We humans are social animals.
Being social rides on the ability to communicate our thoughts with one another. From times immemorial we have invented many ways to convey our ideas and opinions in that process.
With the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, chat apps are the rage within the current age. With the growth of population, so did the craving to be connected with the loved ones and other people in our lives increased. And with the technology available to us it became easy to create chat apps.
It is a good option to tap this growing market for your business venture. But like any other situation, there are challenges in building a chat app that are inevitable to avoid and need to be faced head on.
Here are the challenges that you might face in building a custom chat app.
We went from the age of signs to speech, from letters to emails and now to apps on your smartphone. The one thing that drives this innovation is the need for ease of access. We wanted an option that is easy for us to use. So the chat app you are building should enable the users to send a quick message or share files of various formats. Be it on the smartphone or desktop, you need to cater to the need of wanting to access your application any time and anywhere.
Choosing the core real-time features
Due to the competition in this market, the standards for an ideal chat app have risen tremendously. Users want their chat app to have a wide range of core features that enable them to stay on top of their game in real time. So keep in mind the following list of real-time features to add to your chat app:
- Enable users to send messages either one-to-one or in groups easily, instantly and in real time. Push notifications should be included as they greatly help in serving this purpose.
- Enable users to use emojis and stickers. These make the conversation come to life. It helps the user to aptly express their emotions and feelings.
- Give the user the control to chat notifications. Include the mute chat options which can cater to the demand of a wide range of personalities of users.
- The user wants to know the statuses of their messages. Allow features that depict in- real time the sent, delivered and seen statuses of the messages.
- Live video calling, voice calling and the ability to send various formats of files have become important features in a chat app.
Selecting the right Technical tool stack
Once you map out the features of your chat app, you need to face the challenge of choosing the right technical tools. It does make a great difference in establishing the functionality and security of your app.
Your app should be able to recognize your users. This protects your app users from spam and fraud. You can authenticate your users by their phone numbers. Look for an easy way of adding protection by utilizing a phone number to authenticate your app users. Several other social media platforms can be used for authentication with social media accounts.
To handle all the data for your chat app, server architecture plays a vital role. Choose a database that has good scalability. Do research on solutions that do a great job in making this process easier.
Nowadays React and Angular are a great choice for front-end frameworks. They make the job of creating a modern web client with less friction.
Standing out is the new Normal
As you already know that there are numerous chat apps out there. Users look for new features that serve as differentiator from all the choices available. So you have to give them the features that make them switch from the app they are using. Here are some more information about top snapchat clone services to consider:
- Self-destruct chats that can be destroyed after a specific time on both sides.
- Ability to sync events and reminders to the users’ calendars.
- Ability to send scheduled messages.
- Enabling location sharing options.
- Providing in-app games.
- Including chatbots for customer services.
- Enabling the users with temporary content like stories and statuses.
Taking the lessons from Snapchat can be a great advantage in understanding what the users want and delivering it to them.
Security is everything
Security has always been an important factor in coming up with any apps. Messaging apps might host confidential information. As apps are prone to data theft, if your chat app is not secure enough users hesitate to use it which leads to low procut adoption. So encryption of data is wanted by the users. There are standards for security compliance like HIPAA for healthcare, AES 256 encryption, Privacy Shield for US-EU transmission.
One way to deal with this is by implementing end-to-end encryption. This is done by making a private key that is stored on the device itself. Without the device, the key becomes inaccessible. Even you being the creator of the app cannot decrypt the content of the users’ messages.
You can also use an in-house non open-source encryption protocol wherein the cryptographic keys are changed frequently or after sending a certain number of messages. In this way even if one message is deciphered, it doesn’t allow the deciphering of all the messages as the key will be different.
Engaging the users
It is one of the greatest challenges that needs to be addressed as this tremendously increases your app’s success. To make your app engaging, overcome the product adoption hurdle. This can be done by creating a good onboarding experience. Add new features and increase the number of features that the users can use, so that the users stick around and reduce the initial abandonment rates. To keep them continuing using your app, enable features for personalization. Also keep updating your app by utilizing user behavior and user feedback. Provide incentives to help drive conversation about your app and encourage engagement. Look at the case study of Snapchat which has done a great job at keeping its users engaged.
Scaling your app
Once the users start using your app, scaling your app for the growing needs becomes a great challenge. There may be problems in global distribution and administration of users. Issues in network connectivity and chat message complications may lead to fatal errors. This can be addressed by hiring a dedicated company to handle software infrastructure. Click and visit our best chat app development company
The one thing that has no bounds is the expectations. With the growing availability of various chat apps, users are expecting better features and demanding more and more. They want the chat app to be a one stop tool for everything, from instant messaging to instant payments. In simple terms, users want a chat app that can assist them with every aspect of their life. So chat app integration has become an inevitable challenge. This can be achieved by various in-app chat APIs & SDKs solutions. They are easy to integrate with any existing Android, iOS and web application software.
Hope these challenges don’t deter you from creating your own custom chat app and giving the world your own perspective. As you know, challenges are a part of life and overcoming them gives you success.
About The Author
Hermit Chawla is a MD at AIS Technolabs Pvt Ltd which is a Web/App design and Development Company, helping global businesses to grow by Global Clients. He loves to share his thoughts on Web & App Development, Clone App Development and Game Development.