Mobile developers can now add in-app social networking features to their mobile applications using a new software development kit (SDK) from Socialize, Inc. Once intergrated, the app’s users can find and connect with each other based on similar interests and can also push some of the app’s content to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or, for those who like it old-school, email.

Increase User Engagement

According to Socialize CEO Daniel R. Odio, the company’s goal with the new release is to help developers maintain user engagement. The reality about average user engagement, he says, is that it typically plummets to less than 1% 90 days after download. “That means lost revenue for app developers and poor ROI for company brands,” says Odio.

He also claims that by implementing Socialize’s SDK, user engagement and app usage can increase by 54%. This isn’t a projection or forecast — it’s based on data collected from apps where Socialize has already been used: those built with AppMakr.

AppMakr, a subsidiary of Socialize, Inc., is a DIY app building service that lets you make your own iPhone, Android or Windows Phone apps without having to learn complicated code. Socialize was originally released as a new feature available to that community’s users, allowing them to include a social layer in all apps built using the service. Of the 7,811 AppMakr apps out there, 1,461 now run Socialize. There are already some early success stories about this featured on AppMakr’s blog.

In short, what OpenFeint is for games, Socialize wants to be for all apps: a cross-platform social layer. It’s about tracking your interests, and connecting you to others who share those interests. This concecpt Odio describes as an “interest graph,” which is different from the “social graph” created Facebook. Social networks connect you with friends, many of whom often share one or more of your interests, but an interest graph connects you specifically and exclusively with those who share your interests. In some ways, the idea shares similarities with Google+, which allows you to organize people into interest-based groups called Circles. But Circles takes time and effort. Socialize, however, does not.

What’s Included?

With the Socialize SDK, there are 6 main features:

  • Views: When users click on an item, the bottom of the screen displays how many views the item has received.
  • Sharing: Share via email, Facebook or Twitter
  • Comments: Users can comment on an app’s content
  • Likes: Socialize lets user favorite items, which are displayed in an activity pane alongside share and comments.
  • Activity Pane: The Socialize backbone which prioritizes user-generated content, listing others’ likes, comments and shares.
  • Profiles: User can say who they are and establish a presence in the app.

In the fututre, Socialize plans to expand its feature set so that users can discover more apps through their friends’ likes and interests, and serve up app recommendations.

Currently, the Socialize SDK is available for iOS and Android only. You can download it from here.