The Future of mooSocial - Direction of the Platform

Ok, firstly sorry for the length of this post but I've been meaning to put something together for a while. My goal with this post is to have to have you, the community, get behind this rallying cry and provide the mooSocial team the direction they need.


Firstly my credentials; I'm a senior project manager for a global system integration consultancy and have delivered hundreds of large scale global projects. I understand software development and the associated challenges. I've used the mooSocial software for a year and have a number of plugins as well.


Ok I'll start with the good. The platform is decent with a wide selection of features. The admin console is easy to use. The mobile apps "look" great when compared with competitors and on the whole everything is reasonably priced. The mooSocial team are fantastic and very responsive to comments and support questions. The community (YOU) are excellent and there are many smart entrepreneurs frequenting the platform and forums with many great suggestions.


Now for the not so good. I feel that the team and to some extent the community needs to change direction. We all have our own personal goals, I get it, but everyone is pulling the developers in their own direction and is causing the software and plugins to become disjointed and buggy. Likewise focus areas are lacking and effort is being spent on areas which are bringing limited value.


What I feel is critical to the success of the platform and subsequently to ALL YOUR BUSINESSES is the following:


We need to focus on one thing. Yes you heard me one thing only. The right users. That's it.


If we nail that, YOUR business will succeed. End of discussion. The right users means more users on your platform, more attention, more community and ultimately more money.


But I hear you say; that's what we've been doing, there have been many great features suggested and implemented.


Well, Yes and No.


Yes we've been focusing on users but not the right ones.


Let me break it down. There are only 2 types of users:


(1) Content Creators - these are the people that provide value in the way of posting flagship content, this is usually in one of the 3 key categories; video, pictures and articles. These pieces of content are what attract the second type of user.


(2) Content Consumers - these are the lurkers, the masses, the guys that make up the majority of your community and absorb content. They may comment or share the occasional picture or link but they don't create the high quality content that attracts others.


This concept of the 2 types of user is site / community agnostic, it doesn't matter if you have a fashion site, a dog enthusiast site, a porn site. You will still have people that create content and people that consume content.


Many of the mooSocial community requests and features that are implemented are focusing primarily on user number 2; the Content Consumer. I get it, these are the large volume of the population. However think about it, without user 1; the Content Creators, there is no value, no point for user 2 to sign up. There are no Content Consumers if there is no content to consume. There is no community.


This is the main reason why I think communities struggle and are hard to build and maintain.


Let me give you a real life example of how mooSocial is focusing on primarily on user 2; the Content Consumer. I've seen a number of requests in the past for emojis, people got behind it and now time and effort was spent by the development team on emojis. Bugs on emojis were introduced, more time and effort was spent fixing emoji bugs, the fixes were put in, new defects were found or new requirements were added (e.g. the emoji doesn't looks right, can we put our own emoji's into the system) the cycle begins again etc etc etc.


HUGE EFFORT is subsequently spent on Emoji functionality.


Emojis are a content consumer feature. Quite frankly who gives a shit about emojis? Who cares if your community can't post broken hearts and thumbs up? Facebook, Instagram, YouTube didn't have emojis when they started. Do you think a user is going to drop off your platform because they can't post a poop emoji in response to a picture?




They are dropping off your platform because no-one is posting pictures.


The same goes for Contests, Voting, Virtual gifts, Recipes, Geo Location and all the other useless crap that is available. When did you unsubscribe from Facebook because you couldn't post your location? Did you subscribe to YouTube because you could vote on a poll? Does Instagram allow you to send someone a virtual gift? No. You subscribed to all of the social network giants above because some content creator was providing you value on something you were interested in.


We need to focus on the right users. Repeat, we need to focus on the right users.


Ok. How do we do it? How do we attract the Content Creators.


Content Creators are motivated by a number of items which I have outlined below. The list isn't exhaustive but it will hopefully be a start in the right direction:


(1) Financial gain (People like money)


(1.1) Provide a means for people to give each other actual money. For example the site: Patreon. To some extent the  credit plugin does this, which is great, but it’s focus is less monetary reward based and more Content Consumer based ie people get given arbitrary pseudo currency (no value) for arbitrary action (signing up, leaving a comment etc) if any site gave actual money for users leaving a comment they would be broke. Pseudo currency is pointless and doesn’t inspire people to take action.


Instead I proposed an enhancement to the credit plugin a while back (it could even be its only standalone plugin) which would add a tip button to all content (pictures, video, articles, links, videolinks) this would allow your community to tip content creators for providing value (content).  Your users could "buy from your site a set amount of credits or tips" and then "tip" a piece of content that they liked e.g. a video or article. The owner of that video could then receive that financial reward. The video site Vidme developed this functionality if you want to see it in action.  This suggestion was well received and got a decent number of votes and discussion. Nothing from what I can tell though has been delivered from the development team, given the framework is already built as part of the credit plugin, I don’t see this as a particularly difficult enhancement / upgrade.


(1.2) Another potential idea would be to have adverts appear in top users (eg user with the most amount of liked pictures / articles / videos) feeds and an ability to pay / reward that user. Now it doesn’t have to be automated, we just need the statistics on the top users (posts, likes, comments etc) which would be fairly simple. Once a user meets a certain criteria we allow them to enable an "ad in feed feature" they would then receive ads in their feed only and be rewarded by a percentage of revenue. This could be an extension of the current ad plugin and shouldn't be too difficult.


(1.3) Provide a means for content creators to receive money from advertisers in videos. YouTube is so successful because it rewards its video creators with $0.02 per 30 second view. This functionality is obviously more complex than the functionality of (1.1 and 1.2) however in time you could potentially extend the 1.1 and 1.2 framework to accommodate. I get this would be a major platform development and would take a long time - so I think suggestions 1.1 and 1.2 are more achievable and still create high value.


(2) It needs to look cool. People want to feel part of something cool and have pride in their "home" on the platform


(2.1) The Photos function needs to be reviewed and fixed. Photos are a core part of the content trio (photos video and articles). Right now when I add a photo that isn’t the perfect size there is no rescaling or the rescaling creates and ugly set of bars either side. Either rescale automatically like Facebook or force the user to crop like Instagram. Make the platform police its content to deliver the best user experience. This shouldn’t be a difficult fix. 


(2.2) The Web-Links thumbnails need to be fixed on mobile. On the web browser they are fine, when you post a link the associated thumbnail is fetched and looks good. On the mobile app the link url is posted without thumbnail. This looks boring and awful and doesn’t inspire anyone to post or click a link. Which brings me to:




(3.1) This is the number one most important thing for both sets of users and I cannot stress this enough. It is a JOKE that the mobile app has taken over 8 months and still has not been released. We live in a Mobile-FIRST world. If you look at other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, they didn't have a desktop presence when they launched they were a PURE MOBILE solution.


Facebook also announced that they would be a mobile-first company. So if you think that having a mobile browser experience is "good enough" for your users both Consumers and Creators; you are living in the past.


Yes of course they can "get by" but the longer that mobile is not a primary focus for mooSocial the more users you will lose / fail to attract and this platform will fall by the wayside and ultimately fail.


Forget about developing new functionality for desktop when your mobile users can't even upload a video on their app, resize their pictures, or even swipe backwards. YOU NEED TO DIVERT YOUR RESOURCES TO MOBILE.


There are 1000s of metrics to back this up:



(3.2) The following basic mobile features need to be implemented, these features are again industry / site agnostic; it doesn't matter if it's for a News site, a Fetish site or a Housing site:


a) Enable users to swipe to go backwards - this is standard functionality on all apps

b) News feed needs to remember where the user was last - when I scroll down 5 pages and click on an article / link / photo and then go back to the news feed I am back at the top - now I need to scroll down 5 pages to where I was last - this is incredibly frustrating

c) Fix video upload on mobile - or at least turn it off it doesn't work - having the app crash is awful

d) Fix photos on  mobile with regards to resizing (same as point 2.2)

e) Fix links on the mobile so they pull in thumbnails

I am open to adding to this list from the community of things to fix or basic functionality - remember not new "features" but improving existing functionality for both sets of Users.


(3.3) Mobile and desktop version incompatibility. This is also crazy, the desktop team seems to be able to release new versions consistently every few months however due to the new desktop version being incompatible with mobile, if you upgrade; you will break your mobile app.


This is ridiculous; it basically means that those of us who understand the future of the internet and embrace mobile are being punished and will not be able to utilize any upgrades.


Mobile and desktop upgrades need to come at the same time and be compatible. If this means slowing down the desktop release then I'm sure the community will accept it.



(4) Simplicity and ease of use. No one wants to use a buggy site / app.


The current platform, whilst relatively user friendly needs to be rid of bugs. Both content creators and consumer will drop off a platform that isn’t rock solid and fast. This needs to be the number 1 priority. It needs to be ahead of all new development and needs to apply to Plugins too. I know this is a hard one and the mooSocial developers are very responsive to defects.

WE AS A COMMUNITY need to help. There needs to be a single pages or sections on the mooSocial community site just for bugs - not just random people posting in the news feed or in off topic pages. This way we can collate all the bugs together as a community, make them easy to find on the site, test each of them out and provide more information to the developers. Again the way it's operating now is pure amateur.


You can also see from the enhancements above these actions will not only help the Content Creators (who can then attract new members) but will improve the user experience for the Content Consumers too.


We need to drop all development on new features specific for the Content Consumers, whoever is in charge of developing plugins is NOT LISTINING TO THE COMMUNITY. Quizzes, Photo Contests and Weather are not mission critical for anyone's business and this is what many of us are doing here ; we're trying to RUN A BUISNESS.


If it comes to money, I would be happy to pay a monthly subscription for "Business Power Users" as long as we got what we wanted i.e. the ability to influence the direction and development. I'm sure you'd do the same.


The development team needs to go back to basics and look at the major successes of the last few years, Instagram is the hottest social platform on the web, not because it has the most features but because it implements them well.


We need to concentrate on the KEY content areas that drive all Web Traffic - VIDEO , PHOTOS, ARTICLES , COMMENTS and improve the sub par experience in all these areas which is the root cause for user attrition, not create "novelty" plugins and features which provide little value, introduce further bugs and take effort away from the core problems.


I need your help 

I appreciate you reading this; if you agree with me, please help me make this topic the number 1 spoken about on the community. Hopefully that way we can get the ear of the decision makers on the mooSocial team and Really Make A Difference.

I understand that we all have own goals and we want to achieve our own objectives, but the points above are not written for individual success, I truly want to see this platform succeed (due to the personal investment I have made - time, money etc) however I truly want all you to succeed as well. Only by us all winning can this platform grown into something more than a hobbyist pastime. It doesn't matter if you have a site about fish or a site about guns or a site about drugs. The points above apply to YOU.

Monetization doesn't matter right now, novelty features don't matter right now,



I will continue to add to this article in the way of KEY FEATURES and KEY BUGS however I will stress that this is not open season on trying to get an issue or feature specific to your site genre resolved. If you are thinking like that then you have missed the point of this article and I urge you to re-read it or have me re-explain it to you.

Many thanks.


Posted in Feature Suggestions on 02/02/18 at 11:40
Comments (6)
Well said Mark. I agree the basics and core site functionality needs to be number one priority. Emojis are cool but no one will stay on my site if content creators can't easily share their photos, videos and articles. I've been patiently waiting for mobile 1.2 and can't say how many times I've had to explain to a user why you can tag someone on the desktop but not on the mobile app. The basic mobile features are essential and we cannot survive without them.
I agree. It's just never-ending support ticket writing and responding. I am honestly losing confidence fast. Yeah, great that they are better at support than probably anyone else, but I would trade a good, strong, stable script over great support. Because if the script is stable and strong, you don't need that great support.

Every morning I wake up and check my site, worried about what has gone wrong today.
I also agree and many thanks for your suggestions and feedback mark. Will keep them in mind and already putted them in our product development roadmap.
I agree, especially with keeping desktop/mobile versions in sync and at least compatible. I've had to postpone several desktop updates because they broke the mobile apps. Our MooSocial site is targeted to college students, and they do practically everything on mobile.
great read - i'm not a current license holder but i'm about to jump on something with around $1000 burning a hole in my pocket. Hopefully after looking a bit deeper and some more testing moosocial might just be it?
The notion of creating a way for content creators to monetize their content within a platform is a game changer Mark.

A brilliant idea, but I'm just not sure how that then works or where the funds come from, but suddenly everyone has some skin in the game and aren't just passive observers of the community.

No matter how small the reward, there will be some deep dopamine/reward channel engaged.

In fact as someone who had an issue with addictive behaviours in the past, you need to tread very ...  more
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