Chatting was one of the first activities online users enjoyed. It hasn't fallen out of favor as internet users leave their desktops behind for smartphones and tablets. Three-quarters of mobile users prefer communicating via instant message apps
over more traditional communication tools like email. With chatting unlikely to go out of style, creating a chat app is a smart investment for any organization. These tips can help any business create the best chat app.
Make It Instant
Image via Flickr by William Hook
The best form of communication has always been instant. Think about the joy of catching up with a friend over coffee or phoning home to check in on family. Online users have come to expect this kind of immediacy from their chat apps. Messaging should be instant, making users feel like they're close to one another even if they're miles apart. Anything less, and the communication becomes stilted and unnatural.
Make it Secure
While Americans are more connected than ever, online security and privacy remain a concern. In a recent study of Hotspot Shield personal virtual private network users, 84 percent were more concerned about their online privacy and security in 2017 than they were 12 months prior. Increased numbers of internet-connected devices, recent large-scale data breaches, current politics, and past experiences of data theft have all fueled these worries.
Chat app developers must take these concerns seriously and put security at the top of their agendas. Users want to know the information they share via an app is received only by their intended recipients, not third parties. Premium encryption technology is an excellent way to boost security. Displaying encryption certificates prominently can help gain users' trust and allow them to feel confident using a chat app.
Add Group Functionality
Chatting one-on-one is perfect for intimate catch-ups, but what about when someone wants to plan a social event or discuss a project with several colleagues? Group chat functionality makes any chat app much more versatile. The best chat apps are scalable, allowing as many users to join a chat as required.
Make it Searchable
It can be difficult to keep track of conversations that occurred long ago. What was that band a friend recommended? How many cups of flour does Mom use in her famous chocolate cake? When was the deadline for that big assignment? Making a chat app searchable lets users search for the answers to these questions in their chat logs. It's a simple feature, but one that can prove invaluable for personal and professional users.
Think About Communication Beyond Text
Instant messaging is a common and timeless way to communicate online, but the most sophisticated chat apps think beyond text. They facilitate greater communication with voice chat and video chat options. Adding such complex functionality to a chat app might seem daunting, but Agora makes it easy.
Agora is a leader in web real-time communication or webRTC. It works closely with its clients, creating voice chat and video chat tools that can be easily added to an existing or new app. Working with Agora lets businesses add advanced chat features to their apps without the stress. Visit the Agora website to learn more about its services.
Add Push Notifications
Push notifications increase engagement with the app and keep users coming back. Some useful push notifications include alerting users when someone has sent them a message, when a message has not been responded to for a set period, or when a favorite contact is online.
While push notifications can be useful, they can also frustrate some users. Allowing users to customize the kind of notifications they receive and their frequency can minimize disruption.
Add Extra Functionality
Of course, chatting functions should be the primary purpose of any chat app. But adding extra functionality is an excellent way for a new chat app to gain a competitive advantage.
Chat apps are often utilized by professionals collaborating on projects. They'll get more from an app that lets them share files with their co-workers and clients. Integrating the app with popular cloud services, like Google Drive and Dropbox, is a great way to achieve this.
Chat apps are also popular social tools. Chat users who want to connect with their friends and family members might appreciate emojis, stickers, gifs, and filters that can enhance and personalize their chatting experience.
The best chat apps are full-featured and functional, helping users communicate with established contacts and new friends the way they want. Taking time to develop a quality app with the right professional partners can pay dividends for any organization.