Exploring the Power and Potential of Stream’s Feeds API

6 min read
Emily R.
Emily R.
Published September 8, 2023

In the world of real-time content experiences, user engagement, community, and retention metrics reign supreme.

Fortunately, you can elevate your UX and improve KPIs that mean the most to your app with Stream's Activity Feed API and SDKs. Our reusable components are easy to integrate, require little to no maintenance, and, most importantly, can scale alongside your growing user base.

In this blog post, we will dive deep into the capabilities, value, best practices, and wide variety of Stream Feeds use cases. We will explore how the API can positively impact your app, whether it's a social media platform, content distribution network, or project management tool. 

Understanding Stream's Activity Feed API

An activity feed is a real-time list of actions performed by users. They display information from a user's online community, such as posts, likes, follows, comments, and content shares.

When apps leverage features of Stream's API, like notifying users of new content and ranking posts more likely to yield engagement, they can drive higher user retention rates, session length, engagement, and satisfaction.

Stream empowers developers to incorporate complex features and functionalities like fan out, user profiles, notifications, monetization opportunities, and ranked and aggregated feeds into their apps. From social network streams to personalized content feeds, Stream can enhance your app's value for users and is equipped to support engineers in developing unique use cases.

Common Activity Feed Use Cases

Beyond social media apps, activity feeds are leveraged in a variety of ways for education, telehealth, wellness, financial, team collaboration, virtual events, gaming, and dating platforms. These verticals can be bucketed into three primary categories: 

  • Social Platforms: Create dynamic and interactive social feeds where users can like, comment, engage with advertisements, and receive real-time notifications for a more engaging social experience. Follow-relationships created with feeds can help users build a greater sense of community within your app, like this gaming app for women

  • Content Sharing Apps: Store and display multimedia content viewers can access and engage with. An educational Learning Management System (LMS), for example, allows admins to serve relevant content to students and send them reminders about upcoming assignments through activity feeds. 

  • Collaboration Tools: Facilitate seamless communication and project updates with real-time updates that enhance productivity and collaboration among team members. A great example of a project management platform leveraging feeds is Stream customer Filo.

The Value of Integrating Stream's Activity Feed API

Choosing to integrate a reusable component versus building activity feeds in-house significantly streamlines development and time spent on maintenance and iterations.

If you opt for a home-grown solution, be prepared to budget bandwidth and resources to engineer: 

  • "To Targeting" Features, like @Mentions and Tags
  • Monitoring, Devops, Testing & Documentation
  • URL Previews
  • Reactions, Comments, and Nested Comments
  • Notification Feeds and Aggregation Logic
  • Ranking Algorithms
  • Enrichment of Re-usable Data
  • File and Image Uploads and CDN storage 
  • Fan Out Read & Write
  • Batch Methods for Adding and Removing Content
  • Batch Methods for Follows and Unfollows
  • Custom UI 
  • Securing HIPAA & GDPR Compliance
  • Hosting & Latency
  • Costs & Scalability
  • Real-Time Updates on Feeds & Reactions

Our API and SDKs accelerate the development and eliminate the responsibility of maintaining and improving upon all of those features and provide additional support from comprehensive documentation, world-class customer support, and a user-friendly UI Kit.

Stream's Feeds API also provides superior scalability. Stream's robust infrastructure is built on GO, RocksDB, and Raft to ensure an instant feed experience with low latency at scale. Stream can handle the demands of growing user bases and activity loads, all while managing fan out through push and pull mechanisms. Implementing such a system in-house would be both complex and cost-prohibitive.

Successful API Integration Case Studies

Survey data shows that after integrating the Stream Activity Feed API, Stream customers saw user engagement increase by an average of 66% and user retention increase by 58%. Learn more about the impressive gains real Stream customers have experienced with our API, as well as the challenges they faced before integration, how they leveraged our API to solve them, and the positive outcomes achieved.

Explore five examples of platforms that effectively utilize Stream's Feeds API below.

1. Healthline 

Healthline is the largest website and provider of health information in the world. By utilizing the power of Stream Feeds, their Product Development team could focus on serving the unique needs of each community and save time, energy, and resources.

  • Challenge: Healthline needed a better way to match new users with existing members based on the medical data collected during onboarding.
  • Strategy: Stream Feeds helped Healthline discover that optimizing the experience for new members as quickly as possible translates into long-term engagement and retention.
  • Result: By using Stream Feeds, Healthline was able to dramatically increase 90-day retention.

2. CodePen

Founded in 2012, CodePen is the go-to social community where over 300K front-end designers and developers gather to write, test, and share code. CodePen's online text editor makes it easy to build and test components in real time using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript --- but it's the social development aspect that sets CodePen apart from other dev platforms.

  • Challenge: CodePen's original activity feed needed an overhaul to improve performance. The team recognized an opportunity to add new and expanded functionality to stay competitive in an evolving social media landscape.
  • Strategy: After evaluating Stream Feeds, it became clear that the third-party component solution would provide more advanced functionality at a significantly lower cost than in-house development, with a straightforward integration process and enterprise-grade technical support.
  • Result: CodePen's Following, Trending, and Activity feeds, all powered by Stream, work together to give users a seamless personalized content discovery experience that rivals today's leading social platforms.

3. Vidyard

Vidyard promotes personalization in virtual selling by enabling teams to incorporate video into every stage of the sales cycle. Sales professionals can leverage Vidyard to stand out in the crowd, showcase their product and personality, boost response rates, and tailor unique follow-up messages to prospects.

  • Challenge: Vidyard's existing notification feed solution wasn't feature-rich or flexible. The engineering team sought a new solution that was easy to integrate and could deliver a top-notch UX.
  • Strategy: Engineering Director Scott MacLellan found Stream Feeds---the answer to Vidyard's new solution search and the final piece of its Chrome extension launch.
  • Result: Vidyard integrated Stream Feeds in a single weekend. It now powers notifications for millions of global users of the business's Chrome extension, main dashboard, and parts of its mobile app.

4. The*gameHERS

Entrepreneurs Laura Deutsch, Heather Ouida, Verta Maloney, and Rebecca Dixon recognized the need for a safe, inclusive online environment for women and femme-identifying gamers to gather, communicate, and share advice and stories, so they created The*gameHERS.

  • Challenge: In the male-dominated gaming field, women often feel alienated --- especially if they're subjected to toxic comments. The*gameHERS is a new app that provides a safe space for women and femme-identifying gamers. The app required in-app chat and activity feed functionality to power this niche community and elevate the user experience.
  • Strategy: The*gameHERS co-founders learned about Stream from an app consultant, and after careful evaluation, they integrated Stream's Chat and Activity Feeds JavaScript Client SDKs with customized UI components.
  • Result: The*gameHERS now has intuitive activity feeds and in-app chat functionality, allowing the app's 3K+ users to build relationships and create allies within the gaming industry. Stream's APIs enable the app to achieve its mission of amplifying the role, voice, image, and power of women and femme-identifying gamers.

5. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is the leading provider of private-company prospecting and research solutions. Salespeople, entrepreneurs, investors, and market researchers use Crunchbase to prospect for new business opportunities. With over 60 million annual visitors, Crunchbase requires a scalable, reliable tech stack that can handle billions of API calls and updates per year.

  • Challenge: Crunchbase's in-house feed solution sent daily updates to the platform's registered users, who could follow both specific companies and whole markets. But to provide their growing base of business development customers a competitive advantage, Crunchbase required a customizable, low-latency news feed that displayed important updates such as funding announcements, new hires, and IPOs.
  • Strategy: Crunchbase integrated Stream's activity feed API in just two months to send reliable, real-time updates to registered Crunchbase users.
  • Result: Over half of Crunchbase's registered users interact with the activity feed per session, lending deeper engagement with the platform and more weekly active users (WAU).

Before You Integrate

To set yourself up for seamless integration, be sure to map out your required features and feed types, outline follow-relationships between feeds and users, and determine who can add content to the feed and where it will go. 

Our Feeds API offers immense engineering convenience and removes the challenging obstacle of scalability. However, if you wish to further customize your activity feed, please consider that our pricing structure is based on usage and features, and custom implementations may incur additional expenses.


Stream's Activity Feeds API gives applications the ability to incorporate the ultimate engaging UX without derailing their existing development roadmap. As you assess your application needs, consider Stream Feeds as a powerful solution to implement activity feeds that will encourage users to return to your app and leave it feeling satisfied. Take your platform's potential to new heights with real-time content delivery from Stream's Feeds API.

Try the API for yourself, or contact our sales team to learn more.