There is an undeniable trend of users in the digital world to mingle, exchange views and get informed in closed communities. Even Mark Zuckerberg speaks of the end of the classic Facebook newsfeeds and of the fact that the future of his platform will be closed groups.
As a mobile communications platform, tchop links communication experts and editors as well as creators and makers with their target groups and users on their most important terminal equipment: the smartphone! Existing online services, communities and contents can be extended to mobile in an efficient way, without complicated IT integration and longish start-up costs.
In this blog post we will illustrate why this is exciting for your “Communities of Interest”.
More than a mobile playback device
It is essential to view your own mobile app not just as a technical extension of existing online news services. Rather think of them as a part of your product strategy to be permanently developed and understand them as a mobile communications platform which offers more to your own communities – and allows more possibilities. Because we think that good mobile apps are always about the notion of “empowerments”, too. It is about what you allow your communities to do (or at least selected users within it) on the most successful device in human history, the smartphone; what you empower them to do with it. It is also about linking the community closer with the editorial side and to equip the editorial (or for example single “reader reporters” as well) with a more powerful, highly efficient tool.
After all, every day millions of amateurs become content producers on social networks – so why not transfer the simplicity and efficiency of these mobile processes into professional, editorially managed communities?
As a complete technical solution tchop offers a variety of advantages and exciting opportunities for companies, editors and creators.
1. A Place for (really) all relevant content
Today even for niche topics there is no lack of content. But often there is a lack of context and understanding. This is exactly where “Communities of Interest”, as a central access point for a specific topic, offers a long-lasting added value. They make it easier especially for users who are not willing or able to follow events on Twitter or the established news tickers and portals on a daily basis.
For many smaller editorial departments it is economically not feasible to cover all relevant topics with their own self produced articles in a sufficiently comprehensive and speedy way. Therefore the curating, commmenting and classifying of third party content plays an important role.
tchop makes it easy to efficiently aggregate your own as well as random external content sources in your own app and create a central access point on users’ smartphones. Lean Input-API and the tchop Integrations allow for scraping of RSS feeds, social media sources or just any website. Newsworthy or timeless content can be combined in one service. In a flexible structure that can be modified dynamically.
And by the way: In many communities content is already curated, but mostly outside of your “own world”, namely on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. An exclusive added value for your own “paid services” goes missing that way. Many users are happy enough with the activity in these open, external networks.
2. Editorial control
There is an obvious difference between an editorial service and a social network. For that matter tchop tries to rethink “community”.
Not that we think it is wise to let all users within a community to become content producers. Many users do not want that either. We believe in the quality of capable moderators and editors, who know exactly which user in the network can deliver a meaningful contribution to which topics and issues, and who ensure a quality in content that is not available for users in “open” networks.
For that reason with tchop the last word and the final control always lies with real people, with editors or a communications team made of flesh and blood. They decide how and where their own offerings will go “social”. This makes sure content is up to date and relevant for the target group. tchop can be considered primarily as an efficient tool for such teams.
3. Share content the easy way
By using the tchop apps editorial community can share, with just a few clicks, all kinds of digital content either via other apps or directly “in the app” (just like in the well-known social networks). This goes for images and videos as well as for tweets or interesting links, because a community will only become a place for all relevant content if the right users in editorial and community are enabled to take part in an efficient way.
The focus is on simplicity and comfort, because in the long run something like this can only work if technology makes it as easy as possible for the user. Therefore tchop deliberately goes for well known functionality and “user patterns” most of us are familiar with from other apps.
The possibility to share content in an easy way within your own app or via other apps and to add it to your own offerings – regardless of where you are – allows even small teams to curate a daily up to date, relevant news app service.
4. Discussing content in a simple, direct and safe way
Today exchanges in closed groups on smartphones takes place in chats. It doesn’t matter if it is professional communication in a company (e.g. Slack or MS Teams) or on a personal basis – real time chats are standard. However, for your own community these platforms come with disadvantages: Not every user is willing to use any of these or other specific channels. Users relinquish a lot of control and questions regarding data and privacy protection have to be raised, which has to be regarded as critical especially with WhatsApp.
tchop is the first platform to link up to date content with a real time chat – in an app of your own. Makers always keep full control over who gets to have an exchange with whom and in which chat group, which chat groups are visible for everyone and which are private. In private 1:1 chats users can give feedback or editors can communicate with users directly. The possibilities are manifold and we illustrate them in this separate blog post here.
But having your own chat is also a perfect “retention” instrument, because – like we know from WhatsApp & Co. – users get push messages for chat news even when not actively taking part in the app. And with each push message your own brand will make an appearance in the “message center” of the user’s smartphone!
5. A premium user experience
The majorty of smartphone use takes place in native apps. Basically every important app with corresponding userbase is natively programmed and differs regarding user experience and often functionality of mobile websites and the Safari browser, too. On smartphones the brower based internet rather plays the role of final destination – but not that of access point.
Users demand a great deal of today’s mobile apps. This presents a problem for many online publishers and communities, because developing your own app is complex and expensive.
That is why tchop apps rely on state-of-the-art, native app technology. Because only a premium user experience creates acceptance and secures lasting user commitment. And native features like real time chat can only be realised on such a premium quality level with true app progamming.
The apps are optimised for iOS and Android, which means they are not one hundred percent identical, but they use the strengths of each platform. So for users UX details are familiar straight away.
6. “Killer Feature”: push messaging
Some apps also offer further USPs not available on a responsive website, as an addition to an existing online news service. One of the key points here are the famous “push messages”. If used correctly these are, for many users, of central added value, because they keep the community up to date even ouside of the app. Often these messages perform better than the classic newsletter, with opening rates between 60 and 70 percent.
Push messages bring users back again and again and in doing so offer additional added value for a brand, because the app icon becomes visible and relevant in the daily news stream of a user. tchop allows for the sending and “timing” of push messages with just a few steps. That way linking important content in or outside of the app is a walk in the park.
If you are looking to not rely solely on existing platforms when building your own community in the mobile world, but wants to invest in your own customer relations, tchop provides you with a powerful and complete solution.
A solution which combines the main advantages of native apps with the possibility to bring together all relevant content in one place, in a most easy and efficient way.
All the while we at tchop will take care of the complex technology, so that communication experts, editors, creators and makers can concentrate on the most important issues: content and target group!