At a Glance
- PubNub provides a secure and scalable realtime communication network to deliver chat and collaboration for the Famlicious iOS and Android app.
- PubNub ChatEngine streamlined mobile development and globally-distributed infrastructure delivers a reliable experience for global users.
- PubNub saved Yellow substantial resources in development headcount and backend infrastructure engineering.
“PubNub is valuable for us at Yellow in that we can deliver products we’re proud of to our clients and ultimately to the user. It saves us substantial resources as we’re not devoting tons of headcount and resources to building infrastructure and security. That’s taken care of by PubNub, so we can focus on building products our clients and their customers will love.” – Mitya Smusin, Founder of Yellow.
Famlicious is a secure family messaging, photo, and timeline sharing app for iOS and Android. The app creates a trusted, private place for families to connect with one another through secure messaging, a realtime family timeline, and dynamic family trees.
Yellow is a technology company that builds web and mobile applications, as well as user experience and design.
Famlicious has the goal to connect the world’s families by enabling a safe and stable communication platform for all members of a family. Security and reliable inside realtime interactivity between every connected family member is mission-critical to the Famlicious app.
As the development team, Yellow needed to build the mobile application to deliver both the realtime chat functionality, as well as a fast, synchronized experience for content sharing features like the family timeline. Equally important, Yellow also had to ensure that the app was secure, protecting the private and sensitive content shared between family members.
All these features had to continue to perform seamlessly as the Famlicious user base continues to grow increasing the concurrent user engagement worldwide.
“Realtime is essential because chat is a big part of the Famlicious experience. Families expect to talk to each other in realtime so it’s imperative that the delivery delay is minimal. Security is equally as important. The app handles sensitive and private data, so we need to be sure it stays private,” said Mitya Smusin, Founder of Yellow.
For any technology company that builds apps, there is always a fine balance between getting to market as quickly as possible and ensuring the product is engaging, reliable, and high performing. In this case, Yellow had to check these boxes while delivering a sophisticated app with realtime capabilities. Realtime requires a scalable infrastructure more than anything.
The challenge, then, was to ship a production-grade realtime application that would connect families around the world, on schedule, without being limited by insufficiently scalable infrastructure.
Tasked with building a secure and reliable mobile application, Yellow had a couple key requirements for building and delivering to Famlicious:
- Yellow needed to ensure they could deliver a reliable, production-grade mobile app for iOS and Android on time.
- The mobile app needs to scale as the Famlicious user base grows, without having to worry about the backend infrastructure.
- The app must protect the sensitive and private content users share.
With these requirements in mind, first Yellow had to decide whether they wanted to utilize a hosted service like PubNub, or build a custom solution in-house.
“To build the chat functionality and realtime infrastructure in-house, our engineers would have to design and build a custom chat solution, one that would not only involve a ton of development work, but would also require a big internationally distributed infrastructure to establish stable and responsive performance across the globe.”
Yellow chose to power the realtime chat using PubNub, specifically using PubNub ChatEngine, PubNub’s open and extensible chat framework. ChatEngine accelerates chat development with pre-built chat components and runs on the PubNub Data Stream Network, so the infrastructure challenge is implicitly solved. With SDKs for Android and iOS, as well as reliable backend infrastructure, ChatEngine fit the bill to deliver the cross-platform realtime app.
“It was a combination of a couple factors that made us choose ChatEngine – stability of work, necessary functionality for mobile, and a trusted provider in PubNub. Thanks to ChatEngine, we were able to integrate a ready-made chat framework that provided us with all the necessary functionality and worked beautifully for both iOS and Android.”
Additionally, reliability was a key part of the decision to replace their initial service provider with ChatEngine. Yellow had originally used a chat and messaging toolkit service but found that as Famlicious continued to grow and wanted to add new features, the original service lost stability.
“PubNub has been incredibly reliable. We used a competitor solution before, but the biggest drawback was the stability of work. The lack of stability was the main pain point, and that’s why we started looking for an alternative and eventually switched to PubNub.”
Using ChatEngine, Yellow was able to deliver Famlicious on-time and get to market fast. Because PubNub is extensible by design, Yellow can respond to audience demands by adding new interactive features to the application (like integration of StickerBox) and be confident that PubNub will deliver the reliability required as more families discover and fall in love with the app.
“PubNub is valuable for us at Yellow in that we can deliver products we’re proud of to our clients and ultimately to the user. It saves us substantial resources as we’re not devoting tons of headcount and resources to building infrastructure and security. That’s taken care of by PubNub, so we can focus on building products our clients and their customers will love.”
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