Good News! We’ve launched an all new Chat Resource Center.
We recommend checking out our new Chat Resource Center, which includes overviews, tutorials, and design patterns for building and deploying mobile and web chat.
From simple text-based services to chatbots, we’re spending more and more time on messaging apps. Beyond 1:1 and group chat, messaging apps are growing more innovative, more powerful, and have become a linchpin for customers, businesses, and teams across every industry and vertical.
As a result, we’ve seen a flood of new messaging applications of all shapes and sizes entering the market. In fact, messaging apps have surpassed social networks in monthly users, and the gap continues to grow. More and more functionality is taking place directly in the chat interface outside of sent and received messages.
So how do you set yours apart from the rest?
To do so, you need a certain set of core, established features that users have come to expect. Without those, your app is doesn’t stand a chance.
But you want to take yours to the next level, differentiating it from the thousands of chat apps out there, or build messaging into your existing application to deliver a better user experience and drive engagement. In using the vast number of incredibly accessible and affordable APIs, SDKs, integrations, and infrastructures-as-a-service, you can do just that.
In this post, we’ll start with features every user expects, then move into innovative ideas for building chat of the future.
These are the fundamental features that every chat has (or should have) today:
Obviously, we’re all very familiar with the features listed avobe. Give or take, they’re apart of basically every messaging application out there today.
So let’s get into why you’re really here, a list of messaging features that set your messaging app apart. These kinds of features are redefining the way communication takes place and continues to push the space forward.
Before getting into specific differentiators, it’s important to first discuss how important it is to build your chat application with programmability in mind. What exactly is programmability?
Programmability means your chat app is “event-driven”, which gives you complete control over what happens in between a message being sent and a message being received. This could be adding business logic, alerts, or triggering 3rd party APIs. This design drives to innovative features listed below.
Instead of forcing users to switch between messaging and mapping apps, deliver geolocation directly to chat users.
Integration examples: Mapbox, Esri
Run an entire shopping experience, from browsing to fulfilling orders with chat.
Integration examples: Clicksend (SMS), Infobip (SMS), RingCentral (SMS), SendGrid (Transactional Email)
There’s a lot of trolls out there. Chat apps today need moderation tools in them to filter messages on the fly, not only for text, but also for images.
Integration examples: Clarifai, Sightengine, AICeption
Chat can compliment a video or live event, and allow users to interact with one another.
Build delightful user experiences for users.
Chatbots are difficult, but luckily for you, there are a ton of powerful chatbot services on the market today. You should be able to build your chat microservices to power your chatbots, and integrate 3rd party chatbot services directly into your application.
This is similar to chatbots, but more broadly speaking. However, the technology is related, in that you should be able to build your own chat microservices to integrate 3rd party APIs.
You should give your business users full transparency into the usage of their application.
We’re seeing chat move from simple messaging to widespread adoption across every vertical, from healthcare, to eCommerce, to live events. It has become a linchpin of human communication.
In our next post, we’ll show you how to build these features yourself, using our brand new ChatEngine™.
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