Features and Cost to Develop Instant Messaging App like WhatsApp
The hyper-growth of instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger is mind boggling. Facebook isn’t nuts to buy WhatsApp for $19 Billion. Must say! This whopping investment in chat messaging apps lies down the sheet of tremendous reasons to what makes this eventually profitable!
Talking factually, here are the bold reasons to adapt IM or Chat messaging models and bite off a significant profit from the current fad.
Observe the Most popular global mobile messenger apps as of January 2018, based on number of monthly active users (in millions). See a spike of its increasing popularity.
Image source: Statista
Since the appearance of smartphone and the successive explosion of mobile apps, the free chat offered by social messaging apps have outdone operator-based text messaging via SMS and proved themselves as a cheap alternative. Moreover, the engaging and inviting features such as free voice calls, video calls, group chats, emoticons, stickers make them more winsome over conventional sources of messaging.
Instant Messaging Apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Viber have surpassed Big 4 Social Networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin.
Image Source: BI Intelligence
The Mandatory Features to Include in a Social Messaging App
1. User registration
Simplify the User Onboarding to your app by providing an easy account registration process just like Whatsapp. Ask the user to enter the phone number and the verification code he receives on it.
2. Instant Messaging
The bedrock of your app is instant messaging. It is obvious the messaging will take place between two users or multiple users (group chat). If in case, you’re strictly following the model of WhatsApp than you need to store the conversation history as well, if the user logons with another device and if you’re more likely to stick on Snapchat like model than you need to go for a functionality that deletes messages within a few seconds after the reading.
3. Multimedia File Transmission
Yet another important function! Enable your users to exchange or attach images, gifs, contacts, video and audio content. You can also add more to it by enabling distinctive features like text or drawing sharing, allowing them to sync their multimedia and downloads with Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and others. Albeit, this feature does spike your development cost.
4. Encrypted Chats
Since the encrypted chats have already delved in, launching your app without the encryption would be like belittling your app even before the launch. Of course, every user has their own privacy concern and it should be yours as well as it is extremely important to keep your users’ data safe and secure from third party filtration. To do so, you can invest in superlative encryption technologies like ChatSecure and CryptoCat.
5. Push Notifications
Keep your users active, engaged and connected with your app round the clock through push notifications. You can even allow your users to customize the frequency of notifications they’d like to receive like once in an hour, after every five hours or once in a day. Generally, Firebase Cloud Messaging is used for Android chat development and for iOS Apple Push Notifications, which is native to the iOS platform.
6. Quick Search
Make it easy for your users to search and track conversation long held between their friends or colleagues a time ago. Search features aids and works wonder in using and finding old conversations which are likely to wipe off from memories and wade down in the long lists of chats done.
7. Group Chats
Your chat app should allow users to connect with multiple people at a time and share multimedia files.
8. Voice and Video Calling
Develop a messaging app with calling capabilities and that comes with functionalities like VoIP phone calls, video chats, group calls (group video calls).
9. Profile and Status Sharing
Profile Customization lets users share their original personality with others and status sharing helps them to share their mood. To be honest, this feature is not at all time consuming and only take a couple of hours for your developers to work.
10. Message Broadcasting
Message broadcasting is also an imperative feature that allows the user to create an instant group (one way) and then repeatedly message to all of them at a single shot. The beauty of this feature is the recipient who never comes to know who else has received the broadcasted message and on the same line, he treats it as a personal message.
Other Additional Features in a Messaging App
This was not the end. The list of possible features increases with time and budget. Here are the add-ons you can think of including in messaging app.
- Cloud services synchronization
- Message Deletion
- Multiplatform chatting
- Confirmations and Redelivery
- App Analytics
- Location Sharing
Cost to develop a Social Messaging App like WhatsApp
The total cost to develop this app depends upon the big task involved in it like backend development, front end, UI/UX design, native platforms, Web app and quality assurance.
However, the rough estimation for this kind of Chat App development starts from $30,000 and goes up to $120,000 depending upon the hourly rates of the mobile app development team you’ve hired.
Technology Stack involved in it
If you want to develop an instant chat app or are aiming to create a messaging app with its own unique set of features, we at Codiant can help you to explore all the possibilities and develop the solution as per your need and budget.