set of material, they’ll pay you to do it. Your curation is important, so is your style.
Lastly, your unique style of expressing the same content is very valuable. It shows your authenticity. The audience loves authentic content. They’ll pay for it.

3. How much will it cost me?

You can get started absolutely free of cost! 
You can check the pricing details on the pricing page.

4. How will people come to know about my app?

You‘ll have to market the app.
Once you publish the app, you’ll be given access to a marketing playbook and dashboard that will guide you in marketing the app.
You can also collaborate with independent digital marketing agencies who will spread the word.

5. Is the app available on the AppStore or PlayStore?

No. 

This is a next-generation app called a Progressive Web App (PWA). These apps can be opened from a browser like Chrome or Safari and installed on all devices. 

It can be installed on : Android, iOS, Chromebooks, MacBooks and Windows laptops.There is no need to visit any Playstore or AppStore. 
If you launch an app on the PlayStore or AppStore, you need to pay a hefty non-negotiable fee for each transaction that happens on your app.

6. Who owns the content?

You. 100%

7. Will Socionity do marketing?

No.

Socionity will only provide you a marketing handbook and dashboard to manage your marketing campaign. 

Upon request and availability, Socionity may connect you to digital marketing agencies. You can negotiate prices for marketing efforts directly with them.

8. Why shouldn’t I just hire a developer?

  1. Socionity is free to get started
  2. You get continuous updates and new features
  3. Socionity has a robust well tested infrastructure so that your app doesn’t crash
  4. You can launch in less than three minutes without going to-and-fro with a development team
  5. Socionity has a large and ever-expanding set of integrations. Hiring a developer to implement the same will be expensive.

9. Do I need programming skills?

No. That’s the point! 🙂

Categories
Features Release

Release 30 May

This release was making the app builder look beautiful and help your users show love in the app! This has been one of the most major releases we’ve had in a while. Lot of changes – including breaking changes. Read on!

[!] Image Resolutions

This is a breaking change. Please update your app with the relevant images.

Image restrictions have been imposed on two images on the app. In the last release we published the recommendations of the image sizes to be used. However, you should update your app with the new image sizes. Wrong image sizes will lead to a sub-par experience.

We have added template images that you can pick from. These are powered by artificial intelligence to give you relevant images when picking a thumbnail.

Tab Banner Images

Required Resolution : 1000×3000 px

This is the same resolution as that of a YouTube or Playstore cover image.

You should use the banner image to quickly give a gist of what the tab is about. Keep it to 2-3 words on the tab banner.

Example of a tab banner

Collection Banner

Required Resolution : 1920×1200

This is a landscape banner ideally to be used to give a quick information about your collection and why one should buy it.

You can now add videos as the banner.
If you are adding a video banner, please note

  • Resolution must be as mentioned above
  • The first few frames (~1 second) has a nice visual
A sample collection banner image

App Icon

Required resolution : 512 x 512 px

This is the resolution required by Apple. You may include a border radius of 32px if you want rounded borders.

[!] Sunset on sales banner image

We’re discontinuing the sales banner image in favour of the more interactive collection video. We encourage you to mention the benefits of the collection in the video rather than elaborate banners and text. This helps bring out your personality.

Effective next release, 15 June, the sales banner will be discontinued completely. Please do update the collection video before that.

UI Changes

The app builder has a new theme. But that’s not the point.

We’ve promoted the most used features to the top and made it more accessible. So you won’t have to search for most options you use daily!

Before
After

Laptop

A popular feature request was to make the builder usable on a laptop. We’ve done just that. The app builder loads smoothly on the laptop with a laptop specific interface.

Spoiler : Coming soon are keyboard shortcuts!

Payments

Payments are now visualized on the left hand side menubar. It is represented using a clean graph so that you can track your progress in one glance.

We also set targets you should hit to help you stay motivated and focused.

Livestreaming Co-hosts

Another popular request!

You can now see all the attendees of your livestream and invite any of them to cohost.

Once invited for a co-host, everyone can see you and the co-host. It’s like inviting someone to the stage along side you.

Now you can do podcasts, talk to your students or jam together on the livestream!

Co hosting livestreams

Selfies

That’s right, what’s complete without a selfie?

We’ve launched a simple way for your users to click a selfie after every live session or video and share it with their friends.

Sharable socialmedia cards after each session

Social validations

Users can now rate your app and review your collections. It will be visible clearly to anyone looking to buy the collection. It’s a great push.

Referrals

If a user invites another user to your app, the new user gets 30% off on their purchase. The person who referred will get 30% off on the next purchase.

We make it super simple to share the app.

Sales Page

You can now add a sales page as a tab.

We recommend making this the first tab. This is great especially to tell people what this app is about. You ‘ll be required to answer 4 basic questions to set this up. It is based on research that helps you drive more sales.

Now you can be scientific about your sales. This is a must have if you run Facebook ads to drive traffic to the app.

Group Chat

Any user who pays for anything on your app will get exclusive access to a group chat inside the app. No frills just an awesome groupchat.

This is a great place for all the fans to chit-chat in this exclusive space 🙂

Themes

You can now choose from an array of beautiful themes curated and painstakingly designed just for you.

We will keep adding to this already long list. Do check it out!

Next Release

We’re now sharing with you our product development status and roadmap! This is the same tool we use internally to track our progress. Now you can see it too and comment on features you want most!

Check out our Product Roadmap

You can also add feature requests using the same link. You’re our product manager now.


We’re always building the best product for you to create a great sustainable process. We are on your team. You should follow our updates.

Categories
Technology

Choosing a dev shop in India to build your app

There are a few questions I get asked repeatedly from friends who are trying to get an app built using a dev shop in India. Dev shops are consulting businesses that take your requirements and build out an app for you. They’re very cost effective when you are careful in execution.

Dev shops are best suited for individuals and companies who’s primary focus is not the technology itself. Rather, their business drives most value from what the technology enables. Like, e-commerce, courses, consulting. It is bad if you are trying to build an innovative social network like say SnapChat. In cases where you will be iterating a lot and experimenting new things on your app, you should consider building it yourself or hire someone to do it in-house.

What Technology should I use?

There is no one-answer-fits-all for this. Technology chosen is a function of personal choice. It is possible to create a great product using an out-dated technology.

However, I’ll not disappoint you. I will give you an answer. The answer here is not a direct indicator to technology itself, but a proxy to judge good dev shops. Good dev shops use the latest greatest. A dev shop that’s ahead of the curve on technology, might also be a good bet in terms of working with them.

Front end

Lot of dev shops charge you double the price saying “we need to build different apps for iOS and Android”.

Except for a few very special cases like graphics intensive games, there is really no good reason for making a separate app for each.

Technologies exist that help you launch the same app to iOS and Android.

The best such technology today is Flutter. It is developed by Google, released in 2017 – but got stable in late 2019. Relatively new, but fast improving.

A close second is React Native. Developed by Facebook in 2015. It has been around for longer. There is much higher community support, meaning development speeds are much faster, at the cost of bloated app sizes.

Whether Flutter or React Native, both are good front end options. You should never have to pay for 2 apps anymore. Any dev shop that charges for 2 apps, is way behind the curve. Tells you something about the quality of their work.

Backend

There are two considerations with respect to backend technologies.

Architecture

There are 2 basic architectures. Server based and serverless. Server based is where you would run a server on the cloud like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services or Azure. These are called VMs (Virtual Machines). They’re out dated and cost ineffective especially for simple use cases with unknown traffic.

Serverless computing doesn’t run a server. Most of the applications can be run using Serverless architecture. The advantage here is, serverless handles high traffic without needing to do anything extra. If you have very little traffic, you pay very little. Many times 0. The kinds of situations where Serverless doesn’t work is if you need to do some file processing that takes more than 10-20 minutes on a regular computer. Serverless is a great option when you don’ t know how much traffic you are going to get yet. You might want to move away from serverless when you have a scale of over 1M users a day – spread evenly through the day without spikes.

The best serverless provider as of today is Amazon Web Services.

Framework

Be weary of dev shops suggesting PHP for the backend framework. Not to say PHP is a bad technology. But it is old and most dev shops use PHP because they’ve been using it for years. Which usually means, they don’t adapt to the latest functionalities of PHP. So PHP is a red flag suggesting that this dev shop isn’t bothered about the modern options available.

.NET & Java are poisonous. Stay away from people using these. Most people using .NET/Java are using a 10-15 year old product. Improvements in .NET/Java have been disappointing over the decades especially for backend.

Node.js is the most important framework. A dev shop using Node.js is a good signal because, using Node.js is very different from the way they’d have used PHP and .NET in their past. If they’ve transitioned to Node.js, its an encouraging signal.

Rails is a far second. But is a technology that seems to be improving fast. I would need a really good reason to believe a dev shop that uses Rails. But unlike .NET or Java, I’ll atleast hear them out.

Database

Most people still use MySQL. That’s kryptonite. Run.

If someone is using MySQL, they haven’t learnt new technologies in the last 10 years. Which, in continuation to my theme, is a way to detect bad dev shops.

You need someone using NoSQL. This usually means something like DynamoDB or MongoDB. This is a new paradigm in software, and works great for a lot of situations.

If your product needs SQL (very rarely so), you need the shop to use something that scales better and doesn’t get corrupted like MySQL. Redshift, Cassandra are decent options. But make sure you don’t get convinced for a SQL database without consulting a technologist.

Pricing

This is the biggest pain point. If you aren’t from a technology background it is impossible to judge the amount of effort for your product.

However, for a simple ecommerce app with the front end, backend and an admin portal to add your goods – you should be ready to shell out Rs. 8-10 lacs for an average dev shop. For good ones, you’re looking at 15-20 lacs.

It’s expensive I know. That’s the dev shop business. If you had an in-house developer, you can get it built at a much lesser price.

Cheats

Another big problem in this ecosystem are cheats. A lot of dev shops force their developers to ship bugs in your product. So, that way you will have to come back to them to get it fixed. The bigger the app has gotten, more they charge to fix it. They know you’ll have to get it fixed and they’re the only ones who can fix it.

I’ve seen friends spend more than 2lacs within the first month of launch.

Source Code

When negotiating the terms, please make sure you have the source code handed over to you at no additional cost. Many dev shops charge you extra for giving the source code. If they give you the source code, you can go to anyone for improvements or bug fixes. They usually want monopoly – so that they can charge you again and again.

Hidden costs

A major cost for anyone launching an app after getting it built is the server costs. Most shops don’t tell you how much that will cost. You must ask them for it and ask for a written guarantee. Bad dev shops will build technology at a low price but will have huge server bills. Many times, 10x the amount you should actually be paying for a well made backend. The wrong framework and wrong database usually is 50% of the problem. The rest is how well / badly the code is written.

If you have videos on your app, and about 10,000 users, your server bills may range between Rs. 50-80k per month. If you have live streaming you’re looking at Rs. 5-6 lacs per month.

Whom do I recommend?

As of today, I don’t recommend any dev shop. For most usecases, there exist Software as a Service that helps you launch great quality for a fraction of the cost.

Disclaimer : I work for Socionity

That said, there are some really good dev shops out there.

With the mentioned points in mind, you’re safer than you were before. Neither does this guarantee you’ll not get conned, nor does it mean you’d get a great product. But, you’ll be in a position to make a better decision.


We write a lot about the best decisions for your digital business and help you take the right decisions. You should follow us. It’s good.

Categories
Marketing

Marketing your app & content

Your first step is to make something people want. If you haven’t read our previous post in this series about Even Before Launch, you should read that first.

Once you have made something people want, the second challenge becomes how to get it to people who want this product and content. In this blog we will give you a few effective and practical tips to get started. It’s hard. Having an app and great content is not enough. You have to work hard to make it successful. Many first time app founders and content creators expect some magical marketing hacks to get their app flying. There’s no such hack. There’s only the hard way.

We’ll be looking at both free and paid marketing. Both have their merits and short comings. You must judge what will work for you.

Free

Facebook

Facebook is still the biggest Social Media out there. It is important to know how to tame this beast for your benefits.

Facebook has various aspects to it, all of which we will be diving into.

Groups

Facebook is full of groups. You must find groups using the search on Facebook. Search for groups based on the keywords that might be relevant to your app and content. For example, if you are creating a course on “Stock market investing for beginners”, you may look for groups like “Investments”, “Stocks”, “Stock Markets” and so on.

Be sure to join the groups. For the first couple of weeks you should be an active member of these groups to gain trust of the members in the group. You cannot usually just join the group and post a link directly. Many groups have policies around when and how you can promote your own products on the group. Be sure to read them and abide by them. Learn More

Pages

Be sure to have a Facebook Page that is dedicated to your content and app. Post engaging content on the page. Invite your friends who might find this page interesting. Ask them to share it with their friends.

Once you start posting content that is relevant to the audience that has liked your page, people will start trusting you more.

Then once you have your app ready, you can launch it using the Facebook page. You must be looking to get a few hundred likes on your page to get going. Again, this may vary from content to content. But building some kind of following on the Facebook Page is an asset. We will see in the later sections how this will help in paid marketing too. Learn More

Status

You should post a Facebook Post with a clean image that talks about your course in 5-6 words. Super crisp. Share it with your friends.

This is a very low conversion channel, but it’s something you should do. This will help you get suggestions and feedback from people you trust – your friends. Actually we recommend you should post this even before you launch.

WhatsApp

Another interesting place to promote your app and content is through WhatsApp and other chat apps.

Groups

WhatsApp, Telegram and other apps have thriving groups. You should find groups that exist and join them. You should start adding value by genuinely being a part of the discussions on the group.

Finding groups on chat apps is hard. That’s why they’re so effective. The only way to get added to a group is if you are invited by an existing member or admin. You must ask your friends and colleagues to add you to such groups.

Once you’ve been a participant for long enough, depending on the unwritten policies of the group, you should effectively share your content with the group.

Status

WhatsApp status is an underutilized way to market. That’s what makes it a good place to start.

If you have people on your contact list who might be interested in the content you’ve created, you must definitely put up a status talking about what the content is about and a link to your app.

Again, you should not expect too much traffic or sales from this channel. But, it is so easy to do that makes it totally worth the 5 minutes.

Quora

Quora.com is a great place to suggest your content to someone who is explicitly looking for it.

You must find questions on Quora and answer them genuinely using your expertise and skill. You should also share the link to the app if someone might be interested.

Learn More

Email

Though email seems to be dying, it thrives especially in the professional spheres. If your audience is someone who still actively uses email, you should definitely consider building an email list.

Learn why email is so effective.

Mailing List

You should build your mailing list. You can use free tools like Mailchimp.com to build an email list. You can create a simple landing page using Mailchimp and collect email addresses. Once you have email addresses, you can start your own newsletter.

Newsletter

Newsletters are known to have about 30% open rates. If you send your email to 100 people, 30 people will open it. Out of the 30 people, depending on the email that you have designed, you can expect 7 people click on the app link you send them.

So you need to slowly keep adding more emails to your list. This is a great asset to have. Especially for paid marketing if you want to work on it later.

Learn more about how you can make effective use of newsletters.

Live Streaming

Livestreaming get a lot of coverage these days. Insta Live, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope are all good mediums to livestream. Build an audience by regularly doing livestreams and talking about the periphery of the content you have created. People who watch your free livestreams are also people who might be interested in your real content. You can promote your app and content towards the end of the live.

Share the links in the descriptions and in the chat box to make it easier for the clients to open your app.

Make sure to share your livestreams after the live to get even more reach.

Learn More

YouTube

YouTube is a powerful marketing tool. If you are creating videos or podcasts in your content, you should definitely consider putting snippets of it on YouTube.

You should also re-purpose your content and put up free versions of it on YouTube. There are some great blogs about how to make the most of YouTube.

Learn More

Paid

Lastly, we’ll look at paid marketing.

A heads up before using paid marketing. Paid Marketing is an art. It is expensive. You should know precisely whom you want to reach using your ads in order for them to be economically viable.

You need to make sure you are willing to bid good bye to your money for the first few attempts. Just putting money into ads isn’t enough.

It’s like putting up a billboard. It’s expensive. It’s worthless if you put up a board about a software engineering job opening at your company at the neighbourhood children’s park. You need to put up the billboard at the right place. Else you’re burning money. You need to be weary of this mode of operation.

Facebook

Facebook is probably one of the most suited advertising mode for individuals. It’s easy to start and effective once you get the hang of it.

If you are new to Facebook ads, here is a great tutorial to get started.

For making a great Facebook Ad, you need to have the following

  • A compelling post and text
  • A great and clear communication in the image
  • A great heading that tells what the users can expect on clicking
  • A clear call to action. A button that tells them what to do next. e.g. Sign Up, Buy Now, Register

Here’s a guide to start running your first ad in less than 10 minutes.

Look alike

If you have email addresses of people who might be interested in your product, you should use that to reach out to more people like them. That is why we said earlier, that it is probably important that you make an email list.

You need over 100 emails for this method to work well.

Once you have people actually buying your course, update the list for look alike with the people who have actually made the purchase. Keep improving the list by adding people who’ve made a purchase. That way, you’ll be able to reach even more people like them.

Here’s a detailed guide as to how you can use Facebook Look Alike

Facebook Boost

Facebook boost is the simplest way to do paid marketing. It really is about putting up a normal post on Facebook and then putting money behind it so that it reaches more people.

This is easy, but should be used with caution. This, when paired with good targeting and look alikes can be a useful tool.

Here’s how you can create boosts and drive results. The official documentation is not bad either.

Google & YouTube

Coming soon.


We write a lot about how to market your content. If you think it is relevant to you, you should subscribe.

Categories
Marketing

Even before you launch your app

The journey of your app starts before you launch your app. Make sure you know what you’re building before you put your sweat behind it.

The last thing you want is to launch an app that no one cares about.

Make something people want

Research

You don’t need sophisticated tools to research. Just head over to google.com and try out the following

Auto Complete

Type in the kind of content you are going to create and see if you get auto suggests. If you get auto suggestions of the topic you are considering making, it’s a good sign.

It means that people are searching for such a thing. People probably want this.

If you do not get what you are going to be building in the auto suggest, you might want to reconsider what you are building. That said, many times, if your content is novel – people might not have searched for it before. Especially if it is a niche topic or something that’s been recently discovered or invented.

Auto complete on Google

Trends

This is a continuation to the above. We need to see if people really want what we’re offering. Do they want our app?

Another place to do this research is Google Trends.

Here you can type in the keywords related to see how people have been searching for the keywords on Google. This is an interesting insight. This will tell you whether your topic is

  1. New and picking up
  2. Stagnant in demand
    1. People search for it consistently
    2. People don’t and never have been searching for this
  3. Dying demand

You want to build something for sections 1 or 2.1.

You don’t want to build something that no-one cares about.

“Benefits of green vegetables in the advancement of self driving cars” – probably something people don’t care about there’s no search traffic at all. It is unlikely that you will attract attention if you launch content for such a thing. You should know what your audience wants.

Google Trends for something that isn’t searched for

You also don’t want to launch something that was a fad that has died down.

A fad that has died down

You are looking for new topics or evergreen topics – even if it is for a niche. It doesn’t need to have very high traffic. Even if it is for a small niche, but that small niche exists – you are good to go!

Consistent search volume

Or if you are an expert on a new upcoming trend, that’s another avenue. A new trend usually means not a lot of content would have been created. But it also comes with the additional competition. Everyone tries to latch on to a new trend.

A new trend

Ads

Again, on Google, search for what you care creating content about.

Do you see ads?

If you see ads, this is something people definitely care about. So much that there exist companies running ads to reach out to customers who are searching for such keywords. It is a good signal. You must look for keywords that usually have just one or two ads running for them. If more, you are probably entering a very competitive landscape – and must be careful. In a competitive space, your customers have so many more options. You need to stand out. It’s not impossible – just harder.

A topic with ads on Google

Asking

Once you have done the above research and have found the topic you want to be creating content on your app about, you must start talking to potential customers.

Friends and family

The number one place to ask for feedback is from friends and family members you trust.

Your first 10 customers should come from your friends. If you can’t get your friends to make a purchase, it’s going to be really really hard to convince people you don’t even know to give you money.

Ask them if they’ll buy this content from you. If yes, how much will they pay? What will they like you to talk about in the videos?

You must be confident in reaching out to them and ask the right questions. Make sure you filter out things that your friends might be sugar coating to make you feel good.

You need real feedback.

Acquaintances

The next step is to go a little broad and ask for feedback from people who aren’t your family or close friends.

These might be your existing students, existing customers, subscribers to your social media. Ask them would they like to download your app. Tell them what you’d be talking about.

Run polls on social media, invite criticism, ask for suggestions. Rally your followers – seek their help. They might be your first real customers when you launch.

Take their feedback and make it part of your product.

A simple poster for a status message on Social Message

Launch Ready

Once you have taken feedback and you know you are building exactly what people want, you can walk into the app creation process with confidence. You’ll know you are building what people want. You’ll have new ideas you hadn’t thought of by yourself.

Without these, without knowing what your customers want, it’s a futile exercise to launch an app. Make sure you know what you are building, make sure you know atleast a handful of people who will pay you the day you launch.

Once you have that you are good to launch. You can check out our other guides, on how to launch and how to market.


We write a lot about how to make your app successful. If you want to get these practical and effective tips, you should subscribe.

Categories
Features

Release May 15

Hi, this is our first release update.

We will be talking about the things we’ve launched in this blog going forward. Our release cycles are usually on the 15th and 30th of every month.

This update is about simple changes that make your experience better. Like friends.

Livestream improvements

Viewers

You will now be able to tap on the viewer count on your livestream to see all the people who are watching your stream right now.

It’s a great way to keep track of who’s attending and you may conduct your stream accordingly

Tapping on the eye icon next to the WiFi strength will show you all the viewers

Ending livestream

Previously, once you end the livestream, users used to get a frozen image of the last frame before you left.

We now have a graceful exit. When you stop streaming, users will get a neat notification saying livestream has ended.

Media Library

All the media you upload now get saved to a media library, that you can re-use.

No need to re-upload the same files multiple times.

The option to add from Media Library will automatically show up when you hit upload image or upload file anywhere in the builder.

Lead tracker

Sign in to access free content

A lot of you have been putting up videos for free as samples. People have been viewing this free content but there was really no way to keep track.

Everyone who is watching your free content is a potential customer and you should know about them.

We now require sign in to watch free content. So, you have information of everyone who has watched your content – you can retarget them.

User filters

You can now filter users in your Users and Notifications section by people who have paid and people who have not. This is an important tool to send re targeting mails to non-paying customers or engaging content to the ones who’ve paid.

Payments

Instant Settlements!

The star of this release is instant settlements. This is in beta.

You must go to Payouts in your dashboard and apply for instant payouts. We’re currently onboarding a few customers for this feature before we roll it out to everyone soon.

Be sure to go to your dashboard and make sure you fill up your bank details and apply for instant settlements.

Tap Apply to, well, apply

The settlements are done in t+5 days. Though, the settlement is instantaneous from our end (leaves our bank account immediately), government regulations require that the payouts are put on hold for 5 days from the time of purchase to account for request of refund.

So, practically speaking, you get the money in your account in about 7 working days from the date of payment. But instead of monthly settlements, the payments are settled on the spot – once you’ve applied and have been granted the feature.

Feedback

Contact Us

On the top right dropdown, people can send you messages and questions.

This has been a repeated ask, especially for users who have a pressing need to contact you to make a purchase decision. Or, in hopefully rare occasions, to contact us for technical support.

Reviews

A long awaited feature. The first thing we check before installing an app is its rating. Now users can check the rating and reviews of your app before installing.

Seeing other people using the app is a great source of encouragement for a new customer to start using the app

Make sure you encourage your users to rate your app!

Sharing

When people tap on the share button in your app, they can now share an image and their selfie to their friends or to social media.

This is a great way to help users share the app with a touch of authenticity.

We’re working a lot on Sharing capabilities, watch this space for exciting features coming soon with respect to sharing.


We are super fast at shipping updates. Many of these updates were asked for by creators using our platform. We try our best to solve their problems as soon as possible.


We keep this blog active with the latest features we’ve launched and how we think you can make the most out of running a business online. If you’d like to hear, you should subscribe to our weekly.

Categories
Features Paid Content Technology

PWA v/s Apps

For those of you who tried Socionity.com would have noticed that we generate a new kind app called a Progressive Web App – just for you. This doesn’t live on the Play Store or App Store. Inspite of it’s shortcomings, we found it superior to the regular apps.

More importantly, we think this is the future. We’re making an early bet.

Vocabulary

When you say app, you usually refer to an app that can be downloaded from the app store. However there is this new kind of an app called Progressive Web App that is a new kind of an app that doesn’t sit in the app store.

An app is just a software that runs on your device. We’ve been accustomed to the notion of apps to be something to be found on the app stores alone. However, for years before the app stores became popular we’ve been installing and running apps on our PCs downloaded from websites or loaded from CDs. Just that we called them softwares, now we call them apps.

Monopoly

Both Google and Apple have a monopoly on the app store on their respective operating systems. It’s only a time before someone sues them for it.

There is no apparent reason why apps should be distributed only by Google or Apple.

PWAs break that monopoly. You get to stand on your own feet. You get to break away and distribute your app on your own. With PWAs, you don’t need to pay the gatekeeper charges to just get listed on the app stores.

With Socionity’s PWA, you can by pass all those payments.

In App Purchases

Particularly worrying about the monopoly of App Store and Play Store is that they levy a hefty 30% commission on any digital good (aka video, audio) bought on an app hosted on the app store.They aren’t even the developers of the app. They levy a hefty charge and disallow competition. That’s unfair.

Granted, Socionity levies a commission too. But we power the technology that actually makes your app run. Also, any new company can come about and charge a lower commission – and you are welcome to change platforms when you do find a cheaper and better alternative.

Devices

I’ll quit ranting about Apple and Google. There are some real good reasons why PWAs are more powerful.

They are powered largely by the same technology that powers the internet. So, that means the app can run on any device that can connect to the internet. Your laptop, mobile, smart TV, smart watch – all alike. You can run a PWA on any device.

Your app made with Socionity runs on laptops, mobiles and TVs. One app on every device.

Size

PWAs are super small. Usually amounting to a couple of MBs, they’re far smaller and quicker to load than any of their regular counterpart.

This encourages people to install the app. And, they don’t have to wait for the app to download and install.

Sample

There’s no way to give a sample of the app on the App Stores. You must download it, if you don’t like it … uninstall it.

With PWAs, they can check out your app without even downloading the app. It loads the app within the internet browser. It’s a great way to give a sneak peek of the app, without asking them to download it.

Purchase

Continuing from the previous section, you can ask users to make a purchase without having to ask them to install.

It is a well known secret, that the easier you make it for the customer to make a purchase, better the conversion you get.

Asking the user to download the app is an necessary delay.

Socionity’s app makes it possible to make a purchase within 5s.

Disadvantages

That said, not all is rosy. PWA is a nascent technology, and a work in progress as against regular apps that have been around for most of the last decade. By virtue of that there are some shortcomings

Notifications

The biggest shortcoming is notifications on iPhones. PWAs can’t send notifications on iPhones yet.

The way we overcome this, is that we send an email whenever we’re not able to send a notification.

Android notifications work great, though.

Performance

When compared head to head, there are places where the performance of the PWA is a little worse.

Things keep getting better, but for most of the cases, the difference in performance is unnoticeable.

Privacy

Some apps like Snapchat prevent you from taking a screen recording on Android phones.

This is something that is not possible on PWAs. The way we overcome this is by using dynamic watermarking so that we can catch the culprit found guilty of screen recording premium content.

Independence

If you really want to be independent in the modern day and age, without being screwed by the underlying platform, you should definitely consider launching a PWA. It might not be the right bet always, but it’s almost always a good question to explore.


We write a lot about technology and other tools you can use to build your own business online. We want to empower you to be a freewill entrepreneur. You should subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It’s good.

Categories
Paid Content

What is Socionity, and why you should care

Socionity lets you launch your own app to start selling videos, courses and livestreams directly to your own customers.

10 years late

When the internet was nascent, circa 1993, there was no good way to accept payments online. Banks were reluctant to adapt to this new technology called the internet, the security systems were poor and things just kept breaking. It was practically impossible to accept payments online.

By virtue of not being able to able to have transactions on the web, the netizens had to find a different business model. A business model that didn’t require the end users to pay. They turned to oh-so-novel ads. As the communities started building up around ad driven content, especially the likes of blogger.com and youtube.com, we became accustomed to believing content online has to be free. We’ve been spoilt.

Over the next decade online payments started working. Credits card were a reliable way to transact and people have started using it to buy tickets, groceries and software. But the content industry lagged behind. It was too accustomed to ads and had a lot of inertia to adapt to the availability of a new business model around charging the users directly – albeit small amounts. They continued to run ads, until they realized people have developed a blind eye to ads.

Top media houses like The Guardian, WSJ and New York times have finally realized that ads aren’t going to be enough to sustain their business.

If the Wall Street Journal can’t get enough money through ads, how can you? WSJ should have asked users to pay for the journalism 10 years back. So should you have.

Netflix

Netflix came about and for the first time changed people’s notion of paying up for content online. Ever since, people have been paying for various online content services – big and small. Users now understand that good quality content is hard to make and deserves to be paid for.

This is a major change in user behavior. People are now accustomed to paying online for retail, and are now slowly getting accustomed to paying online for content. Now that the trend is shifting away from free content, is the time to capitalize.

It is now possible to ask users to pay for your videos, podcasts and livestreams. People need’t pay for some large subscription that gives them access to hundreds of different options. They can pay for exactly what they want. Your content.

App

Now that the technology is in place, content creation costs are plummeting and distribution channels like YouTube and Instagram are prospering, it is now possible to build an entire business around your content – all by yourself.

If it is to be your own business, one of the most important real estates in the modern world is the homescreen. You must enter the users’ homescreen with your own app.

The only missing piece till date has been that it was hard or expensive to get a good app made for distributing your content and charging for it. That’s the piece Socionity solves for. We make it super simple for you – just drag-and-drop, and in a few minutes you can have your app live!

Ragini Chandran is a partner of Socionity.com

Leverage

Once you have people coming repeatedly to your app, you can build a strong community. You don’t need a million subscribers anymore to earn a living. All you need is just a handful of people who pay you. It is not only easier to make content for a smaller, but more engaged, audience but it is also more fun.

People who pay are your biggest fans. If you give them great content they’ll stick with you for life. The more content you make, more they’ll pay.

Over time, the more you keep these people happy – more the word of mouth will spread and you’ll slowly start adding more and more users – and one day, very soon we hope, you’ll be a successful entrepreneur. It’s surely not easy. But, it sure is fun. That’s what makes it special to be a freewill entrepreneur.

If you want to start your own app and start charging for videos, courses, podcasts and livestreams – you should head over to our product socionity.com


We write a lot about how you can be successful in setting up your digital business and about freewill entrepreneurship. If you’d like to hear more, you should subscribe.

Categories
Livestreaming Paid Content Youtube

Earn with YouTube – A common mistake

YouTubers rarely make enough money through YouTube, and most of them err by believing that they’ll magically start making money when they get to 1M subscribers or any such arbitrary number. Here, I’ll tell you how you can leverage YouTube’s strengths and actually make money.

Not on YouTube

YouTube has ads. You would have already turned it on and are probably making some money from it already. That’s great. The number one thing you must understand on YouTube is that since it is free for users to watch, there is only so much you can actually earn through ads. You must not try to earn with YouTube. You must look to build a wide audience with YouTube by posting free videos, but you’d really make your money on other channels. Socionity is one such channel which lets you leverage your audience and charge them directly.

YouTube is only to be used for discovery and audience building.

Paid Content

Netflix et al

Gone are the days when everyone expected all the content online to be free. With the advent of Netflix, Prime and other such apps that charge the users for the content, people are now finally ready to pay.

Wallets and mobile payments

Payment has become easy. There’s Google Pay, Apple Pay, Wallets and ofcourse your credit cards. Payments are now much simpler and secure. Payments work. People are now much more accustomed to paying online.

People paid a whooping US$1,058,288 Million in 2019 alone – online.

Exclusivity

A lot of your loyal audience will want to get exclusive access to you. Content that they’ll be the first to catch.

Having a community of loyal audience is far more powerful than a huge following of people who kind-of-like-you. With a loyal community you can have a meaningful dialogue. You can charge for the content, because these people see value in it and will be willing to pay.

Over time more and more people will want to enter this exclusive club. And slowly your revenue will start growing really fast as more and more people refer their friends to your own app.

Don’t err by thinking you can earn with YouTube by just posting videos every week. You need to work hard and build a loyal audience and charge them directly.

You can give them exclusive access to livestreams, classes, videos and podcasts.

Direct

Keep it simple, keep it direct. Don’t play the guessing game of which video will go viral and how much money you can make from each of those videos.

When you start selling to an audience, you can actually just talk to them and see what they want and build exactly what they want & will be willing to pay for.

The number of people who’ll pay you will be far less than the number of subscribers on your channel. However, the amount of money you’ll make from these loyal fans will far outstrip the amount you make through ads.

No free lunch

As they rightly say, there is no free lunch. If you are creating value, you should be rewarded for it. Your content is watched and loved by people around the world, why shouldn’t they pay you?

A lot of YouTubers we talk to are very skeptical about whether their audience will pay for their content. It’s a good question to ask. If the answer is no, there’s a much bigger problem. If you think people will not pay for your content, you should re-evaluate the kind of content you are making. If people love you and your work, they’ll definitely follow you and pay you for your content.

Support

There will be trolls who will, like anywhere on the internet, come and rant about how selfish you are by charging for the content. These are the people you want to separate from your loyals. Your loyals will love the fact that you are taking a bold new step. They will be happy to help you. These are the people who realize that making content isn’t easy. It takes time and effort and you are being fair by asking them to pay up for it.

When in doubt, double the price

Never hesitate to charge for your work.


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