Streaming social media networks are in demand now. This means that you can create a similar app and include some alternative features in it. Now, this is not an easy venture because Bigo and other live streaming social media networks are complex applications with a variety of different features. It is, therefore, logical to consider making MVP (minimum viable product) first. Read further to find out more about Bigo Live, its monetization strategies, structural components, core entertainment elements, and mechanisms. It is quite possible to upgrade and improve even such viral and addictive applications as Bigo if you know where to look.
Bigo Live in a Nutshell
Bigo is a multimillion industry that provides people with a streaming social media app that has high functionality and a lot of features. Its success is based on social affection that users obtain in the process of interaction (video-chatting). It has no advertising but its monetization strategy is astoundingly effective since once inside the app, users use the soft and hard currency.
Bigo Live is a streaming social media app. But, essentially, it is a game. Users increase their rating (3 levels of VIP), earn points, compete in video battles, and, in the long run, they play to get the attention of others with their video or seek contact with popular broadcasters.
Monetization strategy is based on the in-app currency: diamonds and beans (coins). Diamonds can be bought and converted in beans. Beans (in certain cases) can be converted back to diamonds. Users use beans and diamonds to buy presents in order to distinguish themselves in the vast ocean of users and to earn friends/followers. With no ads inside the app, Bigo earns on the difference between real money inflow and its much smaller output. For example:
- $100 = 3402 diamonds
- 3402 diamonds turned into 3402 Beans
- The user then distributes beans. If all this sum is given to one broadcaster, that’s what he gets:
Withdrawal: $16 (210 beans = $1). From $100: the broadcaster made 16%, the platform took 30%, and Bigo earned 54% (!)
Now, add to that 200 million registered users. With even a half of these users giving $1, each would mean a successful venture.
Users need currency to be noticed because that’s what the whole app is about. Beans, diamonds, and presents they can buy or a VIP status all make users in the app better noticed. As users crave more attention, for most of them paying is the best way to stand out. The longer they stay in the app, the more bonuses they receive. And, of course, the content itself also matters. Users compete with each other trying to make the most interesting video. However, it is evident that most of Bigo Live users are men who wish to see women performing live.
Bigo smartly plays on users’ need for interaction. To be popular is possible but difficult, seeing as how many people use Bigo Live. Some broadcasters are incredibly popular while most are completely unnoticeable. As everybody craves attention, it is clear that Bigo Live is a social media game.
Top Bigo-like apps
- MeetWith – it is a live streaming Android app that gives users the ability to connect from all over the world. This application provides a way more earning opportunity to all the broadcasters. Users can become a full-time broadcaster and become famous. This app helps to meet new people by interests, chat with them, and spend time online together.
- Kitty Live – it is one of the most popular live-streaming apps. It has the features of broadcasting yourself, meeting and adding new people to your live stream, have fans, and many other things possible online.
- CamioTalk – this is a simple live streaming app that connects people all over the world. Live voice chat is also available. Applications like this help to find new friends and build relationships despite the distance.
Can Bigo Live Streaming be Improved?
Bigo is focused primarily on the Asian market (India, Saudi Arabia, China). Therefore, the Western market doesn’t have the analog of such scale (200 million users), leaving a sweet niche to occupy. As a social media platform, Bigo depends on the ethnic diversity of its users. Therefore, an Italian or American user has little to none reason to use Bigo if not only to communicate exclusively with people from India, China, or South East Asia.
Therefore, it is a good idea to make your own streaming social media app bearing in mind to have the Western hemisphere as your target audience (better to narrow it down, though). And, it doesn’t have to be as complex as Bigo right away. Start small and then add updates and improvements over time. There’s a lot of space for creativity and generation of ideas here to make your streaming app interesting and of value to users.
However, Bigo doesn’t have relevant competitors in Asia, dominating in the niche of social media streaming apps there.
Why Making MVP is a Good Idea?
Bigo has high functionality. There are numerous features that are quite complex to develop and maintain. Bigo has group chat, 1on1 video chat, a lot of different effects like video-enhancement and animations, daily bonuses, 3 levels of VIP status, etc.
Having MVP at your disposal allows you to research your market niche and test your product. Then, developers can change certain product features to meet customer demands. Working on MVP is especially beneficial when dealing with such complex applications as Bigo Live because of the number of features they exhibit. The complexity of work is primarily connected to the app’s ability to provide stable performance and high-quality streams which can be quickly uploaded.
Here’s a list of some of the Bigo’s features:
- Events system
- Quiz show modeled on HQ Trivia
- Play Live House (talent show)
- Complex social dynamics
- P2P marketplace (exchange of presents, beans, and diamonds)
- Leveling system
Bingo is really like a pocket universe of its own with a complex set of user interactions. Even the app with twice as few features will be difficult to develop because it will take a lot of man-hours of many talented specialists. Consider to deal with the following components first:
- UX/ UI design
- User profiles
- Online video streaming
- Leaving comments while broadcasting
- Server-side rendering
Jianqiang Hu is the founder of Bigo Live. The app is now owned by YY.com which is a major video-based social network in China that has 300 million users.
Key features of Bigo-like app
Though it doesn’t harm its overall success, Bigo’s image was hurt by numerous allegations in its improper use. General consensus holds it that Bigo is used primarily by men seeking to watch women, preferably in their bedrooms. Though nudity of any kind, as well as indecent behavior, immorality, or propaganda of violence, are all strongly prohibited, the fact that the majority of the audience visits Bigo to get erotical harassment is more than just implied. Therefore, you can build the ad campaign of your app, promoting it as a spicy-free 100% decent social media streaming service.
For building a live streaming app like Bigo you will need a team of experienced developers that will create an individual business strategy of promoting of your solution.
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It seems like a good idea to invest in making not just another streaming app but a social media platform with a gaming aspect that is based on live streaming. Socialization is the key feature of Bigo Live. Its success wouldn’t be possible without complex social dynamics and a variety of gaming features.
Bigo is addictive because users invest in upgrading their status to attract more attention. They try to outplay each other in pursuit of awards, in-app currency, and VIP status. Due to that Bigo Live is a complex app with rich functionality. Thus, making MVP first is a rational move because it allows researching your target audience and adjusting the features of your streaming app accordingly. There is nothing stopping you from creating and owning your own streaming social media app.