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How to Choose Chat SDK For Instant Messaging

How to Choose Chat SDK For Instant Messaging

ZEGOCLOUD is one of the best chat SDK providers in the market, it provides chat SDK in conjunction with voice SDK, video SDK and live streaming SDK. The knowledge shared in this article will use ZEGOCLOUD’s knowledge base, technology, and successful customer cases.

Messaging chat SDK, also referred to as messaging chat API, is a bundled collection of modules with exposed interfaces that allow you to integrate and acquire the in-app instant messaging ability in your own app or platform.

With the integrated mobile chat SDK, your users will be able to send and receive text messages instantly in your app. They can do one-on-one chat text messaging, and group chat text messaging. You can use it to set up a bridge between your customer service team and your customers; you can use it to allow your marketing or sales to get hold of your inquiring visitors; you can build a social networking platform where your users can interact with each other through built-in instant messaging functions.

Normally, chat SDK is a cloud-based service that is provided by cloud service providers like ZEGOCLOUD or Twilio. Its endpoints are the messenger chat SDK installed on mobile devices, and its backends are clusters of servers deployed on the cloud. You integrate the chat API and SDK into your app, and you are not going to touch any of its backends unless you want to listen to the system monitoring notifications.

Basically, you just need to write a few lines of code to finish the integration of a live chat SDK, and the instant messaging module will be a part of your app, and the real-time chat SDK backends will accelerate the message transmission, and make the messaging literally “instant” or “real-time“. You don’t have to build the instant messaging system from scratch, and you don’t have to worry about the cloud infrastructure and its maintenance. This is truly the beauty of an in app chat SDK.

Most chat SDKs are commercial products, but most of the commercial vendors like ZEGOCLOUD offer a good amount of usage of free chat SDK for developers to get started quickly. You might check here for ZEGOCLOUD’s starter plan for in-app chat SDK.

The Value of Messaging Chat SDK

According to Statista Research Report, almost 3.21 billion users all over the world are actively using over-the-top messaging apps to communicate on a daily basis. This usage rate is expected to increase to over 3.51 billion users in 2025. Like almost everyone, you might have got the experience of using a built-in instant messaging feature on Facebook or Gmail now and then. People have already migrated from traditional email communication or telephone call to online chat or instant messaging. In order to follow the trend and get hold of their users, enterprises are quickly switching from traditional email communication to in-app chat SDK solutions in this information era.

The value of instant messaging is to help you follow your users’ footprints closely, riding ahead of the tide of the internet. In-app instant messaging has been a must-have feature for different scenarios, including online education, video conference, voice or video chat room, customer care, or online marketing.

In an online classroom, a video conference, or a live streaming training room, participants mainly use real-time voice or video to communicate, and they will also use the whiteboard, screen sharing, and document sharing for teaching or collaborations. Let’s imagine that voice and video are not working because of network bandwidth reasons, and users feel so necessary to send real-time text messages for emergency communications. There is any situation where there are so many users, and it is not appropriate for them to speak too much, and the host will let them send instant messages to show their options. In-app chat has been a standard feature for this scenario.

When it comes to online marketing, instant messaging has been the way to open a window on your website and let your marketing team get hold of your website visitors promptly. Your marketing team has invested relentlessly on all source channels, including Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora, etc. Potential clients come and visit your website with their needs and eagerness. They browse pages and develop the will to speak with your people, but it is troublesome to make a phone call, and they submit an information form without knowing when your people will contact them. The most direct needs of your visitors would be able to instantly chat with your salesperson. Chat SDK is just the right tool that allows you to open a text chat window on your website to your prospects.

The value of messaging chat SDK is much more than the above. The core value is that it can help you to connect with people instantly at the lowest cost. We will cover more use cases soon.

The Use Cases of Chat SDK

Besides the scenarios mentioned above, there are many more use cases of chat SDK. We will cover the main cases here.

  1. Social & Communities

In a social networking context, messaging chat is the right choice to connect your users. To keep a safe psychological distance among users, platforms need to choose the right way to let users interact. Voice chat might be a bit aggressive for total strangers, not to mention video chat. Email is conservative and keeps a safe social distance, but it is way too slow to get a response. Netizens are impatient and want immediate responses. Instant messaging allows users to pin each other with text messages in a one-on-one or group chat manner. If the other participant is not online, he or she will receive the message once he gets online, which serves perfectly as what email does.

  1. Team Collaboration

I have to say that in terms of team collaboration, text messaging is also the major interaction approach. Being busy with work, office workers communicate with each other in an asynchronnical way. Teams discuss various topics in different groups and private chat with one another. Popular team collaboration platforms, including Slack and Lark, are both building the platform with instant messaging as the core part. If you build a team collaboration system, you can choose chat SDK, like ZEGOCLOUD in-app chat, to integrate the instant messaging feature into your system.

  1. Online Shopping

E-commerce has become one major commercial internet application. Online shopping has become the majority of our daily shopping activities. When you are looking at some product with interest online, there are circumstances where you want to speak with the shop owner or customer service person promptly. For example, you want to buy an alive rabbit, and worry that the rabbit might be starving to death during the long delivery period. You won’t make a phone call since it is too costly psychologically, and it is costly for the shop customer center too. Instant messaging will be the right choice, since one customer service person can watch over tens of chat boxes with customers. You can integrate ZEGOCLOUD chat SDK into your e-commerce. It supports web and native apps, giving you more leeway to improve user experience.

  1. Telehealth

ZEGOCLOUD empowers telehealth scenarios with in-app chat SDK, voice SDK, and video SDK, allowing your users to interact in a diagnosis session through text message, real-time voice, and video. Voice and video chat are, of course, the most straightforward approach for a medical diagnosis. However, in some quick and light online diagnosis scenarios, instant messaging is more convenient. Let’s say, for example, you want to buy medicine on prescription, but you don’t have a doctor’s prescription, you might need to go through a process of quick online diagnosis. The doctor will ask you a few questions, and then give you a prescription. Since it is a light process, the online doctor has gotta watch tens of conversational sessions with patients online, messaging chat will be the right choice for the scenario.

  1. Gaming

If you are an enthusiastic gamer, you must have got the experience of team-collaborating with your fellow game partners to try to win a game. In-game voice is, of course, a good choice for collaboration, and it can set your hands free, and speak with one another in a walkie-talkie manner. However, when there are too many people in a game, or it is not convenient to speak loudly, say, in a net bar, instant messaging is a great alternative for gamers to communicate and express their passion and excitement. ZEGOCLOUD provides both chat SDK and in-game voice SDK for gaming scenarios, you can try and see which of them is better for your situation.

The Basic Features of Chat SDK

Basically, a chat SDK must provide features to allow users to initiate invites, send instant messages, do one-on-one text chat, join groups and send public and private messages. We will go through the basic features quickly.

  1. Session Module

It allows you to obtain the session list and iterate each session, you can decide to send messages to a specific user, a group, or a chatroom.

2. Room Module

It allows you to create a chat room, destroy a chat room, and obtain a chat room list. The feature can be used jointly with the live streaming room and voice chat room.

3. Group Module

It allows you to create a group, destroy a group, and save the relationship chains of the group members.

4. Message Module

It allows you to send various rich forms of messages, including text, image, file, audio and other messages to users and to chat rooms.

5. Message Priority

In high concurrency or challenging network situations, priorities must be set on messages to ensure that important messages are transmitted with more sources. Less important messages can be discarded to make sure high-priority messages are transmitted successfully.

6. Offline Messages

If the receivers of messages were not online, the messages would be sent as well, and the receivers will receive the messages once they log in to the system. The messages sent in the offline state will be transmitted and saved on the server side.

The Advanced Features of Chat SDK

Instant messaging has been evolving for decades, and its features have been standard. Nevertheless, in order to satisfy clients’ new requirements and outcompete the market, chat SDK providers have provided various advanced features to differentiate. For example, ZEGOCLOUD concentrates on social scenarios and has developed some innovative features for scenarios, including voice chat rooms and live streaming shows. Users in a live streaming room are allowed to send gifts to the host or other users, and once a gift is sent, a gift notification message will be broadcast-ed in the room. The feature is derived and becomes a part of ZEGOCLOUD’s advanced feature of chat SDK.

Basically, it allows developers to create customized rich messages. It provides a message template, and allows developers to fill in icons, fonts, and other styling elements, and create a rich media message. The customized message will be sent to all the users in the room, and users will be notified that a gift has been sent. The feature can be applied to similar situations, including sending flowers.

On top of that, ZEGOCLOUD has also launched a low code edition of its chat SDK, which is called in-app chat UIKit. There has been a common pain point in the market that developers wanted to launch a product and test their ideas more quickly and easily, but the chat SDK products available on the market are way too complicated to integrate. To resolve the problem, ZEGOCLOUD has derived experience from servicing hundreds of its clients and created the UIKit edition of chat SDK. It allows developers to integrate its APIs with just a few lines of code or even no code. Also, it allows them to customize graphic user interfaces and designs by using UI elements as building blocks. In this way, developers can build an instant messaging chat feature with rich UIs quickly and easily.

How to Choose Messaging Chat SDK

Most people may think that instant messaging has long been a common application on the market. There is nothing new in terms of features or functionalities. The answer is yes and no. Yes, it has been a standard product, and the chance that a certain vendor creates a novel product is slim. However, you have to examine a few critical aspects if you can to choose the right messaging chat SDK seriously.

  1. Easy and Fast to Integrate

There are pitfalls to some chat messaging SDK choices. Some may take you more than a week to integrate. There may be chances that you encounter mistakes if you call the chat API the wrong way. A good chat SDK should be easy to integrate, and you should be able to integrate and test it in a couple of hours even if you are an apprentice developer. It should be robust enough to resist the wrong usage, for example, calling chat API in the wrong order or passing the wrong parameters into the chat API.

ZEGOCLOUD fully considers exceptional usage of its mobile chat SDK, makes its chat SDK as simple and neat as possible and also provides abundant documentation to guide developers to integrate easily. On top of that, ZEGOCLOUD launched a UIKit edition of its messaging chat SDK, which is a low code version. The ZEGOCLOUD chat SDK UIKit provides modulized UI components for developers to build GUI according to their own design tastes.

2. Compatibility and Extendibility

You may need to test if the mobile chat SDK is compatible with the OS platforms where your users are active. For example, you may want to test if the chat SDK is compatible with most Android smartphone models. The test cost is high, and your team may not be able to cover all of them. You may turn to some testing vendors for assistance. If you want to do an incomplete test, you can do it on your own, and refer to a mouth recommendation of the market as a supplement.

There is a high chance that you will use real-time voice SDK or video SDK in your app too. In that case, it would be ideal that the vendor you choose, like ZEGOCLOUD, can provide a complete solution that includes chat app SDK and voice/video SDK. Choosing the SDK suite from the same vendor can save you a lot of collaboration and compatibility issues. Moreover, it allows you to extend the scope of your app to include more features for more scenarios. For example, on top of text messaging, your users will be allowed to speak with one another via real-time voice in a training room.

3. Support for High Concurrency and Reliability

If you have a large DAU ( Daily Active Users) on your platform, or you foresee that the DAU will grow at a high rate after passing a certain threshold, you need to consider reliability in a high concurrency situation. Most chat app SDK vendors’ products perform just similarly, and you cannot see which one can out-compete the other in an average situation. If you want to find out which one is the best performer, what you can do is increase the concurrency, and see which one will remain stable and reliable when concurrency is high.

ZEGOCLOUD team has got the experience of supporting extreme high DAU ( more than 200 million daily active users) and applied the experience and technology to its data acceleration network called MSDN. The data transmission network possesses more than 500 BGP data centers in about 212 countries or territories covering the globe. The MSDN is able to support super high concurrency at a global scale, and also ensure extra-low latency (less than 300ms) for real-time engagement. With the power of MSDN, ZEGOCLOUD’s chat SDK can help you to achieve truly real-time interaction at a high concurrency without limit.


It would be wise to choose the best chat SDK from vendor solutions. When you evaluate choosing a proper chat app SDK, you may need to consider a lot of factors. The most important factors are revenue, cost, and risk. ZEGOCLOUD’s mobile chat SDK can help you to launch your product at extra-low cost and risk, and maximize your revenue. And ZEGOCLOUD offers a good amount of free chat SDK usage. Please contact us to speak with our solution architect if you want to know more.

ZEGOCLOUD With our fully customizable and easy-to-integrate Live SDK, you can quickly build reliable, scalable, and interactive live streaming into your mobile, web, and desktop apps.

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