3 Crucial Feed Features to Drive Engagement and Retention

These days, activity stream and feeds (ex. newsfeeds) are ubiquitous. The most obvious examples are the Twitters and Facebooks of the world, but feeds are also being adopted by companies such as Google and Amazon. We’ve even noticed that many companies are basing their entire application off of a dynamic feed structure, but don’t even know they’re using feed technology! Or at least they didn't know there's a name for it. Now, isn’t that ironic?

The reason so many applications use feeds is because they are a great way to connect people to information, drive app engagement and retention, and can even uncover new revenue sources (ex. paid advertisements). The everyday digital consumer understands how to navigate feeds and have come to expect certain feed features that keep them coming back for more. Let’s take a step back and define what a feed or activity stream is:

FEED: A list of activities from the topics you follow. You can use a feed to follow any type of topic. Common topics include users or friends, stocks, playlists and artists.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the 3 crucial features to take into account when thinking about building a feed into your product.

  1. Aggregation

    Display content from everything (people, interests, places, etc.) you follow and group
    activities accordingly.

  2. Ranking

    Take control of where certain activities show up in your feed, rather than having
    activities sorted chronologically.

  3. Personalization

    Learn about a user’s interests and personalize their experience using machine learning.
    The five use cases for personalization are: discovery feeds, email digests, product
    recommendations, edgerank and follow suggestions.

These 3 features are great to keep in mind while building your app. Each app or community will have unique features that are crucial to their success. We’re here to help provide inspiration and ideas on what to try out! For more information on and help with building your feed, check out Stream's API!