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In-app Chat Framework - How to Choose and What Are Things to Consider?

By Ritchie Nathaniel
15 / 07 / 2019

Along with the growth of in-app chat and messaging usage, and the demand for in-app chat implementation, there are some SaaS emerged to provide in-app chat solution. Before PowerTalk and other chat solutions emerged, some companies might consider building their own chat engine, they need to allocate some resources to analyze, plan, design, and develop their own chat infrastructure, and integrate it into their apps. If you haven't read the comparison about build your own chat solution or use SaaS, please read our article about "Mobile In-app Chat Libary – Build or Buy?".

And next comes the big question, with some of the solution is ready on the market, which one that really suits you? And how would you consider to choose between the available choice? Let us help you get through what element you should see before making your decision.

1. What platform you need to support?

Some vendor provides a broad selection of platform and some of them provide a focused and targeted platform. See and plan what platform you want your product to support now and in the future, and choose a vendor that supports your chosen platform.

2. Is the library easy to implement?

SaaS chat solution vendor is providing not only a server-side solution but also the frontend. And how you can implement the frontend side is really matters, some of the vendors provide only the logic side of the frontend, but some of them also provide UI based implementation, depends on what you need, if you need more flexibility, go with the logic implementation, and if you want the experience build like a real messenger apps in a short amount of time, go with the UI implementation. Putting in the chat logic to UI in the frontend is sometimes understated, but it also time-consuming and has a lot of details to handle.

3. What customization do you need?

Some chat vendors are specialized in their product for some case driven purposes like customer services or live chat. Some made it for you to freely integrate it to your apps. The customization also goes beyond to customizing their UI library color, creating your own UI or interaction, until creating your own chat bubble for custom cases.

4. Did the library handle frontend logic and data optimization?

Frontend is the last layer that will interact with your user, and you need to keep it at its best performance and let the user have the best experience. Big mobile messaging app out there like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram is already setting up the bar, and in-app messenger with less feature or interaction below the bar will be taken as no good. In the chat framework, the hard work is not only handled by the server-side or backend, but so many heavy lifting and optimization are handled by the frontend side. Some of them like how data is saved, when we should flush the history so it doesn't make the app size bloated, how to load the room list or chat history in the best performance, how to give the interaction as best as big messenger apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram.

5. Did the library support the background process?

Mobile messaging needs to be very seamless, so many people use the messaging apps on the go - while they commute or driving, and sometimes they close the apps when they uploading an image, video, or files, or maybe when they have a bad connection when they send a message. Without the background process, this message will not be sent properly, and it will be frustrating for users because they need to re-check what message is sent and not and resend it, and also they need to wait for it to send before they can close the apps.

6. Are you need to send a transactional message to your user?

Sometimes when you integrate chat to your apps, you might need to send messages to users via your own backend-server, whether it is a transactional message like order status, or a message blast and announcement to your user.

7. Do they have any other additional features to offer?

Don't forget to see what other features outside chat main scope that offered, some features like profanity filter, chat throttle, dashboard analytics, and many other features.

8. The vendor itself might be the biggest things to consider

When you choose a SaaS vendor, the vendor itself is the biggest things for you to consider, most of all is how is their support, but there are some other things you need to see from the vendor such as:

  • How is the vendor response and support?
  • Is the vendor updated and use the latest technology?
  • Is the vendor responsible to scale up when your user grow?
  • Will the vendor help you to move data from your old ecosystem to their ecosystem?
  • Will the vendor help you keep your data safe?
  • Will the vendor give you access to download all your data?

We planned, designed, and developed all above feature you need in PowerTalk to give you and your user the best in-app chat experience, we provide you UI Based (TapUI) implementation so you can easily integrate a very good chat experience to your apps, or if you need more customization, you can use our logic-based implementation (TapCore), so you can develop your own custom UI and integrate our library to be work with it. But with our TapUI, you can do a lot of customization, from color, font, button function, and the best you can use your own custom bubble and make the interaction yourself.

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