How to Choose the Best Chat API
A real-time chat messenger is no longer an option but a must-have for companies since it allows consumers to get an instant response to their questions and facilitates seamless communication.
When developing a chat app, developers come across terminologies like chat messaging API and SDK, as these are mostly deployed for making this technology. In this blog, we explore chat API and how you should select the right one for your business.
What Is Chat API?
Before we dive deeper into chat messaging API, let us take a step back to understand what an API is.
Application Program Interface (API) is a set of programs that are used to help various applications communicate with each other to deliver high-quality results. By this definition, chat APIs are a group of services that allows developers to implement different messaging technology in an app using a single programmable interface.
Live chat APIs are usually offered by third-party agencies, which provide unlimited access to global carrier networks for traditional messaging as well as more advanced chat APIs. Developers who use messaging platform APIs don’t have to create a backend system for various messaging channels as third-party providers offer a complete infrastructure depending on their SaaS/PaaS cloud model.
Leading online chat API source code has varied use cases that range from eLearning, healthcare such as teleconsultations, in-game chat, and remote collaboration tools like office messengers.
How to Choose the Right Chat API
According to a report, around 2.77 billion mobile users used messaging apps in 2020 to communicate, and this figure is set to reach 3 billion in 2022.
These stats provide a concrete hint about the growing dependency and usage of messaging apps and speak volumes about the new era of communication. Businesses need to tap into this trend to connect with their customers and provide instant responses to increase their brand loyalty and trust.
However, with innumerable real-time messaging APIs available in the market, choosing the right solution is a tedious task. Picking an API with limited features means roadblocks and unforeseen limitations down the line.
The right way to decide the best solution is by listing your needs and expectations and see if the solution provider meets them. The choices ultimately boil down to three main categories: core needs, scalability, and rich features.
Core Messaging Needs
For most organizations, core messaging features include:
- Private messaging
- Group chat: for encouraging collaborative or social chats
- Presence: to check who all are active/inactive
- Push notifications: to send an update to users even when they are offline
- Chat history: to save the context of conversations
- Concurrency: allowing many users to log in at the same time
A chat platform API should not be a black box that only allows users to chat. Instead, it should help support the growth of your app and provide access to the entire chat platform. This means that you can leverage advanced capabilities to expand existing features.
Initially, consider the following built-in features for your online chat platform:
- Serverless functions: to allow developers to invoke APIs on the go or trigger a code.
- Webhooks: for seamless integration between real-time events and server/REST APIs.
- Flexible design: APIs should be built in a way that gives developers complete control.
As your app evolves, amp it up with various important integrations. Any online chat API that you are considering should easily integrate with:
- Video and audio services: for different types of communication experiences.
- NLP providers: for added features like translation, text analysis, and text-to-speech.
- Content moderation: Profanity filtering services for maintaining decorum.
With a dime, a dozen chat apps available in the market, features like read receipts, typing indicators, and animated emojis have become a standard. These features aim to provide organic and responsive experiences to users while chatting.
When considering an API for your chat application, look for other essential features, like:
- Several types of files upload, including images, documents, etc.
- GIFs and stickers
- Blocking unwanted users
- End-to-end encryption for added security
- Profanity filter and content moderation
A chat API platform can transform your users’ experiences when they use your app. It allows you to create a unique chat solution that is not only budget-friendly but secure and easily accessible.
Choosing the best real-time chat API requires some groundwork to ensure faster and glitch-free software delivery. By understanding your needs and the application program interfaces, your businesses can easily navigate through the multifaceted world of chat apps and create a solution that you can proudly own and distribute.