6 best APIs to build in-app chat functionalities

Sara Ana Cemazar
November 21, 2023
min read

In-app chat API is crucial for businesses seeking to maintain a competitive edge and foster customer loyalty. Without it, companies often risk losing vital customer connections, decreasing engagement and potential revenue losses.

In-app chat APIs and SDKs offer real-time, efficient communication, essential for enhancing customer experience and driving business growth.

The numbers say it all: in-app messages have been found to drive 3.5 times higher user retention, underscoring the importance of immediate, accessible communication for maintaining customer interest and loyalty​​.

From a sales perspective, chat engagement is a critical factor. Effective chat services increase customer satisfaction and engagement, and live chat options can notably raise conversion rates by promptly addressing customer queries.

However, lacking an integrated chat solution complicates management, as agents face the challenge of navigating multiple systems and interfaces, leading to inefficiency and potentially reduced customer satisfaction.

Chat API vs chat SDK

The primary difference between a Chat API and a Chat SDK lies in their functionality and implementation

A Chat API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of protocols and tools for building software and applications. It enables the integration of chat functionalities into an existing app.

On the other hand, a Chat SDK (Software Development Kit) is a collection of software tools and libraries designed to develop chat applications from scratch. It provides developers with more control and customization options for chat features. 

Here's a brief breakdown of differences between the two:

in app chat api

Experiences you can build with in-app chat API

In-app chat APIs are transforming how industries engage with their audience, offering real-time, personalized experiences. These APIs are not just about chatting but about creating connections that drive engagement and satisfaction.

1. Patient chat

In-app patient chat revolutionizes healthcare communication, offering patients a secure and convenient way to connect with healthcare providers. This real-time interaction enables immediate consultation, appointment scheduling, and follow-up discussions.

A study by Accenture found that 49% of patients believe that being able to communicate with healthcare providers through messaging is an important digital capability.

For instance, patients could use a healthcare app to chat with their doctor about symptoms and receive advice without needing an in-person visit. 

2. E-commerce chat

E-commerce chat transforms online shopping into an interactive experience. Customers can inquire about products, seek recommendations, or get support during shopping.

Statistics show that live chat can increase conversion rates by 40% on e-commerce platforms​​.

Picture a customer using an e-commerce app to ask questions about a product's features or availability and receive instant responses, enhancing their shopping experience. 

3. Banking chat

Reports indicate that 70% of banking interactions may be done via mobile channels by 2023, highlighting the importance of in-app chat API in banking​​.

Banking chat introduces a personalized, secure way for customers to manage their finances. Users can inquire about account details transactions and get real-time assistance with banking services.

4. Citizen engagement platform

Citizen engagement platforms with in-app chat facilitate direct communication between government bodies and citizens. This platform allows for reporting issues, getting updates on local events, or participating in community discussions.

For example, residents could report a pothole or ask about local policies in real time, fostering a more engaged and informed community. The in-app chat functionality could be added to the public services portal.

5. In-game chat

In-game chat enhances the gaming experience by allowing players to strategize, socialize, and collaborate in a single place.

Players can coordinate strategies or share in-game experiences directly through the chat, enriching the social aspect of gaming. Studies indicate players are 2.7 times more likely to continue playing a game if they feel part of a community.

6. Customer support

Customer support via in-app chat offers immediate, personalized assistance, boosting customer satisfaction. Users can get help with issues, track orders, or provide feedback without leaving the app.

Data shows that customer satisfaction rates can reach as high as 92% when using live chat for support​​.

For instance, users might use the chat to resolve a technical issue, enjoying a swift and efficient support experience

6 in-app chat API solutions to consider

In-app chat API solutions have become a cornerstone of modern customer engagement. As live chat is compelling 60% customers to return to a website, an in-app chat keeps them using the app or product at hand.

Here are some of the best solutions used to build customized, real-time in-app chat functionalities.

1. Rocket.Chat

chat API

Rocket.Chat is a leading secure and compliant collaboration platform with a powerful Chat Engine. With over 12 million users spanning 150 countries, this platform has earned widespread trust across various sectors, including healthcare, defense, government, and more.

Throughout these highly regulated industries, organizations have been able to build customized chat experiences: in-app chat solutions, standalone chat apps connected with the rest of their tech stack, or live chat experiences connected to their websites.

The platform stands out for offering extensive control over data and deployment and comes with several customization options, unlike many other communication platforms. 

Rocket.Chat is built to integrate seamlessly into various applications and websites, ensuring every conversation flows without compromise.

Key Features

  • Chat Engine: Rocket.Chat allows the creation of custom messaging experiences within apps or websites, offering integration and enterprise-grade features for a tailored approach.
  • Omnichannel Customer Service: The platform offers contextual customer interactions across various contact methods, fostering long-term relationships and improved business outcomes.
  • Marketplace: Users can extend their workspace with custom apps, open APIs, powerful plugins, and webhooks, bringing together tools, people, and processes.
  • On prem or cloud hosting: Exercise control over your data and self-manage your deployment

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

Talk to sales

2. Amity

Amity offers a comprehensive suite of white-label social media features, seamlessly integrating into your app to boost user engagement. Their ready-to-use SDKs and APIs allow easy addition of popular social elements like Chat, Profiles, Forums, Feeds, Video Stories, and more. 

Key Features of Amity

  • Chat Integration: Enhance user interaction with powerful in-app chat capabilities, supporting both one-on-one and group conversations.
  • Profiles and Forums: Build a community by enabling user profiles and forums, fostering user connection and content sharing.
  • Customizable Feeds: Deliver personalized content through customizable activity feeds, keeping users engaged and informed.
  • Compliance and Security: Ensure data protection with ISO/IEC 27001:2013, SOC2 Type II certifications, and GDPR compliance, guaranteeing a secure and trustworthy platform.

3. Sendbird

in app chat API

Sendbird is an in-app communication platform that empowers companies worldwide with its chat, voice, video, live streams, notifications, and AI chatbot capabilities. This powerful suite of features enables businesses to engage and retain users effectively, providing dynamic conversational experiences.

Key Features of Sendbird

  • Comprehensive API and SDKs: Sendbird provides a rich set of APIs and SDKs for chat, voice, and video, making it easier for developers to integrate these features into their apps.
  • AI-Powered Chatbots: Enhance customer interaction with AI-driven chatbots that can automate responses and provide quick customer support.
  • Scalable Notifications: Send notifications that are more efficient and cost-effective than SMS, with the capability to reach a broader audience at a faster rate.

4. MirrorFly

MirrorFly is designed as a versatile and customizable in-app communication tool. It offers a suite of Video, Voice, and Chat SDKs for both web and mobile applications. Tailored to meet diverse business requirements, MirrorFly provides options for both SaaS (Cloud) and Self-hosted chat solutions.

Key Features of Mirrorfly

  • SaaS API & SDK Integration: Easily integrate MirrorFly's SDKs in less than 20 minutes, allowing for quick and efficient implementation.
  • Low-code API: The low-code approach makes it accessible for businesses with limited coding expertise to customize and integrate the chat solution.
  • Pre-built UI Kit: Offers a pre-designed user interface kit, simplifying the process of creating a visually appealing and functional chat interface.

5. TalkJS

in app chat API

TalkJS is a comprehensive chat API solution designed to seamlessly integrate chat functionality into various products. It stands out for its developer-friendly features and pre-built UI components, allowing for quick and efficient chat implementation.

Key Feature of TalkJS

  • Pre-built UI & Notifications: TalkJS features a customizable, ready-to-use interface, streamlining design and reducing development time.
  • Real-time Chat Capabilities: Supports diverse chat functions, including 1-on-1, group chats, AI bots, and live streams, adaptable for various applications.
  • Customizable & Compatible API: Designed for compatibility with any frontend framework or language, it suits teams with varied tech stacks.

6. CometChat

in app chat

CometChat is a comprehensive platform designed to integrate messaging, voice, and video calling capabilities into web and mobile applications. It's tailored for a wide range of industries and applications, offering robust infrastructure, security, and customizable features.

Key Features of CometChat

  • Messaging & Chat API: Offers a versatile and secure messaging API for web and mobile apps, simplifying in-app chat management.
  • Comprehensive SDKs and UI Kits: Enables quick chat service implementation with a wide range of SDKs and UI kits, reducing development time and risk.
  • Customizability & Extensions: Supports full chat customization and integrates with various systems for enhanced business process connectivity.

Ready to get started?

Building an in-app chat from scratch could take months. Why not take an already run & tested chat app and embed it within your app?

Among numerous chat APIs available, Rocket.Chat stands out with its open-source flexibility, customization options, and security features.

If you operate in a highly regulated industry and/or have extensive customization needs, reach out to our team to see how Rocket.Chat could fit into your product.

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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Looking for a HIPAA-ready communications platform?
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The #1 communications platform for government
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See behind the engine and change the code how you see fit.
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Looking for a secure collaboration platform?
Keep your conversations private while enjoying a seamless collaboration experience with Rocket.Chat.
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  • Cloud or on-prem deployment
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Want to build a highly secure in-app chat experience?
Use Rocket.Chat’s APIs, frameworks, and managed backend to build a secure in-app or live chat experience for your customers.
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
  • Highly secure and flexible
  • On-prem or cloud deployment
Talk to sales

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