The fundamentals of Chat app development: Complete process insights
The human need for communication has been evolving constantly over the years. Before it was just SMS interaction and now it is all about online interaction. The word “Chat” has lost its meaning and value, it no longer refers to the friendly conversation, it more often implies just a remote form of communication. The instant messaging system is evolving, with new features being added for instance Whatsapp has added the status feature and voice call feature to keep up with the competition. This year Facebook has taken one step further by providing a platform for business purposes. It is merged with the Facebook messenger app and is called Business on messenger, this enables businesses to engage with their customers immediately
What are the different methods of incorporating chat options into your app?
If you have planned to start a community-based product, you need to allow users chat with one another, this gives a tremendous opportunity for the users to build their relationships. The mobile gaming community also has devised a method to add chat options in community forums.
Many workplaces are ditching the idea of using emails to communicate, and have created their own chatting system. Other prominent mobile applications like Evernote have changed their communication routines by adding chat directly into their service. Their chat feature called Workchat which allows interaction between team members and clients right within the project you are working together.
Live chat options for Live Feedback
Chat option gives the users the power to directly chat with the person when they are streaming live. Adding chat options to a live form of media makes for a new level of conversational experience that provides immediate satisfaction. Meerkat, Younow and Periscope all provide their audience the ability to talk & chat in real time.
Customer Service Interactions
Interestingly a lot of companies are adding live chat options to better serve their customers. For instance, you will often come across websites, in which the company rep pops up in a chat box asking you questions and most of your passive decisions become active decisions. This live chat option serves as a product that can pay for itself.
Requirements to create a Messaging app
Before you start building chat features, you need to consider these
Know your user
Due to the emergence of Big data over the years, there is great potential for data mining. These cloud based databases are able to collect large chunks of data sets from user interactions and extract meaningful information for future use. These algorithms can easily decipher text messages, differentiate between contextuality and sentimentality. This gives the companies the ability to truly understand their customers through a set user pattern.
Timely response is essential
The current living conditions expect people to be online and especially through the mobile phones. If you are designing a chat feature for your app, you need to ensure there is a personnel from your side to respond back. This is highly essential if you are using the chat option as a customer support. If the person is not available, an option to send e-mail must be given
Despite being automatic most of the time, the moment the network is lost, you have the potential to lose a user. Disparate connections, switches between WiFi, 3g and 4g connections, private firewalls need to be managed. Delivering messages and ensuring that compatibility issues across multiple devices have to be maintained.
Installing Basic Functionality
Proper Authorization protocol is a must as this provides the users with the ability to log in with an existing account in social media. This can be implemented with the assistance of authorization protocols such as OAuth and direct interaction such as the client-server API.
Message exchange functionality
Message exchange happens basically by two ways. The first method involves the message being stored in a server and the communication between clients and server goes via HTTPS protocol using SSL cryptography. The second method involves the messages not being stored in the server.The Authentication process is only done by the central server. File sharing and video chatting can be done using specific APIs and with the help of SOAR and RESTful APIs.
Push notifications can be easily implemented by means of client server API and Google Cloud messaging or Apple Push Notification services for Andriod and ios. In order to receive push notifications, the device needs to be registered on the server of the mobile operating system. After that it receives a unique ID, This unique ID helps the OS server send push notifications to this device.
Apart from basic functions, there are other potential options for addition. Group video chat is fast becoming a popular option for most of the messaging apps. The hurdle lies in the gathering of video and audio streams and distributing them to each participant. The participant’s internet traffic needs to hold enough to maintain this task. Integrating this task requires a complex algorithm and a highly-productive server.
Business enterprises are deemed to make profits. But you might wonder, How will you be able to generate revenue out of it?
This is an ingenious way to generate revenue. However, care should be taken not to over do it. Priority must be your customers should feel comfortable about it.
Extra content like emoticons, stickers, themes, games etc can be charged.
Premium options such as turning off ads and voice calling can be given premium access which can be charged as well.
If you plan on creating your own app, you should be aware of the numerous competition you will be facing in this sector. The key to success in this field is making your app distinguishable from the competitor’s products. The more options your messaging app has, the more complex your algorithm will be. If you are interested in creating your own messaging app, you must check out Agriya’s answer to instant messaging app solution called BlaberChat – WhatsApp clone script. This is basically a ready-made app solution designed specifically to cater to the needs of our consumers.