The surfacing messaging apps have transformed the way of communication. Now, it doesn’t even take a second to text your family and friends and stay connected.
The buzz of top messengers, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, and others, has sprouted an interest in tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to create a chat or messaging app that users may love to operate.
If you are also devising developing an instant messaging app, this write-up will help you in your journey.
This post will put forth essential information about a messaging app, its features, stats, working, steps to build a chat app, and much more.
Market Statistic: Is There Still the Potential to Create a Chat App?
- Globally, about 3.09 billion mobile messaging app users are recorded.
- In 2019, the instant messaging chat software market was valued at $47.92 billion and can reach $82.36 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 7.02% in the forecast period of 2020-2027.
- Every minute, around 41 million messages are passed.
- Now, messaging apps are 20% bigger and even more than social networks.
- In the USA, Messenger is the most talked about messaging app, with about 107.87 million users.
- Now, around 2.9 billion people use WhatsApp and Messenger.
- Worldwide, there are just 25 countries where WhatsApp is yet to become a market leader.
- Approximately 2.52 billion people use chat apps on mobile. And the number is likely to reach 3 billion in 2022.
- In the US, the number of messages sent via SMS degrades with time.
- About 36% of messaging app users on their mobiles or handsets have at least two installed chat apps.
- If you, too, have a smartphone, chances are you have about 3 to 4 instant messaging apps installed.
Features Your Messaging App Should Have
1. User Panel
|Signup and Login||User login can be eased by allowing app sign-up via login id and phone number. Even users can use their social media accounts to register on the app and log in. It’s a must-have feature in developing an instant messaging app.|
|Account Verification||While developing a chat app for the users’ authenticity, the company implements the defined algorithm to verify the offered email-id and mobile number.|
|Video Calling||With the internet, users can enjoy uninterrupted and flawless video calls with better communication experiences.|
|Voice Messaging||Users can send and share their voice messages using such a feature. They can record it smoothly and share it ahead.|
|Real-Time Chatting||One of the basic features of an instant messaging app that permits real-time chatting, including text, gifs, emojis, and stickers.|
|Location Sharing||Chat app users can share their real-time locations as the app arrives with a robust map integration feature that offers accurate location outcomes.|
|Multi Linguistic Support||The instant messaging app users can use this feature to communicate with their family and friends in their native language. Such apps come with a multi-linguistic keyboard that allows users to communicate in their native way.|
|Notification||Whenever a user receives a message on their device screen, they get a notification in real-time.|
|Privacy Setting||The users can use this feature to update their profile and status and manage their contacts and privacy.|
|Import Contacts||Users can use this feature to import their current contacts to their messaging app account easily.|
|Backup||Users can back up their messages after their account verification, weekly or daily.|
|Encryption||Encryption is essential to ensure the security of the users’ data.|
2. Admin Panel
|Dashboard||The app owner or admin can monitor user profiles, chat groups, and other app things with a single click.|
|App Updates||This feature permits the admin to implement app updates, including appending new functionalities and features.|
|Message Broadcasting||The admin can broadcast messages to the users to spread essential information; it can be about any version update, software updates, etc.|
|User Restriction||The admin holds the power to restrict any user based on their activities. Also, the admin can monitor the activities of any specific user if reported by other users.|
|Admin Account Setting||Admin can also change the account settings, like the admin account layout, password, theme, and more. Altogether, they can personalize their account as per their requirements anytime.|
|Chat Group Control||Such a feature enables the admin to put restrictions on groups regarding the number of users, share file size, type, etc.|
|CMS Integration||CMS integration facilitates the app owners to handle their app content. Simply put, it assists the management of important content relevant to the app.|
|Analytics & Reporting||The admin can use this feature to generate weekly, monthly, or yearly reports for analysis purposes or any strategy.|
|User’s Account Management||According to the user’s activity, the admin can use this feature to delete their account. Suppose the user’s account is idle for a long time, then the admin deletes it using the admin panel with just a click.|
3. Additional Features
|Language Translation||The users can translate all the messages in their preferred language easily with the assistance of a language translation feature.|
|Multimedia Files||Users can use this feature to share multimedia files in varied formats of different sizes easily. It includes audio files, video files, pdfs, contacts, and others.|
|Security||Whichever messaging app you develop, Android or iOS, the video calls, and messages will be end-to-end encrypted.|
|Quick Search||Instant messaging app users can filter a specific message in a crowd of various messages just by putting keywords in the search box.|
|Theme Management||The chat app will offer its users a complete stack of themes to make changes accordingly and per their preference, including customization.|
|Stories||This messaging app feature will allow users to upload unforgettable moments in their stories easily and share them with their friends.|
|Chat Management||Through this feature, users can delete messages for everyone or themselves. Also, they can clear the entire chat of individual users or groups, including the shared and received files.|
|Tabbed Chat||One of the most sensitive features of a chat app, which permits users to keep track of all the messages or chats in tab format.|
|Conference Call||This feature enables the users to call multiple users via a single call, which is quite amazing. One person can connect with multiple contacts.|
|Parental Control||Such a feature makes the chat app safe for kids also. Kids can access social features restricting some features you don’t want your kids to access.|
|Self-destructing Messages||Such features permit users to send videos and photos for a one-time viewing. After the user opens the media, it disappears after the set time frame.|
|Payment Options||An instant messaging app may integrate a payment option for the users to ease them sending and receiving money using the app on their mobile phones.|
|Message Reactions||Users can give reactions to messages they receive from their contact.|
|AWS S3 Bucket||This feature provides the app an option to organize, save, and manage different data and files in the Amazon S3 bucket to provide an immersive experience.|
|User Presence||Such a feature permits the app to indicate the user’s presence whether he’s away, available, active, or offline.|
|Storage Capacity||A chat app should allow users to back up their messages by offering standard storage capacity.|
|Photo Editing||While sending any media, the app can allow users to edit them, like photos, before sending them.|
|Chat bubble||When your chat window is closed, and you receive a message, it will appear as a chat bubble on the screen notifying you about the message.|
How Does a Messaging App Like WhatsApp Work?
If you want to develop a chat or messaging app, you should be well aware of its work.
1. Sign up
A user is asked to input his email id or phone number to sign in and log in to an instant messaging app.
2. Backup Setup
After verification of the user account, users will prepare a backup drive to store their messages daily or weekly.
3. Profile Info
Next, users can set up their profile, create it, and upload their images.
After setting up your app; users can communicate with other users using this app.
5. Chat Group
Users can create a chat group including various contacts they want to share multimedia and messages.
6. Accessing Via Web
Users can access the chat apps by scanning the QR code on their browsers.
Why Do People Use Messaging Apps?
- Even in a remote work setting, messaging app crafts a sense of teamwork.
- Easy communication across individuals and teams.
- Video conferencing to conduct activities to increase employee engagement.
- Organize team discussions and meetings on short notice.
- The only platform to discuss operation strategies, projects, and updates. Share project-relevant docs, employee activity videos, and memos.
What Are the Benefits of Creating Instant Messaging Apps?
1. Improves Relationship with Employees
Whether debating over a topic or discussing various issues, a messaging app with ease your employees to communicate and share their thoughts. Thus crafting better bonds among themselves.
2. Communication with Remote Employees
Remote working has become a common way of working. A messaging app can help flawless communication through instant messaging, strengthening your remote employees’ bonds.
3. Employee Engagement
Obviously instant messaging is faster and easy than writing an email. A quick chat app can keep the user engaged.
4. Easy Implementation & Administration
Integrating a chatting app into a business app would be easy using a no-code platform.
5. Seamless Communication with Customers
You can be a game changer by developing a messaging app that will keep you connected 24*7 with your users, get their feedback, and resolve their issues wherever they are.
6. Save Money & Time
A chatting app permits clients and team members to make video or voice calls eliminating the need to make non-distancing calls. This saves time and money, letting you stay connected with your team anytime, anywhere.
7. Keeps Things Organized
An instant messaging app can simplify task management and assist in keeping track of work progress wherever you are. Using the app, you can instantly allocate essential tasks to your team members and get them all done within time.
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Technology Stack for Building an On-Demand Texting App
|Technologies||Android Studio, Android SDK, XML, Kotlin, Java|
|UX/UI||XD, Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, InVision, Zeplin, Sketch|
|Web & Frontend||HTML5/CSS3, Vue.js, MEAN, Backbone.JS, React.JS/React Native, AngularJS, CodeIgniter, Laravel, Node.JS|
|Backend & Database||Firebase Realtime database, Room DB, Microsoft SQL, Firestore, PostgreSQL, AWS Amplify, MongoDB|
|3rd Party Libraries||Face detection, Integrate Payment, Chatbot, Network Calling, Firebase, Image Processing, InApp Purchase, Integrate Payment, Dependancy, Socket, Firebase Chat, Databinding|
|Payment Gateway||Stripe, Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay|
|PM Tools||Slack, Trello, Jira|
Frameworks Used in Messaging App Development
Besides programming languages, various frameworks and protocols also support developing chat apps. These attributes help reduce the manual effort needed to build the needed functionality.
1. Message Markup Language (MML)
You can consider this library to integrate into your instant messaging app. MML provides a dynamic messaging experience with the caliber to encapsulate components, such as carousel interfaces, button lists, custom forms, and appointment schedulers/date pickers.
This library supports icons, images, and tables outstandingly. It’s a general way to manage the common message interactivity use cases, a feature that users usually expect to support.
2. Chat App Protocols
If you develop an instant messaging app from scratch, you should decide which back-end protocol you would choose to transmit messages.
One widely-used pen-source option is Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) which strengthens WhatsApp and arrives with a rich community of expert developers sharing sample projects and support.
Others choose the latest Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol over XMPP because it doesn’t need messages in XML document format.
One more promising protocol, WebRTC, supports video, generic, and voice data transmission between peers. Though this protocol may be complicated to understand, its demand is rising as a component in the services crafted to support top-quality video calls and multimedia streaming, like dolby.io.
Chat App Development Tools
If you pick the right chat app development tools, you don’t need to start building your app from scratch.
Google’s multi-purpose app-building tool, Firebase, may look like an obvious tool to choose for developing a chat app. But, you need to look at its flaws also.
Firebase can assist you in developing anything faster, but it’s not surely optimized for a chat; its pricing plan instantly becomes impractical when your user base starts scaling.
This development tool holds max. limit of 100,000 connections concurrently that may push a future migration if adoption moves as expected.
2. Chat Messaging APIs & SDKs
Researching, assessing, and picking apt technical components to develop a chat app may demand much effort. No one can be proficient in all the technologies, so it may be tough to decide which would be best and suitable for all your requirements.
Despite that, performing through all these decisions from scratch, various latest engineering and product teams decided to develop a dedicated chat API and SDK solution. With this solution type, the vendor is accountable for offering scalable, reliable, feature-rich chat functionality, letting the team customize the areas that may showcase your chat app uniquely in the crowd. This approach diminishes the cost and time needed to develop, release, and maintain a messaging app.
3. WebSockets & Socket.io
These development tools give a broad way to widely-used approach to developing real-time communication functionality, such as chat.
Moreover, Socket.io doesn’t provide extra features perfectly, like data persistence.
Challenges Encountered in Creating a Chat Application
1. Defining Real-Time Features
The giants are running the messaging app industry; therefore, competing with them is quite challenging.
This is one reason; the other is users always demand new functionality, features, and stability. So, to become a competitor, the chat app needs to come forward, holding something more than just a chat app.
After launching MVP, you may add the features below for user satisfaction:
- Privacy status updates,
- File transfer,
- Custom fonts and stickers
- Video and voice calls
- Chat muting
2. Tool Stack
To let your app perform as expected, it needs to be well-developed and packed. Consider existing apps and use case studies to define the tech stack that may allow your project to perform better.
3. Seamless App Updates
An instant messaging app holds a constant link with its users and processes their data constantly. While deploying new functionality and app updates, you need to ensure not to lose current data by architecture configuration and servers.
The real-time chat apps’ scalability is one more challenging edge that depends on the set architecture.
4. Server Overload
This problem may evolve with the increasing number of app users. An app optimization like WhatsApp needs demands technical efforts and efficient developers.
Pick the server setup and capability supported by robust hardware to ensure app scalability. Be sure that servers adapt accordingly and offer stable performance during high traffic.
5. Stable Connection
The network loss may be because of various reasons that led the users to switch from smartphone internet and Wi-Fi. During this time, usually, the last messages get lost when there’s a temporary disruption.
Therefore, you should build a chat app to highlight your app as a reliable tool that can let the connection stay stable and regenerate the lost messages during network loss.
6. Security Issues
Leaving the rest, high-end security and protection of the app is an essential job that needs to be considered while developing an instant messaging app. You should offer data protection, develop secure project architecture, and message encryption.
You should provide as extreme protection as possible, like
- Cryptographic keys usage
- Include privacy policies for using your messaging app
- Craft extra functionality that users can turn on for messager protection.
- Plan the product architecture for safe data storing
- Peer-to-peer encryption via protocols
5 Best Chat APIs & Messaging SDKs
An industry leader for web chat APIs and messaging SDKs Twilio arrives with a customizable suite of options and a robust feature set.
Its complete product suite includes APIs and SDKs that make communication possible digitally, like WhatsApp, programmatic SMS and MMS, conversational chat APIs, voice and video, Google’s Business Messages, and Facebook Messenger.
Developers use Twilio to integrate their app software with almost all communications channels. And the Conversations API permits you to initiate with a channel, like in-app or web chat, and simply spread to other channels to stay updated with changing consumer preferences.
Twilio’s messaging SDKs include below platforms and languages besides APIs:
- And various other SAAS integrations (like Authy and Salesforce)
Primarily focused on developing a robust instant messaging API, Sendbird is specifically suited for live events. Its complete feature set incorporates
- Multichannel chat
- Offline communication
- Multimedia integration
It also offers a UIKit for its chat SDK, permitting users to use pre-built UI components when developing messaging solutions.
This chat API and messaging SDK platform, PubNub, target mobile platforms offering an in-app chat experience to let customers get engaged in real-time. Its outstanding features include
- Robust concurrency support
- On-demand, built-in filtering
- Simple to configure automated business logic
Compared to other messaging software, this one arrives with its competitive benefits, easy usage, and simple configuration, even for non-developers.
Being a comprehensive messaging platform, Mirrorfly offers real-time video, chat, and audio messaging caliber. The features that make this platform unique from competitors are:
- Allows communication software to run on-premise or in the cloud.
- Complete chat experience customization.
- Allow one-time payment despite a monthly subscription per user; that’s ideal for businesses looking to support various users.
A messaging SDK targeted at developing chat apps, TalkJS may be less feature-rich or powerful than the competitors. Still, its JS SDK allows non-technical developers to build it and run it swiftly. Users can easily set up a chat experience on their site with just a few lines of code.
How to Make a Messaging App & Earn Money/Revenue Model?
One of the best ways to earn money is through in-app ads. Some messenger uses this monetizing model by displaying the target advertisements. On the other edge, such ads can interfere. Therefore, if you plan to use this monetizing strategy, you must ensure that the advertisements showcased are audience relevant.
You may charge users some amount to remove all ads as an option.
Some messengers allow a variant that permits users to create their advertisements using their accounts and showcase them between their friends’ stories. Instagram also offers such an approach.
2. Subscription Fees
A basic monetization model, subscription fees make the users pay a specific amount to offer them app access. This is generally a one-time, monthly, or annual payment. This alternative is best used with a substantial user base but is not considered in new messenger versions.
This monetization strategy demands teamwork with advertisers and marketers who can reward users for in-app actions.
Simply put, sponsorship is giving something to the sponsors for what they offer you.
4. In-app Purchases
It’s an extra content or subscription you purchase inside an app. Not all apps provide in-app purchases. To know, you can check on the App Store if it demands a purchase after downloading or buying.
How Much Does It Cost to Create a Chat App?
|Tasks/Platform||Development time||Development Cost|
|UI/UX design (one platform)||60-80+ hours||$25,000-$35,000|
Messaging Apps for Different Platforms
1. Web App
Chat apps that are deployed for desktop clients to download and install are instant messaging web apps.
Examples: Gmail, Facebook, Skype
2. iPhone App
A messaging app developed by Apple Inc is an iPhone app that permits end users to send documents, texts, videos, photos, contact details, locations, and more.
3. Android App
Such apps permit users to send synchronous messages and allow sharing of image files with other peers in the JXTA world. These apps are crafted for Android mobile phone users.
Examples: Snapchat, Google Hangouts, WeChat
A Quick Competitive Analysis of Popular Chat Apps
A simple, secure, and fast messenger used worldwide, WhatsApp is undoubtedly a successful variant of SM messaging. About 2+ million people use this messaging app from 180+ countries.
|End-to-end encryption support.|
|Voice and video call support.|
|Allow group chats with up to 256 users.|
|Permit file sharing.|
|Compatible with various devices, like Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and the web.|
|Permits photo sharing directly from the in-built camera or device storage.|
|Sends and receives video, photos, texts, and audio messages.|
In-built chat app of Apple, iMessage, appends an extra value to its wide range of device offerings. The flexibility and familiarity of iMessage make it a default option for most iPhone users. This app’s caliber which allows users to text from anywhere flawlessly makes it a mostly adopted alternative.
|Optional read receipts|
|Cross-device sync between iOS on iPad, iPhone, macOS, and Apple Watch.|
A modern way to converse with your team members; Slack revolutionizes how businesses operate.
|Call or message any group or person within your team|
|Organize conversations by projects and topics|
|Allow document sharing and editing|
|Cross-platform support access for iOS, Android, desktop, and web|
|Integrate tools, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and others|
4. Facebook Messenger
An instant messaging platform and app, Facebook messenger was developed by Facebook. It allows users to easily sync their contacts and messages to their phone and link with anyone, anywhere.
|Cross-app calling and messaging|
|GIFs, stickers, and emojis.|
|Free live video calls.|
Created by Tencent, WeChat, a messaging app, ranks fifth considering the number of active users. This app is leading in China and clutches significant market chunks.
WeChat holds a payment function, which is one of the winning points.
|Broadcast (one-To-Many) Messaging|
|Moments (like micro-blogging)|
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Steps to Build a Messaging App?
1. Market Research
First, you should decide your audience choices. You need to identify your competitors and their competitive points.
There are geographic and demographic differences; consider both.
For example, WeChat arrives with various functionalities. WhatsApp users like its instant integration functionality with phone contacts, simple media files and location sharing, and the absence of distracting ads.
Consider the below points:
- App development purpose
- Check out the industry’s outlook
- Market target customers
- Compare your competitors
- Accumulate extra data
- Analyze your findings
- Let your analysis act
2. An Acceptable Plan Of App Structure
Next, identify the needs of the business that will help build an app meeting all your business needs.
You can pick a simple app module that will assist you in developing a user-friendly app.
3. Shortlisting Of Features, Functionalities, & UI/UX Components
You need to shortlist the design components you want in your app. Next, move on to the features and functionality you want to include in your app. Be sure you consider your audience’s requirements and expectations that they are missing in your competitors’ apps.
4. Select App Design
The app design is the first impression that will last on your users. Try making your app design fascinating, which may attract users and love to use it. Also, keep your app easy to navigate as people love to operate simple apps.
5. Hire Dedicated Developers
After you finalize the basic app requirements, time to hire messaging app developers. Search for highly experienced and top-level developers with a highly rated portfolio. Check the reviews and ratings; they will help you choose the best.
6. Kick-Start The Development
Now, you should start the development after you are all set with the essentials for developing an instant messaging app. Ask for regular updates from the messaging app development company you hire and suggest modifications you want in your app.
7. Test And Launch Of The App
After the development of an app, QA experts test the app to locate bugs, if any. Post that; they fix the errors making the app ready to deploy.
Picking the best and apt time, the company launches the app for its usage.
Why Choose Emizentech as Your App Development Partner?
We hold extensive experience and knowledge in developing an instant messaging app. We have developed customized messaging apps for our clients worldwide that are much-valued and earn huge revenue.
Our proficient team of developers is all set to help you with your business needs. Connect with us today!
Facts and figures state that the boom of instant messaging apps is not going anywhere in the upcoming years. You can test your luck if you are also thinking of launching a chat app.
Well, messaging app development may be easy saying than performing. Even if you are tech-savvy, you would need a team to launch a required instant messaging app that includes all the necessary functionalities and features.
You can hire a team of app developers to get your job done while you target other significant corners of app development.
Frequently Asked Questions on Chat Messaging app
It may cost you around $50,000-$80,000 to develop an app for Android and iOS platforms.
However, it relies on the features and functionalities you would like to include in your app. But, basically, it takes around three to ten months to develop an advanced-level instant messaging app.