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
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
Features Livestreaming Paid Content

Paid live-streaming with a twist

How do you make money talking about things you love to talk about?
Livestream your ideas.

How do you make money with livestreams?
Make them paid.

How do I get people to pay?
Keep it authentic, original.

How do I get more people to pay?
Read on.

Engage

One thing that separates livestreaming from regular YouTube videos is the engagement – people can chat with you and you can respond in real time. That is what makes livestreams so interesting. It is in vouge today.

When you have paid livestreams, you give a sense of belonging to your users. They are here because they are your loyals. They want to support you. They will follow you where you go. They will pay you for exclusive access.

With exclusive access comes exclusive engagement. Once you get into the groove, you’ll know what your loyal fans want. And you can tailor your content to their specific tastes. On other free content platforms you are usually left guessing. The trolls far out number the loyals – that’s why YouTube comments are a source of constant depression for YouTubers.

A place for your most loyal community. A place of infinite positivity. On the Internet. Did you imagine that?

Growth

The immediate next question becomes how to grow your audience. You’re probably doing really well if you have a small number of people paying you something. It’s a big deal. If there exists one person who’s willing to pay you, there will be thousands of such people in the world. How do you reach them?

More like them

Ofcourse there are more like them. But how do you find them. Ask people who are your fans to find them for you. Afterall, they’d be friends with people like themselves.

Talk to them, ask them to suggest their friends to join in. If not, ask them why they wouldn’t recommend your livestreams to their friends – and make your content better.

Incentivize

Once you’ve done the basics, you’re probably ready to grow fast. Let’s add a viral loop to your livestreams.

If a user’s experience becomes better with more number of people joining in, it gives them an incentive to invite their friends.

Minimum Audience Livestream

Introducing Minimum Audience Livestreams on your own app using socionity.com

Here’s how it works.

  1. You set a date & time when you’ll go live
  2. You set the price
  3. You set a minimum number of people who should register for you to go live

Once you launch this, people can install your app and see the upcoming livestream.

If they like it they’ll pay for it and register.

Let’s say you are going to go live on 8th May at 4pm if there are a minimum of 25 people attending the stream. If on 8th May 4pm, only 20 people have paid – that’s less than 25 – the event gets canceled and all the 20 people get their money back.
However, if 25 or more people pay before 8th May – you’d go live and everyone gets to have a great time.

Why

We know no-one likes to talk in an empty room. So we want to help you safe-guard your self-esteem.

Also, people who really want to see you go live will push their friends to join in. And boom! You now have new people like your loyal fans. Hopefully they’ll love your content too and become your loyal. Rinse and Repeat!

Growth Hacking

This might get tagged under growth hacking, as much as we hate the term. But the truth is this is a small tool we add to your arsenal. The weaponry is still your content. Make that great, tweak it with the tools and build a successful online business on your own terms.

Building a business doing things you love is a privilege, we want to support you to make it possible. We want to enable you as a Freewill Entrepreneur.


Thanks for reading. We write a lot about what we think it takes to build a successful online business in the times of digital media. If you’d like to hear more, you should subscribe. We don’t spam – I promise.