One question that most chat app businesses face in the beginning phase is how to develop an instant chat app that users can’t resist. With over 2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp has become a ubiquitous communication tool for people worldwide. Let’s discuss further the Instant chat app development process with all costs and key features of the s.

An instant chat app offers some advantages, such as the anxiety of checking notifications, the ease of connecting with loved ones, the ability to communicate without disturbing others, and more. If you are looking forward to developing an application that lets your users communicate and stay connected easily, here’s a know-it-all guide to help you. 

Instant Chat App: A Brief at What Makes the App Omnipresent

In the simplest terms, an instant chat app is a mobile or web-based application to let users communicate with each other in real-time. It works as text-based messaging but may also support voice or video calls, file sharing, and other forms of communication. 

Some of the most dominant chat apps that are a part of our day-to-day life are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Yes, we all use these applications all the time. 

Let’s understand how these applications work. 

How Does an Instant Messaging App Work?

Let’s understand the logic behind how these instant chat applications make communication smooth and uninterrupted. Instant chat apps use a combination of web sockets, push notifications, and data synchronization to provide real-time communication between users. 

The sender sends a message, which is received by the server. The server broadcasts the message to the associated recipient. The receiver gets a notification about the message and is done!

As soon as the receiver receives the message, they reply to it, and the process is repeated. This is how real-time back-and-forth conversation continues. The app developers use encryption to protect the users’ privacy when exchanging messages. 

Yes sounds simple, but a lot is happening in the background.  

Is This the Right Time to Invest in Instant Chat App Development? 

The popularity of commonly used messengers like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, and others has sparked the curiosity of tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to build a chat or messaging application that people could like using.

  • 3.09 billion people use mobile messaging apps worldwide, according to statistics.
  • With around 107.87 million users, Messenger is the most talked-about messaging service in the USA.
  • The instant messaging chat software market was valued at $47.92 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.02% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $82.36 billion.
  • Nearly 41 million communications are sent and received every minute.
  • Nowadays, Messenger and WhatsApp are used by almost 2.9 billion people.
  • Around 36% of users have multiple messaging apps installed on their phones. 

How many chat applications do you have on your phone? 

The numbers reflect the app market’s potential and indicate this is the right time to invest here. 

If you want to enter the market with a chat messaging application, there are various industries you can cater to.  With our team, you can easily hire mobile app developers for your upcoming project.

Various Instant Chat Applications Available in the Market

Take a moment and think…

As discussed, your phone doesn’t have just one messaging app. One is to connect with your friends and family and socialize, another is to connect professionally, and another is to engage with strangers. 

Depending on the use and audience they cater to, the mobile developers associated with us have listed a few types of chat applications that you can choose to build from. 

Consumer-focused Chat Apps 

Consumer-focused Chat Apps 

The instant chat applications we first discuss are used for personal interactions with friends and family. These have a simple interface and can let users connect over a voice call or video call too. 

Some prominent examples are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Business Chat Apps 

Business Chat Apps 

In the past few years, the need for business chat apps has grown since the pandemic outbreak, and the work-from-home culture has expanded. Business chat applications such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Chat saw a rise in demand and came up with some real quick updates to help businesses manage situations better. 

Gaming Chat Apps

Gaming Chat Apps

Another chat space in great demand these days is the gaming section. Gaming chat applications make it easier for people from a particular gaming community to connect and share their thoughts about the topic. Discord is a popular choice among the gaming community.  

Dating Chat Apps 

Dating Chat Apps 

Another chat application that has taken over the market in the last decade is   

These chat apps are designed for people to connect with others for romantic relationships, such as Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr.

Anonymous Chat Apps 

Anonymous Chat Apps 

Anonymous chat apps such as Whisper and Yik Yak allow users to communicate without revealing their real identities. Connecting with like-minded people and discussing your interests is more manageable without the fear of revealing your identity. 

Each of these chat applications has unique features and is designed to offer ease to users and developers to function in a certain way. 

Every industry needs to explore the ups and downs of user engagement and the need for chatbots. It is quite the need of the hour to have a chat app that can help your users be a part of your business.  

 Instant Chat Applications Use Cases 

Chat applications, with time, have become an indispensable part of our lives. With time they have served various purposes, making it easier for businesses to connect with their customers and make communication clear and comprehensive. 

Personal Communication Services: Chat apps are used by users to send and receive messages, share photographs and videos, and stay in touch with friends and family.

Business Collaboration Communication: Companies utilize chat apps to enhance teamwork, boost output, and simplify processes.

Customer Service: Many companies employ chat apps to offer real-time customer assistance, respond to inquiries, and handle problems.

E-commerce Service: Online merchants utilize chat apps to answer queries from clients, facilitate purchases, and make personalized product recommendations.

Gaming Service: Gamers use chat applications to interact with one another while playing games, talk about tactics, and create communities.

Education Service: Teachers hold virtual lessons, discuss materials and homework, and work with students via chat apps.

Healthcare Industry: Healthcare service providers use chat apps to communicate with patients, provide telemedicine services, and manage patient records.

Social Networking Services: People use chat apps to meet new people, connect with friends, and join groups based on common interests.

Popular Messaging/Chat Apps in the Market 2024

Some amazing chat applications let you connect with your loved ones, friends, family, and office people to help you in your day-to-day life. Our developers share a small note on some of the most popular platforms they take as a case study for instant messaging app development in the market.   

Chat app development


WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging app that allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media. It was founded in 2009 and was acquired by Facebook in 2014. It operates with a phone’s internet connection rather than SMS and is available for Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms. With over 2 billion active users, it is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world.

Facebook Messenger App

Facebook Messenger is a standalone instant messaging app developed by Facebook. It allows Facebook users to communicate with each other through text messages, voice calls, video calls, and various other forms of media. FB messenger was launched in 2011 as a feature within the Facebook app and later became a separate app in 2014. It is available for Android, iOS, and other platforms. With over 1 billion active users, it is one of the world’s most widely used messaging apps. In addition to individual and group messaging, it supports various features, such as sending money to friends, playing games, and accessing businesses for customer support.

WeChat – Multipurpose Chat App

WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose mobile application developed by Tencent. It is the most popular app in China, with over 1 billion monthly active users as of 2021. The app offers features such as instant messaging, social media, mobile payments, e-commerce, and more. WeChat allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, and other media. It also includes various social features, such as sharing posts and updates to a “Moments” feed and following official accounts, similar to Twitter. In addition, the app provides a platform for businesses to connect with customers, allowing users to order food, book travel, and shop online, among other things.


Skype is a communication app that allows users to make voice and video calls, send instant messages, and share files with other Skype users. It was created in 2003 and has become one of the world’s most widely used communication tools. Skype is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It operates over the internet, allowing users to make calls and send messages without needing a telephone line or cellular network. In addition to one-on-one calls and messaging, Skype supports group calls with up to 50 participants and group messaging. The app also offers features such as screen sharing, file sharing, and the ability to call landlines and mobile phones at a low cost. As of 2021, Skype has over 300 million active users monthly.

Slack (Business Messaging App)

Slack is a business communication platform that enables teams to collaborate and communicate through instant messaging, file sharing, and other features. It was launched in 2013 and has become one of the market’s most popular team collaboration tools. Slack offers real-time messaging and search features, customizable notifications, and integration with hundreds of third-party apps, including project management tools and productivity software. In addition to one-on-one messaging, Slack also supports group messaging, allowing teams to organize discussions into channels for different topics or projects. The app is available for web, desktop, and mobile, offering free and paid plans. As of 2021, Slack has over 12 million daily active users.

Important Considerations When Developing Chat App

When developing a chat app, several important considerations need to be taken into account to ensure the success of the app: Let’s discuss the significant consideration of instant chat app development.

User Experience (UX)

A chat app must have a user-friendly interface and seamless user experience. It should be intuitive, easy to navigate and provide quick access to all features.


Security should be a top priority when developing a chat app. The app should use encryption to protect user data and should have measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.


The chat app should be able to handle a large number of users and support growth as the user base expands. This requires careful planning and consideration of the app’s architecture and infrastructure.

Platform Support 

The app should be available on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and the web. This will ensure that users can access the app from any device.

Network Performance 

The app should provide fast and reliable performance, even in poor network conditions. This requires efficient use of network resources and handling large amounts of data.

Integration with Other Apps 

The chat app should integrate with other apps and services, such as social media, calendars, and file-sharing services, to provide a more comprehensive user experience.

Data Privacy and Management 

The chat app should comply with data privacy regulations and provide users with clear information about how their data is used and stored. The app should also offer tools for managing user data and preferences.


The app should have a clear monetization strategy, whether it’s through in-app purchases, ads, or a freemium model.

By considering these factors, developers can ensure that their chat app is user-friendly, secure, and scalable and provides a comprehensive user experience.

Instant Chat App Development: Features to Consider

The feature set you offer is the most crucial factor determining your instant chat app’s success and failure. The solutions you offer must be designed and developed to resolve consumer issues in just a click. 

Instant Chat App Development


The core feature of any instant chat app is messaging, and the app should provide users with fast and reliable messaging, with options for text, image, and file sharing.

Group Chats 

Group chats allow users to communicate with multiple people at once and should be easy to create and manage.

Push Notifications 

Push notifications to ensure that users are informed of new messages in real time, even when the app is not open.

User Profiles 

User profiles allow users to personalize their experience and provide information about themselves to other users.

Contact Management

The app should provide tools for managing contacts, including adding and removing contacts, blocking users, and managing privacy settings.

Voice and Video Calls 

Voice and video calls allow users to communicate in real-time and should be integrated into the app to provide a comprehensive user experience.

Emoticons and Stickers 

Emoticons and stickers can add fun to messaging and be used to express emotions or reactions.

End-to-end Encryption 

Encryption helps protect user data and ensure that messages are secure.

File Sharing 

File sharing allows users to send and receive files, including photos, documents, and audio files, and should be integrated into the app.


The app should allow users to customize the look and feel of the app, including background colors, font styles, and emoticons.

These features can help your application stand out in the market and allow your users to connect and communicate with people easily. 

How Do Chat Apps Make Money ?- Monetization Model

Several monetization models can generate revenue from an instant chat application:


You can show advertisements in the chat app and earn income from clicks, impressions, or conversions.

Premium Features

 Offer users additional features for a fee, such as increased storage, more customization options, or the ability to chat with more people at once.


Offer a monthly or annual subscription that gives users access to premium features and removes advertising from the app.


Integrate e-commerce functionality into the chat app and earn a commission from sales made through the app.

Data Monetization 

Collect and sell user data, such as chat history, demographic information, and other data points, to third-party companies for research and analysis purposes.

Corporate Solutions 

Offer enterprise-level services to businesses, such as secure and private chat rooms, advanced analytics and reporting, and custom integrations with other business tools.

Ultimately, the most effective monetization model will depend on the target market and the specific features and functionality of the chat app.

Cost &Timeline for Real-Time Chat App Development 

Developing an instant chat app can be complex and time-consuming. The cost of instant chat app development will depend on several factors, including the features you want, the platform you want to build for, and the size of your development team. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Chat App Features and Functionalities

Some of the most common features of chat apps include real-time messaging, user profiles, push notifications, and the ability to send photos and videos. More advanced features, such as voice and video calling, location sharing, and the ability to send payments, will increase the development cost.

  • Platform You Choose for Chat App Development

You must decide whether to build your chat app for iOS, Android, or both. Hybrid platforms will boost the development cost, requiring more time and resources.

  • Your Chat App Development Partner

The development cost will also depend on whether you build your chat app in-house or hire a development team. Hiring a team of developers will typically be more expensive, but it can also speed up the development process and ensure that your chat app is high quality.

As a rough estimate, building a basic chat app with limited features could start at around $30,000-$50,000, while a more advanced chat app with multiple features could cost $100,000 or more. However, this is a rough estimate, and the actual cost will depend on various factors.

Real-Time Messaging App Development: Technology Stack Requirement

There is no single “best” technology stack for developing a chat application, as the choice of technologies will depend on the specific requirements and constraints of the project. Some standard technologies used for chat app development include:


  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for creating the user interface
  • React, Angular, or Vue.js for building interactive and dynamic web pages
  • WebSockets, SignalR, or other real-time communication protocols for providing real-time chat functionality


  • Node.js, Express.js, or Django for building the server-side logic
  • WebSockets, Socket.IO, or similar technologies for real-time communication
  • A database such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, or MySQL for storing messages and other data

Other Considerations

  • Scalability and performance to ensure the chat app can handle a large number of concurrent users
  • Security, to protect user data and prevent unauthorized access to the chat system
  • Deployment and hosting to ensure the chat app is accessible and reliable for users.
  • This is by no means an exhaustive list, and other technologies may be more appropriate for a particular chat app project.

Instant Chat App Development Process 

Development Process featureApproximate Time Frame
Registration50-55 hours
Real-Time Messaging210-220 hours
Voice Calling200-220 hours
Video Calling180-220 hours
Multimedia Sharing40-50 hours
Settings110-120 hours
Contact Sharing80-80 hours
Location Sharing25-30 hours
Notifications15-20 hours
Business ProfileVaries on the type of business niche
Chat LabelVaries on the type of tech stack used

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