With the invention of cellular phones, the way how people interact with each other has greatly changed. Nowadays lots of people prefer chatting to calling. It doesn’t refer to Friday-out friendly conversations.
Nothing can take the place of friendly talks. But when it comes to small daily talks, Internet messengers are second-to-none. Using live chats has found new roots in the everyday life.
According to Statista, a half of the UK users uses the telephones to send messages when they need to contact someone.
People choose live chats because it’s time-efficient, convenient, and record the things discussed. Moreover, live chats can be easily accessed from any device since nowadays messengers come as a rule in several versions including mobile and desktop.
What do people expect from a messenger? Of course, media sharing. Can you imagine WhatsApp without photo or video sharing? These features have become vital. Don’t forget to implement them in your new messaging app.
Internet Messaging Apps
The leader in the free messaging services is WhatsApp with around 900 million active users per month. Subsequent positions are occupied by Skype, Viber, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger. What the apps mentioned above have in common and what differentiates them?
Let’s take a look at the functionality and features offered by popular messaging apps.
This is the first feature that may cross your mind when it comes to Internet messaging apps. Chat is an essential element of every messenger.
The modern messengers offer:
- Free real-time chats
- Phone calls
- Video calls
- Media sharing
Above you can see the basic functionality of any messenger. This is what the users expect to have when installing a new Internet messengers. But make your app stand out among others, and it will become popular and successful.
For example, a few years ago WhatsApp didn’t feature audio as well as video calls, but lots of more sophisticated live chat apps come with such a function. And what has happened to WhatsApp? Lots of people shifted to Viber or Telegram.
To keep up with the times, WhatsApp added voice and video calls. And now it tops the list of messengers.
Along with basic functionality, WeChat offers a unique feature – finding new friends in a random mode. And this is what makes the app one-of-a-kind.
Another thing that can influence the choice of the messenger is the number of group chat participants.
- WhatsApp – max 256 people
- Skype – max 25 people (video group chat)
- Viber – max 250 people
- WeChat – max 500 people
The authorization in the messaging apps can be implemented by different means: by phone number, email, social media profiles. As a rule, a messenger needs an access to your contact book to show everyone who uses the app.
The free messaging apps have different security settings. WhatsApp allows blocking the contacts you don’t want to chat with. And while using Viber, you can hide your status visibility so that the users won’t see whether you are online or offline. Before starting a conversation in WeChat, you should send a contact request.
Facebook Messenger doesn’t sync the phone call and SMS history if you want to keep all your conversations in one place, allow the synchronization. What does Skype have to offer? While using Skype, you can turn off adding friends from your contact list.
To reach more users, your app should be compatible with as many platforms as possible. Consider the support of the most widespread OS such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows.
Taking into account that all messengers have similar functionalities including registration, adjusting settings, contact list, messages, media exchange, group chats, geolocation, etc. Try to make your messenger stand out from the crowd.
5 things to know before starting development of a messaging app
- Stay unique
The majority of messengers offer quite a limited functionality. Offer the users something out-of-the-ordinary – photo editing to make the selfies amazing. Or take the example of WeChat, and develop a social messenger to meet new people.
- Alternative to SMS
People are looking for the ways to cut down their communication bills. Here come VoIP or Internet messaging apps extremely useful offering much wider capabilities than regular SMS services.
- Staying close to friends
If your friends use one particular messenger, you’re unlikely to install something different. According to the latest research, more than a half of potential users install messaging apps to keep in touch with friends. Fewer people download a new app because of its exclusive features.
- Cross-platform app
The very first messaging apps started the life as iPhone apps, but then they quickly took the rest of platforms. The support of various platforms can help to take the leading positions.
- Think of the users first
Providing a better user experience is the best strategy to achieve success. Install and test various messaging apps to work out an ideal messenger.
I’m Tasha, a technical writer at https://idapgroup.com. I try hard to explain geek news in a plain (and readable) language. Here you can read one of my coverage on the mobile app development. To read more, visit my blog or follow me on Facebook/Twitter