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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:

  1. What is an Activity Feed?
  2. Benefits of Creating an Activity Feed
  3. Real Examples of Activity Feed
  4. 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.

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