Interactive social media network with video streaming

USA-based media startup aiming at supporting people’s communication during pandemics.

Project background

The latest figures state that at least 9 in 10 Internet users now use social media each month. It means that 58.4% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is from 2 hours and 27 minutes (as per January 2022 research)

In spring 2020, when Covid-19 pandemic started, people had to adjust to a new reality, staying at home, and talking online. This influenced the communication industry greatly. That’s when the idea to develop a social media app like Clubhouse appeared. 

Our client is a US-based media startup aiming to support people’s communication during pandemics. The main product idea was to offer a new social networking app, an online nightclub with parties, good music, and interactive videos. 

This solution will cover all platforms and popular devices, for both mobile and desktop users.

Duration
  • April 2020 - ongoing
Location
  • The USA 
Industry
  • Media
Development team
  • 3 Qt Developers
  • 3 iOS Developers
  • 3 Andriod Developers
  • 3 Python Developers
  • 1 DevOps
  • 1 Business Analyst
  • 1 Project Manager
  • 2 QA, and AQA Engineer
Technologies 
  • Swift
  • Kotlin
  • WebRTC
  • Smack
  • XMPP
  • Janus
  • Qt
  • QWebEngine
  • Python 
  1. Check my neighborhood Even though the social app promotes online communication, a user can check other users located nearby and invite them to join a club of interest.
  2. Create a Club All groups in this social platform are divided based on people’s preferences in music, entertainment, and other themes. Unlike Rooms in Clubhouse, Clubs here support live video-streaming instead of voice. Regular chatting is also possible. Every online Club has a Guestlist, a list of the most popular clubs to join, and Moderation. Besides, every Club can have up to 50 guests and 5 moderators.
  3. Real-time discussion with video A User can watch an on-stage performance, for instance, of how a bartender is making a cocktail, repeat after him, discuss it with other Club guests, and compare the progress.
  4. Clubs Moderation Leaving a social app to function on its own will undoubtedly lead to offensive content, harassment, and other negative aspects of human communication. Moderation may not seem like a must-have feature, but it will pay off in the long run.
  5. Live Video-streaming (Instagram-like feature) Each Club in the app has a Stage with live-streaming from one user in the current version, and multiple users in the upcoming product versions. Other users can share their reactions and discuss the live stream.
  6. Instant chats/ In-app messaging in this all-in-one social media app are available for users within one Club and one table. Private tables come with up to 10 guests each.
  7. In-app purchase Like every real night, this one also comes with its own Bar, so every user can purchase and share digital drinks and food (stickers) with other guests.
  8. Invites for new users We have chosen the invite-based system for our social app to improve the quality of content and create an image of a closed club. All users can join closed Clubs of interest via invitation only (like in the ClubHouse app).
Tech challenges
  1. To check the idea (concept) of a new social platform during the pandemic time
  2. To develop the social media network solution from scratch for the USA target audience
  3. To avoid out-of-the-box solutions like Twillio and find custom software development services for desktop and mobile solutions
  4. To show stable prototypes for investors’ approval
Solution
  1. Product discovery: research, analysis, and estimation
  2. Creation of technical documentation;
  3. UX design for all platforms
  4. Prototypes/MVP
  5. Custom software development for all platforms
  6. Software testing

Tech block

We decided to avoid out-of-the-box solutions like Twillio because the project had considerable product research. That’s why using a custom software solution helped us adapt to changing requirements.    

iOS   

Swift, MVP(with coordinator), GoogleSignIn, AppleSignIn, RestAPI, SpriteKit, CoreMotion, Fastlane, WebRTC, third party libraries(Kingfisher), AVFoundation, XMPPFramework, MFMailComposeViewController, CocoaLumberjack, PushNotifications, FirebaseSignIn, WebRTC(simulcast), multiple environments, ContactsUI, CoreData   

Android   

WebRTC, Smack (XMPP), Box2D, Kotlin, Clean Architecture, MVVM, Koin, Room, Navigation Component, Firebase, Retrofit, Moshi, CameraX   

Back-end: Python (TBD)   

Desktop   

Qt, QML, QWebEngine, GStreamer, WebRTC, STUN, TURN, ICE, RTP, DTLS, Janus, VP8, Simulcast, opus, XMPP, HTTP Rest, libphonenumber (Google’s phone number handling library), Firebase, Box2b, NSIS, Installer  

Client Values
  1. We started fast, conducting a profound discovery phase with a lot of research. Over time, we began to apply the Use Case Scenario and User Stories + AC approach, which demonstrated the value from each selected feature;
  2. We provided custom software development services for all platforms of the client’s interest: desktop (Windows and Mac OS) and mobile application development services (for iOS and Android users)
  3. We created working prototypes within the MVP stage to check if the idea was valid

Testimonials

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The biggest challenge for our team was an unclear vision of the client’s idea. Since there was no final scope of features for this interactive social media network, we advised the customer to avoid solutions like Twillio. From a tech point of view, this solution is 101% a custom one. Happy to know that I can help the client make his idea happen and that the final product allows end-users to communicate in a new remote reality.

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Lisa Shtepa Product Owner
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Let’s bring your idea to
life together!

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