Coding

Published on June 22nd, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan

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Must-Have Features and Recommended Approach for Messaging App Development

Communication is an important part of the world today. Text messaging, phone calls, and video chats are common forms of communication, but the rise of Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram, Intercom, and others have proven that there is something more that can be done in this realm. What are the must-have features that make these apps successful? How should one go about developing a web messaging app? What are some costs associated with developing a communication application?

Features of the service

While there are many applications that offer different communication options, the critical component of a web based messaging app is that all forms of communication are available to different users. These accounts should utilize a web server to store accounts and messages that can be broadcast to other users over a wifi or cellular connection.

Video chat

In the category of video chat, the critical component is the ability for multiple users to communicate with each other simultaneously. A few other features to add would be the ability to add fun backgrounds or stickers to make the video chat more fun, or be able to share files and desktops from the device to users as a visual aid in professional explanations.

Text messaging

In text messaging, users would expect to be able to send text messages with few limitations on character counts. Users would also expect messages to be sent practically instantly, and received by the recipient when they are connected to either a WiFi signal or a cellular signal, a limiting factor of traditional texting platforms. Professional applications will support most file types, such as PDF, text, and high quality JPEGs, to be sent via the platform without a loss of quality.

Other fun features that are being a common feature among text messaging applications is the ability for third parties to create games, widgets, and sticker packs to be sent through the platform as an added form of expression, ease of performing tasks with a group, or simply having fun. The ability to animate text messages and change font styles prior to sending messages is also an added way of expressing oneself through text. One useful feature that some messaging platforms include is the ability to color code conversations or to add avatars to quickly identify which group is being messaged.

Phone calls

Phone calls are a relatively basic feature, but users will definitely expect the ability to perform conference calls with multiple people. WiFi also allows for crisp audio quality, so clear audio from those on the call will be expected.

Interface communications

The interface for communicating with friends and groups must be designed with ease of use in mind. A user should be able to quickly send a message from any device they should choose, whether through a web browser or an app for mobile products. Above all, secure communication is a critical component of these web based communication applications.

Development of the service

Due to the potential for high traffic from many users, and the need to keep communications secure, the infrastructure of the servers for storing messages and user accounts would be the main first part to focus on.

It will be important to allow multiple users to simultaneously communicate without experiencing slowdowns. Assuming the average of 128 texts per day per person, adequate server space will be required to store all the messages for at least a few months.

Once the infrastructure is established, the interface will need to be designed. As with any application, the unique features of each device the application will be deployed on, and the screen sizes, would be considered so that no part of the interface will be wasted. Elements such as the content of a message and send button for text messages, camera orientation, end call button and ability to mute a call would be logical elements of the user interface to make prevalent to users.

Expected costs

Having knowledge on the key components for a web communication application is important, but along with knowing how to develop a web chat.

The largest costs that will be assumed are the creation of the host servers for storing the messages of users and the acquisition of bandwidth for streaming the content between users. While messages may seem small, popular services with lots of users and lots of messages per user will quickly add up, and multiple users accessing the servers simultaneously will put strain on the system. It is crucial, then, to invest heavily in servers as this is where much of the service’s reliability will occur. Failure to maintain decent service will cost customers.

Communication apps are becoming pretty standard in their appearances. A team of designers would be useful to have a discussion about whether it would be better for the application to look like other applications, and thus make the user comfortable using the app with a familiar user interface, or design a fresh new user interface to create a unique brand identifier at the risk of creating a learning curve that could deter potential users.

Summary

The web communication market is a growing field that is also beginning to saturate a bit. There is room for a development team to incorporate many important features to provide an application that can be used in both a social setting and for performing professional communications. The look of each application’s user interface has become familiar between apps, promoting user comfort to use the application, but having a unique application look and feel can also be beneficial in establishing a brand.

The application development should consider features and target audiences before investing in the development of different aspects of the application. Creating an app with clear cut communication goals is critical in developing a web messaging app that will retain users. In addition to features, reliability of the servers and networks supporting the ability for the application to perform communication transfers will be a critical part of development, and the largest area in which costs should be focused. Above all other parts of design, the security of sending messages must be assured to customers, especially for those who wish to send personal messages to family members, but do not fully trust technology.

The process of web messaging app development is complicated with both providing a traditional app experience and maintaining a server for allowing the application to properly provide its services.

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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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