Activity Feeds - To Build or to Buy? A Guide for Product Managers

Activity Feeds - To Build or to Buy? A Guide for Product Managers

Activity feeds are like the pulse of user involvement in digital products. Whether using social media or online stores, these feeds are important for keeping users updated and connected. Integrating them well makes your app more engaging, keeps users around, and spends less on customer acquisition costs (CAC).

 But deciding whether to create their activity feed API or buy one isn't always easy for product managers. Before making this important decision, let's look at the important things they need to consider.                                                                                                

The Top 5 Benefits of Activity Feeds

Before you decide whether to create or purchase an activity feed solution, knowing why having an activity feed in your app is beneficial is essential. CodePen used news feeds to enhance their app’s social development experience, but you might be interested in the valuable data that activity feeds can gather. Whether your app is in any industry or for any audience, the following five benefits are valid for having a news feed in your application.

1. Easy Access to User Feedback 

The activity feed resembles a discussion channel where you can chat with individuals who use your application. You can realize what they appreciate and don’t by paying attention to what they say and watching how they use the application. This assists you to come up with ways to make the application better.

2. Streamlined Customer Support 

When you ask people for their feedback, sometimes they might have complaints. Activity feeds help you fix these problems fast, just between you and the person with the issue. This stops them from complaining loudly on places like social media.

3. Effortless Announcement Broadcast

Not everyone who uses your app will see it when you post something on social media. But if you put an announcement in the activity feed, everyone will immediately see it. Activity feeds let you quickly tell users about new features and projects.

4. Stronger Communities

When many people share and talk about things in the activity feed, it brings everyone closer together. If users can easily connect with others who have similar interests, more people will use your app and keep using it.

5. Impressive User Experience

Having an easy-to-understand activity feed is significant. If it's simple for individuals to use, they'll remain on your application longer. When clients are happy with your application's work, they're likelier to stick around, and it'll cost you less for CAC.

The Multiple Meanings of “Cost”

Deciding if you should make or purchase an application feature could come down to the amount of cash you have. But, it's critical to think about all the costs involved and the money you spend forthright. "Cost" also includes the worth of different opportunities you could pass up when you pick one option over another. Thus, while thinking about it, look at the bigger picture.

What is Opportunity Cost?

Opportunity cost implies missing out on something you might have acquired from one decision since you picked another. If you choose to make activity feeds from scratch, you get complete control over how they work, yet it implies spending significant time and cash that could be spent on different things. Then again, purchasing a ready-made solution saves time and cash, yet you pass up the opportunity to make your application stand apart from others with special highlights.

Allocate Your Resources Wisely

When thinking about the cost of your decision, think about what parts of your app your team needs to make from scratch. Consider things like: 

How knowledgeable and skilled they are 

The size of your team

How much work they have on other projects

These factors assist you in figuring out if creating an activity feed from the start is worth the time and money you will spend. Remember, it's not just about making it once. If you decide to handle the activity feed in-house, your team must keep it running smoothly and update it regularly.

Buying an activity feed solution makes it easier to determine how to use your resources and how much it will cost. Even though it may not teach your development team new things, it frees up their time to focus on improving other parts of your app.

Using a white-labelled API or SDK to help with your activity feed lets you customize it just like if you made it yourself. This means your team doesn't have to spend time setting up the basic structure and can instead concentrate on connecting everything smoothly and ensuring it works well.

Financial Cost

Predicting how much money each option will cost before choosing whether to make or purchase a news feed solution is essential. Every team needs to think about how much money they need to pay at the beginning and any extra costs that might come up unexpectedly. But not all chat apps are the same. 

Some like the idea of paying a set amount every month for a subscription to a service, while others have plenty of money and think that spending more at the beginning to develop their solution will save them money in the long run.

Calculating the Cost to Develop, Maintain, & Scale Activity Feeds In-House

Figuring out how much it'll cost to create and expand your activity feeds within your company can get tricky. You must consider how much you pay developers, where they work, how skilled they are, and how fancy you want your activity feed to be. 

Other things can change unexpectedly, like-

What do customers think about specific features that need to be changed or improved?

How much does your activity feed UI get used? 

What extra tech tools might your team need to buy because more people work remotely? 

Calculating the Cost of Buying an Activity Feeds Solution

When you use a third-party vendor for activity feeds instead of doing it in-house, there are both expected and unexpected costs. Even though it might seem cheaper at first, there's a chance you'll end up paying extra fees later on. However, using ready-made tools like activity feed APIs and SDKs can save money and time. 

They make it easier to build an app with cool features that users will like. This means you can get your video call apps out faster, giving you an edge over competitors. It's important to consider what you might miss by choosing one option over another.

The Importance of Security 

When creating or purchasing a news feeds system for your app, always prioritize keeping your user’s data safe. The risks involved in building or buying can differ, so product managers must decide how much risk they’re willing to take, especially if they choose to work with a vendor.

Trusting a third-party company might seem scary, but making your security system is expensive and complicated. When choosing a vendor, check if they follow the data rules, are reliable, and can handle growth. Pick vendors that meet SOC 2, GDPR, and ISO 27001 standards.

The Impact of Scalability on Your App’s Performance 

To ensure your activity feeds work well for everyone, no matter how many people use them, you need strong infrastructure that won’t crash or slow down your voice call app. Doing this yourself means putting a lot of effort into creating and maintaining it so you don’t have to start over later. 

It takes serious tech skills and might mean spending more time and money to handle any problems. As more people use your app, the feeds get trickier because users want to do things like react, like, or save posts. And you’ll need to think about how things like retweets will work, too.

When picking a news feed service, choose one that can grow with your app and has a strong infrastructure. Even though you’ll need to maintain it, the vendor will assist you and provide clear instructions to fix any problems as your app expands.

Account for Cross-Platform Development

As your app grows, think about making it available on different devices. Make sure your app’s activity feeds work well on iPhones, Android phones, computers, and other devices. Even if your team can make the feeds work on one device, they might not know how to do it for others. You can get help from a third-party vendor or a company to set up and support the feeds on all devices.


Whether to develop or purchase an activity feed API solution is a strategic decision that has to take into account several variables, such as cost, security, scalability, and cross-platform connectivity. After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each choice, product managers may make sensible choices that support the aims and objectives of their organization. This ultimately drives success in the competitive digital industry.



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