Cosmunity

The Texas company approached DA-14 with the idea of building a social network for comic, anime, cosplay, and gaming fans. The goal of the project was to connect geeks across the globe in one place designed solely for them, and giving them opportunities to share content, discover events, buy specific goods, or do business.

Client's Background

Cole Egger, an entrepreneur with 10+ years' experience of creating companies from the ground up, once attended Dallas Comic Con, an annual fan convention now known as FAN EXPO Dallas. He was struck by the huge number of visitors and surprised by the fact that a lot of fans found it difficult to stay connected after the event. Similarly, vendors selling comic related items had issues with reaching their targeted audience when the convention was over. These findings inspired him to create Cosmunity, a marketplace and social network app for geek communities.

Cosmunity marketplace application

The challenge

The very first challenge that got in the way of our team was the role of early adopters. For their project, the Cosmunity team chose Angular 2.0 though only the beta version was available at that time. Another requirement was to use Angular Universal, a server-side rendering technology which had just appeared on the IT market. The decision was based on a strong need for SEO-friendliness and easy integration with social media. The downside was the immaturity of the selected tech stack and, consequently, lack of documentation.

Importance

The geek community is often seen as a very specific and narrow niche market. Yet this point of view doesn't reflect today's reality. More than 50% of the 20 highest-grossing movies were targeted for geeks, whether they are fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Marvel/DC superheroes. The anime streaming service Crunchyroll has over a million paying subscribers worldwide while Twitch, a social video platform for gamers, draws nearly 10 million visitors a day.

Our Approach

MVP with social networking features

To validate the key idea, our team created an MVP from scratch. It featured basic elements of a social network including registration, ability to post pictures, add comments, and create internal communities.

Adding shopping and sharing options

The next stage was focused around incorporating features of peer-to-peer online marketplaces like Etsy or eBay. Among other improvements, we integrated a payment system (PayPal), tracking solution (AfterShip), advanced search, and filters.

Last but not least, we proceeded to implement social sharing options which would exactly fit into the existing social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr) and enable users to share their content across different platforms.

Upgrading to the latest Angular version

As was mentioned above, we started building the app with technologies that were still immature. Later, our engineers were constantly refactoring code to update it to the latest Angular version available.

Project management support

At all stages, the development process was coordinated by our project manager. Our DA-14 team held frequent meetings with the client (three times a week on average) that resulted in clarifications on a timely basis and prevention of bottlenecks. The project manager provided the client with detailed documentation to maintain transparency and allow them to focus on other aspects of the business.

The project

Cosmunity is a mix of a social network, online marketplace, and event management application for gamers, cosplayers, fans of comics and anime. It lets users

  • connect with fandoms from all over the world
  • stay informed of show schedules and see who also is going to attend the same event (like on Facebook)
  • join chats and make new friends
  • prevent trolling, blocking other users, deleting comments and reporting malicious activity
  • sell and buy licensed costumes, comic books, toys, fandom gifts, artwork, and more.

Main Functionality

Feed

With an Instagram-like social network, comic and anime fans get a platform to express their “true selves”. They can share video and photos solely to like-minded people, collect likes and comments, and attract new followers.

cosmunity-social-media-sharing-photos-videos

Registered users receive push notifications informing them about new likes, comments and followers.

cosmunity-push-notifications-news-feed

Events

In the event section the user can discover thematic events and comic cons (both locally and worldwide), view the attendees list, leave comments, repost event info to other social media sites, and chat with other fans before, during and after the event.

cosmunity-thematic-event-list-visit-interested-going

cosmunity-event-view-online-signup-social-networking

Peer-to-peer marketplace

Retailers can create their own accounts to sell exclusively geek products.

cosmunity-peer-to-peer-marketplace-p2p-two-sided-ecommerce

The app facilitates the buying process by means of:

  • integrated Paypal payment system for quick online purchases.

Cosmunity marketplace with PayPal integration

  • Ñonvenient shipping with notification system and ability to track delivery status and expected delivery time (AfterShip).

Cosmunity marketplace shipping option

Involvement

Duration: September 2016 - November 2017

Team:

  • Project manager
  • Full-stack developer
  • 4 front-end developers
  • Back-end developer
  • 2 QA engineers

Contract type: Dedicated development team

Expenditure: $50,000 to $199,000

Technologies & Integrations:

  • Angular 2.0
  • Angular Universal
  • Webpack
  • Mocha
  • Node.js
  • LoopBack
  • MongoDB
  • AWS
  • AfterShip API
  • Facebook API
  • JW Player API
  • PayPal API
  • Pinterest API
  • Tumblr API
  • Twitter API

Project type: Social media application & Peer-to-peer marketplace platform

Industry: Entertainment / Retail

Country: USA

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