Chat Services: Platforms, Systems, APIs, and More

3 min read Chandler Mayo on Feb 24, 2023

In today's digital world, communication is vital. With messaging apps taking over traditional forms of communication, businesses are constantly looking for ways to integrate chat services into their mobile and web applications.

In this blog post, we'll dive into a chat service, the differences between chat services and chat rooms, building chat services across platforms, standard chat service features, use cases, and chat service APIs.

What is a chat service?

A chat service is a platform or system that enables real-time communication between two or more parties through messaging.

It's important to note that chat services differ from chat rooms. Chat rooms are typically web-based chat platforms where users can join a virtual room to chat with other users. On the other hand, chat services are designed for real-time communication between specific individuals or groups.

Building chat services across platforms: Things to be aware of

When building chat services across platforms, there are several things to remember. Different platforms have different requirements and limitations, and choosing the right technology stack to make your chat service is essential. Some popular platforms to build chat services on include:

  • Android

  • iOS

  • Azure

  • Web applications

Building chat services across platforms requires expertise in software development, low latency, and scalable backend infrastructure.

Common chat service features

Chat services typically come with various features to enhance the chat experience. Some standard chat service features include:

  • Real-time chat

  • Group chat

  • Mobile push notifications

  • In-app messaging

  • SMS messaging

  • Video calls

  • File sharing

  • Screen sharing

  • CustomizableUI kits

  • Workflow automation

  • Low latency

  • End-to-end encryption

  • On-demand chat support

  • Ticketing and routing

  • Read notifications

  • User authentication

  • Omni channel communication

Chat service use cases

Chat services are used in a variety of industries and use cases. Some of the most common use cases for chat services and communications APIs include:

  • Healthcare: Chat services can be used for real-time communication between healthcare providers and patients for remote consultations, prescription refills, and patient follow-ups. It's important to note that chat services used in healthcare must comply with regulations such as HIPAA.

  • Gaming: Chat services can be integrated into gaming platforms to enable real-time communication between players, group chats, and multiplayer games.

  • E-commerce: Chat services can be used in e-commerce platforms to provide real-time customer support and enhance the customer experience.

  • Startups: Chat services can be integrated into startup platforms to streamline internal communication, automate workflows, and enhance user engagement.

  • Customer support: Chat services can be used for customer support providing real-time assistance and ticketing.

Chat service APIs: What to know

A chat service API is an application programming interface that allows developers to integrate chat functionality into their applications. Chat service APIs typically provide access to chat features such as messaging, video calls, and file sharing.

When deciding whether to use a chat service API, it's essential to consider factors such as scalability, user experience, and customization. While chat service APIs can be a great way to enhance your application's functionality, they may not always be the best fit for your business needs.

When to Use a Chat Service APIs

A chat service API can be a good option when you need to add real-time communication functionality to your application quickly and easily. Chat service APIs can also be a good choice if you want to provide a customizable chat experience tailored to your users' needs.

When Not to Use a Chat Service APIs

In some situations, using a chat service API might not be the best choice. For example, if you must ensure your communication channels are fully secure and private, you may consider building your chat solution with end-to-end encryption. Additionally, suppose you need to integrate chat functionality with other on-premises systems. In that case, you may need to build a custom solution rather than relying on a cloud-based chat service API.

Chat Service vs. Chat Bot API

It's important to note that a chat service API differs from a chatbot API. A chat service API allows developers to integrate real-time chat functionality into their applications. In contrast, a chatbot API will enable developers to create conversational agents to communicate with users in natural language. Both APIs can be helpful in different contexts, but choosing the right one for your needs is essential.

Using PubNub's Chat Service API

At PubNub, we provide a powerful and flexible API for developers to add real-time chat functionality to their applications. Our API is designed to be scalable and customizable, allowing developers to build a messaging platform that meets their specific business needs.

Using PubNub SDKs, developers can quickly build chat and other real-time features without sacrificing a significant amount of time learning, creating, and managing the mechanics behind sending chat messages or other data in real time. All of the scaling and infrastructure is handled for you.

Want more help building apps with PubNub? Reach out to our team of experts.