What features to use to build a messaging mobile app from zero

4 min readJul 16, 2020
messaging mobile app

Online communication has become a new normal these days. Communication software like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and other tools that are an integral part of our lifestyle.

As of May 2022, 2.52 billion people use chat apps regularly and this number keeps growing and is expected to reach 3 billion in 2022.

How many people use chat apps regularly in 2020 and what will be the growth in 2022?
How many people use chat apps regularly in 2020 and what will be the growth in 2022?

Just imagine, 41 million messages are sent out each minute globally, stated by Statista. It makes no wonder that the messaging app market will grow rapidly.

Are you interested in developing software for messaging?

Possibly you require a new chat app to streamline business processes inside your own organization? Or simply want to innovate the messaging app market?

Key features of messaging mobile app

Here we list those messaging app functions that the app cannot exist without.

User Authorization

Clearly, app users should have the possibility to create a personal account. A wise idea is to implement user sign up option in one-click via social media (e.g Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Depending on the app’s objectives, you may include authorization via email, phone number. For increased security, it is possible to interconnect with the device with the help of confirmation SMS.

Contact Importing

For enhanced user experience, your messaging app should access the existing user contacts and get them imported to the messaging app automatically. A strategic step is to highlight for end-users what their contacts already use this messenger.

As well, it is a wise aspect, if users can engage others to join the messenger with a simple invitation.

Messaging Functionality

This is the cornerstone functionality of any messaging app. This feature should have a simple, clear, and intuitive experience.

There are a few ways you can implement instant messages, depending on the way the information transmissions.

Client-Server-Client model

This is when the data go through the server and the information is stored there. It is vital to ensure that the messages pass in a secure and encrypted way. For that, you should apply HTTPS and SSL protocols since security is the most important function of any app type.

General information flow in messaging application
General information flow in a messaging application

Client-to-Client model

In this method, the messages are not kept on the server. They are rather delivered via the wireless mesh networks. Prior to that, the message is again encrypted by a specific algorithm (public-key cryptography).

Client-to-client model of the messaging app
Client-to-client model of the messaging app

Photo & File Sharing

These days, users need to have the possibility to exchange files, videos, photos, and other content. Therefore, make sure that your messaging app supports different app attachments.

This feature can be implemented by using distinct APIs. Do not forget that your app should have an option to send files from the device as well as capture the real-life moments from the app directly.

Location Tracking

In many apps, users can share their location with others like parking spots, offices, restaurants, etc. This feature is developed by utilizing packages of CLLocationManager Class on iOS and Android.location.

Telegram messenger has implemented this feature, which provides great user experience and simple use. App users can even create routes from the starting to the destination point.


This is an important element in any messaging app development. This is the function that allows the user to check whether someone sends a message or not. Developers use Google Cloud Messaging and Apple Push Notifications to implement this functionality.


If you plan to build a messenger that is available on multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Web) and suitable for a range of devices, make sure that the user has identical experience and interface.

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If you have a concept of creating a unique messenger, this article is a complex guide into the tech and business details, as follows:

  • what features are must-have in messaging software these days
  • advance functionality that will help you to stand out
  • tech stack to use and technologies applied in the market leaders (WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype)
  • building the revenue stream in a messenger
  • challenges during messaging app development

The idea is to start a messaging app with core features and some unique selling points represented by the unique experience and interesting feature. The next step is to scale this chat app MVP further based on the real-user feedback.

This article originally published on addevice.io/blog. You can read the full article here




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