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“Why do people come to the internet?”

I have asked this question myself time and again since I joined the fray of technologists to pursue a career in technology and the Internet. Here is what I found out:

“People come to the Internet for update. Whether it is in the form of news, views, messages, communications, events or anything else.”

Among all forms of things that the Internet offers — chat apps leads the pack, allowing us to connect and get updates from the people we associate with for personal, social or business purposes.

Using this guide, you will be able to get a holistic idea about what is a chat app, what it takes to build a successful chat app, the use cases for the chat app, the technology stack, steps you will need to create a chat app that results in helping you achieve your business goals.


These are just a few examples of how businesses can use chat apps to improve customer service, increase sales, and streamline business operations.

These are just a few examples of the many ways businesses can use chat apps to improve customer service, increase sales, and streamline business operations. The possibilities are endless, and chat apps can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each business.

Here are a few examples of how businesses are using chat apps:

E-Commerce Companies

E-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart, Tatacliq, Zappos, Shopify, Myntra, and BigBasket use chat apps to provide customer service, answer questions about products and shipping, and help customers with returns and exchanges.

B2B e-commerce companies like Alibaba, IndiaMart, and Rakuten connect buyers and sellers to provide customer service using chat apps.

The use of chat certainly benefits e-commerce companies by providing better customer service, increasing sales, and streamlining business operations.

Banking and Financial Services

Many banks have implemented chat apps for customer service and support. Banks use popular chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, etc., as well as they have developed their own proprietary chat apps for customer service. Bank customers interact with bank representatives and receive assistance related to account inquiries, transactions, and technical support.

Food and Grocery Delivery Service

Many food and grocery delivery service companies benefit immensely by implementing chat apps for a variety of customer service and support, such as order tracking, menu inquiries, and technical support.

Zomato, a leading food delivery service company, provides customer support through WhatsApp, where customers can track their orders and get real-time updates. Swiggy users can use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to track their orders, get real-time updates, and make changes to their orders.

Similar to the above examples, companies working in travel, healthcare, real estate, human resources and services use the chat app for various use cases. Using the advanced chat features, they provide tips, answers, information, news, updates and appointments related to the products and services offered by them.

Chat App Use Cases

Chat apps are used by close to 3 billion people worldwide, making chat apps popular among individuals and businesses. There are several reasons why people love using chat apps, including:

  1. Convenience: Chat apps allow people to communicate with others at any time, from anywhere quickly, using just a phone or computer.
  2. Personalisation: Chat apps allow secure one-to-one personalised conversations with friends, family, and even businesses, making communication more personal and engaging.
  3. Group conversations: Using chat apps, you can create group conversations with multiple people, making it easy to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues.
  4. File sharing: Chat apps allow users to easily share files, such as photos, links, videos, and documents, with others, making it easy to collaborate on projects and share information.
  5. Cost-effective: Most chat apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, etc., are free to download and use, making them an affordable communication option for individuals and businesses.
  6. Platforms for business: Chat apps allow businesses to communicate with customers and clients in real-time, making it easy to provide customer service, product information, and status update resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  7. Customer service: Chat apps can be used to provide real-time customer service, allowing customers to quickly and easily get answers to their questions and resolve issues.
  8. Sales: Use chat apps to engage with potential customers and make sales by answering customer questions, providing product information and making recommendations.
  9. Marketing: Chat apps are the perfect mode to send targeted marketing messages and promotions to customers and gather customer data to analyse and personalise marketing efforts.
  10. Communication within teams: Improve communication and collaboration, allowing team members to share information and work on projects in real time.
  11. Support: Provide technical support and troubleshooting for customers by allowing them to quickly and easily resolve support issues.
  12. Order tracking: Chat apps can be used to provide customers with real-time updates on the status of their orders, such as shipping and delivery information.
  13. Appointment scheduling: Schedule appointments with customers, allowing them to easily book time slots without needing phone calls or emails.
  14. Automation: Chat apps can be integrated with other systems to automate certain tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions or directing customers to relevant information.
  15. The above capabilities and features of the chat system can help businesses in many ways to improve business operations, increase sales, and provide better customer service.

Key Features of Chat App

User Sign Up

Provide a seamless user sign-up process allowing users to authenticate their accounts using relevant and preferred methods such as phone numbers, email, or social media accounts making the sign-up process as convenient as possible. Using phone number registration and OTP text message authentication method is quick and effective. If you prefer your user to register using an official email, you can do so. Here are some quick tips to help you make the process easy and seamless:

  • Keep the registration process simple limiting the fields to only the essential information required to create an account.
  • Provide clear instructions: for each field that are clear and easy to understand.
  • Use validation for each email and mobile number to ensure that users enter the correct information and are the actual owner of the details provided.
  • Allow multiple authentication methods using a phone number, email address, or social media account to make the process as convenient as possible.
  • Offer the option to sign up with your business account to make the process faster and limit users’ access.
  • Provide clear error messages that may occur during the registration process and guide users on how to fix the issue.
  • Test the registration process with a small group of users to gather feedback and make necessary improvements before implementation.

Contact Management

Chat apps are used to stay connected with friends and colleagues. The more contacts users have, the more they will use the app. To make it easy for users to integrate their contacts into the chat app, you must provide a permission-based, convenient way to import contacts from their phone or email address.
Users want to see which of their contacts are already using the app, and enabling them to invite others who are not yet using it makes them feel good to connect with their friends and colleagues. Users should also be able to browse available contacts through phone numbers or email addresses.

  • Provide a simple and intuitive user interface to enable device permission, browse the contact lists, categorise the contact with tags and labels, and help with clear labels and icons for different actions.
  • Allow users to import contacts from their phone, email, or social media accounts to save time and make it easier to find and connect with friends and family.
  • Allow users to search for contacts quickly and add contacts by name, phone number, email id, labels and categories..
  • Allow multiple authentication methods using a phone number, email address, or social media account to make the process as convenient as possible.
  • Allow users to block or remove contacts they no longer want to communicate with.
  • Allow users to export their contacts to other apps or services if they want to switch to another chat app. Allow users to not sync their contacts with your app.
  • Allow users to merge duplicate contacts if they have the same contact in multiple sources.

Instant Message Delivery and Notifications

For an optimal user experience, messages must be delivered instantly, and the recipients can see their messages as soon as they receive them or when they come online. Additionally, it is helpful if they can see if the recipients are online and have received and read the messages.
Modern chat apps have become quite advanced and feature-rich. A type-ahead feature indicating when the person on the other end is typing will create additional impact. Message statuses like delivery, read, edited, and failed delivery should also be displayed to keep users informed and aware of the status of their messages.

Group chats

The group chat feature makes it easy to stay connected and informed whether you are working on a project with a team, coordinating plans with friends and family, or just trying to keep up with a group of like-minded people. With real-time messaging, file sharing, media sharing, and audio and video call support, group chat allows you to share ideas, collaborate on tasks, and make decisions quickly and easily. And with features like end-to-end encryption, group management and notifications, you can be sure that your conversations are secure and private.

Conversation History

Preserving chat history coupled with the ability to back up and restore is a powerful feature that makes it easy to keep track of your conversations, even if you cannot connect online. A chat history feature should be added so that you can easily scroll past messages, search for specific keywords or topics, and even reference important information or files that were shared in the chat. This feature is especially useful for keeping track of important decisions or discussions or for catching up on what you missed while you were away and staying on top of your conversations. With the ability to access the history of the chat, communication becomes more efficient and effective, saving time and effort while increasing productivity.

Security and Encryption

Security and encryption are essential for ensuring your conversations remain private and protected from unauthorised access. With end-to-end encryption, your messages are encoded and can only be decrypted by the intended recipients, making it impossible for anyone to intercept or read them. It gives users confidence while sharing business or sensitive personal communications. Additionally, the chat app may include other security features such as two-factor authentication, user identification, and secure data storage. Here is how popular chat apps implement security and encryption:

  • End-to-end encryption allows only the sender and the intended recipient to read them. It is done by encrypting the message on the sender’s device and decrypting it on the recipient’s device.
  • Use of secure communication protocols like SSL/TLS to encrypt the data while in transit.
  • Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security that requires users to provide a second form of verification, such as a fingerprint or a code sent to their phone, in addition to their password.
  • Storing data on secure servers and protecting it with firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures.
  • Implementing user identification methods such as usernames, OTP, passwords and biometrics to ensure that only authorised users can access the chat app.
  • Keeping the app and its server updated with the latest security patches and vulnerabilities.
  • Complying with data protection regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2 and others where applicable to ensure the security of user data.

Voice and Video Calling

In most modern chat apps, voice and video calls have become the default and most preferred features. They allow you to connect with others in real time, no matter where you are. With just a tap, you can initiate a voice or video call with one or multiple people in your chat. This feature is especially useful for businesses, remote teams, families and groups, as it allows for easy and efficient voice and video communication.
With high-speed internet connectivity, it is easy to provide high-quality audio and video, ensuring that conversations will be clear and easy to understand. Additionally, you may include options for call recording and scheduling to help users record and streamline their communication. The feature will make communication more efficient, convenient and personal, saving time and effort while increasing productivity.

Voice messaging

Voice messaging is the perfect feature for when users of your chat app are on the go or just too busy to type out a message. With a button tap, they can record a quick voice message and send it to anyone using the chat app. This feature is perfect for situations when you’re driving, working out, or just don’t feel like typing. Plus, it adds a personal touch to your communication, making it feel more like a conversation.
People use voice messaging features to send reminders, give instructions, or catch up with friends. Voice messaging makes it easy to stay connected as it saves a lot of time and effort, allowing users to get back to what they were doing in no time.

File sharing

With the ability to share files, making it easy to collaborate with other people by sharing important documents, presentations, and other materials,
The file-sharing feature in a chat app is the most preferred feature for businesses, remote teams, and personal use. You can allow your app users to share photos, videos or any other files they want to share with their teams, customers, friends and family.

Push notifications

Push notifications help your users stay on top of your chats and never miss an important message again. Push notifications alert when a new message arrives, even if your users are not actively using the chat app.
The ability to customise the push notification settings to fit user needs, so they only get alerted for the messages that matter to them, will give an extra edge to your users.

Self-destructing messages

Self-destructing messages give users added confidence by keeping their conversations private and secure. With this feature, users can set a timer for messages to automatically delete after a particular time, giving them the peace of mind that their conversations are protected.

Cloud synchronisation

Cloud synchronisation feature helps your users keep their chats and conversations organised and in sync with the cloud storage platform, no matter where you are. With this feature, you provide access to user chats, media, and files using multiple devices, such as phones, tablets, and computers.

Speech-to-text conversion

Speech-to-text conversion makes it easier for users to communicate faster, more efficiently and conveniently. With this feature, they can convert their voice messages into text or translate them into another language, making it easier to read, understand, and respond to messages. This feature allows for easy and efficient communication without the need to type out messages.

Message broadcasting

Message broadcasting in a chat app is perfect for sending updates, announcements, or any other important information to multiple people or groups at once. You can help your users easily create and manage groups to broadcast messages to, making it easy to stay organised and on top of things and eliminating the hassle of sending individual messages, saving them time and effort.

Dark mode

Dark mode rapidly catches user attention, making the chat experience more comfortable and enjoyable, especially when using the app in low-light environments. With this feature, users can switch to a dark colour scheme, reducing the glare and making it easier for their eyes not to strain.

Top Chat Apps


As per the survey estimates, 3.09 billion people use chat apps worldwide, out of which 2 billion people use WhatsApp making it a widely used instant messaging and chat app that allows users to easily communicate with friends, family and colleagues through text, voice and video calls, and file sharing. WhatsApp is the ultimate tool for efficient and personal communication for these reasons:

  • End-to-end encryption for secure messaging
  • Group chat and video call support
  • Easy phone number-based verification process
  • Large user base and widespread international usage


Facebook Messenger:

Close to 1 billion users access Facebook Messenger to communicate with friends, join groups, and participate in group conversations. Facebook Messenger offers a variety of features, such as self-destructing messages, message scheduling, and voice-to-text conversion, making it a convenient and versatile tool for personal and professional communication.

  • Has a large user base due to its integration with Facebook
  • Features include group chat, video calling, and the ability to send money to contacts
  • Has a wide range of third-party integrations, including the ability to track packages, play games, and make reservations



WeChat is a super app combining messaging, social media and mobile payment in one app, and it is widely used in China and around the world. Along with communicating with friends and family through text, voice and video calls, and file sharing, users access various services such as mobile payments, ride-hailing, and online shopping. Additionally, the app strongly emphasises privacy, security and encryption, making it a secure and reliable choice for communication and transactions.

  • Popular in China and other Asian countries
  • Offers a wide range of features, including messaging, social media, mobile payment, and e-commerce
  • Has a built-in mobile wallet and supports QR code-based transactions


LINE is a popular chat and social media app in Japan because of its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set, LINE is a convenient and versatile tool for personal and professional communication. Additionally, the app offers a variety of unique features such as a large collection of stickers and emoticons, as well as an in-app social network called “Timeline” where users can share their thoughts, photos and videos.

  • Popular in Japan and other Asian countries
  • Offers features such as messaging, social media, and gaming
  • Has a wide range of stickers and emoticons, as well as brand partnerships for exclusive content


Telegram is a messaging app that prioritises speed, security and user privacy, allowing users to communicate with the highest level of security and privacy. Telegram provides end-to-end encryption for all its chats and enables users to create self-destructing messages. Its “Secret Chats” has end-to-end encrypted and leave no trace on Telegram’s servers. Telegram also offers a wide range of features, such as channels, bots and groups, making it a convenient and versatile tool for personal and professional communication.

  • Offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging
  • Has large group chat support (up to 200,000 members)
  • Offers “Telegram Channels” for broadcasting messages to a large audience
  • Has a strong focus on privacy and security



Viber is a popular messaging and calling app that allows users with its user-friendly interface and extensive feature set, Viber is a convenient and versatile tool for personal and professional communication providing a variety of unique features such as “Viber Out” which allows users to make calls to landlines and mobile phones at low rates, and “Public Chats” where users can join and participate in group conversations on different topics.

  • Offers end-to-end encryption for secure messaging
  • Has large group chat support (up to 200,000 members)
  • Has group chat and video call support
  • Has a built-in mobile wallet and supports QR code-based transactions
  • Has a wide range of stickers and emoticons, as well as brand partnerships for exclusive content

Tech Stack to Build Chat App

Building a chat app requires a combination of technologies that work together to provide real-time, secure and efficient communication for users. WebSockets, XMPP, SignalR, Firebase, PubNub and MQTT are some of the most popular technologies that can be used to build a chat application.

These technologies enable real-time, bidirectional communication between a client and a server, providing instant updates and notifications to the users. Additionally, GraphQL can be used to improve communication efficiency by allowing for flexible and efficient data retrieval. With this set of technologies, chat apps can be built with features such as end-to-end encryption, message scheduling, self-destructing messages, voice-to-text conversion, cloud synchronisation, and push notifications. These technologies enable developers to create a reliable and seamless user chat experience.

  1. WebSockets: WebSockets are a protocol for real-time, bidirectional communication between a client and a server. They allow the creation of real-time, interactive chat apps by enabling the server to push updates to the client in real-time.
  2. XMPP: Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is an open standard for real-time communication that is often used in instant messaging and chat applications.
  3. SignalR: SignalR is a Microsoft-developed library that allows for real-time, bidirectional communication between a client and a server. It is built on top of WebSockets and can be used to create real-time chat apps.
  4. Firebase: Firebase is a Google-owned platform that enables developers to build mobile and web applications. It has a real-time database, authentication services, and hosting for your app. Firebase also has a built-in messaging and chat feature that developers can use to build chat apps.
  5. PubNub: PubNub is a real-time messaging and chat platform that enables developers to build and scale real-time apps. PubNub supports multiple programming languages and has a variety of features, such as push notifications, message history, and in-app messaging.
  6. MQTT: MQTT is a lightweight messaging protocol widely used for M2M (machine to machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) applications. It is often used in chat apps that require low power and bandwidth.
  7. GraphQL: GraphQL is a query language for APIs. It allows for real-time, efficient communication between a client and a server. It is often used in chat apps that require low power and bandwidth.

Steps Involved in Building the Chat App

Planning and requirements gathering: Before diving into building a chat app, it’s crucial to take the time to understand what the app needs to achieve and how it should function. Refer to the key features outlined in th above section and carefully select all the requirements and preferences of the chat app. This step is important to plan the overall architecture and design, including determining the features and functionalities of the chat app and how it should look and feel for the users. This step is essential to ensure that the end result is a chat app that functions well and provides an enjoyable user experience.
Setting up the backend: With a clear plan and understanding of the features and functionality the chat app needs to achieve, the next step is to identify the backend infrastructure to power the chat app. This involves setting up the necessary technology stacks, servers and databases, as well as configuring the APIs and web sockets that will enable real-time communication between the users. It’s important to make sure that the backend infrastructure is robust and scalable to ensure that the chat app can handle a large number of users and handle increased traffic. This step is essential to ensure that the chat app is able to provide a seamless and efficient communication experience for the users.

  1. Developing the front end: With the backend infrastructure requirements identified and finalised, the next step is to bring the chat app to life by designing and developing the front end. This is where we focus on the user interface and user experience, ensuring that the app is intuitive and easy to use. We work on implementing the features and functionalities planned in the initial stages, ensuring that the chat app is fully functional and able to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience for the users.
  2. Implementing security and encryption: Security and privacy are the utmost important features to win customers and make them feel secure while using your chat app. To ensure that the app is secure and private, you need to take the necessary measures to implement robust security and encryption. This includes implementing end-to-end encryption for all chats, to ensure that all conversations are kept private and secure. We also take steps to prevent hacking and unauthorised access by implementing measures such as multi-factor authentication and password encryption. You also must ensure that necessary features are provisioned for regularly monitoring and testing the app for vulnerabilities.
  3. Testing and deployment: Once the chat app is fully developed, it’s important to put it through a thorough testing phase to make sure that it is functioning as expected and that there are no bugs or issues that need to be addressed. This step is crucial to ensure that the chat app is reliable and provides a seamless experience for the users. Once the testing is completed and all bugs and issues have been addressed, the chat app can be deployed to the app stores or the web, where it will be available for download and use by the users. This step is an important milestone as it marks the final phase of the development process and makes the app available for users to enjoy.
  4. Maintenance and updates: To make the chat app deployed and available for use, it’s important to keep it up-to-date and make sure that it continues to function smoothly. You need to setup the process and facility to regularly monitor the app for any bugs or issues that are reported by users and address them promptly. You should keep improving and adding new features and functionalities as needed to ensure that the app remains relevant and useful for the users. This step is important to ensure that the app remains reliable, provides a seamless experience for the users, and keeps up with the fast-paced technological advancements.

Appetals is the best chat app development service provider based out of Mumbai, India. Are you looking to build a chat app that stands out from the competition? Look no further! Our team of experts specialises in creating chat apps that are not only functional and user-friendly but also secure and scalable. We use the latest technologies and trends to ensure your chat app is reliable and efficient. Our team offers end-to-end support and maintenance services to keep your app running smoothly. Contact us today to work with our team to build a chat app that will take your business to the next level!” Contact us to get in 30 minutes call to discuss your idea and how we can help you with a Chat app for your personal or business use.