Both Apple and Google trust that the amount of time users spend inside an app is indicative of its overall quality, and rank them accordingly.
To gauge both an app’s quality and its overall ability to meet user expectations, both Google and Apple’s app stores rely on how frequently and for how long users engage with the app in question. This data being mined is typically referred to as “Engagement Signals.”
Intra-app communication give users another reason to frequent your app. A social feature’s aim should be to increase interaction with other users and, in effect, with the app. All accessory features such as chat channels and social media compatibility should be easy to locate, yet non-intrusive. For instance, channels of communication between the user and developer are nifty, but only if the implementation seems warranted and users aren’t constantly reminded about the feature every single time they access the app.
Notifications are meant to redirect someone’s attention by way of some sort of alert: even if it’s just for a second, your reason for breaking someone’s focus must be justifiable. Although notifications tend to complement chats well, put careful thought into how you implement them – especially push notifications. They can help, but only when they’re solicited; otherwise, they’ll only cause frustration, which will lead to uninstalls and mixed reviews.
Consider turn-based gaming apps; implementing push notifications that alert players when it’s their turn seems warranted. It might be unwise, however, to notify users about a new quest or challenge on a daily basis – the alerts get old, fast. Instead, consider emailing users, or even updating your app’s social media page on a daily basis for users to overlook. Otherwise, you can leave the choice for daily push notifications up to the user.