phpFox Blog: Social network and online community building insights

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  • Hello Autumn Sale: Don’t FALL behind these exciting offers!

    Hello Autumn Sale: Don’t FALL behind these exciting offers!

    The fall season marks the beginning of the holiday season! It's time to get a treat from phpFox on Autumn Promotion 2022. Ready to unveil it?   AUTUMN SALE PROMOTION 2022 🎁Time to welcome this Fall with phpFox special deals: 15% OFF on all license purchases, upgrades, or add-on solutions (ChatPlus, Live Streaming) from August 4th to August 7th, 2022. Code: FOXAUTUMN22  Hurry up and save big today!   🤝In addition, 3rd-party experts are also offering Discounts for all their plugins. Shop all offers! YouNetCo 15% OFF for all Plugin Purchases |  Code: YNCAUTUMN22 | August 4th to August 7th   🔑Have any questions? Contact us via Client Area or email us at hello@phpfox.com
  • What is Activity Feed and Why Your Social Media App Needs It?

    What is Activity Feed and Why Your Social Media App Needs It?

    Scrolling through the activity feed for updates is a habit of every user on social media. Here, we outline the definition, benefits, use cases, and best practices of the activity feed, and ways you can easily integrate this vital feature into your own mobile platform.   In This Article: What is an Activity Feed? Benefits of Creating an Activity Feed Real Examples of Activity Feed Implementing Activity Feed In Your App What is an Activity Feed? Sometimes called a newsfeed or activity stream, an activity feed is a real-time list of actions performed by users on an app or website. Activity feeds display information from a user’s online community such as likes, follows, comments, posts, and content shares. Feeds are an effective way for apps and websites to keep users engaged in their platform and motivated to interact and connect with others. Activity feeds positively impact an app or website’s key performance indicators such as retention rates, session length, engagement, and overall user satisfaction, making them a vital software component for community-centered platforms such as social apps like Facebook and Instagram, and professional tools like Microsoft Teams and Hubspot. Not only social apps, activity feeds can also be integrated and used in different niche social networks, e.g. sports, travel, gaming, education, etc. Before looking into the real examples, let’s go through the key benefits activity feeds can bring to your app.   Benefits of creating an activity feed An activity feed helpfully organizes what your users see first when they login to your app. Here is why your app needs one: It is great for collecting user feedback The activity feed is that forum where you and your users can interact frequently. The upshot is that you gain access to end users’ feedback directly, including what’s working about the app, and any problems they’re facing. You are able to better understand how they are using the app, where they are facing a problem, what they expect more from it, and how you can improve it further for them. Nothing better than real user insights to better your product! It makes customer support easier While collecting feedback from the activity feed, you’re probably going to stumble across a few complaints. You can then use your feeds to clear the issue up by offering immediate and direct support to the end user. This means they don’t even need to leave the app and head to another channel. Instead, you can keep them inside the app, which will increase customer satisfaction and engagement at the same time. It makes measuring user reactions easy Continuing on the point above, when you make broadcast announcements, you’re bound to get reactions – positive and negative. On activity feeds, you can immediately see how the users are reacting to an announcement. You can measure the success of it in terms of likes and comments – this also gives you a chance to make the users better understand something new on the app, by getting their announcement reaction before going live with that feature. It makes the interaction between users easy Notice how easy it is to like a friend’s picture on Facebook and drop a comment on an article you liked? The ease of the platform when it comes to interacting with others is what draws you back to it. It lets users track what others are doing, like, or comment on their activity and interact socially. This also keeps them engaged in the app for much longer. It helps build stronger communities At the end of the day, all the above-mentioned benefits contribute to the development of a loyal and vibrant in-app community. Strong communities help retain existing users and reduce user acquisition costs for businesses by 90%.   Real examples of activity feed Looking for some inspiration for your app? Wondering how to implement an activity feed of your own? Let us dispel all your doubts by looking into how feeds are used in different app categories. Health & Fitness: Strava Strava is a social network for cycling, running, and triathlon athletes. The activity feed is basically the home screen of Strava, where users share their activities and workouts, comment on them, and cheer each other up . One of the great things that Strava offers is the ability to share group events or include other users in your activity if they didn't have anything to track it with themselves, or if you just happen to be exercising with someone else. The Strava smartphone app also has a friend finder on the Feed page - it's a social network after all and making connections is part of what you're supposed to do. Travel: TripAdvisor TripAdvisor is a full-fledged social network for travelers. All users, including hotels, and restaurants are now able to create personalized profiles and follow their friends and trusted experts, including bloggers, popular brands, and influencers. Users can look up and save useful content in a convenient format and share it by using a dynamic feed of videos, articles, guides, and reviews. TripAdvisor members can also create “trips” in their profiles, which can become guides, itineraries, or wish lists for future travels. This content may be for personal use, or it may be shared to help other members of the community find the best vacation and accommodation options. The user’s home page is converted into a personalized news feed. When searching for a specific destination, the feed automatically narrows the information displayed to a specific geo-location. In the first place, the feed will display the most suitable options for a particular user with the highest rating from friends and people they follow. Education: Duo Lingo The Activity stream was a section that held a record of the activity on Duolingo, including discussions created, comments posted, sentences translated, lessons completed, and course levels attained. In addition, users could review a record of activity from everyone they've followed. Users could also see a record of what they've done by clicking on their username in the Blue Bar at the top of the screen. Social Network: Instagram Feeds are a core functionality for social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. One of the most popular is photo-centric Instagram. Instagram’s personalized feed leverages machine learning to populate new and relevant content to users in order to keep audiences scrolling.   Implementing activity feed into your app Activity feeds have the potential to turn your app into the new socializing channel for mobile users. With phpFox, you can build social news feeds and notifications into your mobile app in no time. Let users create engaging content and engage with others through comments and reactions. Users follow other users or topics and become members of various groups to get a personalized timeline of content. Ready to give it a try? Get started now or contact us to request a demo and ask for advice.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Building A Mighty Sports Community

    The Ultimate Guide to Building A Mighty Sports Community

    Building a sports community goes beyond creating a website and finding members. It’s a combination of user understanding, web design, and key functions. When it’s done right, it gives businesses a distinct identity and lifelong values. Today we'll show you how to build a solid and profitable sports community from scratch as well as tools and strategies to support your sports community.   In This Article: Examples of Sports Forums and Community Sites How phpFox Can Help You Build a Mighty Sports Community Wrap Up: Start Establishing Your Own Sports Community Examples of sports forums and community sites A sports community can be the ideal platform to build real and strong relationships with sports lovers. Undoubtedly, these connections foster continuous engagement, loyalty, and sales opportunities. Below are a few great examples of successful sports communities that you can relate to: 1. Covers Forum This is a very active forum and they cover a huge range of sports (NBA, NHL, soccer, basketball, tennis, horse, rugby, golf…). Besides, it provides various accesses to every sport including game schedule, scoreboard, analysis, member discussion, etc. It also has a contest section that awards members for winning small games and contests with Amazon gift cards. This is a great example of how you could engage your members with exciting activities. 2. FC Bayern Munich Forum Fußball-Club Bayern München, commonly known as FC Bayern Munich, is a professional German sports club based in Munich, Germany. It is best known for its professional soccer team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German soccer league, and is the most successful club in German soccer history. FC Bayern won a fascinating record of 30 national titles and 20 national cups, along with numerous European honors. It is not only a famous football club, it is also a German social media champion, placed at the top of the Social Media Index 2022, curated by the International Football Institute. FC Bayern’s social media team is active on the main social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube – but it also runs its own community forum, which was founded in 2006. The forum is publicly accessible and integrated into the FC Bayern Munich website. As of July 2022, the FC Bayern Munich Forum has over 16,617 topics; 686,214 posts; and 9,083 members. Fans talk about the team, rumors of players’ changes, practice, and much more. Through the use of gamification, community members can collect points, e.g. for starting a discussion, commenting, or liking others’ contributions. Based on these points, a ranking is built, retaining a competitive element. Through the FCB Forum, supporters from around the world have the opportunity to become not just loyal fans but also family members. 3. Cappers Mall forum This forum is also a great choice for sports lovers because you will find the best topics to discuss soccer, horse race, football, baseball, basketball, etc. One of the best advantages of this forum is its simple-to-use community site. The navigation makes it super easy for users to find a topic they are interested in.   How phpFox can help you build a mighty sports community  phpFox is a feature-rich community platform developed to help you build an all-around and robust online community, no matter what your niche is. Especially, it is popular for providing mobile apps on iOS/Android, add-on solutions, and customization packages to help community owners build their niche site exactly the way it should be built. Essential features for a sports community  phpFox is a feature-rich community platform that covers all features to build a sports community from Sign up/ Sign in, Profile update/ Profile management to Activity Feed, Private Groups, Chat rooms, Media gallery, Gamification, etc. You can also increase user engagement by giving members reward points for daily login or comments/sharing on community posts. Unlimited customization options By ‘unlimited’, phpFox offers a full suite of customization solutions for whatever you want your site to work or look like. To be more specific, you may ask to integrate a video gallery with your Youtube channel or other video platforms or request to redesign your website's look and feel to make your sports community look more branded and match your brand theme. 👉See more customization services phpFox can offer to help level up your community site! Advanced solutions to step up your game Apart from essential features, phpFox also provides game-changing solutions to help your sports community stand out from other community sites. ChatPlus: What makes ChatPlus a must-have instant message tool is its helpful functionalities for online communities. With advanced instant messaging, group chats, and audio/video calls, ChatPlus works just like Facebook Messenger to let you share photos, videos, GIFs, and emojis and communicate faster with members or hold online private meetings on site. Live streaming: Live events or talks may help sports fans feel extremely united and connected to fellow members if done correctly. Take advantage of the phpFox Live streaming feature to host intimate live talks, Q&A sessions, and giveaway events to boost user engagement and strengthen relationships with your community members. User-friendly mobile apps Mobile devices are becoming irreplaceable things in our daily life. Mobile apps increase user intention for your business thanks to their popularity and especially push notifications. App owners may utilize this channel to enhance their brands. Fortunately, phpFox is available on Android and iOS platforms with responsive and friendly UI/UX for users. Monetization strategies After a period of operating and gathering members, you can think of different ways to earn an income with your sports community. There are tons of methods to make money from an online sports community: - Membership: provide exclusive content for paid membership - Charge for sponsored content or run ads - Organize events with partner collaboration - Open a store to sell branded merchandise With phpFox's various customization solutions, you can turn any of your monetization ideas into reality within a short period of time.   Wrap up: Start establishing your own sports community! Above all, starting a sports community is not as difficult as you think thanks to its massive fanbase. You can start by building an intimate community space where fans can easily come to find people with the same favorite sports team or players and make it easy for them to talk and share. A solid online community should be built based on true connections and sharing. Lastly, if you are nurturing an idea of creating a community for any sport, just get down to the business with the help of phpFox!   DISCUSS WITH US to learn how you can create a branded sports community and turn your successful community into a profitable business!    
  • Get ready for Independence Day Promotion 2022

    Get ready for Independence Day Promotion 2022

    4th of July is coming and phpFox decides to give you a smashing deal. Get yourself dynamite savings of 17% OFF all purchases with Independence Day Promotion 2022.    INDEPENDENCE DAY PROMOTION 2022 🎁Time to celebrate 4th of July with phpFox special deals: upgrade license, buy new license or add-on solutions: 17% OFF on all license purchases, upgrades, or add-on solutions (ChatPlus, Live Streaming) from July 1 to July 4, 2022. Code: FREEDOM22  Enjoy wonderful features at the best prices! SHOP NOW   🤝In addition, 3rd-party experts are also offering Discounts for all their plugins. Shop all offers! YouNetCo 17% OFF for all Plugin Purchases |  Code: YNCFREDOM22 | July 1st to July 4th   🔑Have any questions? Contact us via Client Area or email us at hello@phpfox.com
  • phpFox 4.8.10 Official Release

    phpFox 4.8.10 Official Release

    We’re beyond excited to tell you that phpFox web version 4.8.10 is finally here. All of your feedback and concerns had been heard and looked into. Hence, this update is what our team has been working on these past few months to bring you a better experience and the most satisfying improvements.   Here, we’ll summarize what key highlights you need to know about the web version 4.8.10 and give you full instructions on how to upgrade smoothly. Major Improvements This phpFox web version update focuses on providing a smoother User Experience and improving some features to make it easier for community admins and users to operate and interact. Add progress bar when user uploads cover photo Now when uploading a new cover photo, you will see the progress bar showing how it's going. This improvement seems minor but it will definitely make the cover-uploading process feel fluid and smooth.   Add option ‘Send Now’ for the scheduled post Additionally, for the scheduled posts, you will have an option to send posts immediately. This means you can decide to post instantly after having scheduled a post on your feed. Support multiple languages for ‘Main content’ Guess what’s even better in this update? With the Multi-language function, you can now customize the “Main content” section in your preferred languages! It’s a great way to tailor to those whose primary language may be different from the primary language currently on your website.   Include ‘Phone Number’ option in the Ban filter Besides Usernames, Emails, IP Address, and Words, now we add up one more powerful filter, ‘Phone Number’ to the Ban Filters. As a result, this addon segment will help the administrator better manage the community by removing users with phone numbers.   Edit user profile Add asterisk on required custom fields Missing required fields - All messages should be shown at the same time 👉Read more on Release Notes and the Changelog to see other bug fixes and details in phpFox 4.8.10.   Upgrade to phpFox 4.8.10 The package of phpFox 4.8.10 is available for you to download in our Client Area. To upgrade your phpFox site to version 4.8.10, you have to run the full upgrade routine as our Upgrade Instructions. We highly recommend you back up your site and database before proceeding with the upgrade. And, don’t forget to check with 3rd-party experts about the compatibility of all the apps/templates you are using.   ❗ Note: If your phpFox site is using 3rd-party apps or has customizations, please see our recommendations. 🔑For the new phpFox installation, the following articles will be helpful to you: Download Installation Guide Don’t hesitate to submit tickets or report immediately to our GitHub Tracker or Client Area for any issue. We appreciate any feedback and idea to make phpFox better!  
  • 5 Reasons to Start Building A Sports Community

    5 Reasons to Start Building A Sports Community

    Nowadays, sports forums are very popular. They are the best places for sports lovers to share their opinions, talk about their favorite teams, players or idols, and interact with fellow fans. But many aren’t aware that a sports community has plenty of untapped business potential thanks to massive support from passionate fans.   In Part I, you'll discover why building a branded sports community can turn active members into loyal fans and benefit your business, notably earning you recurring income.   In This Article: The Rise of Sports Community 5 Reasons to Build a Branded Sports Community Coming Up Next: Tips to Build a Mighty Sports Community The rise of sports communities   The field of sports provides a fertile ground for online community building. There are quite a few reasons for this. First, emotional bonds between fans are a defining feature of sports; fans are often passionate about the teams they support and are actively seeking to engage in exchanges with other fans. Second, the fandom of a specific team or discipline can be viewed as creating a shared identity that binds community members together.     In fact, research has shown that engagement in sports communities enhances identification with the organization, team, and stadium attendance. There are different types of communities when it comes to the objectives they are designed to meet. Communities may cater to sports entities at different levels. For example, there are online communities operating at the team level (e.g., Manchester United, Los Angeles Lakers), at the association level (e.g., English Premier League, NBA, NFL, MLS), at the sport level (e.g., soccer, football, basketball), or sport at large.     As a typical example, you can think of Reddit, the news site and self-proclaimed “front page of the internet”, as hosting multiple sport-related communities. The biggest and most general one, Reddit Sports, has more than 20.3 million fans and ranks 28th in size compared to all communities hosted on the platform. On average, Reddit Sports receives 42 posts and 243 comments per day. Furthermore, there are more than 70 subreddits, i.e., dedicated forums to specific topics, in the field of sports, featuring all major leagues and numerous smaller sports disciplines.      There are 2 different types of online communities: Shared social communities: public platforms where you have limited control over the narrative and the data that you can collect. For the most part, social communities are public, however, you can create private groups on Facebook, for example, if you are looking for a more closed community. Owned/branded communities: This is a dedicated community built by you, housed usually on your website, and generally secured by the membership. You have more control over the data that you can collect as well as the management of the day-to-day on the platform.   The most common among small businesses are shared social communities. But why should you invest your time and resources into developing an online community? The next section will reveal a few reasons for you to consider.   5 reasons to build a branded sports community   One could argue why to start an on-domain sports community when it’s super easy to create one on public platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, public social networks might be free to use but your accessibility and modification are limited. On the flip side, an on-domain community can make any of your ideas come true. Total control and unlimited customization. The ability to customize freely will help set your sports community apart from others, provide community members with the best experience, and build strong relationships.   Brand Identity   With a self-hosted (on-domain) online community, you will be able to customize it however you want. With a small investment in an on-domain community, you can build a branded site that perfectly fits the theme of your sports community. Furthermore, private social networks make it simple to scale up your community site depending on your desire to add more functionality, change UI or improve user experience.     Personalized User Experience    Understanding customers should always be at the center of business when thinking about a product/market fit. Who are you selling to? I'm not talking about customer personas. I'm talking about real people.   Using customer data from many different tools to get the bigger picture is often difficult, if not impossible. We've solved this by integrating the right tools into a seamless platform that generates diverse information for tailored analytics.   Each user will have different behavior and actions when visiting a website. This indicates that you can personalize a user experience to encourage members to interact more often inside your community. For instance, a cheerful message on members’ birthdays might brighten up their moods and turn them into loyal fans.   Content-rich Sports Community   With customizable options, you can freely decide what’s inside your sports community, either video gallery, latest news, Q&A section, gossip threads or subscription-only content. Using valuable content to attract and gather a large number of members joining, you’ll be able to carry out monetization strategies to maintain and enhance your online community.   Complete Management   For popular public social platforms like Facebook or Twitter, your ability to control members’ profiles is restricted due to data privacy regulations. As a result, your only option is to rely on the information provided by these sites to operate your community.   However, private online communities such as those created with phpFox give you total control over the data you collect from members on registration. You’ll manage and keep track of user-profiles and data more effectively, using them to conduct analyses and make smart marketing moves for your sports community.   Recurring Income   With a sports community, you can expand your customer base, retain loyal fans and increase sales. A happy customer, who's satisfied with the service and product they received, is invaluable in today's economy. Sharing experiences has become painless and expected. Thus any customer can turn into a loyal and valuable fan, capable of growing the business through recommendations.   Positive customer experience creates a loop. Experiences, satisfaction, and loyalty lead to new customers and more sales.   Coming up next: Part II   After going through Part I, you are able to figure out the underlying potential of starting a sports community. Next week, we will reveal Part II on tips to build a mighty sports community with a best-in-class community platform. This is to help you imagine what a sports community should look like and how you can make your community profitable. Stay tuned to unlock more access to build a successful sports community!   CONNECT WITH US and learn more about how you can create your own branded online community! Grow your revenue with a successful community!   RELATED:  What Makes a Strong Online Community? Best Brand Community and What Done Right Tips to Build a Great Online Community    
  • Cheers to all dads with Father’s Day 2022 Promotion 🎊

    Cheers to all dads with Father’s Day 2022 Promotion 🎊

    Father's Day is around the corner! To celebrate this Special Day, phpFox is pleased to offer some hard-to-resist deals on Father's Day Promotion 2022. Let's jump in to collect props!   FATHER'S DAY PROMOTION 2022 🎁Take this precious time to treat dads or yourself by starting a new online community or upgrading your license, and buy extra solutions to better grow your business. 15% OFF on all phpFox license purchases, upgrades, or solutions from June 16 to June 19, 2022. CODE: FATHERSLOVE22  Wonderful feature packages awaiting with best prices! SHOP NOW   In addition, 3rd-party experts are also offering Discounts for all their plugins. Shop on store! YouNetCo 15% OFF for all Plugin Purchases |  Code: YNCFATHER22 | June 16th to June 19th   For more information, Contact us via email hello@phpfox.com
  • What is Community Platform and Why Do You Need It?

    What is Community Platform and Why Do You Need It?

    Choosing the best-fit community platform for your business isn’t a process that should be rushed. It takes time to figure out what type of community will benefit your business most. By digging into in this article, you should be well on your way to find the right platform for you.
  • Video-on-Demand vs. Live Streaming: What’s the Difference?

    Video-on-Demand vs. Live Streaming: What’s the Difference?

    Without a doubt, video content is booming as the best medium of advertising, and there are different kinds of video content, this include live streaming video and video-on-command. 
  • How Niche Communities Can and Will Change Online Conversations

    How Niche Communities Can and Will Change Online Conversations

    Social media are filled with and an abundance of ads. Let's find out more about niche online communities how they are used.
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