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Mobile In-app Chat Library - Build or Buy?

By Ritchie Nathaniel
15 / 07 / 2019

The number of people using mobile messenger is growing really fast, with annual growth exceeding 15% and monthly active users more than 5.800 million users in April 2019. With this potential, so many startups initiate to put in-app chat to their own apps and delivering their user a new and better way to interact. Then the big question appears, should startup build their own in-app chat framework, or use ready solution for their apps?

So for this, let's take a look at some point, and so we can have a better understanding of what it takes to build in-app chat library, and or should we take a ready-to-use solution

Time

So the first and most crucial thing to consider is time. Most startups need to innovate quickly and be agile to condition changes so the can stay afloat and rise against the competition. To build an in-app chat framework, there are a lot of things to do and so many crucial details to handle, and this means, building a chat framework will take a lot of time. Meanwhile having in-app chat ready in a few days will save startup a huge amount of time, and the faster you can deliver it to your user, the faster you can validate and test your minimum viable product.

Budget

The next thing to consider is budget while building a chat framework needs a lot of times, it means you need to maintain your resource for that amount of time, and having the operational cost to run for that length of time is obviously expensive. Besides the operational cost that you need to build the chat framework, you also need the cost for server hosting and maintenance after you deploy your chat framework.

Quality

When your in-app chat ready, of course, you still need to test and assure the quality, there are so many aspects to test in in-app chat framework, and to provide the best quality, you need to fix and improve the performance for your in-app chat framework, and continue the iteration. While when you use a ready-to-use framework, they might have tested and improved their solutions for years, and you just can use the solution at their best performance.

Maintenance

After all the points above, you will reach the time when you need to host and maintain your chat framework. How to keep your chat framework up and running, how to handle unexpected traffic, how to optimize your server, and so many other things. With ready-to-use solution, most come with a support and maintenance, and you can easily ask for help from the support if something happens.

Flexibility

Many ready-to-use solution comes with a library that can easily be tweaked for your needs, some of them provide a customizable user interface, and some offer a full code integration. Despite you need a really custom flow, we think most of the library in the market is offering enough flexibility.

Conclusion

In term of time and cost, building your own chat framework obviously take more time and cost, but if you need to cater a very custom possible case, you might need to build it on your own, but if you want a good, fast, and reliable chat, most of the framework on the market will save you a lot of time and money and help you iterate and validate your business faster to the market.

For PowerTalk, we prepared our library for you to use our complete and ready-to-use user interface, from room list, chat room, contact list, user profile, and many others. We design and maximize the performance of the apps, handle so many complex things - so you don’t have to, crafting that interaction to the micro animation, to bring out the best experience your user will feel. And the best thing of all this, you still can put in your branding inside it, you can custom every color of our component, change the font type and size, and so many other customization. Or, if you want more flexibility, you can create your own user interface, and use our library to handle chat and messaging purposes.

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