Mobile application development is in great demand today. The modern world is changing rapidly, and all business processes are transformed together with it. Communication channels have also progressed considerably. Messaging apps have become an inevitable part of business interaction. It is estimated that the number of messaging app users will reach three billion by 2022 and it is almost a third of the world’s population.
Is there a place for your messaging app development startup in the market? What features should your messenger have to gain popularity in a highly competitive environment?
Why are messengers so popular?
With the advent of smartphones and communication applications, cheap or even free messengers have become a great alternative to paid SMS and MMS services. Modern instant messaging applications offer their users a wide range of features — group chats and calls, fast photo and video exchange, and much more. Unlike SMS, there are no restrictions on the amount of written text in instant messengers. The fee will be taken for the weight of messages in kilobytes and not for the number of SMS messages. It is several times cheaper. Moreover, you can often chat for free when you are in a free Wi-Fi zone.
Messengers are one of the fastest ways to deliver messages, which is crucial in the current hectic rhythm of life. They are ideal for informing customers about events with an expiration date: flash sales, short-term promotions, situational content.
According to a study, a new message in the messenger will be read within 90 seconds. Email may need up to 90 minutes to be viewed. Even SMS texts are not read so fast as the information sent via a messaging app.
Another important advantage of messengers is their versatility. Besides communication, brands can use them for advertising, ordering, and even as a marketing tool.
What features should a messaging app have?
If you are planning to create a messenger, get prepared for strong competition in the application market. Top messengers prove that the main criterion for success is to find your unique niche. You should meet the needs of the target audience, providing users with rich functionality and a user-friendly interface. The program should have the following features.
Most messaging apps are used not only for chatting. Their scope is much broader, including file sharing and video calling. The application must be easy to use, even for a beginner. Thus, think of providing a simple user login process. Offer several verification channels like phone or email. Some users want to keep their phone numbers private so you may authorize them via social media accounts. The more options you offer, the wider audience you will engage.
It is the core feature of this application type. And it is not limited to the exchange of text messages. Here you need to offer several interaction options:
- Communication in groups. This function makes it possible for several people to be involved in the conversation.
- Video calls. It is incredibly convenient when you have little money on your mobile account, but you can still access Wi-Fi or have mobile Internet. In this case, all calls are free.
Support for voice messages
This feature is significant for busy people. A special button will help dictate a message to the phone. When you remove your finger from the record button, the voice message is instantly sent to the interlocutor, and one can listen to it. This function is convenient when there is a lot of information for typing, and time is running out. The user can record a voice message in a minute, while texting would have taken many times longer.
Fraudsters use different programs that allow them to hack the messaging apps and get access to personal information. The foremost task of every developer is to ensure complete safety and anonymity. You should provide your customers with an option to avoid using a phone number. This will exclude the ability to somehow recognize a person. The second task is to introduce data encryption to eliminate the risks of hacking.
It is important to decide whether you are developing a native application for one platform only or a cross-platform app that will run on both Android and iOS. The latter variant will allow you to save time and money. Instead of developing two different solutions, you create just one product reaching the two largest mobile audiences — Android and iOS users.
Modern messengers offer the function of storing correspondence in their own or cloud storage. It’s necessary:
- when the phone breaks down and all data is lost
- when one buys a new phone but wants to see all the correspondence with friends from the old phone
- when one accidentally deletes a program, as well as in any other abnormal situation
You may consider adding this option as file sharing has become an integral part of everyday life. Users will appreciate the opportunity to exchange documents, pictures, videos, and other content. You can implement this feature in two ways. You may allow users to send files from the internal phone storage. Or, you may enable them to record videos, take photos within the application, and send them to the interlocutor.
The above-described features are a must for a successful messaging application. But you can enhance your app and add more advanced features to stand out from the crowd. This approach will multiply your chances for success.
Usually, each user has several instant messengers installed on their mobile device. Over time, some messenger applications lose their leadership positions, giving way to new ones. But this software remains a top-rated channel for communication, which means that their capabilities will evolve. It is already clear that they work more effectively than traditional ways of communication. The statistics on the growth of the number of messenger users show that messaging applications have potential. But when launching such a startup, you need to be prepared for competition. To win this race, you have to focus on developing a really high-end product with unique features.