Ultimate Guide On How To Design A Messaging App From Scratch

Ultimate Guide On How To Design A Messaging App From Scratch

Are you planning to develop a messaging app or a chat app just like Viber, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.?

Well, this is one of the most common questions that many business owners come across. This is because messaging apps have become the most integral part of the human world. These apps even have edged out other means of communication.

Earlier, the phone was the only source that connected people to one another. It first provided the facility to call, but later became a major part of everyone’s lives. Now, people cannot imagine their lives without messaging apps. It has changed the way we communicate. These apps give us the opportunity to deliver different messages to our friends and family in a flash.

So, if you are planning to design a messaging app, just like the famous ones then hiring an expert mobile app development company is crucial. And, well, you are at the right platform then. We are suggesting the top ways, essential features, and very vital information to guide you through the design process. We have collected this information from software engineering teams and have put it in the simplest manner. These professionals create messaging apps for global clients.

So, without any ado, let’s now learn about how to design a messaging app.

how to build a messaging app

Messaging App Development – Designing A Messaging App From Scratch

Before making any decisions, let us fir understand the things which are important:

The first step before taking the knowledge about How to build a messaging app is to find out

a. Why do you need to build a messaging application?

b. How many people are using it currently all over the world?

c. What technology is needed to create a chat application?

d. How much do you have to invest in the making of an application?

So, all the above-mentioned points are important to understand in making any future decision. According to research done by Facebook, they stated that messaging is the major element that has become an integral part of the everyday life of people. It was about 85% of the adults were about 19-64 and 92% of teenagers who are aged between 13-18 years. It was because of the various factors which are stated by software advice reveals. They stated that people like it because of the following factors :

a. Very convenient

b. Easy to handle

c. Can do the multitask

d. They can use it anywhere and at anytime

e. No clutch time

f. They can check the past chats “provides chat history”

On the other hand, it was found that about 50-55% of smartphone users all over the world use the applications to chat or communicate with their friends and acquaintances. The time spent using any messaging apps on average is 10-12 minutes per day. Also according to an “on-device research” survey, it was found that people all over the world installed at least two messaging apps on their smartphones.

Considering the competitors is also important to keep in mind! As there are many famous messaging apps available in the app store and play store. People use different applications in different countries, some prefer WhatsApp and some prefer telegrams. Below we are mentioning the number of active users who use different applications in different countries. So let’s take a look :

Another interesting statistic about messaging apps is the revenue a company can get from a single user. By 2023, the average revenue per user is expected to exceed $15. This growth will be driven by the evolution of purchasing in messenger apps.

So, what are its main features which will guide you to set the criteria?

Mobile app development for messaging is a complex process that consists of different steps. So, before we move on to the overview of the main chat app features, let’s take a look over other essential points first.

If we talk about creating a new mobile chat application then we must say that it is a complex process that consists of different steps. But before that you have to understand the major chart app features, so let’s understand it first.

So the first point is to understand how a chat application works. For this, we are taking the example of the WhatsApp application. It is an instant chat and messaging application which allows the user to exchange videos, files, text, audio messages, etc between two different users.

It also allows the same task into the group also which means you can chat or drop messages to multiple persons at the same time. Besides, it uses the (XMPP) extensive messaging and protocol. This protocol is fully decentralized which means this WhatsApp is highly secure and nobody can break its security of it.

Therefore below we are explaining the top features which you require to understand the mobile app development of the most popular chat applications. This will help you in finding out how to design a messaging application like Telegram, WhatsApp, and other smart apps.

Basic Features Your Messaging Application Must Have:

Like any other feature of the application, it is important to understand the fact that you can create a chat application with the help of a basic set of features. So if you want to know how you can build a messaging application in a simple way, read the following features carefully.

1. Access “Authorisation” –

If we talk about the possibilities then we can create a chatting application that supports one base of authorization. Although, restricting or limiting the users to a single method of authorization can be the wiser step to be taken. Hence creating a mobile app for chatting that supports the above-mentioned options and allows the end-users to select the same can be the best option for them.

Hence to describe how to build a messaging application one must start from the beginning i.e. authorization. If we talk about the signup features then there are various types of sign-up options that you can provide to the end-users for example – the user can sign in via using their phone number, social media, e-mail id, and so on.

2. Contact Access –

If you are wishing to design a messaging application successfully you must consider this point. The major feature which every user likes is the easy share of attachments, especially contact sharing. It is important to make contact sharing easy, smooth, and automatic so that the users will not get annoyed with the same. Hence creating a messaging application that can automatically access the contacts from the contacts book and importing the same to the server can be the best option to go for.

So, considering this feature will let the end-user access how many people are using the same application who are in their contact. Also, the developers can provide end-users access and import the contacts from their own social media accounts as well as the e-mail id to look for the others.

3. Messaging Feature

Creating a messaging application without the core messaging feature makes it absolutely of no use. One must say that the implementation of the messaging feature totally depends upon the type of architecture which you decided to use. Below we are suggesting 3 major points that you can consider in your messaging feature.

-> As a messaging application, it is important to have a bridge in the network so that the message can be sent and received by the user in no time or we can say it must take a maximum of 1-2 sec. per message. As technology is constantly rising people are getting more acquainted with the technology, therefore, it is important to provide premium and update messaging services to the user and also provide the protection of encryption and decryption messaging safety to the user. So that they trust your services more frequently.

-> A net-based chatting application can be used that stores all the messages on the server. So if you are deciding to create a chat application just like the online storing one then all the instruction must be done via HTTPS protocol and will be encrypted through an SSL certificate. But the task is not only to build a chat application but also the one which is created as the secured one i.e. considered to be the secured chatting application.

-> Considering the client-based messaging application we can say that it does not utilize the servers or the network to store its messages. When a messaging application user sends a message to the other user it is transferred under public key cryptography. This public-key cryptography is a process of sending a message which is encrypted by an asymmetric cryptography algorithm and authenticated by the central server system. And the message is conveyed through a wireless mesh network system.

Learn more about the in-app messaging features of a messaging application.

4. Media Sharing –

If you are wondering how you can attract more users to use your messaging application. Then we got the top solution for you all you need to be concerned about is media sharing. The media or file-sharing option which allows the user to exchange images, documents, videos, and so forth makes the users use your created messaging application. The file-sharing application can be done in the following two ways:-

->First one is by letting the users pick and send the data to the internal storage or the gallery.

->The second one is by allowing the application to use the user’s camera feature so that they can instantly capture the movements and share them with their friends and family.

The above-mentioned suggestion is just the basic feature that every messaging application developer or creator must consider in their messaging application. Apart from this, there are numerous features that you must include while creating a messaging application.

Hence below we are suggesting top points which will guide you in making a successful messaging application and help you stand out above your competitors:-

Video calling

If you want to keep your messaging application over the top of your competitors then you must consider the best video calling service. We all know how important this feature is, as this feature makes the application more interactive. If you observe various popular messaging applications deeply you can find one thing totally common i.e. video calls. This feature enables visual communication between the users based on their (VOIP) Voice over internet protocol.

Learn How to Make a Video Chat App.

Groups and channel chats

In the evolution stage of the messaging application, most top chatting applications offered only one-to-one communication facilities. But as technology upgrades, new features have been inserted into the messaging apps.  These are groups and channel features in which one can easily create the group into the application and can add many people to it. So that a large number of people can contact together from different locations.

Secret chat feature

If you are wondering about how to make a messaging application that will be up to your targeted users’ expectations then must consider the secret chat feature as it appears to be one of the most promising features for your messaging app users. Many famous chat applications like- telegram, and now WhatsApp provide store encryption keys to the users’ devices and messages can only be decrypted by smartphones only.

On the other hand, if we talk about other messengers’ improved features then it includes the notification about screenshots which has been taken so that it makes it impossible for one to forward those 4 messages from secret chat to other users.

Looking for secret texting apps? Here are the best ones for you.

Vanishing Messages

If we talk about this feature “self-destructing” then we must say that the best example of this special feature is “Snapchat”. The creator of the Snapchat application feature is smart enough they know how to attract customers with the unique features. Therefore they have created the self-destruct feature in their application and with no surprise, the users love this feature as it offers privacy! In this feature, the messages automatically get vanished after a certain amount of time which maintains the privacy of the user.

Scheduled Messages

This is one of the most unique features you can provide to your application users’. This feature depicts the ease of using messaging scheduling features. If someone forgets to send an important message to someone then they can use this feature. The user only needs to type the message in advance and then schedule it. This scheduling feature is the best feature and the secret of making any messaging application worthy and in demand.

Artificial Conversation Entity

Providing the artificial conversation entity or the chatbot features to the users helps them to express their thoughts in front of the other person. This feature is usually used by business organizations to understand their customers’ needs. It includes the predetermined answer and questions so that whenever a user enquires something the chatbot replies to it.

Invisible Ink Feature

If you want to make a popular messaging application that will amaze your app user then you must consider this point. According to research done by Columbia University, they have created a feature in which a message in a message approach will be used and helps one to hide the true meaning of a message which can only be decrypted via. Smartphone cameras or only those who have the decryption code to break it. This feature is named invisible ink as it works top to hide the message.

Emojis / GIF/ Stickers

Emojis, GIFs, or stickers are the best options if you want to offer an extra feature to your application user. With the help of emojis and other features, the user can easily express their emotions via emojis communication. The best example of this is “Viber” which provides the user to make their own sticker which they can use to send to their contacts.

Gaming Feature

Offering an app game is the best way to attract and make users use your messaging application. So, the best option or solution for this is to add the gaming feature so that the user can play the game without leaving the messenger app.

Hence, if you are looking for a shortcut key that can make the users love your chat app then we suggest that there is no golden key or shortcut to make applications loved by people. So to create the top most popular messaging app, you must seek your own creative, innovative and unique feature which offers different applications.

Read More: How to Build an App in 2023? 10 Steps to Develop an App from Scratch

Messaging App Development – Other Necessary Features

On the above, we have already mentioned the additional as well as a basic feature that you can consider while creating the messaging application. However, there are a few more important things that are needed to make any chat application successful.  So, let’s investigate the technologies which are important and can help you in making a chat application that can make them trust and encourage the application.

Security Feature

Considering the security feature while creating a chat application is important as it will assure the customers that they can trust the application as they are getting a higher level of security. The list we want to suggest is an example of a WhatsApp application. If you want to create a messaging app that can provide privacy and safety just like Whatsapp then you must understand how and with whom they have joined their hands.

So, in order to create a privacy feature for the user, WhatsApp is a partnership with Open Whispers System. This provides the company with an end-to-end encryption system that provides security or secures the communication which happens inside the chat application. Surprisingly even WhatsApp can too decrypt or access the same.

Another example of how to design a messaging application with superior security is Telegram. Unlike Whatsapp, Telegram uses its own built encryption protocol. In this, the cryptographic keys were changed either after sending a certain number of messages by the users every week.

Back-end Functionality

When you create a new messaging app for the users, the first thing you need to consider is that the application will need to store and process a lot of data which includes videos, text messages, images, or even various different files. It is the basic thing that the planner or the messaging app does, and the architect should consider it.

Hence, the key functionality of any messaging app must consider the back-end function. Which may include all the storage servers,  messaging protocols,  API,  notification services, or XMPP.

Push notifications feature

If you want to know how to build a messaging app that users love to use, then you must consider the push-up notification function. This feature will help you in converting one-time users into some of your most dedicated ones. While creating a chat app one must think about push notifications as one of the best solutions.

If you are thinking about how to make a chat app with a push-up notification feature, then take the help of Firebase Cloud Messaging technology for Android mobiles and for IOS, Apple Push Notifications feature.

Geolocation service

Have you ever wondered why any messaging app needs geolocation service? So the answer is pretty simple – for the convenience of chat application users. With the help of “CLLocationManager Class,” you can provide the same function in an android as well as an iOS messaging application. So that users are easily enabled to share their location, or they can easily search the restaurants, shops, and food marts that they have visited earlier in no time.

Applications like WhatsApp and Telegram offer geolocation tracking services to help users they can build a route to their destination just by sending their location to others or by receiving from another one too.

Cloud storage

This feature provides the synchronization and storage of chat records, media files, and even text messages. Be bet that it may become your competitive advantage over your messaging application competitors like Whatsapp, Hike, Viber, Telegram, etc. This feature can provide all the storage help via iCloud or Google Drive, but if talk about Viber it doesn’t have the same feature at all.

If you are going to design a messaging app, then considering a cloud storage function will be a good idea to add the synchronizing option as it can make the overall user experience more satisfying.

Accessibility over multiple platforms

The ability to use messaging applications over different platforms offers users numerous opportunities to attract prospective customers. All popular messenger applications like Viber, Telegram, Facebook,  WhatsApp, Hike, etc have this Web version too. So, it is an important feature in any instant messaging app and you must consider it as well, therefore, considering only android and iOS applications is not enough but creating the web version is also important.

So let’s take a summarised view of the “basic features” as well as the “full features” which are important and must be considered while creating a new messaging application:-

basic features and full features

Let’s now consider a technology stack that can be used to create a messaging application. It may vary depending on the project’s complexity and your requirements for the app’s functionality.

iOS app

Android app

Third-party services

Back-end development

So, How Much Money and Time Will It Create to Build a Messaging App?

From the above, you can understand how to design a messaging application with the features to include. Now let’s move on to another important aspect of messaging app development which is “app development cost”. If we talk about different factors which may influence the final prices of the app development process including its features, design, development company that you had hired for making, etc. Depending upon the number of supported platforms, design, project size, and features the cost may start from $35,000-$60,000 and may exceed $250,000.

Well if you are thinking to copy any existing application to make your own then we must suggest not doing that! As the existing chat application feature will not attract many people because they are already getting it from the other application! So, the better solution for this is to design a messaging application with smart and new features which may differ from other existing messaging applications.

Below we are showing the type of work and the time which is needed to build your own messaging application. So, let’s take a look –

work and the time which is needed to build your own messaging application

So, the above-mentioned estimate is based on the basic set of features that we had already mentioned in this article. It’s the technical complexity of additional features which makes it extremely hard to estimate it without understanding any project details. Also, the number of hrs. can be charged based on the application’s additional requirements.

There are a number of factors that may influence the final app development timeline as well as the mobile app development cost. If you want to calculate the sum total cash then you must multiply the numbers by the hourly rate of your in-house or hired app developers.

So, let’s take a look at the table in which we are showing how much it will cost to build a messaging application. We are taking ($40) as an hourly rate as an example, this will help you in giving an overview of how you can calculate things…

how much it will cost to build a messaging application

11 Simple Steps To Design A Messaging Application

Do you want to know how to build a messaging application? Below we are listing ten steps that are required in order to create a messaging app and also to ensure its success of it as well.

1. Direct a complete analysis of your competitors and the market.

2. Identify and define your business expectations and goals.

3. Identify the specifics of your app and a different selling statement.

4. Create a chat app that is user-friendly.

5. Write down the list of messaging application features for the first version of your application.

6. Select and hire a reliable and experienced custom mobile app development company.

7. Always get deeply involved in the messaging application development process.

8. Deploy, test, and launch the messaging application to the target market as well as the app store.

9. Design and launch a new marketing strategy.

10. Survey and get connected with app users and also collect their precious feedback which will help you in growing in your field.

11. Manage it gradually and continuously by adding new features to your app.

Final Thoughts – Ultimate Guide On How To Design A Messaging App From Scratch

Above were the points which you can add to your checklist design a messaging app from scratch. We hope you now understand that there are numerous factors that are required and important to develop and make any messaging app. Only your imagination can give higher support to a custom messaging app development.

However, to develop and build a successful messaging app one needs to get the basic knowledge as well as the help of professional app developers. If you’re looking for an expert mobile app development company, it is time to connect with VerveLogic.

What’s more? A mobile app, business, or any venture is nothing without a brand face. And our brand designers at VerveBranding are a perfect choice to gift your brand its one-of-a-kind face. When you accomplish that, get in touch with digital marketing experts at VerveOnlineMarketing to let the world discover you.

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