Gone are the days when you had to build a feature from scratch—designing, developing, testing—often for months and even years before launch. Today, a Software Development Kit (SDK) can boost your speed to market tremendously while offering benefits that you would be hard-pressed to enjoy when starting from zero.
Chat SDKs and their role in mobile app development
Customers are always looking for a faster and more cost-effective way to obtain the same quality results, and the mobile app development landscape is no different. To deliver outstanding output while speeding up deployment, many brands have taken to using pre-existing SDKs.
Since they improve time to market while being secure and dependable, SDK use has grown over the years. On average, Android and iOS apps use 15.6 and 7 different SDKs, respectively. It's likely that a chat Application Programming Interface (API) is among many tech stacks to offer users real-time communication capabilities with ease.
Why are chat SDKs so commonly used?
Secondary (and yet utterly invaluable) features like chat are often not the principal product of an app. Even so, they play a crucial role and can even boost your bottom line—users that use a chat app to communicate with companies are 2.8 times more likely to convert!
Since they are not part of the primary product, you may not want to spend weeks and months to add instant messaging features that still need not only to be effective but also secure. A scalable chat SDK can help you deliver the functionality you need in a fraction of the time while growing alongside your user base.
How you benefit from utilizing a chat SDK
There are so many things tech founders and product owners have to gain from using a chat devkit to integrate social features like private and group chats, push notifications, and more. And the time savings is just the beginning!
Chat SDK benefits can be condensed into three main categories: (1) ease of use, (2) privacy, and (3) cost-effectiveness. Let’s take a deeper look at each one.
Ease of use
Successful chat SDKs are so because they are easy for developers to integrate, coming with chat APIs, tools, libraries, and even pre-written code that can readily be used. With most of the legwork out of the way, devkits make it possible to forgo the debugging and experimentation phase, thus making the addition of new features and updates much more efficient.
For a chat SDK to be effective, it needs to be easy to integrate—and that’s something possible with the help of detailed documentation. Each messaging feature created has a unique chat API and users can glean the most use out of it when they have documentation to refer to outside of the code to avoid inflating the class itself with the details.
A messaging platform isn’t easy to build, which is why developers include as much information as possible along with the chat APIs. Messaging devkits come with proper documentation including everything from technical notes to examples that—while you may need some basic understanding of the concepts—is simple enough for those who aren't advanced users to understand.
As your user base grows, your mobile application should be prepared to accommodate it. Scalable chat APIs take one task out of your hands by allowing you to host as many connections, messages, and users as demand dictates without risking downtime. Most are priced per active user, so you’re never paying for more than you need.
During the development process, security should be one of your first and foremost considerations. Mobile apps that aren’t secure can quickly lose the trust of their users, and it only takes one blunder to cause irreparable repercussions.
Security is especially important when it comes to features like chat, since private information may be exchanged. Using a chat API that adheres to the best API security practices can help you integrate much-needed core security functionality.
One of the most compelling cases for using chat APIs is the fact that with it, you fully own and control the data on your app. With some third-party messaging apps, you give away ownership and may not be able to view and utilize the data.
A secure chat API, on the other hand, gives you control over your chat app. You own the client data and handle the source code. And since experienced developers are behind the scenes constantly updating and patching any vulnerabilities, the chances of a breach are significantly reduced.
Speed to market
Time is money, and the more efficiently your app can be developed, the sooner you’ll be able to deploy it. The sooner your app is launched, the quicker it can start generating a return. The longer it takes, however, the more you’ll spend on competitor research, development fees, and beta testing.
When a chat SDK can help you create an instant messaging platform in a fraction of the time it would take to build from scratch, is there anything more to say?
A chat SDK is built by highly skilled developers to include all the libraries, debugging facilities, technical notes, and documentation that you may need to bring chat functionality to your app. A world-class app takes years to develop, and developers are often paid by the hour. Why build from scratch when you can leverage the expertise of skilled developers through a chat API and software development kit?
You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to provide your users with an instant messaging platform. Take our product, for example. With pricing plans starting at just 6 cents per monthly active user, Amity’s Chat SDK can bring your users completely customizable private, group, and broadcast chats, designed and developed by a highly competent team of developers.
How you can use Chat SDKs
Available for iOS, Android, and Web, Chat SDKs are built to bring your app social functionality that would take years to create from the ground up.
There are four types of chat channels designed to match a specific use-case:
Community channels are public chat channels that all members and administrators can use to send messages. They can be used for collaboration, topic discussions, and more—invaluable when your goal is to build a community and encourage brand loyalty. Since they’re public, these chat channels can be monitored with the help of our Chat SDK moderation tools.
Live chat features are similar to Community channels, but they are time- and membership-based. Members and admins can use real-time chat features to create live channels for a specific group of people to hold private discussions, such as during a live stream!
Another use case for live channels is to temporarily connect a user to an individual service provider, which can be integrated with the help of our real-time chat SDK. By connecting users to a service provider by way of a chatbot integration or live agent, you give them a quick messaging option to resolve issues and provide assistance.
Broadcast channels are used for one-way communication where only administrators send messages to all members. They’re most frequently used for advertising and official announcements.
With 68% of consumers reporting that they hold higher regard for companies that send proactive customer service notifications, broadcast features are a must for every brand.
Conversation channels are the only type not visible on the Amity Social Cloud Console and are used to facilitate 1-on-1 messaging. Members can create conversation channels and even host video calls with others on their own and enjoy the flexibility of communication with no moderation. Customer support and consultancy are some examples where these channels are used.
Transform your messaging capabilities with Amity Social Cloud
Aside from the ease of use, privacy, and cost-effectiveness that chat APIs and devkits offer, there’s one more compelling reason to use them: they provide your customers with a better experience. When you’re able to deliver new messaging solutions and features quickly, customers are more engaged and excited about what you have to offer.
The best chat SDK can help you reach your app development goals—promoting better engagement, improved retention, and a larger user base. With easy-to-use integrations and a complete UI framework, Amity Social Cloud offers a scalable solution to brands of all sizes.