Thanks to messaging apps that have changed the communication style, now your messages can be delivered to friends and family in a flash. The popularity and benefits of messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber, have attracted many enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. So now, they are eager to create their own messaging apps or integrate messaging features in a variety of application types.
Around 2.52 billion individuals have used chat apps regularly as of May 2020, which keeps increasing. It is anticipated the figure will reach 3 billion in 2022. If you also want to build your messaging app and are wondering how to build a messaging app make sure to read this article. We have a plethora of valuable suggestions to help you kick off the process.
Go ahead and explore the process for your ease!
Phase 1: How To Build A Messaging App
Competitive Analysis: Leading Chat App Examples
Many messaging apps do not achieve the goal of widespread adoption. These apps do not combine the engaging and addictive user experience required to go viral. Before starting the app-building process, a deep analysis and app comparison can develop a great insight.
Careful inspection of what the top chat apps do to go right and what makes them fall can provide you with extensive experience while developing your messaging app.
Time & Cost to Build a Chat App
There is no pet figure of the cost required to build an app as it varies according to the app features. Many variables affect the app’s time and cost, such as the team size, scaling and infrastructure costs, app’s goals, required feature set, post-launch maintenance, etc. Yet it would help if you had an accurate and closest estimate to avoid any inconvenience.
If you want to avoid any hidden cost factor, this formula can act as a reference point:
Simplified App Build Cost
Initial Build Cost [Infrastructure Over Anticipated Finite Time + Developer Salaries]
Maintenance Cost [Starting Break-Fix And Customer Feedback Time as Usage Grows + Recurring Infrastructure Costs]
How To Build A Messaging App
Chat App Features To Build
An adorable messaging app delivers a cohesive experience. Moreover, it is intuitive and straightforward, and each app feature feels like an intrinsic part of the whole.
While developing your app – besides your customized features – you can ensure the following features.
Critical Features For Every Chat App
The following features are crucial to support any messaging experience.
- A keyboard and message text editing field
- User authentication mechanism and App registration page
- A window distinguishing sent and received messages Conversation
- List of contacts with editing functionality
- Ability to interpret, receive, and display a message
- Unread message counts, Notifications, or/and message states
Also, read How To Unsent Message To Alex
Advanced Features For Competitive Chat
Advanced features help your app stand out and boost the engagement as well as retention of the customers. The following features make your messaging app friendly and are necessary to make your app up to the mark.
- Message reactions for a quick response
- Thread replies options on the same topic
- The presence of AI text and image moderation
- To show text, image, and video previews, you need URL enrichment
- @mentions to make group chat convenient
- Flexible permissions for moderators, admins, and other user roles
- Media attachments to enable users to view them without leaving the app
- Typing indicators for user engagement
- Presence of reading recipients and delivery receipts
- CDN storage to minimize the latency in long-distance chats
- Language translation for hassle-free users connection across continents and cultures
- multi-factor authentication (MFA) and SAML single sign-on (SSO) to boost convenience and authentication security
Chat App Code Languages
Depending on your requirements, language, developer skill set, platform support, and scalability, you can pick any app code language.
Back-End Language Options
- Extremely fast and scalable
- Steep learning curve
- Excellent for data science and machine learning (ML)
- Relatively slow
- Long-lived popular language
Getting thought of as a legacy language.
- An updated and modern
- Mainly used for legacy apps
- Highly scalable and super threaded
- Relatively obscure.
- It can be a good choice for web development.
- Relatively slow
- Relatively low-level language
- Not a popular language
- Best for a genuinely native
- Dynamic Type and great accessibility
- Only for iOS
You can choose any of the mentioned-above or other suitable languages for coding!
Chat App Development Steps: Process Overview
You can write the code for your chat app by making some crucial architectural decisions. By splitting the process into steps and mapping it chronologically, you can save yourself from overlooking components that can cause later trouble.
Design a Directory and Install Dependencies
Develop the Front-End Chat Interface and Chat Client
Building the app’s front end is up to you – you can make it whether simple or complex. You can customize your existing SDK solution (if you are using it) to save time, or you can develop your app’s UI entirely from scratch.
Connect the Back End (Chat Server)
The chat server routes messages from sender to receiver. If you are designing with Stream, you can prefer to pick a back-end language among Python, Golang, Node, Ruby, PHP, Dart, or .NET to interact with the Stream Chat API.
Prioritize Feature Expansion Depending on User Feedback
At this stage, you have a functioning chat app. Now you can integrate the advanced features into your app, but the essential thing to note here is developing a user-friendly interface. You can utilize user feedback to develop the features that matter more to the user’s growing community.
In this era, communication is very necessary – everybody needs to connect the customers, clients, friends, and relatives through mobile. Tons of messaging apps are available to keep you connected, but a few are more important due to their user-friendly features. However, many businesses are trying to build apps to connect with their customers and other businesses in the market.
This blog post includes informative steps to help you develop the messaging apps. You can follow the steps or hire a trustworthy team of developers. Owlab is a trusted software development company. Our experienced team can develop professional apps for any niche, such as retail, blockchain, fintech, healthcare, and more.